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News for 24 September 2017

All the news for Sunday 24 September 2017

Midlands and Harbour win Ford NHL titles

Photo: www.photosport.nz

Midlands won the women’s K Cup while North Harbour came away with the men’s Challenge Shield on finals day at the Ford National Hockey League in Wellington.

Midlands defeated Northland 4-2 in the women’s final thanks to three goals in the first half from Gemma McCaw, Rose Keddell and Samantha Charlton.

Northland came out of the break with intensity and pulled a goal back through a Stacey Michelsen penalty corner strike.

Shiloh Gloyn responded with a field goal for Midlands just a minute later and while Northland scored again in the 43rd minute, they weren’t able to catch Midlands who secured their first K Cup title since 2013.

Northland’s Ella Gunson was awarded Most Valuable Player while Jodie Nichol (Northland) and Rachel McCann (Canterbury) finished joint winners of the Just Hockey top goal scorer trophy having found the back of the net six times during the tournament.

For the men, North Harbour lifted the Challenge Shield thanks to an inspired come from behind win 5-3 over Auckland.

With the score tied 1-1 at halftime, Auckland grabbed the ascendency in the third quarter courtesy of two quick-fire Jared Panchia goals.

But down by a goal, North Harbour mounted an incredible comeback and poured on four unanswered goals in the final eight minutes to snatch a famous victory.

Defender Cory Bennett was the star of the day with a hat-trick from penalty corner drag flicks while Robbie Capizzi and George Muir also scored.

It’s North Harbour’s first Ford National Hockey League title since 2009.

Auckland captain Arun Panchia was named Most Valuable Player while Canterbury’s Sam Lane took the Just Hockey top goal scorer trophy with 13 strikes during the tournament.

In the women’s bronze medal match, Auckland won 3-0 in a shoot-out against North Harbour following an exciting match which ended level 1-1 at fulltime.

With the score 0-0 for most of the match, both teams exchanged goals in the fourth quarter through Julia King for Auckland and Samantha Polovnikoff for North Harbour to take the game to a deciding shoot-out.

The Capital Cobras ran away with a comfortable 6-1 result over the Southern Dogs in the men’s bronze medal game in front of a vocal home crowd.

Capital went into halftime with a 3-1 advantage before adding another three goals in the second half to seal the result.

Benedict van Woerkom and Dane Lett both scored doubles while Sam Miskimmin and Sebastian Buddle also made it onto the score sheet.

North Harbour won this year’s Ramesh Patel Shield for the best performing region across all three regional tournaments including the Ford NHL, Vantage Under 21s and Vantage Under 18s.

CLICK HERE for more on the 2017 Ford National Hockey League


TigerTurf North Harbour beat Auckland 5-3
TigerTurf North Harbour: 5 (Cory Bennett 3, Robbie Capizzi, George Muir)
Auckland: 3 (Jared Panchia 2, Ben Radovonich)
Halftime: 1-1

RICOH Capital Cobras beat Southern Dogs 6-1
RICOH Capital Cobras: 6 (Benedict van Woerkom 2, Dane Lett 2, Sam Miskimmin, Sebastian Buddle)
Southern Dogs: 1 (Lachie Davidson)
Halftime: Capital 3-1

Bayleys Midlands beat Central Mavericks 4-3
Bayleys Midlands: 4 (Andy Hayward 2, Leo Mitai-Wells, Ricky Hayward)
Central Mavericks: 3 (Nick Wilson, Dylan Thomas, Martin Atkinson)
Halftime: Central 1-0

Canterbury Cavaliers beat printing.com Northland 11-0
Canterbury Cavaliers: 11 (Sam Lane 6, Nick Findlay 3, Cam Hayde, George Connell)
printing.com Northland: 0
Halftime: Canterbury 3-0


Bayleys Midlands beat Mark Cromie Holden Northland 4-2
Bayleys Midlands: 4 (Gemma McCaw, Rose Keddell, Samantha Charlton, Shiloh Gloyn)
Mark Cromie Holden Northland: 2 (Stacey Michelsen, Ella Gunson)
Halftime: Midlands 3-0

Auckland beat TigerTurf North Harbour 3-0 in shoot-out (1-1 at fulltime)
Auckland: 1 (Julia King)
TigerTurf North Harbour: 1 (Samantha Polovnikoff)
Halftime: 0-0

Central Mysticks beat Canterbury Cats 3-1
Central Mysticks: 3 (Hope Ralph 2, Kayla Whitelock)
Canterbury Cats: 1 (Bridget Kiddle)
Halftime: Canterbury 1-0

RICOH Capital beat Southern Storm 4-0
RICOH Capital: 4 (Imogen Neil, Charlotte Eastman, Bronie Edwards, Amy Lawton)
Southern Storm: 0
Halftime: Capital 1-0

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Harbour and Midlands claim national titles

By David Leggat

The victorious North Harbour players celebrate after their 5-3 comeback win over Auckland during the Men's NHL match Gold Medal match. Photo / Photo-sport

A thrilling late burst of four goals in the last eight minutes gave North Harbour a terrific 5-3 victory over Auckland in the national men's hockey final in Wellington today.

It was a deserved reward for Harbour, their first Challenge Shield win since 2009, and done on the back of a consistently attacking, entertaining philosophy which had them unbeaten through the week, scoring 27 goals in their six games.

Auckland led 3-1 with 15 minutes left, on the back of goals from Jared Panchia (two) and Ben Radonovich.

However North Harbour punched back hard.

International Cory Bennett had scored one goal from a penalty corner right on halftime and he followed up with two more firm penalty corner drives and with other goals from Robbie Capizzi and captain George Muir, Harbour ripped the match away from Auckland.

"All week we've been playing an aggressive style of play and couple of times we've had to get ourselves out of tricky situations," international midfielder Muir said after the match.

"Having trust in our game plan that we can score goals at any time in the game really paid dividends in the end."

The NHL format was changed this year. Instead of a full round robin of seven games before knockouts, teams were grouped in pools of four to mimic international play, followed by quarters, semis and finals.

"I really enjoyed it," Muir said.

"In the past it has been a really gruelling tournament and by the last couple of games you were stuffed. The quality in last couple of games this year really showed the format was a positive change."

Capital won the bronze, with a 6-1 flogging of Southern, Benedict van Woerkom and Dane Lett scoring two apiece, while defending champions Midlands finished fifth.

Northland's men have issues. They conceded 21 goals and scored none in their last two matches, today's being an 11-0 pounding from Canterbury, for whom Sam Lane scored six times. Inevitably Lane finished top men's scorer at the tournament with 13.

Midlands bagged their first K Cup women's title since 2013 with a convincing 4-2 win. The result was a reversal of the opening pool game between the teams, won 3-2 by Northland.

All six goals in the game came from Black Sticks players.

Midlands had taken a commanding 3-0 lead by halftime with goals from Gemma McCaw, Rose Keddell and Sam Charlton.

Stacey Michelsen gave Northland a boost with a goal a minute after the third quarter began, but Shiloh Gloyn scored a fourth for Midlands two minutes later. Ella Gunson's goal 17 minutes from the end was small consolation for Northland.

McCaw, nee Flynn, who took a break from international hockey this year, was a significant factor in Midlands' success, scoring in five of their six games.

Auckland took bronze winning a shootout against North Harbour 3-0 after the match finished 1-1.

Defending champions Canterbury finished a disappointing sixth.

Northland's Jodie Nicholl and Canterbury's Rachel McCann finished joint top K Cup goalscorers with six.

Gunson and Auckland's men's skipper Arun Panchia won the tournment MVP awards.

New Zealand's squads for the Oceania Cup, to be played in Sydney in mid-October, are expected to be name early this week.

The New Zealand Herald

High drama as North Harbour win NHL men's title, Midlands take out women's

Liam Hyslop

The North Harbour men's team celebrate with their supports, with captain George Muir (left, arm raised) handed a celebratory beer. RAGHAVAN VENUGOPAL/PHOTOSPORT

The beers will taste extra sweet for George Muir and his North Harbour team-mates after a stunning win in the National Hockey League men's final.

After what was a relatively dramatic women's final, which Midlands won 4-2 against Northland at the National Hockey Stadium in Wellington on Sunday, the men's final looked like it was headed for a comparatively regulation win for Auckland.

They led 3-1 going into the final quarter after Jared Panchia got his second goal of the match by deflecting a drag-flick in with time up in the third quarter, but his side imploded in spectacular fashion to lose 5-3, with Harbour scoring four goals in eight minutes to claim the Challenge Shield for the first time since 2009.

North Harbour players celebrate their Challenge Shield win on Sunday. RAGHAVAN VENUGOPAL/PHOTOSPORT

Two silly yellow cards to Johnny Kinder and Cameron Gibbons meant they had to play 10 of the final 15 minutes with only 10 players. Kinder's was for pulling a player back, while Gibbons shoved a Harbour player in the back with his stick.

Harbour's Cory Bennett nailed a drag-flick while Kinder was cooling his heels, before Robbie Capizzi scored a field goal just after Kinder came back on. Bennett hit another drag-flick, which completed his hat-trick, while Gibbons was off, before captain Muir sealed the win two minutes from time with a field goal.

North Harbour's Cory Bennett celebrates the win over Auckland on Sunday. RAGHAVAN VENUGOPAL/PHOTOSPORT

Harbour went to take celebratory photos with their supporters after the match, with Muir handed a nearly-full beer. He took a decent chug before handing it off to a team-mate to finish.

"The supporters know me well," Muir said while wearing a wide smile.

"I've got to have a celebratory beer, I haven't had a beer all week. It tasted bloody good and I'll be having a few more tonight I reckon."

The victorious North Harbour players celebrate after their 5-3 comeback win over Auckland on Sunday. RAGHAVAN VENUGOPAL/PHOTOSPORT

Muir paid tribute to the team's culture and spirit, saying it helped get them out of a few tight spots this tournament.

"It's been a fantastic week for us, we've had a great team culture and it shows when you're a couple of goals down in the final quarter."

It was a sentiment echoed by Bennett.

Midlands' Shiloh Gloyn, Sam Charlton, Rosie Keddell and Gemma McCaw with the trophy. JOHN COWPLAND/PHOTOSPORT

"I've been in the team for a while and I have to say this is probably one of the best team's I've been in in my entire career. The boys, even though we were down 3-1, we knew we had what it takes to get there and we never dropped our heads. We knew we could do it and I think we showed that by ending up 5-3."

As for his hat-trick, he was quick to deflect praise to others.

"The strikers do all the hard work and then I get to rock up there and have a dig at goal. Full credit to those guys in the circle, they do bloody well to get me up there and I'm just lucky enough that a few went in."

Midlands Shiloh Gloyn and Northlands Brooke Neal contest the ball. JOHN COWPLAND/PHOTOSPORT

After all the drama of the final quarter, there wasn't much else to say about the final. It was an even first half which ended 1-1, before Auckland grabbed the ascendancy with two goals in the third quarter. They will be disappointed by their uncharacteristic ill-discipline in the final quarter.

In the women's final, it was a strong first 30 minutes which setup Midlands' win as they went up 3-0 by halftime, but Northland came back strongly in the second to make things interesting before eventually falling short.

Midlands coach Reiner Vellinga summed up the feeling among all of his players after the match.

"It's awesome. Brilliant. I just love winning," he said.

There were strong performances across the field from his team, especially from striker Gemma McCaw, captain Sam Charlton and midfielder Shiloh Gloyn.

McCaw had a hand in the first three of Midlands' goals, scoring one and setting up two more.

Northland's Stacey Michelsen made things interesting when scoring after just 39 seconds of the third quarter, but Midlands had the perfect answer two minutes later when McCaw surged into the circle and had her shot saved, but Gloyn was on hand to tap home the follow.

Ella Gunson gave Northland hope in the 43rd minute with a superb solo goal, but it wasn't enough as her side succumbed to their third loss in a final in four years. They still haven't won the K Cup in its 17-year history.

It was a deserved victory for Midlands though, who had been the best team at the tournament.

Vellinga said their win was on the back of a lot of hard work from the squad.

"We've been working on a lot of minor things since day one and we just kept on improving and it fell into place on the final day.

"It's such a bunch of good girls and they've put in so much work, I'm just glad it's paid off for them."


National Hockey League finals


Midlands 4 (Gemma McCaw, Rosie Keddell, Sam Charlton, Shiloh Gloyn) Northland 2 (Stacey Michelsen, Ella Gunson). HT: 3-0.

Final standings: Midlands, Northland, Auckland, North Harbour, Central, Canterbury, Capital, Southern

MVP: Ella Gunson (Northland)


North Harbour 5 (Cory Bennett 3, George Muir, Robbie Capizzi) Auckland 3 (Jared Panchia 2, Ben Radonovich). HT: 1-1.

Final standings: North Harbour, Auckland, Capital, Southern, Midlands, Central, Canterbury, Northland

MVP: Arun Panchia (Auckland)


Champs Surbiton make winning start

Mark Gleghorne celebrates a goal for Beeston. Credit David Kissman

Reigning champions Surbiton started their defence of the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division title in confident fashion with a 6-2 win at Canterbury.

Alan Forsyth scored 20 league goals last term and his excellent form showed no signs of stopping as he hit an opening day hat trick.

Luke Taylor, Dave Beckett and Lewis Prosser were amongst the scorers for the visitors who led 5-0 after 39 minutes, before strikes from Craig Boyne and Michal Nowakowski offered some resistance for Canterbury.

Elsewhere, Beeston and Wimbledon had to settle for a point apiece after they drew 1-1.

Wimbledon were league leaders last season before losing out in dramatic style in the play-off final, but took a second half lead thanks to an Iain Lewers penalty stroke.

Beeston hit back just six minutes later, Mark Gleghorne (pictured) converting a penalty corner to open his account for the new season and earn the hosts a share of the spoils.

Sevenoaks’ first ever game in the top flight ended in defeat as they went down 4-1 at home to Reading.

Four goals in 17 second half minutes from Ben Francis, Kiran Patel, Owain Dolan Gray and Ben Boon put the visitors in control, before the prolific Andrew Ross converted a consolation penalty corner in the final minute.

Hampstead & Westminster continued on from their first ever top four finish last season with a 4-0 triumph over Brooklands MU.

Rupert Shipperley and Sam French gave the hosts a 2-0 lead at the break before Stephen Dowds wrapped up the scoring with a second half double.

Meanwhile, East Grinstead saw their home clash against Holcombe postponed.

Men’s Conference North

Leeds made a winning start to life in the Conference North as they ran out 3-2 winners at home to Cannock.

Sam Apoola, Danny Mills and Martin Sutherland were all on the scoresheet as the hosts came from two goals down to claim the points.

The University of Nottingham won 4-2 at Preston, Bertie Mortimer and Sean Cicchi amongst the scorers.

Loughborough Students claimed victory after their relegation from the Premier Division last season, winning 2-1 at Deeside Ramblers.

Hugh Wickert converted a 58th minute penalty corner to help Bowdon to a 2-1 win over Sheffield Hallam who had Scott Bristowe sent off, whilst Doncaster claimed a point in a 1-1 draw at the University of Durham.

Men’s Conference East

Oxted took all three points in the game of the day in the Conference East, snatching a 5-4 win at Brighton and Hove.

Will Jackson and Joe Naughalty both scored a brace for the hosts, Naughalty’s second tying the game with two minutes to go, but Oxted took the win thanks to a Tim Deakin penalty stroke a minute from time.

Old Loughtonians made a winning start to their season, Jeremy Hopkins and Shane Martin scoring the goals in a 2-1 triumph at West Herts.

Southgate secured a comfortable 6-1 win at home against Old Georgians, Tyler Sundeen, John Sterlini and Kit Cutter amongst the six different scorers.

Elsewhere, Chichester defeated Richmond 3-2 despite a brace from Jordan Hussell and Cambridge City against Teddington finished all square.

Men’s Conference West

Team Bath Buccaneers missed out in the promotion play off last season, but came from behind on Saturday to claim a 4-2 opening day home victory against Fareham in the Conference West.

Jamie Rawlings and Alex Boxall had put the visitors 2-1 up after Harry Skinner’s opener, but second half goals from Sam Anderson, Peter Scott and Adam Croutear gave Team Bath the points.

Duncan Scott and Ed Matts were amongst the scorers as the University of Exeter won 4-1 at the University of Birmingham.

Maciej Janiszewski scored six minutes from time to earn newcomers Havant an impressive point in a 1-1 draw at Cardiff & Met.

Elsewhere, Ben Mackey scored the winner as Cheltenham defeated Clifton Robinsons 2-1 whilst Martin Ebbage scored the fastest goal of the day, opening the scoring in the first minute in Olton & West Warwicks’ 4-2 win at Isca.

* Full results, tables and fixtures from the Men’s Hockey League is available here

England Hockey Board Media release

Burnet double as Clifton Robinsons beat Leicester

Fiona Burnet celebrates a goal versus Leicester. Credit Peter Smith

Two goals from Fiona Burnet helped Clifton Robinsons kick off the new Investec Women's Hockey League Premier Division season with a 2-0 home victory over Leicester.

The two sides were separated by just a single point last season and there was nothing to split them at the break, neither side able to break the deadlock.

Burnet made the breakthrough, converting a penalty corner six minutes after the restart before doubling Clifton’s lead nine minutes from time to secure the points.

Elsewhere, a brace from Giselle Ansley was only enough to give defending champions Surbiton a share of the points as they were held to a 2-2 draw at battling Canterbury.

Ansley was leading scorer with 15 goals last season and gave the visitors the lead with a penalty stroke on 31 minutes.

Sarah Kerly equalised for Canterbury before the break, but Ansley’s second penalty stroke of the afternoon looked to have given Surbiton all three points seven minutes from time.

The hosts were not to be denied though, Grace Balsdon converting a penalty stroke of her own in the final minute to rescue a point.

Buckingham had an unsuccessful return to the top flight as they went down to a 3-1 loss in Slough.

Mel Ball and Lizzy Totten both scored penalty corners for Slough before Phoebe Richards pulled one back for the visitors in a frantic opening quarter of an hour.

The scored stayed that way until eleven minutes from time, when Charly Brydon scored for the hosts to wrap up the points.

Bowdon were the only side to win away from home, Natalie Wray scoring a brace in their 3-1 victory against the University of Birmingham.

Jane Donnelly scored the other goal after Katelyn Aitchinson had pulled one back for Birmingham in the first half.

East Grinstead and Holcombe could not be separated in their clash, the match moved to Tonbridge School ended in a goalless draw.

Investec Conference North

Sutton Coldfield and Brooklands Poynton are the early joint leaders of the Investec Women’s Conference North after they both recorded opening day home victories.

Sutton Coldfield got off to the perfect start against Liverpool Sefton with Bethan Merriman notching after just two minutes. Liverpool equalised through Sarah Bazley-Harrison but goals from Jane Sixsmith and Emma Mccabe sealed the points for the home side with a 3-1 win.

Goals from Helen Turner, Annie Mills and Tor Hughes saw Brooklands Poynton beat the University of Durham by the same scoreline, Connie Vickers had levelled the scores for the visitors.

Ben Rhydding’s home game against newcomers Fylde ended in a 1-1 draw, Sophia Crawshay securing a point for the visitors in the final minute.

Elsewhere, Beeston beat Loughborough Students 2-0 and Wakefield were 1-0 winners over Timperley.

Investec Conference East

Bedford started their Investec Women’s Conference East season with a bang, prevailing 5-2 away at St Albans.

Kate Costin, Clare Bilham, Zoe Burford, Sam Turner and Rachel Jackson were all on target in the win, Nakira Downes and Katie Hockley scoring for St Albans.

Joyce Esser hit a brace as Hampstead and Westminster won 4-0 at Southgate, Annabel Driver and Hayley Turner were also on the scoresheet.

Cambridge City hit three without reply in their win against Chelmsford, Katie Curtis, Rebecca Daniel and Rebecca Hayward scoring the goals.

Barnes were 2-0 victors over Harleston Magpies with goals from Michelle Stone and Abbie Smith whilst Sevenoaks claimed a 1-0 win at Wimbledon courtesy of a Sophie Crossley strike.

Investec Conference West

Trojans made an impressive start to their season, running out 6-0 winners against Oxford Hawks in the Investec Women’s Conference West.

Cat Horn opened their account after just four minutes and five more goals followed, including a double from Heather Batten with Bex Ahern, Jess Lea and Jill Tombs all scoring.

Stourport were also big winners as Claire Pearson hit a brace in a 5-0 win over Team Bath Buccaneers. Hannah Corcoran, Sarah Cavendish and Lora Symonds were also on target.

Reading beat Olton and West Warwicks 2-0, whilst Gloucester City left it late with a 61st minute goal from Charlotte McShane handing them a 1-0 win at Cannock.

Meanwhile Isca and Swansea City both drew a blank as their game finished goalless.

* Full results, tables and fixtures from the Investec Women’s Hockey League is available here

England Hockey Board Media release

Sailors, Scorpions draw a blank at City Park


Amira Sailors forward Pauline Naisse (left) rounds off Strathmore University Scorpions goalkeeper Maria Natasha during their Kenya Hockey Union women's Premier League match at City Park Stadium on September 23, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Amira Sailors and Strathmore University Scorpions on Saturday played out to a dour goalless draw in a Kenya Hockey Union women's Premier League match at the City Park Stadium, Nairobi.

Both sides had chances to win the match but were let down by poor finishing to claim a point that does not help their ambitions of a top two finish.

Scorpions remain in third place with 24 points, three ahead of Amira who are fourth.

Strathmore University Scorpions' Sheila Chebet shields the ball from Leah Omwondho of Amira Sailors during their Kenya Hockey Union women's Premier League match at City Park Stadium on September 23, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |NATION MEDIA GROUP

Lorraine Nondi (left) of Strathmore Scorpions shoots under pressure from Strathmore University Scorpions' Yvonne Karanja during their Kenya Hockey Union women's Premier League match at City Park Stadium on September 23, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Scorpions coach Meshack Senge said his charges were too cautious during the match.

"I think we could have played better considering we needed the three points more," Senge said.

His Amira counterpart Linet Atieno also said both sides played as if they wanted a draw.

"I think both defences were on top and the strikers did not have much in terms of chances," Atieno said.

Amira had Pauline Naise as a late inclusion and the striker had one of the rare chances in the match in the 26th minute but failed to score even after rounding goalkeeper Natasha Maria.

Amira Sailors forward Pauline Naisse (left) rounds off Strathmore University Scorpions goalkeeper Maria Natasha during their Kenya Hockey Union women's Premier League match at City Park Stadium on September 23, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Scorpions also had a couple of chances through Gilly Okumu but the Kenyan international could not find the breakthrough.

In an earlier match at the same venue, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture beat University of Nairobi 1-0 in another women's top flight league match.

Maria Ngugi scored the only goal in the 34th minute to secure the three points.

Daily Nation

Scorpions lose sting against Amira Sailors

By Elizabeth Mburugu

Eva Warui(l) and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology Elizabeth Okama fight for the ball during the Premier Ladies League at City Park. (Jenipher Wachie)

Amira Sailors and Strathmore University Scorpions yesterday battled to a barren draw in a Kenya Hockey Union women’s league match at City Park Stadium.

Following the draw, the Scorpions who are currently third on the log with 24 points failed to reduce the point gap between them and the top two sides.

Champions Telkom top the table with 33 points, nine more than Strathmore while United States International University of Africa’s (USIU-A) Spartans are second with 28.

Strathmore coach Meshack Senge said his charges failed to utilise their chances. “I believe they have what it takes to perform better than they did in this match. We had chances that could have made the difference had they been fully utilised,” Senge said.

It was a tight contest as both sides battled in hunt of goals. Scorpions striker Gilly Okumu came close to putting her side in the lead seven minutes into play but Amira keeper Rachael Kerubo was alert and cleared the short.

Amira trio of captain Leah Omwandho, Jedidah Zawadi and dependable forward Susan Oketch also had attempts that went wide but  Strathmore goalkeeper Natasha Mariah also proved unbeatable.

Strathmore captain Yvonee Karanja, Denise Odongo and Okumu played well, but they could not sound the board.

In another women’s encounter, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) edged out University of Nairobi (UON).

Marriah Ngugi scored JKUAT’s all-important goal in the 34th minute. Ngugi’s goal gifted her side their fifth victory while UON are winless, rooted to the bottom of the log with no hope of moving up.

Joseph Kasua was on target twice as Wazalendo Youth rallied from behind to beat UON men 3-1. Gavon Momanyi had put UON in the lead two minutes into play but Wazalendo Youth fought back to draw level eight minutes later.

The first quarter ended with both sides at par. However, Wazalendo Youth, who seem to have improved during the league break and are getting better by every match dominated the second period making frequent attacks at the opponent's goal.

Their efforts paid off when Kasua completed his brace in the 23rd minute by scoring from a Moses Odhiambo pass.

The Standard Online

Hockey Ireland and IHUA reach detente as EY matches to go ahead on September 30

Hockey Ireland and the IHUA confirmed jointly on Friday evening that the IHUA will appoint umpires to the EYHL matches scheduled for September 30 and matches will, therefore, go ahead.

Their joint statement said: “Irish Hockey and the Irish Hockey Umpires Association (IHUA) have been in positive discussions about a number of topics.

“Significant progress has been made and both organisations are very happy that the EYHL competition will commence on 30 September. The Boards of Hockey Ireland and the IHUA will meet on October 1 to continue the good work that has been done over the last week.”

It means the women’s competition will start on the third week of fixtures originally scheduled with nine matches to be refixed while the men will start on week two with five matches to find a new date.

“We are already working on the objective of getting the back matches played before Christmas and will be in touch with clubs as quickly as possible,” added the statement. “Some double header activity will likely be required and we will look to ensure that this is as disruption as possible.

“Many thanks to all for your patience and also for the many nice notes of support and understanding.”

It is a resolution that looked a long way off on Friday morning after both the EY Hockey Leage working group and the IHUA raised frustrations in the wake of a productive conference call on Tuesday evening.

Agreement in principle was reached over the rate of expenses for umpires of the EYHL but not for cup competitions. With that issue unresolved, it meant no appointments were made for this weekend’s matches, something which frustrated the EYHL Working Group in a letter addressed to the clubs.

The stance was condemned by the IHUA’s Warren McCully in a press release from his organisation.

“The conference call was the first significant contact between representatives of the Board of Hockey Ireland and the IHUA Executive Committee, to finally address the huge crisis facing umpiring in Ireland.

“During these discussions on Tuesday, IHUA emphasised the need for all umpiring issues within the four-year umpire plan to be implemented through a close working relationship with the Board of Hockey Ireland.

“At the conclusion of the lengthy discussions, everyone agreed that good progress had been made and it was agreed that those representing the Board of Hockey Ireland would forward a proposal to IHUA in relation to the umpire expenses issue, for consideration by the IHUA Executive.”

From there, the IHUA phoned Hockey Ireland CEO Jerome Pels to inform him of their difficulties in accepting the proposal “as we had an absolute responsibility for the interests of all our members”.

During this call, the chair of the IHUA said they would ask their members to reconsider their availability for appointments, commencing on September 30.

“Before a formal response was communicated to the Board of Hockey Ireland, an email was put into the public domain by the IHL working group. This communication has distorted the facts and is a breach of trust and does not accurately reflect what was agreed at the conference call.

“IHUA has made significant efforts to have the issues facing umpiring in Ireland dealt with for a number of years and we are therefore most concerned about the unfair pressure that is being placed on our Association and its members, given the inaction in recent years.

“The communication from the EYHL working group [to the clubs], in the view of IHUA Executive, is an attempt to create division within both the membership of IHUA and the membership of Hockey Ireland, particularly the EYHL teams.

“The intervention was very damaging and the content of the communication may have harmed the trust that appeared to exist as a result of the conference call [on Tuesday]. Furthermore, it has the potential to reverse the good work done by IHUA representatives and the board of Hockey Ireland to resolve matters.

“Despite this, the IHUA remains committed to seeking a resolution with the Board of Hockey Ireland and the resumption of hockey at national level.”

In the interim, despite the divided stances of the two bodies, an interim agreement appears to have been thrashed out and the national competitions will be able to get underway next weekend.

The Hook

North Carolina wins top 10 ACC battle in overtime at Syracuse

North Carolina Athletics

UNC won in overtime at No. 6 Syracuse on Saturday afternoon. North Carolina Athletics

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Junior Eva van't Hoog scored 1:26 into overtime on Saturday to earn North Carolina a 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference field hockey victory at No. 6 Syracuse. Playing at T.S. Coyne Field, the Tar Heels won their second ACC game in a row in overtime to improve to 8-2 overall and 2-1 in league play. The Orange fell to 8-2 overall, 1-2 in the ACC.

"This was a huge win for us in a tough environment," UNC coach Karen Shelton said. "I'm so happy for our Tar Heels. Syracuse is a great team, but I thought we handed their pressure well. At times we looked great, and at times they looked great. It was really a back-and-forth battle and we're thrilled to come away with the victory."

The Tar Heels get very little time to savor it, as they'll be back in action less than 24 hours after celebrating van't Hoog's second gamewinner of the season. Following the victory, UNC boarded its team bus and headed for Albany, where the Tar Heels meet the No. 20 Great Danes Sunday at 1 p.m.

Saturday, on an unseasonably warm afternoon in Syracuse, UNC held a 2-1 lead as the game clock ran out, but SU had a penalty corner to take. The Orange didn't score on that one but drew two more, taking three a row with no time on the clock and finally scoring on the third to tie the game at 2-2 and force overtime. "Normally the team that ties the game has the momentum, but we did what we needed to do and Eva made a brilliant play," Shelton said.

For the first time since Shelton can remember, the Tar Heels didn't allow their opponent a possession in overtime. UNC worked the ball around the left side, where van't Hoog got it from Feline Guenther near the baseline. With three defenders around her and the SU keeper in front of her, she spun and flipped a shot into the right side of the cage for the win.

The first half also ended in dramatic fashion. After neither team managed to score in the first 35 minutes, UNC drew its only penalty corner of the half as time ran down, and took the corner with no time remaining. Senior Gab Major deflected Ashley Hoffman's shot in from the left side of the cage, past a diving Orange goalkeeper.

The Tar Heels took the 1-0 lead into the locker room, then came out and extended it. In the 52nd minute of play, van't Hoog scored her first goal of the game, on a pass from Guenther to the left side of the cage.

Syracuse got on the board soon after that, when Elaine Carey scored on a breakaway in the 54th minute to make it 2-1. The Tar Heels held that lead until the end of regulation, when the Orange scored on its ninth penalty corner of the game.

UNC finished with nine shots to 13 by Syracuse, marking the first time this season Carolina has been out-shot. The Tar Heels finished with three penalty corners, equal to their season low.

Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Amanda Hendry made a career-high seven saves for UNC, six of them in the second half.

"Amanda Hendry played well in goal, I thought Malin Evert played great, but it was really a team effort," Shelton said. "We had to play great defense and overcome ups and downs. I'm not pleased that we surrendered a two-goal lead, but the overtime was brilliant."

After the bus ride to Albany, the team won't have much time to prepare for Sunday's game and its second meeting with a ranked team in as many days. But Shelton relishes giving her team challenges like this one, because she believes it's good preparation for the NCAA Tournament, when teams have to win first and second round games on back-to-back days to reach the final four. Thus, for the second weekend in a row UNC is playing on both weekend days, and Shelton's hope is that her team will again pass the test. (Last weekend, UNC beat No. 10 Boston College 2-1 in overtime on Saturday then shut out No. 13 James Madison 3-0 on Sunday.)

"Today's game is meaningless if we don't win tomorrow," Shelton said. "This is a great test for our team – they're tough to beat at their home and we know we're in for a battle.

"Talk about toughness and resilience … if we can get past Albany it will say an awful lot."


Our dream goal is to win the 2020 Olympic Games: Marijne

The men’s coach brushes off the criticism his appointment received

Shreedutta Chidananda

Aiming for the stars: Sjoerd Marijne feels that a team doesn’t have to be the No. 1 to win tournaments. 

Where his predecessor Roelant Oltmans often spoke of what were in his eyes realistic expectations, the new senior men’s hockey coach, Sjoerd Marijne, refuses to discuss any goals but the loftiest.

“Our dream goal is to win the Olympic Games 2020,” he said here on Saturday. “It doesn’t matter if it’s realistic or not; it’s the aim. It’s our dream goal.

“And if it’s our dream we have to make sure it’s going to be realistic. If I’m already saying that it’s not realistic, then I’m already setting a limit.”

It didn’t matter where India stood in the World at the moment, Marijne felt. “You don’t have to be No. 1 to win tournaments. Argentina was not No. 1 when they won the Olympic gold last year.

“Even if you’re World No. 6, you want to win every tournament you go to. You don’t go to tournaments saying I want to be third. You want to win. And after that if you come third, you say it was a nice result.”

Marijne was talking to reporters at the Sports Authority of India here, having taken charge of his first training session in his new role. The Dutchman, who was hitherto coaching the senior women’s team, was named the men’s coach earlier this month following the exit of compatriot Oltmans. The appointment invited criticism, not least because Marijne’s record with the eves was far from spectacular, but the 43-year-old was unconcerned.

“What other people say, I can’t do anything about,” he said.

“I’ve done a lot of work with men’s teams in the past — all club teams but international players. I was with the Spanish men till the 2008 Olympics with Maurits Hendricks. We won silver. In the last 17-18 years I’ve worked more with men than women. I had no hesitation in taking up this job.”

As he left, Oltmans had stated that he was always prepared to be sacked, given the high turnover of foreign hockey coaches in India. Marijne was asked for his opinion on the matter.

“I heard that. But I’m not thinking about whether I’m getting sacked.

“Because if I am, then I’m getting distracted from my job. That’s not why they hired me,” he said.

Marijne’s immediate task is to prepare the team for the Asia Cup, which begins in Dhaka on October 11. “Time is short, so we do what we can,” he said.

“The first challenge is to get to know the players. Of course, I know the names, but I don’t know how they are, how they react under pressure, their behaviour, how they are in tournaments.”

How, though, did the women’s team feel about Marijne’s exit? “It was not easy because if you’re there for six months, you build good relationships,” he said. “They were disappointed. But I’m happy that they were disappointed because if they were not then it means I didn’t do my job well.”

The Hindu

My focus is on job, can't react to people's criticism: Sjoerd Marijne

BENGALURU: Indian men's hockey team's chief coach Sjoerd Marijne made it clear that he is not bothered by critics questioning his appointment as he has to deliver results.

"I cannot do anything about what people talk about me. I am just focusing on what I can do as a coach. My quest is to build team, which can give results on regular basis," Marijne said on Saturday.

Marijne was associated with women's national team before being appointed as the chief coach of the men's team. But by his own admission, he has coached more men's teams.

"In the last eight years, I had coached more men's teams more than women's. I feel confident about this job and that is most important thing for me right now."

Replying to a query, Marijne said the women's squad were disappointed about his appointment, for they would be missing him for whatever good work they had been executing.

"Yeah, they were disappointed because they were happy with what we were doing. I am happy that they were disappointed because if they weren't that would have meant I was not doing my job properly," he said.

Reacting to outgoing coach Oltmans' remarks that foreign coaches in India need to be prepared for getting sacked, Marijne said he does not want to focus on issues which distracts him.

Replying to a query, Marijne said the biggest challenge for him is to know the team better in next following months.

"I do not know how the team reacts to pressure. How are they faring in tournaments? What is their behaviour? Things like that, I would want to know in following months," he said.

Asked which are the areas he would like to focus, Marijne said it is too early to take a call, but he would watch players in action during Asia Cup next month.

"Asia Cup will be important tournament for me to assess players where they stand and what needs to be done on their shortcomings and improvement on their strengths," he said.

Replying to a query, Marijne said this is not the first time he is working under players-driven coaching system.

"I have always been working under players-driven coaching system. I worked thus with the women's team," he said.

The Times of India

Will not worry about when I will be sacked: Marijne

Manuja Veerappa

BENGALURU: It's often said that every great dream begins with a dreamer and the Indian men's hockey team has a new one - Sjoerd Marijne. The Dutchman, who joined the Indian campers at SAI, South Centre here on Friday, has 'dream goals' and will work with the belief that the goals can be reached.

"We have a dream goal and that is to win the 2020 Olympic Games. It doesn't matter if it's realistic or not; it's our aim. If it's our dream we have to make sure it's going to be realistic. If I'm already saying that it's not realistic, then I'm already setting a limit," said the 43-year-old on Saturday.

Elaborating on the team's goals, Marijne, a former rightback for Den Bosch, a premier Dutch hockey club, explained: "We have both long-term and short-term goals. Short-term goals is about every tournament. You don't have to be number one 1 in the world to win tournaments. Argentina were not number one when they won the 2016 Olympic gold last year. Even if you're World No.6, you want to win every tournament you go to. You don't go to tournaments saying I want to be third. You want to win."

Marijne, who was moved from the women's team to the men's set-up following the unceremonious exit of fellow Dutchman Roelant Oltmans earlier this month, admitted that one of the biggest challenges for him now is to get to know the players. "I know the players by name, but I don't know how they react under pressure, how are they during tournaments. I have to experience all that now. That for me is one of the biggest challenges."

Marijne, who was roped in for the women's team on the re commendation from Oltmans earlier in the year, is confident that the only pressure that will weigh in will be that of self-expectation and India's record of hiring and firing of foreign coaches if they don't produce instant results is not a cause of worry . "I don't feel the pressure because I'm concentrating on performance and the process. The pressure is from myself. I'm not thinking about whether I'm getting sacked. If I am, then I'm getting distracted from my job. That's not why they hired me," the coach countered.

Under Marijne, there will be a lot of emphasis on the development of young players. "It takes time to get to the level of the seniors, but you'll never get to that level if you don't play tournaments. But we have to watch the balance. What I like is internal competition. The higher the internal competition, the better the players will be. That always works the best."

Marijne, who's coaching career started with his home team's youth team at the age of 18, will undergo his first test at the Asia Cup in Dhaka next month.

The Times of India

Sjoerd Marijne was made coach as he understood Indian culture: David John

BENGALURU: Hockey India's High Performance Director David John said Sjoerd Marijne was appointed coach of the national men's team as he "understood" the Indian culture after working with the women for six months.

Women's national hockey coach Marijne was earlier this month named chief coach of the Indian men's team -- a stunning decision given that the Dutchman has no prior experience of handling a senior men's side.

"Marijne had a slight advantage over others, for he understood the Indian culture while he was working with the Indian women's team for the last six months. From that perspective, that is really important for having been here before," he said on Saturday.

A section of experts termed Marijne's appointment a "hurried and surprising" move.

John further said the appointment was made quickly for the stability of the team ahead of Asia Cup, which is scheduled for next month.

"We had very good applicants in very short period of time. The problem was Asia Cup, which was ten days away. We had to make a decision quickly for the stability of team. We made a decision between three applicants very quickly," he said.

The appointment of new coach would have taken six months and even some more time for him to understand the Indian culture, John said.

"The decision to appoint Marijne was difficult, but I am happy with it," he said.

John said there were three "good applicants" for the post but did not reveal the names.

Defending the team's rotation policy, John said he does not want players like Harmanpreet Singh and Mandeep Singh to burnout.

"Harmanpreet and Mandeep ate still 21 years only, and we want them as assets for next 10 years, and if they are breaking down now, that is not good for India," he said.

"Mandeep is not going to Asia cup, not because of lack of performance, but to manage his welfare for next tournament as we did with Surender Kumar, Akashdeep Singh and Harmanpreet," he said.

"So, in terms of rotation policy, it would be based on their performance and some others for managing players' welfare," he added.

John further said India are placed better than teams such as Australia because they have players who have already played 50 to 60 matches.

"Someone like Dipsan Tirkey, who has already played 50 to 60 matches, hence has a head start on all Australian, Dutch and German boys, who haven't had that kind of match experience. Yeah, we are in much better position than other countries," he said.

John said the reason behind India beating Belgium and Netherlands twice was the tough competition among players.

"Players are driving it. They want to be No. 1 by 2020. We are there to assist them to get there. I believe, they can because they have been playing good number of matches," he added.

The Times of India

Injury has opened my eyes to life outside hockey: Sreejesh

Shreedutta Chidananda

Sreejesh Photo Credit: V Sreenivasa Murthy

It is nearly three months since P.R. Sreejesh tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. The goalkeeper has since undergone surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation process before rejoining the National camp here a couple of weeks ago.

A return to action may still be some time away, but when he arrived at the SAI, Sreejesh put his pads on and spent time walking on the pitch, simply soaking it in. “It had been almost 90 days since I put my pads on,” he said here on Saturday.

“I just wanted to get that feeling. It was like being a goalkeeper for the first time. I wore my pads, walked around, stood on the field. I could remember what all was happening with me before the injury. It reminded me of where I was before and where I am now.”

Sreejesh had originally planned to return to action in November but he now admits it might take a little longer. As India prepares for the Asia Cup, there is again a new coach to get used to, but Sreejesh is not concerned. “It’s nothing new,” he said.

“In 2014 Terry Walsh went and Paul van Ass came in. Then Roelant (Oltmans) came in. Now Sjoerd (Marijne) comes in.

“All I’m thinking about is how I’m going to work with him and how we perform than worrying that this has happened.”

Oltmans and Marijne were different, he felt. “The way Sjoerd says things are different because he wants players to take the initiative. He wants players to be given more importance. He makes plans but he takes inputs from our side on how we want to play, and whether these workouts are helping us improve. For everything, he takes feedback.”

The injury had opened his eyes to life away from hockey, Sreejesh stated. “The injury was a good thing. I was in a hockey shell before.

“I never imagined Sreejesh without hockey. But these three months have given me the courage to think that a life without hockey is possible. There’s a world outside, there’s your family. You need to be with everyone.”

The 29-year-old was delighted that he had been able to witness the birth of his second child. “I was there when he was born. I was there for his naming ceremony.

“I missed all this with my first child. I missed watching her grow up. I saw her every three months. But now I’m getting some time to spend with my baby. Now I wake up at midnight, change diapers, and carry the baby. Now I feel I’m a father.”

The Hindu

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