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News for 27 August 2017

All he news for Sunday 27 August 2017

Rabo EuroHockey Championships 2017 results

Saturday 26 August 2017

12:15 Women / Placement match ESP 7 - 2 IRL
14:30 Women / Placement match SCO 0 - 1 CZE
17:00 Women / Placement match 3/4 GER 0 - 2 ENG
20:00 Women / Final BEL 0 - 3 NED

Women pool C
         W     D     L     P
Spain     3     0     0     9
Ireland     1     1     1     4
Czech Republic     1     0     2     3
Scotland     0     1     2     1

Rabo EuroHockey Championships 2017 Official site

Netherlands tame Red Panthers, while Scotland are left rueing missed chances

The Netherlands crowned off a glorious Rabo EuroHockey Championship with a 3-0 victory over a feisty Belgium team, while England took bronze after a 2-0 winning scoreline against Germany.

Scotland lost to Czech Republic and so will be relegated for the next edition of the competition.

The result saw the Netherlands lift the trophy for the ninth time in the competition’s history and, in doing so, dashed Belgium’s hopes of automatic qualification for the Hockey Women's World Cup 2018 in London. Spain are the team to benefit – as the Netherlands had already qualified for next year’s World Cup by virtue of a top place finish at the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Finals in Brussels earlier in the year. Spain’s seventh place finish at the same event means they are the next team to grab a place at the blue riband event in London next July and August. For Belgium, this is the first piece of silverware they have won at a major, senior international competition since a third place at the 1978 World Cup.

EHF's Stephen Findlater was witness to the action at a rocking Wagener Stadium and wrote this report.

Belgium vs Netherlands 0-3

From the outset, the Dutch were on the front foot, putting together wave after wave of attacks. Xan de Waard was the first to draw a big save from Aisling d’Hooghe. Kelly Jonker tipped wide with another chance before the Dutch provided a truly beautiful goal. Lidewij Welten took on the chance from halfway, slipping the ball out to the right to Margot van Geffen who returned the ball to the centre where Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel got the perfect touch for 1-0.

Caia van Maasakker went close with a 14th minute corner while Maria Verschoor’s driving run earned another set piece but Ireen van den Assem hooked her shot over the bar. De Waard also cut inside brilliantly to unleash a powerful reverse with d’Hooghe booting away with equal strength. Belgium were battling for every scrap, Louise Cavenaile and Aline Fobe throwing everything into their defensive effort while Barbara Nelen and Anouk Raes led their offensive attempts.

Two third quarter corners went without a final touch while Welten’s breathtaking run through the centre of the Belgian defence drew yet another sliding save from d’Hooghe. The second goal was the clincher, coming 12 minutes from the end. Verschoor intercepted to kickstart a swift counter-attack, going through the sticks of Jonker and de Waard before van Geffen worked her way around the back down the right side. She picked out Jonker at the back post who juggled her shot, knocking in at the second attempt for a 2-0 lead.

For good measure, the Dutch grabbed a third from the penalty spot from van den Assem. It was a rough end for the Belgians though they can be delighted with their first ever European medal.

England vs Germany 2-0

A goal in each half saw England clinch the Rabo EuroHockey Championships bronze medal as they saw off Germany 2-0 in a cracking tie at the Wagener Stadium. They were clinical, Hannah Martin pouncing in the first half for the opener before Alex Danson made sure of the win in the last five minutes.

Reflecting on the win, Danson said she was “really delighted”, adding: “We knew it was going to be a tough encounter and Germany played very, very well. We took the two chances when we had them and I am happy to go home with a bronze medal and very proud of the team.”

Czech Republic vs Scotland 1-0

Tereza Mejzlikova’s goal saw the Czech Republic land their first win in the EuroHockey Championships, giving them a best ever finish of seventh place. The result also relegated Scotland and kept Ireland up in sixth place in a dramatic closing Pool C game.

Scotland needed a victory to earn their place in the top level for 2019 and they made most of the running, winning plenty of corners but they found the Czechs in robust mood. Mejzlikova made the most of a quick counter attack, slamming home a goal in the 28th minute after Amy Gibson had made a couple of initial saves.

Scotland, though, were in near constant control of the ball but their composure in front of goal proved their undoing time and again. Cechakova made a barrage of brilliant saves as Scotland built a massive corner count but could not find their way past the goalkeeper. Scotland threw everything at the Czech’s when they withdrew their goalkeeper with 12 minutes to go. The pressure on the Czech Republic was increased further when Hanzlova was sent to the sin-bin, but still there was no way through for the Scots.

Spain vs Ireland 7-2

Spain scored five second half goals to beat Ireland 7-2 and land fifth place in the Rabo EuroHockey Championships. Rocio Ybarra signed off on her international career with the final goal in a 7-2 win over Ireland that ensured fifth place for Spain at the Rabo EuroHockey Championships.

Today’s results mean that Spain have qualified for the Women’s Hockey World Cup 2018, London by virtue of a seventh place finish at the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Finals in June.

Final placings:
Czech Republic

FIH site

England secure bronze at EuroHockey Championships

England secured the bronze medal at the EuroHockey Championships in Amsterdam with a 2-0 victory over Germany.

Goals from Hannah Martin and Alex Danson either side of the half-time break guided England to the win in a controlled performance from start to finish. 

The medal means that combined Great Britain or England have now won at least one major medal in every year since 2009.

Reflecting on the game, defender Hollie Webb said: "We didn't want to be in the bronze medal match after battling so hard against the Dutch, but we picked ourselves up and we were determined not to leave here without a medal so I'm really proud of the girls."

"This group of players is so exciting. There is so much more to come from us, we have show some of it here but it's just the beginning."

This group of players is so exciting. There is so much more to come from us, we have shown some of it here but it’s just the beginning.

The opening exchanges were understandably tight between two well matched sides, chances were hard to come by as the teams largely cancelled each other out.

It was Germany who created the first clear cut chance though, Anne Schroder found room in the circle but Maddie Hinch was equal to her shot. England responded strongly and won three penalty corners before the first break but weren’t able to pull ahead.

The end to end nature of the game continued, Alex Danson collected in the corner before crossing to Sophie Bray but her effort flew just wide of the post. Immediately after at the other end Hinch was called into action again but she saved strongly with her feet once more.

On the stroke of half-time England managed to move in front through Hannah Martin. Ellie Rayer broke from midfield with the ball before finding Martin in the circle, she moved to the keeper’s left before hammering into the backboard to give England the lead.

A quiet third quarter followed as both defences stood firmer and chances were kept to a minimum as England headed into the final 15 minutes with their 1-0 lead still intact.

With Germany chasing a way back into the game and England working to hold onto their advantage the contest became a scrappy one, however with five minutes to go England doubled their lead. Bray made a clever run along the baseline before crossing to the near post where Danson was on hand to lift past the keeper.

Germany removed their keeper for a kicking back and did have the ball in the back of the net, however it was disallowed for a back stick as England saw out the remaining minutes to secure the bronze medal.

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

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

Subs (Unused): Amy Tennant (GK)

England Hockey Board Media release

Green Army Retain Place In 'A' Division

Photo credit: World Sport Pics

Spain took an early lead in the 7th minute when Cristina Guinea snuck in front of her marker to poke the ball awkwardly past the diving Grace O’Flanagan. Spain won two further quick corners followed by one for the Green Army. Upton’s drag flick was blocked and the ball bobbled back to her but her effort to get the ball over the oncoming keeper zipped over the crossbar. The equaliser came in the 22nd minute as Upton’s drag was again blocked by quick Spanish defensive runners but Katie Mullan was on hand to force the ball across the goal from the post where Anna O’Flanagan swept it home from close range, just reward for O’Flanagan earning her 150th cap today. But a lapse in concentration saw the Spanish retake the lead just 2 minutes later as the ball fell to Maria Tost who slapped it into the far corner of the goal.

O’Flanagan was again on hand to bring Ireland back onto level terms as a skilful spin and pass by Nikki Evans saw O’Flanagan tuck it past Maria Ruiz. Again, Spain had a reply within 2 minutes as a long ball evaded the entire Irish defence to find Carlota Petchame free in the circle, she spun around O’Flanagan to slot into an open goal. Unfortunately for the Irish the Spanish penalty corner routines were firing on all cylinders and Lola Riera scored twice in the space of 3 minutes to make it 5-2. Katie Mullan and O’Flanagan were still trying to puncture the Spanish defence and a couple of shots zipped wide but in the energy sapping heat and humidity Ireland couldn’t find their way back into the game. Spain, notably 6 places higher than Ireland in the world rankings, solidified their victory further as Marta Segu took advantage of an overturned decision and caught the Irish off guard. Rocio Ybarra, the Spanish stalwart playing her final game, made it 7-2 from a PC in the final minute.

Graham Shaw, head coach, was understandably disappointed with the final result “The most disappointing thing is the soft nature of the goals that we conceded, particularly very early after we scored, we never really gave ourselves that platform to build on. We’ll have a look within and see what’s gone wrong, but it’s not from lack of effort or preparation”.

The Green Army will retain their position in A Division despite the loss, as Czech Republic beat Scotland 1-0 later in the day, meaning Ireland finish second in Pool C.

The Green Machine have their final match tomorrow (August 27th) against Austria at 10am (Irish time).

Rabo Eurohockey Championship 

Ireland 2 (O’Flanagan x2)
Spain 7 (Guinea, Tost, Petchame, Riera x2, Segu, Ybarra)

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

Subs: C Cassin, N Evans, E Beatty, R Upton, S Loughran, H Matthews, A Meeke

Spain: R Ybarra (Captain), M Lopez, B Bonastre, C Cano, M Garcia, M Ruiz, J Pons, X Gine, B Perez, B Garcia, L Jimenez

Subs: C Petchame, C Salvatella, C Guinea, M Tost, L Riera, M Segu, M Garcia

Irish Hockey Association media release

Czech favour rescues Irish women’s Euro status

From flattening devastation to a reprieve, the Irish women’s side somehow managed to stay in the top tier of European hockey despite a harrowing 7-2 loss to Spain.

Graham Shaw was convinced his side was down, struggling to put words to explain a performance and tournament to forget in many senses.

But a shock 1-0 win for the already relegated and previously abject Czech Republic against Scotland in the next match on court meant Ireland scraped into sixth place with the Scots and the Czechs going through the trapdoor.

Shaw’s side arrived in Amsterdam with high hopes after a hugely encouraging 2017 that has Ireland on the brink of World Cup qualification for the first time since 2002. But this week has seen them struggle to find any sort of mojo.

“We need to debrief the tournament and what went wrong because we just didn’t show the same quality, the same energy as we had throughout the year,” he said in the immediate aftermath of the tie.

“This is two A divisions in a row now we have gone down and we need to see why its happening. The first place we look at is within ourselves but we are just very disappointed.”

“Just gutted. We’ve been to the B division two years ago and we know this is where we want to be and should be. We didn’t do enough.

A few hours later, the mood was upgraded markedly as he admitted to being in shock, adding: “isn’t sport incredible?”

Nonetheless, he says an in-depth review of what went wrong is needed to work out why performances were so low key.

“I don’t think we can be happy with any of our performances throughout the tournament if I am perfectly honest. We came here with far higher aspirations and it just did not click for us.”

As for the Spain tie, five goals in the closing 20 minutes provided a horrible end to the campaign. Needing a draw for safety, Ireland went behind seven minutes to Cristina Guinea’s corner touch.

Anna O’Flanagan – on her 150th international appearance – equalised when Katie Mullan rescued a ball from going over the end line for a tap-in.

Spain, though, scored almost instantly with Maria Tost’s strike making it 2-1 at the break. O’Flanagan levelled in the second half with an impudent touch to Nikki Evans’ cross, her 58th international goal.
But once again Spain replied in under 100 seconds as Carlota Petchame was left all alone in the circle to make it 3-2.

From there, the wheels fell off with Lola Riera scoring twice with Marta Segu and Rocio Ybarra – with her last touch in international hockey – making it 7-2.

The Irish players left the field in tears, the dark spectre of relegation engulfing the mood. But the names of goalkeeper Barbora Cechakova and scorer Tereza Mejzlikova soon became their saviours with the prospect of top level competition in 2019 back on the table.

Women’s Rabo EuroHockey Championships
Ireland 2 (A O’Flanagan 2)
Spain 7 (L Riera 2, C Guinea, M Tost, C Petchame, M Segu, R Ybarra)

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

Spain: M Ruiz, R Ybarra, M Lopez, B Bonastre, C Cano, Maialen Garcia, J Pons, X Gine, B Perez, B Garcia, L Jimenez
Subs: C Petchame, C Salvatella, C Guinea, M Tost, L Riera, M Segu, Melanie Garcia

Umpires: M Meister (GER), K Alves (FRA)

The Hook

Czech Rep hold on to defeat and relegate Scotland women

Photo credit – EHF/World Sports Pics

Scotland women lost their final match of the RABO EuroHockey Championship 2017 1-0 to the Czech Republic. The result means Scotland is relegated to EuroHockey Championship II.

After Spain’s 7-2 win over Ireland Scotland had to win against Czech Republic to avoid relegation. It prompted Scotland to apply heavy pressure from the push back as they went in search of an early goal. A mistake however allowed Klara Hanzlova to hit the Scots on the break and she struck the left post with Amy Gibson beaten at full stretch. It was an early warning for Scotland that just one mistake could be costly in a game of such importance.

Scotland won the first penalty corner of the game but the effort by Bex Condie was blocked and Scotland retained possession. The Scots picked the ball up out right and Condie drove into the Czech D to win a second penalty corner. This time Condie’s effort hit a foot, and with her third penalty corner Condie came so close to opening the scoring but her effort zipped just wide of the left post.

Then from yet another penalty corner there was a wild scramble for the ball in the Czech D right at the end of the first quarter, but it came to nothing and the quarter ended 0-0.

After the restart some strong running up the right for Scotland by Becky Ward saw the ball fizzed into the D for Mairi Drummond, but she deflected the ball just wide of the goal.

Then Czech Republic hit Scotland with a sucker punch. Despite Scotland’s possession and pressure it was the Czechs who took the lead when Tereza Mejzlikova fired low into the net to make it 1-0.

A big save denied Scotland an equaliser right at the end of the half, Condie was denied by a top reaction save low to the left.

Scotland peppered the Czech goal in the third quarter but found goalkeeper Barbora Cechakova in sparkling form. Katie Robertson came closest to scoring when she sent a delightful snapshot goal ward after a penalty corner was blocked, but it was well saved by Cechakova.

Nikki Lloyd thought she’d scored when she shot on the turn but it went inches wide of the target. Scotland went to kicking back for the final ten minutes and chance after chance fell for Scotland as the quarter progressed but the ball just wouldn’t go into the net.

In the end the Czech Republic held out for the win consign the Scots to relegation.

Scotland Head Coach Gordon Shepherd said, “We’re gutted, the ball just wouldn’t go in for us today. I can’t fault the players for commitment, they gave it everything they had. We had enough chances to win the match but didn’t take them and came up a goalkeeper in inspired form.”

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Spain are on the plane to the Hockey Women's World Cup London 2018

Spain's Red Sticks have become the latest team to qualify for the Hockey Women's World Cup London 2018.

Their place at next summer's global showpiece, which takes place from 21 July to 5 August 2018 at the Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, was confirmed following Belgium's 0-3 defeat to Netherlands in the final of the Rabo EuroHockey Championships 2017.

Under FIH regulations, the team that wins its continental qualifier automatically qualifies for the World Cup. Of the four European semi-finalists in Amsterdam, Belgium were the only team that had not already booked a ticket to the World Cup, with Germany, Netherlands and host nation England having all achieved the required top five finishes at the Hockey World League Semi-Final events earlier this summer.

Defeat for the Red Panthers and the fact that Netherlands had already achieved World Cup qualification by virtue of a first place finish at the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Finals in Brussels, means that the ticket goes to the highest placed finisher from the Hockey World League Semi-Finals that has not already qualified.

Spain's Red Sticks, currently ranked 10th in the FIH Hero World Rankings, finished in seventh position in the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Final in Brussels.

They take the World Cup ticket by virtue of being higher ranked than Ireland, who finished seventh at the Hockey World League Semi-Final in Johannesburg, with the Green Machine now next in line for that all-important World Cup ticket.

Spain become the 13th team to qualify for next year's global showpiece, joining host nation England, Argentina, Australia, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa and USA.

The event in London with be Spain's 11th appearance at a women's Hockey World Cup. A fourth place finish at the 2006 event - which was played on home soil in Madrid - remains their best performance to date, something that Adrian Lock's charges will be determined to change next summer.
The final three women's World Cup qualification places will be decided by the outcomes of the upcoming Continental Championship events in Oceania (9-15 October 2017), Africa (19-29 October 2017) and Asia (28 October-5 November 2017).

FIH site

Men’s indoor hockey team meet their gold target

Malaysia's captain Muhammad Najib Abu Hassan (right) celebrating with team members after they beat Singapore 4-0 in a Men's Indoor Hockey match at Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) Saturday.

MALAYSIA salvaged some pride when the men’s indoor hockey team won the gold by thumping Indonesia 5-1 in the final at the Malaysian Trade and Exhibition Centre (MiTEC).

The Malaysians were expected to win both the men and women’s indoor hockey golds, but the women could only deliver a bronze.

The men sailed through the group phase unbeaten and the final was theirs for the taking.

Mohd Shafiq Yaacob, one of the three Armed Forces players in the team, opened the scoring in the fourth minute.

Mohd Irwan Nazli then made it 2-0 in the 19th minute off a penalty corner.

Skipper Mohd Najib Abu Hassan added the third in the 23rd minute off another penalty corner before Syed Mohd Shafiq Syed Cholan added the fourth with a field goal in the 25th minute.

Indonesia pulled a goal back in the 38th minute through Alvin Nourul before Mohd Amirol Aideed completed the rout with a 39th-minute goal.

The other two Armed Forces players in the team are Khairul Kama­rulzaman and Mohamed Hanip Che Halim.

Indoor hockey is making its debut in the Games.

Singapore won the men’s bronze after beating Thailand 3-1 in a penalty shootout. The teams were tied 1-1 in regulation time.

Kosuwan Satiapong scored the opening goal in the 30th minute off a penalty stroke but Singapore hit back a minute later through a Goh Kai Yang’s field goal.

Vietnam thrashed the Philippines 7-0 in the fifth-placing match.

The Star of Malaysia

M’sian whacks S’porean with hockey stick during SEA Games women’s match

By Joshua Lee

Via HardwareZone.

The 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games is well underway in Kuala Lumpur.

On Aug. 23, the Singapore women’s hockey team played against Malaysia. Unfortunately, the Singapore team lost to their opponents 0-5.


However, that wasn’t what got players and spectators riled.

Caught on the telecast, which is available on YouTube, was a display of poor sportswomanship by a Malaysian player:

In it, the Malaysian player can be seen pivoting her hockey stick towards her back, ending with a sharp smack to her opponent’s face.


Baskaran aims to keep juniors battle-ready

To focus on tightening the phase from junior to senior

Vijay Lokapally

V. Baskaran. 

In an effort to pull Indian hockey out of stagnation, the administration is looking to introduce a series of steps, including appointment of a Development Coach.

India’s 1980 Olympics hockey gold captain V. Baskaran is being entrusted with the task of streamlining the structure of grooming juniors with an aim to keep them battle-ready.

A Hockey India (HI) source confided that Baskaran was considered the ideal man for the job because of his established skills to act as a guide and counsellor.

“It’s a challenging responsibility and I am looking forward to contribute my best,” Baskaran told The Hindu.

The focus would be on tightening the phase from junior to senior, an area where most coaches believe players need strict monitoring.

“There are juniors who may not be ready for the senior level and some seniors who may not be suited to come to terms to the international standards. These players have to be brought in the development category. We can’t lose them,” said Baskaran.

Ongoing process

In Baskaran’s view, development of a player is an ongoing process.

“The transformation from a very good junior to a good senior can’t happen overnight. You have to consider the age factor and the performance factor. We have to see if the junior needs more time to be acceptable in the senior category. My role would be to see that the results are productive to the system.”

The need to evaluate and analyse a player will make Baskaran’s job all the more important.

“Even Sachin (Tendulkar) and MS (Dhoni) have talked of going back to the basics. Here too if someone fails in the senior team it will be my task to bring him back to shape. Not everything can go by the coaching book. Certain aspects of pursuing the game are in-born.”

Baskaran, who is on the panel of a few colleges in Chennai and Coimbatore as a counsellor, emphasised that communication is important. “Some players communicate superbly and that’s what I look to exploit. To me communication is the key and it should not be restrained because you struggle to express yourself.”

Baskaran believes, “You learn from travelling and playing. You learn different class, culture and language and begin to appreciate your partners. I would look to keep at least five players (from the development team) ready to step into the senior team anytime.

“I don’t believe in this term ‘rested’. It’s stupid. How can you say (off-spinner) R. Ashwin has been rested? He is playing in county cricket.

“Having a development team would keep everyone on the toes in the senior team. I would prepare a player to walk into any slot. A defender should be ready to play upfront if need be.”

As a development coach, Baskaran would like to make the players more flexible and innovative.

“We have abundant talent. Only we should not lose the players. The development team concept would ensure that. I don’t believe in just camp attendance. Match temperament is more important,” Baskaran concluded.

The Hindu

Michigan stuns No. 1 UNC in opener for second straight year

Leah Howard | Michigan Athletics

Michigan grabbed a 3-0 lead on the way to a season-opening victory. Emma Way | Michigan Athletics

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The No. 11-ranked Michigan field hockey team surged early in the second half and used a late-game defensive stand to knock off No. 1 North Carolina 3-2 in its season opener at the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Saturday afternoon at Iowa's Grant Field.

It was Michigan's second straight season-opening win over the top-ranked Tar Heels in as many seasons.

Michigan scored twice in the opening 1:01 of the second half to break open the scoreless contest, including one just 11 seconds into the frame on sophomore Meg Dowthwaite's reverse chip from the arc to the lower right corner of the UNC cage that gave the Wolverines the first and final lead. Graduate student Esther de Leijer followed just 50 seconds later, at 36:11, corralling a rebound — after sophomore Guadalupe Fernandez Lacort's initial shot was stopped and kicked out to the top of the circle — and firing it past Tar Heel goalkeeper Amanda Hendry.

The Wolverines struck again eight minutes later, at 44:25, when graduate student Carly Bennett banged a shot off a UNC defender and into the cage. Junior Marleise Emrhein carried the ball into the North Carolina defensive 25 and fed it to the right corner, where Bennett picked it up, dribbled into the circle and fired it to the middle.

North Carolina, who outshot the Wolverines 23-5 and outcornered them 14-1, poured it on over the final 20 minutes, pulling its goalkeeper for an extra attacker and pulling within just one goal after scoring twice within a four-minute window. After the latter goal — off the penalty corner — with 13:53 remaining in the contest, Michigan turned away five more corner chances and overturned another on referral to maintain its lead.

Senior goalkeeper Sam Swenson earned nine saves in a spectacular effort in the Wolverine cage.

Michigan will wrap up the ACC/Big Ten Challenge against No. 15 Wake Forest at 12:30 a.m. ET on Sunday at Iowa's Grant Field.


Saxon Tigers and Wessex Leopards win U17 Futures Cup

Saxon Tigers U17 girls

Saxon Tigers and Wessex Leopards were crowned Futures Cup U17 boys and girls champions.

The U17 girl’s final was nail biting hockey, both sides evenly matched eager for goals but neither side slipping up. A spectacular chance came in the second quarter from Emily Dark’s wonder pass from her half to Ruth Blaikie to pick up at the far side of the circle; however she was unable to get a shot on target. It was end to end play with Saxon athlete Renee Ojikutu coming close but finding the ball just centimetres from the tip of her stick.

In the last quarter both sides threw everything into it. Captain of the Courgars Lexi Sabatelli showed off her outstanding 3D skills as she danced through four of the Tigers defence for her reverse strike just to go inches over the crossbar. The final score ended 0-0 which meant a shoot out was to decide who would be champions. The Saxon Tigers won the shootout 4-3.

It was Wessex Leopards who took the bronze medal after beating Mercia Lynx 2-0, goals from Autumn Brown and Emma Manton. Pennine Pumas took the fifth spot beating Celtic Jaguars 2-1.

U17 Girls
1. Saxon Tigers
2. Caledonian Cougars
3. Wessex Leopards
4. Mercia Lynx
5. Pennine Pumas
6. Celtic Jaguars

Wessex Leopards 2017 boys

Wessex Leopards took an early lead in the boys U17 final, Alex Pendle scoring for his side. This didn’t shake the Mercia Lynx team as they defended strongly to deny another Wessex goal, despite one penalty corner shot striking the post at some speed.

It was in the third quarter when the reds conceded from a very smart penalty corner for Stuart Rushmere to find the target. Five minutes later Jack Stubbings leapt onto a flying ball in the circle to tap it into the back of the net giving his side a 3-0 lead. Mercia fought on with a great clearence on the line from Tom Sheldon but the full time whistle blew 3-0 to the Wessex Leopards.

It was two early goals that gave the Pennine Pumas the bronze medal, goals from Robert Johnstone and Tom Downs. The Saxon Tigers couldn’t quite make the comeback despite scoring their sole goal early in the third quarter, the final result 2-1 to the Pumas. Caledonian Cougars took the fifth spot winning 5-2 over Celtic Jaguars. 

U17 Boys
1.  Wessex Leopards
2. Mercia Lynx
3. Pennine Pumas
4. Saxon Tigers
5. Caledonian Cougars
6. Celtic Jaguars

England Hockey Board Media release

Mercia Lynx and Wessex Leopards win U15 Futures Cup

Wessex Leopards U15 boys

Merica Lynx and Wessex Leopards have been crowned U15 Futures Cup Champions!

Wessex Leopards were first on the score sheet by William Prentice. The Leopards continued pressuring the Pumas and with a well worked team attack Robson neatly slotted the ball under the keeper to give his side a 2-0 lead. 
The Pumas defence worked hard to deny the Leopards furthering their lead. In the second quarter, Leopards were down to 10 men and the Pumas tried take their chances but were unable to convert. Wessex got their third just before the half time whistle by Jacob Payton. 

The Pumas came out eager to fight back in the second half but Wessex scored their fourth early on, Alex Harmes getting the final touch on it. It wasn’t until the final quarter when Pumas pounced back, they threw everything into the counter attack and were rewarded for their hard work, Stelios Piperakis scoring for his side across goal to pull one back. In the last seconds Nikash Henshaw scored for the Pumas but it wasn’t enough. Final score 4-2 to Wessex Leopards!

It was a sole goal by Haydn Macaulay to decide the boys bronze medal, as Saxon Tigers beat Mercia Lynx 1-0. Celtic Jaguars beat Caledonian Cougars in a thrilling 4-3 battle that opened the day for the 5/6th position.

U15 Boys
1. Wessex Leopards
2. Pennine Pumas
3. Saxon Tigers
4. Mercia Lynx
5. Celtic Jaguars
6. Caledonian Cougars

Mercia Lynx Girls U15 Winners

In the girls U15 final it was a thrilling encounter between Mercia Lynx and Pennine Pumas. Both sides were eager to make an impact but both teams defence denied any chances. It wasn’t until the 28th minute that Lottie Atkinson gave her side the lead. She found herself one on one with the keeper and despite the keeper getting a stick to the ball, her Mercia team mate picked the ball up to knock it back to Atkinson to tap it in past the keeper.

Pumas pushed on in the final quarter but after a defence error Ellie Yeomans picked up the ball and confidently smashed it on target to extend their lead 2-0. Pumas fought to the end but weren’t able to pull it back, leaving Mercia Lynx to be crowned the Futures Cup winners.
It was an exciting battle for bronze after Saxon Tigers and Wessex Leopards drew 1-1 resulting to a shoot out to decide the result. Wessex Leopards won 3-1 to take home the bronze medal. In the opening match of the day Caledonian Cougars beat Celtic Jaguars 3-0 in the 5/6th play off.

U15 Girls
1. Mercia Lynx
2. Pennine Pumas
3. Wessex Leopards
4. Saxon Tigers
5. Caledonian Cougars
6. Celtic Jaguars

England Hockey Board Media release

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