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News for 23 August 2017

All the news for Wednesday 23 August 2017

Rabo EuroHockey Championships 2017

Tuesday 22 August 2017

12:30 Women / Pool B ENG 2 - 0 SCO
14:45 Women / Pool B IRL 1 - 5 GER
17:00 Women / Pool A ESP 1 - 2 BEL
20:00 Women / Pool A NED 10 - 0 CZE

Pools and standings

Women pool A
    W     D     L     P
NED 3     0     0     9
BEL 2     0     1     6
ESP 1     0     2     3
CZE 0     0     3     0

Women pool B
    W     D     L     P
GER 3     0     0     9
ENG 2     0     1     6
SCO 0     1     2     1
IRL 0     1     2     1

Men pool A
    W     D     L     P
BEL 2     0     0     6
NED 1     0     1     3
AUT 0     1     1     1
ESP 0     1     1     1

Men pool B
    W     D     L     P
IRL 1     1     0     4
GER 1     1     0     4
ENG 1     0     1     3
POL 0     0     2     0

Rabo EuroHockey Championships 2017 Official site  

England beat Scotland to reach Euro semi-finals

England celebrate v Scotland

England progressed to the semi-finals of the EuroHockey Championships with a 2-0 win over Scotland in their final Pool B match.

Second half goals from Jo Hunter and Giselle Ansley eventually guided England to victory and ensured top two finish in their pool.

Hunter cleverly deflected home Anna Toman’s cross before Ansley sealed the win, on her 100th international appearance, with a late drag-flick.

Reflecting on the match, Giselle Ansley said: "We had a lot of the ball and kept playing our way, we had to keep emotion out of it and to win 2-0 we are pretty happy.

"We're not going to shy away from the fact we are defending champions. It looks like we will have a tough semi-final but we have done it before and are looking forward to it."

It was an end to end opening with both sides creating chances as goalkeepers Maddie Hinch and Amy Gibson were called into early action, however both were equal to their tasks.

The best chance of the opening quarter fell to Giselle Ansley, making her 100th international appearance, but Gibson was able to kick away her penalty corner effort before the first break.

Neither side were able to get into their rhythm with possession constantly changing hands, but England improved before the half-time break.

A strike from Alex Danson strike was deflected at goal by Ellie Rayer before Ansley flicked at target from another penalty corner, but Gibson saved smartly on both occasions to ensure the sides entered the interval level.

England’s continued to press for an opener and on 35 minutes they eventually moved ahead. Toman fired a cross into the circle from deep which was met by a diving Hunter whose touch helped send the ball high into the net.

This buoyed England who went on to dominate the third quarter and were unfortunate not to extend their lead when Sophie Bray fired just wide.

A scrappy last fifteen minutes followed with four cards being shown but the result was put beyond doubt in the closing stages as Ansley fired in a low drag-flick from a penalty corner to ensure the win for England.

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

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

Subs (Unused): Amy Tennant (GK)

England Hockey Board Media release

Scotland fall short in final Pool match against England

Photo: EHF/Frank Uijlenbroek

Scotland lost their final Pool match of RABO EuroHockey Championship 2017 in Amsterdam in a 2-0 defeat to England. It was a great defensive performance by the Scots, but the result puts them into Pool C where they will battle against relegation.

The game got off to a roaring start and it was the English who came close first, prompting a great double save from Amy Gibson from an early England penalty corner.

It was a bright start from the Scots however as they probed the English defence for vulnerabilities. The game was played at great tempo but good disciplined defending kept the scores level at the end of the first quarter.

Scotland looked dangerous when a surging run by Millie Brown through the England half was eventually shut down at the top of the English D.

Towards the end of the first half Gibson was called into action to keep the score level. First she made a brilliant save when England broke into the D from left, and a deflection was well stopped by the keeper.

Then came another excellent save by Gibson from the penalty corner, she leapt low to her right to block the effort.

England took the lead in the third quarter through a goal awarded to Jo Hunter. A ball was thundered into the Scots D and a deflection saw the ball zip into the roof of the Scotland net to make it 1-0.

It was nearly 2-0 when Sophie Bray timed her run to perfection but sent her shot to the wrong side of Gibson’s post.

Gibson then dived to her right to save a penalty corner by Laura Unsworth, before another phenomenal double save as England went for the jugular.

Alex Danson should have made it 2-0 when she was sent running through on goal but smashed it just wide of the left post.

A good opening to the final quarter for Scotland saw Katie Robertson prompt a good double save from Maddie Hinch. A quick break down the right saw Robertson shoot for goal twice from an angle but the England keeper was equal to it.

With under two minutes remaining of the match England made it 2-0 from a penalty corner. Giselle Ansley found the backboard between the goalkeeper and the player on the post.

Scotland went to a kicking back in the final stages but England was strong enough to retain a clean sheet and take the points. Scotland now enter Pool C, a pool of four teams where the bottom two will be relegated to EuroHockey Championship II.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

England women and Netherlands set up semi-final showdown

By Rod Gilmour in Amsterdam

Anna Toman

It may have come a match and two days too early, but England and the Netherlands will go head-to-head in the EuroHockey Championships semi-final here on Thursday night.

England edged past rivals Scotland in a typically tight contest, while the Dutch went through the gears to thrash the Czech Republic 10-0 in their final pool games.

The top two in the world were billed to meet in Saturday’s final and repeat their dramatic contest at the 2015 EuroHockey – but a robust Germany ended up topping England’s group.

Instead, the women’s semi-final of this ever-flourishing Championship will be the Netherlands’ second big sporting moment this month after the Oranje soccer team beat England in the Euro 2017 semis. It will be some night on Thursday.

A faster game too, with a rocking Wagener Stadium and 10,000 fans willing Alyson Annan’s team on to atone for last summer’s Rio defeat.

“Playing Holland in a semi-final, you can’t get much better than that,” said Jo Hunter, who scored the opening goal against Scotland.

With the hosts’ 10-0 drubbing on Tuesday night, it could prove a tough outing for Dave Ralph’s side.

Yet they are defending champions and have kept to their task this week. They have hardly played badly either. They outplayed Ireland and Germany, while the Scots turned up as if contesting their own World Cup final.

Another a cappella ending to Flower of Scotland seemed to lift Gordon Shepherd’s side early doors, who certainly made life difficult for England.

Lily Owsley was involved in a number of weaving runs into the Scottish circle early on. The ball just wouldn’t fall kindly for her team-mates.

Both sides were guilt of cheap turnover ball, while Scotland barely offered any circle penetration by half-time.

England finally opened the scoring after the break when Anna Toman carved a hard pass into the circle and Hunter’s angled deflection saw the ball crash into the net.

Scotland’s Amy Gibson, the Reading goalkeeper, was made to work and produced some key stops, notably with a double save from Sophie Bray and Hannah Martin’s sticks.

But England had found their rhythm despite late indiscipline – which will have to be eradicated against the hosts – before victory was realised.

The semi-final will be vastly different from the Rio final, with star players having retired from both nations.

Indeed, Hunter, married to England keeper George Pinner, has usually been in the stands watching her partner play in major Championships for the last four years.

Now, she will pull on an England shirt in her biggest match to date.

“The girls have a wealth of experience and it does filter through to us,” said the 26-year-old midfield speedster.

“Half the team won the gold medal in Rio, half the team are Euro champions, then you have the likes of me and others where it’s a first experience.”

Meanwhile, England play Ireland on Wednesday for a place in the men’s semi-finals. It will not be a placid affair and England will be aiming to overturn defeat to the Irish at the last EuroHockey Championships in London two years’ ago.

Adam Dixon, a Hockey India League regular and club player in Holland, has played at the coal face in plenty of international matches and hopes his experience will rub off on England’s younger shoulders.

“As I get older I try and enter games more relaxed. I’ve seen it all and I hope that experience brings some level-headedness,” said Dixon, who won his 200th cap earlier in the week.

“In the backline we have some new guys in there. To be there and to keep a lid on it when we get too emotive or flambuoyant, my job is to help those guys along.”

The Hockey Paper

England beat Scotland and make Rabo EuroHockey Championships semi-finals

By Rod Gilmour in Amsterdam

England will face hosts Netherlands in the semi-finals. GETTY

ENGLAND, the defending champions, set up a women's semi-final showdown with hosts Holland after beating Scotland 2-0 in a tense battle at the Rabo EuroHockey Championships on Tuesday.

It took a second-half strike from Jo Hunter to give England breathing space in a match they dominated, but could never make safe, until Giselle Ansley's penalty corner strike with 90 seconds left.

Hunter said: "Historically matches have always gone that way against Scotland. It was tough right to the last minute."

Married to England goalkeeper George Pinner, the 26-year is playing her first major Championships here.

She forms a midfield which has stood out this week for outright pace, while Hunter is ready to throw herself into the unknown by playing in front of 10,000 Dutch on Thursday evening.

"Playing Holland in a semi-final, you can't get much better than that," she added. "The girls have a wealth of experience and it does filter through to us.

"Half the team won the gold medal in Rio, half the team are Euro champions, then you have the likes of me and others where it's a first experience. We still don't know what to expect."

Scotland, who train part-time against England's centrally-contracted players, had never beaten their rivals in 12 previous matches.

Yet this Anglo-Scottish clash was always going to need calm heads from the Olympic champions. For Scotland's gritty resolve was certainly in evidence against England's attacking intent.

England finally opened the scoring in the 35th minute when Anna Toman slapped into the circle and Hunter's angled stick shot fizzed high into the net.

Amy Gibson, the Reading goalkeeper, was in fine form to keep the Scots in with a sniff but England had by now found rhythm to their play.

They accrued seven penalty corners and managed to finally score with their last when Ansley, in her 100th international match, drove home with a neat drag flick.

A beaming Ansley said: "They put everything out on the pitch and we had to take the emotion out of the game."

Of the need to make more of their corner routines, she added: "We work hard on them. Let's say we're saving them for the big one [against the Dutch]."

Meanwhile, England play Ireland on Wednesday for a place in the men's semi-finals. There will be plenty of needle, with three Irish-born players lining up in the England side.

England will also be aiming to overturn a dispiriting defeat to the Irish at the last EuroHockey Championships in London two years ago.

Adam Dixon, who won his 200th cap earlier in the week, hopes his experience will rub off on England's younger shoulders.

He said: "As I get older I try and enter games more relaxed. I've seen it all and I hope that brings some level-headedness."

Daily Express

Green Army Move Into 5th/8th Pool

Photo credit: World Sport Pics
The Green Army had a far from ideal start against the Olympic bronze medallists as Nike Lorenz dispatched a drag flick into the bottom corner inside the opening minute. The Germans were nearly in on goal again but Grace O’Flanagan made a vital interception as Charlotte Stapenhorst’s pass looked destined for a tap in at the back post. Deirdre Duke and Anna O’Flanagan were finding ways into the circle but Noelle Rother’s goal remained unchallenged. Super interchange down the right-hand side saw the ball land to Franzisca Hauke in front of goal and her shot took an awkward deflection off Yvonne O’Byrne’s stick, leaving O’Flanagan with no chance. But less than a minute later O’Byrne was on hand to redeem herself as she deflected home Roisin Upton’s PC drag flick. Momentum appeared with the Irish as Chloe Watkins skipped around 3 defenders but her shot was well saved, as was Ali Meeke’s rebound effort just before half time.

Ireland continued to create chances in the third quarter, the pick of the bunch perhaps fell to Katie Mullan who broke free of her marker to find herself in on goal but Rother was quickly off her line to block the reverse strike. Mullan again was the instigator of the next opportunity as she sent the ball across goal but Rother was again out with a big boot to clear the danger. Germany had 2 penalty corners in a row but O’Flanagan made two strong right hand saves. The game got away from the Irish in the blink of an eye as Germany scored three times in the space of 3 minutes. Both Cecile Pieper and Oldhafer found themselves free around the penalty spot and put the game out of reach with strong shots. Shortly after, Stapenhorst’s drag flick crashed against the backboard to make it 5-1.

Commenting after the fixture, head coach Graham Shaw said “I’m not sure the result is a fair reflection of the game. We got back into it at 2-1 and had a few opportunities, but we’re disappointed with the last quarter, we gave away some very soft goals. We need to make sure we retain ‘A’ status and 5th is still a good finish, and that’s our aim now”.

Ireland now move into the 5th-8th place pool with their next match on Thursday (August 24th) against Czech Republic at 11:30am (Irish time), with the fixture to be shown live on BT Sport.

Ireland men’s hockey team face England tomorrow at 1:45pm (Irish time), shown live on BT Sport.

Rabo Eurohockey Championship 

Ireland 1 (O’Byrne)
Germany 5 (Lorenz, Hauke, Oldhafer, Pieper, Stapenhorst)

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

Germany: N Lorenz, A Schroder, C Staphenhorst, J Muller-Wieland (Captain), N Rother, J Teschke, F Hauke, M Mavers, N Notman, P.S Oldhafer, H Granitzki

Subs: S Oruz, T Martin Pelegrina, N Heyn, J Ciupka, C Pieper, P Grambusch, C Nobis


August 19th- Ireland 1vs4 England 14:45
August 20th- Ireland 0vs0 Scotland 13:15
August 22nd- Ireland 5vs1 Germany 14:45
Crossover/classification matches to be played on 24th & 26th

NB. All times listed are local

Irish Hockey Association media release

Ireland regroup for relegation pool after German defeat in Pool B dead rubber

Lena Tice and Charlotte Stapenhorst battle for a high ball. Pic: Frank Uijlenbroek/World Sport Pics

Three goals in the last 10 minutes saw Ireland’s women lose 5-1 to Germany at the European Championships in Amsterdam, leaving them in fourth place after the group stages.

For coach Graham Shaw, the challenge will be to draw the positive nuggets from the middle third of the tie rather than the phases either side of it as they now go into the relegation pool.

The German tie had been rendered meaningless from an Irish perspective by England’s earlier 2-0 win over Scotland, pouring cold water on any fanciful semi-final hopes.

For Germany, the tie was more important, needing a result to top the group and their more pressing need showed early on when Nike Lorenz fired home a set piece two minutes into the tie.

Franzisca Hauke doubled the advantage 23 minutes in following a sublime German move and there was a danger that Ireland would roll over, given the stakes.

On the flip side, it freed the shackles somewhat with Anna O’Flanagan and Katie Mullan swarmed around Noelle Rother to win a corner. Made in Munster, Limerick’s Roisin Upton dragged goalward and Cork’s Yvonne O’Byrne used the stick’s handle to loop the ball over Rother.

Moments later, Chloe Watkins danced through three tackles before stinging Rother’s padding. It provided visible sustenance to the team’s will than much of what has gone before in the tournament to date.

When Katie Mullan stole a loose clearance, Ireland had a glorious chance to level but Rother was off her line quickly to avert the danger.

“They are the phases we want to play all the time,” coach Shaw said afterwards. “But if you concede after 35 seconds, you go on the back foot and negativity comes into people’s minds. We need to find a way to get out of it. We have not allowed ourselves to get into games.”

Upton concurred, adding: “The result didn’t have any bearing; it was all about performance and patches today were some of our best stuff. Germany are a great side and capitalised on the mistakes but now we need to get that full 60 minutes.”

The upbeat mood evaporated in the final quarter as Germany added three in quick succession. Charlotte Stapenhorst pulled back to Pia-Sophie Oldhafer to flick in despite Zoe Wilson’s best efforts before Cecile Pieper wound up to smash into the top corner. Stapenhorst’s drag made it 5-1.

It means Shaw will have a job on to lift the team’s spirits ahead of the relegation pool which starts on Thursday against tournament low-ranks the Czech Republic at 11.30am (Irish time) and then Spain on Saturday.

“We had to come in positive, expecting to perform in every game. You don’t come in negative. Sometimes in high performance sport, it doesn’t go your way.

“We need to regroup, get that togetherness again and fight for every second and get those two positive results. These games are huge for Irish hockey but we’ve been here before, both men and women many times. It won’t be through a lack of effort and we will try and get two positive results.”

Upton added: “We didn’t want to be in this position; we wanted to be challenging Germany for that semi-final spot.

“Against England, we let ourselves down and didn’t play to our potential. When the result doesn’t matter, it can be tough but you are playing for your country. Everytime you play for your country, it doesn’t take much to get yourself rallied up, especially against the Olympic bronze medalist.”

Ireland need to finish in the top two of the four team group to avoid the drop and carry through one point from their tie against Scotland.

The Irish men meet England on Wednesday afternoon at 1.45pm with a draw or better ensuring they reach the semi-finals for a second successive Euros.

Rabo EuroHockey Nations Championships
Ireland 1 (Y O’Byrne)
Germany 5 (N Lorenz, F Hauke, P-S Oldhafer, C Pieper, C Stapenhorst)

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

Germany: N Rother, N Lorenz, A Schroder, C Stapenhorst, J Muller-Wieland, J Teschke, F Hauke, M Mavers, N Notman, P-S Oldhafer, H Granitzki
Subs: S Oruz, T Martin Pelegrina, P Grambusch, C Pieper, C Nobis, J Ciupka

Umpires: V Bagdanskiene (LTU), I Presenqui (ARG)

The Hook

Our women open campaign with thumping win over Indonesia

THE Malaysian women’s field hockey team began their SEA Games campaign with an 11-0 thrashing of Indonesia at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

It was the Indonesians’ second match of the tournament, having drawn 1-1 with Singapore on Monday.

Yesterday, though, the Indonesians were at sixes and sevens against the Malaysians.

Norfaiezah Saiuti (12th and 32nd minutes), Nurul Mansur (14th), Norbaini Mohd Hashim (15th), Nuraini Rashid (22nd), Siti Ruhani (26th, 50th), Hanis Onn (29th), Syafiqah Mohd Zain (40th), Norazlin Sumantri (48th) and Fatin Moha-med Shukri (56th) were on target for Malaysia.

Malaysia will meet Singapore in their second match today.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian men’s team, ranked 12th in the world, will finally see action when they play Indonesia today.

The other match will see Singapore taking on Myanmar.

On Monday, Singapore beat Indonesia 6-4 while Myanmar caused an upset when they defeated Thailand 4-2.

The preliminary round is played in a round-robin format, with the top two teams meeting in the final.

The Star of Malaysia

Hockey Asia Cup 2017 to be played in Dhaka in October

KARACHI: The Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) on Tuesday announced the schedule for Men’s Asia Cup 2017, which will be held in Bangladesh in October this year. The 10th edition of the quadrennial event will take place at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium in Dhaka, returning to Bangladesh for the first time since 1985. “The tournament will take place from October 11 to 22, 2017,” the AHF said in a press release.

Introduced in 1982, the inaugural Men’s Asia Cup was won by Pakistan, who also won the next two editions in 1985 and 1989. Since then, India (2003, 2007) and South Korea (1993, 1999, 2009 and 2013) have also been champions in the nine editions played so far.

The tournament will witness stiff competition among the top performing teams from across Asia with big stakes at play, the biggest incentive being a direct ticket for the winning team to the World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in Bhubaneswar, India from November 28 to December 16, 2018.

This year, the tournament will feature hosts nation Bangladesh along with China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Oman and Pakistan.

India are the top-ranked team among the competing teams at 6th position in the latest World Rankings, while Korea, the current title holders, are ranked 13th. World number 12 Malaysia, after excellent performance in the recent Hockey World League semi-final in London, and world number 14 Pakistan round up the mix of teams. Pakistan, India, Japan and Bangladesh are in Pool A, while Malaysia, Korea, China and Oman are in Pool B.

The Daily Times

Rani to lead Indian women’s hockey team for Europe tour

Forward Rani will be leading an 18-member Indian women’s hockey team for the tour of Europe, which begins against the Netherlands on September 5. Goalkeeper Savita will be her deputy.

The Indian team began the year on a positive note with a five-match series win against Belarus followed by a podium finish at the World League Round 2 in Canada.   -  Getty Images

Forward Rani will be leading an 18-member Indian women’s hockey team for the tour of Europe, which begins against the Netherlands on September 5. Goalkeeper Savita will be her deputy.

The team features a mix of youth and the experienced in its line-up, with the defence formed by Deep Grace Ekka, Sunita Lakra, Gurjit Kaur, Navdeep Kaur and Rashmita Minz.

The custodians are Savita and Rajani Etimarpu while the midfield will feature Namita Toppo, Nikki Pradhan, Monika, Karishma Yadav, Lilima Minz and Neha Goyal.

The forward line will see Rani, seasoned Poonam Rani, Vandana Katariya, Reena Khokhar and Lalremsiami.

In its previous outing at the Women’s Hockey World League Semi Final, the team lost to England in the quarter final and eventually ended the competition in 8th place.

The team began the year on a positive note with a five-match series win against Belarus followed by a podium finish at the World League Round 2 in Canada.

However, the women’s team seeks consistency as it had lost a five-match series to higher ranked New Zealand ahead of the Women’s World League Semi Final in Johannesburg.

“I wouldn’t say we dropped our performance after starting the year on a winning note. Our exposure against New Zealand was good despite the loses and we will be working on the mistakes we made in Johannesburg during the ongoing camp in Bengaluru,” Rani said.

“We need to be more consistent and the team is positively working towards achieving better results,” she added.

Meanwhile Coach Sjoerd Marijne stated that the Holland experience will throw open a bigger pool of players to choose from for the all-important 2017 Women’s Asia Cup in Japan.

 “We will be experimenting new combinations in Holland and try out different variations in PC conversions and goal scoring. Mental training is another aspect we are focused on at the moment in our ongoing camp apart from improving speed and core fitness,” stated the 43—year—old Dutch Coach.

The squad: Goalkeepers: Savita (vice-captain), Rajani Etimarpu: Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjit Kaur, Navdeep Kaur, Sunita Lakra, Rashmita Minz; Midfielders: Namita Toppo, Nikki Pradhan, Monika, Karishma Yadav, Lilima Minz, Neha Goyal; Forwards: Rani (captain), Poonam Rani, Vandana Katariya, Reena Khokhar, Lalremsiami.

Sportstar Live

Klein Zwitserland beats Dar Hockey Academy 2-0

The Hague, Holland: For the match against the Dar HA boys at the Hague, the hosts fielded their first men's team including the Dutch national goal keeper Laurens Buure. The side also included five players who have played for the Dutch national age group teams plus an Argentine who appeared for his country at the Junior World Cup last year.

So the under 19 lads of Dar HA were up against it.

But the youngsters didnt appear awed by the opponents. In the well contested first half, both the sides had their chances including penalty corners. A long Klein Zwitserland from outside the Dar HA 23 metre surprisingly went unchecked to unmarked Bus Leinweber who made it 1-0.

Second half was a bit more action packed. Both the net minders were called into action quite a few times. The only goal of this period came via KZ's 4th penalty corner of the day. Pieter Swart's forceful angular flat hit struck the right corner of the board off diving goal keeper Awais's stick.

A good game where the vast experience of the Klein Zwitserland was the decisive factor.

Later, the two teams were dined at the residence of the Pakistani ambassador.

-Klein Zwitserland holds the record of winning the Dutch league for eight consecutive seasons besides winning the European Club championships a couple of times.

Club’s legend Ties Kruise, who played in a record six World Cups, is presently the chairman of HC Klein Zwitserland.

The match was also witnessed by the Pakistani ambassador in the Netherlands, H.E. Ms Iffat Gardezi.


Masters Medals for Over-55s, 50s and 45s

The Irish ladies Masters Over-55 team took home a brilliant silver medal following their week at the European Masters Championships in Tilburg.

After their run to the final, they came unstuck in the final 4-1 against a fancied England side with Maggie Hunter netting the Irish goal. Nonetheless, it was a superb performance throughout the week.

The ladies 45s took bronze after a 1-1 draw with Wales, Kathryn Henderson the scorer. In the shoot-out, only one goal was scored, Ireland grabbing the crucial one for a 1-0 win.

The 40s Ladies went down 4-1 to the Dutch hosts in the semi-final and then faced mighty England for the bronze medal. There, they came unstuck 2-0, ending their campaign in fourth place.

The Ladies 50s drew 0-0 with Netherlands; it put Ireland into the third place playoff where they beat Scotland 5-4 on shoot-out for a bronze medal.

On the men’s side, the Over-50s won 3-2 against Spain – Willie Quinn, Peter Richardson and Mark Murray – finishing the tournament in a credible fifth place.

The men’s 40s lost 2-1 to the Scots, Eise Lodewijk – to end in sixth place. The 45s men finished fifth with a 3-0 win over Scotland, Jason Hill scoring twice with Stephen Magee getting the other.

The Hook

Golden Opportunity

By Elissa Unger, USA Field Hockey's Foundation Development Director

As we sat there in the company of women many years wiser than us, it was humbling and remarkable to hear about the early beginnings of field hockey in the United States. To hear someone reference Constance Applebee, the true mother of the sport in our country, casually as “the Apple.” To talk with another about sectionals and when the Futures Program was effectively started in someone’s backyard in New Jersey. And of course, to hear about traveling to England for a National Team tour on a ship, with no collective team practice before competing! Sitting in the midst of legends discussing how the game we all love looked decades ago, we all could agree whether a history buff or not, that learning about the past suddenly became far more fascinating, relevant and tangible.

One weekend in May, fourteen women came from as far as California to meet in Lancaster, Pa. to discuss their storied past during an Archiving History Event presented by the USA Field Hockey Foundation. At this gathering were revered coaches, umpires, sport administrators, past USA Field Hockey Presidents and women who went on to contribute to this world in countless, meaningful ways both inside and outside field hockey. Within this group were the remaining members of field hockey’s “Golden Girls:” Bev Johnson, Lois Klatt, Judy Kretzschmar, Fran Markwith, Mina Pratt, Grace Robertson and Betty Shellenberger. While the origin of the nickname has been speculated, many trace it back to another field hockey great, Tracey Fuchs. When asked how and why this was coined, Fuchs remarked, “the Golden Girls traveled the world with our team in the late 80’s and 90’s. We gave them the name because they shared similar attributes with the unique characters from the popular show, ‘The Golden Girls’.”

One of the Golden Girls, Pratt, was able to shed a little more light on the origin. “Tracey Fuchs was being interviewed by the Associated Press in the Dominican Republic for the Pan American Games and was asked who the senior group was that followed the team and she said, ‘oh we call them the Golden Girls’ and from that point on, we took it up with pride,” explained Pratt.

Toward the end of the event, we went to visit a few of the women who could not travel to Lancaster, Pa. - Grace Robertson, former four-time USA Field Hockey President, and Betty Shellenberger. Among countless other titles and accolades within the annals of our history, Shellenberger holds the record for the longest tenure on the National Team at 22 years. Betty, or “Shelley” as she is often referred to, donned an original playing tunic and held her stick, the long-curved wooden variety that seems like a distant cousin to the synthetic fiberglass and composite ones of today. Shelley sharply rehashed memories and the group laughed, joked and chatted about stories from decades ago. Even years later, it was easy to see why Fuchs remarked that “they were the fabric of our team! I still have mementos that they made for us and I can’t thank them enough for the support they gave our team.”

And they’re still showing their support. The Golden Girls, collectively in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, traveled to Lancaster, Pa. at the beginning of August to support Team USA as they competed in the Pan American Cups. Generations of National Team players have been able to appreciate the women’s genuine love of the sport shown through their years of dedication.

“I will always appreciate the feeling of knowing that they were there,” stated Fuchs. “Their consistent support and genuine love for USA Field Hockey will always be a part of who we are as they are the foundation that we have been built on.”

Seeing these women, who fostered this incredible bond through field hockey, come together in friendship over many decades and still to this day, serves as an indelible reminder. The reminder that our game provides a golden opportunity to build lifelong friendships that will stand the test of time.

Thank you to the following attendees of USA Field Hockey Foundation’s first Archiving History Event: Adele Boyd, Dr. Judith Davidson, Marianne Harris, Bev Johnson, Dr. Lois Klatt, Linda Kreiser, Judy Kretzschmar, Bertie Landes, Fran Markwith, Joan Moser, Mina Pratt, Grace Robertson, Betty Shellenberger and Jen Shillingford. As this was the first in a series of events, the USA Field Hockey Foundation looks forward to inviting back other leaders and legends of the sport to acknowledge, archive and pay tribute to their history as we lead up to USA Field Hockey’s 100th Anniversary in 2022.

USFHA media release

Felix is junior men’s team coach

Replaces Harendra Singh

Shreedutta Chidananda

Jude Felix. 

Jude Felix, who on Tuesday was officially announced as coach of the junior Indian men’s hockey team, intends to see more players making the step up to the Senior ranks in the near future.

“I want to see these boys ready to be challenging for a spot in the senior team in the next 8-10 months,” Felix told The Hindu.

‘Talented players’

“These are good, talented players. The challenge is to get them to apply what they’re learning in training during a match.”

Felix, who has been in charge of the junior ‘core group’ for a couple of months now, replaced Harendra Singh, who coached India to World Cup victory on home soil last year. He denied that there was any pressure on him to match his predecessor’s feats.

“Not really. Whatever he did or didn’t do doesn’t make a difference. The point is I’ve come here to win. They’ve appointed me for the same reason. Even if we’d not won the World Cup, my goals would have been the same.”

Felix was assistant coach when the senior men’s team won the Asian Games gold in 2014, but his stint came to an abrupt end the following year. He denied he had any hesitation in taking up this job. “Not at all. On the contrary, I was excited,” he said. “It is a completely new challenge. I’ve always loved working with youngsters and this is a great chance to mould them.”

A fine centre-half who earned 250 caps for India, Felix stated that he wanted his junior side to play attacking hockey. “I want them to attack but still be solid in defence,” he said. “I’m also trying to bring back some of the old skills.”

The Hindu

The awards have been devalued: Ashok Kumar

Seniors decry the flippant selection procedure in vogue

Vijay Lokapally

Ashok Kumar. Photo Credit: R_Ragu

Years after earning the honour, some Arjuna Awardees expressed their anguish at the manner in which the coveted award was being ‘distributed’.

At an event held to launch an NGO — Sports: A way of Life — founded by Kanishka Pandey, some celebrated sportsmen dug into the past to share their experience to take Indian sport forward but did not hide their reservations at the flippant way in which the National sports awards were being bestowed in recent times.

World Cup hockey winner Ashok Kumar said, “The awards have been devalued. Why do you have to give it annually if there are no deserving candidates. Is it necessary? We have to put value to the honour but sadly that is not the case now. Sportsmen have been clamouring for these awards because they have to apply for the honours. How can I demand an award?”

Need for change

The former hockey star advocated a change in the norms. “I strongly feel that only medallists at the Asian Games, Olympics and World Championships should be considered for the Arjuna Award.”

Middle-distance runner Sriram Singh, a soft-spoken athlete, agreed with Ashok Kumar.

“You have to set strict qualifying standards in order to put high value to the award. When the standards are high, you would get only deserving candidates. In my time, you had to be best to get the Arjuna Award,” said Sriram.

In the opinion of former India hockey captain Zafar Iqbal, the awards were a way of not only honouring the sportsmen but also motivating them.

“When you compete, you want to win. With the win, if the nation honours you with an award, it is like icing on the cake. The number 15 for Arjuna Award is keeping in mind the size of the country. I don’t know if the Awards have been devalued.”

The Hindu

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