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News for 20 November 2017

All the news for Monday 20 November 2017

Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final 2017 - Day 4

Pool A NED v KOR  3 - 0
Pool A NZL v USA 1 - 3

Pool A

Rank Team GP W D L GF GA GD P
1 Netherlands 3 3 0 0 9 0 9 9
2 United States 3 1 1 1 4 1 0 4
3 Korea 3 1 1 1 3 5 -2 4
4 New Zealand 3 0 0 3 2 9 -7 0

Pool B

Rank Team GP W D L GF GA GD P
1 Germany 2 2 0 0 5 0 5 6
2 Argentina 2 2 0 0 4 0 4 6
3 England 2 0 0 2 0 3 -3 0
4 China 2 0 0 2 0 6 -6 0

FIH Match Centre

Germany and Argentina make it two wins from two at the Sentinel Homes Women’s Hockey World League Final 2017

Germany have won all of their matches so far Photo: FIH/WSP

Germany and Argentina made it two wins from two in Pool B on the third day of play at the Sentinel Homes Women’s Hockey World League Final 2017 being held at Harbour Hockey Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

In the opening game of the day, new China Head Coach Jamilon Muelders had his team fired up as they came up against his old team Germany.

However despite a strong start, Germany scored in the 10th minute when Marie Maevers received the ball and, under pressure, slotted home a well taken field goal.

In the 13th minute another German foray from the left allowed Cecile Peiper to make inroads into the circle and forced a penalty corner. From there Marie Maevers made it 2-0 when she expertly scored from the rebound.

The second quarter was all Germany with Chinese defenders Ou Zixia, Wu Qiong and Zhou Yu in particular absorbing many of the attacks, successfully defending two more penalty corners.

China sprinted out of the blocks in the second half, forcing three penalty corners early on, but they just couldn’t find the back of the net.

Song Xiaoming had an opportunity but couldn’t pull in a left cross in front of an open goal. Minutes later, Yong Jing couldn’t deliver from a perfect Song Xiaoming cross. The German defence remained staunch and resolute again and again throughout the Chinese attacks.

The final quarter was absorbing, with play alternating from end to end. China had two more penalty corners but couldn’t penetrate Germany’s goal.

With just over five minutes remaining, Lisa Altenburg slapped in a ball from outside the circle, which Teresa Martin Pelegrina deflected into the goal to secure Germany’s 3-0 victory.

Speaking afterwards, Germany’s Charlotte Stapenhorst said: “We had a good first half which set us up for the win. We’re also happy that we didn’t concede a goal - our goalkeeper was on point today! Now we feel ready for Argentina - we are in a really good position.”

In the later game, Argentina and England went head to head in what was a frantic match beneath the floodlights.

Argentina, with their typical flair, started the match fast. They had England back pedalling for the first quarter, with England’s world-class ‘keeper Maddie Hinch calling upon an array of skills to keep the scoresheet clean.

"The good thing about this team is that we keep fighting to the end."
Delfina Merino, Argentina

Augustina Habif, Delfina Merino and Maria Granatto combined throughout this match, their magical skills keeping the heat on England’s defence throughout.

With no goals going into the final quarter,  Argentina continued to press - their intensity and desire showed through a yellow card for Lucina von der Heyde and green card to Maria Granatto in the last 10 minutes.

After overcoming their temporary loss of personnel, Argentina captain Delfina Merino picked up the ball on the left in the circle, created some space for herself and reverse hit the winner to the left of England’s replacement goalkeeper Amy Tennant. With only three minutes left of the match, that proved to be the winner as Argentina went on to win 1-0.

Afterwards Merino said: “It was really hard for us to score one goal. We had a lot of the ball and a lot of opportunities. I put three shots high – we missed a number of corners - it was just not going in. We waited until the last few minutes to get our goal, but the good thing about this team is that we keep fighting to the end. We are a young team and we are trying to improve little by little. With each match we learn more about ourselves.”

Meanwhile, England’s goalkeeper Maddie Hinch said: “It was a really tight game but to lose a goal in the late stages is pretty hard to take.”

Tomorrow Netherlands play Korea at 18:00 before hosts New Zealand take on USA with both teams looking for their first win.


Pool B:
Germany 3, China 0
Argentina 1, England 0.

FIH site

England lose narrowly to Argentina

England's next match at the Hockey World League Final is against China on Tuesday

England lost their second consecutive Pool B match at the Hockey World League Final after they slipped to a 1-0 defeat by Argentina in Auckland.

A solitary goal from Delfina Merino with a reverse stick strike in the 56th minute secured the win for Argentina.

Giselle Ansley had earlier gone close for England with an effort superbly saved by goalkeeper Belen Succi.

England, who lost 2-0 to Germany in their opening fixture, now face China on Tuesday at 07:00 GMT.

The eight-team Hockey World League Final event will be replaced by the 'Hockey Pro League' from 2019.

Eight of the 18-strong England squad in New Zealand won Olympic gold with Great Britain last year.

BBC Sport

Five-a-side mixed team hockey gets thumbs-up from players but concept not Olympics-bound anytime soon

Amit Kamath

The Maharashtra team emerged victorious after beating Karnataka in the final. Image courtesy: Facebook/Hockey India

The title song of Chak De! India blares from the giant speakers placed in the corners of the boxing arena at Pune's Balewadi Stadium, converted into a makeshift hockey rink for the day. A sizeable crowd is sitting in the stands, waiting for the action to begin.

The choice of music seems fitting, given the occasion. After all, the Bollywood movie which is based on the story of the 2002 Commonwealth Games-winning Indian women’s hockey team, features the powerful scene where the Indian women’s team has to take on the men’s national team to be granted permission to go to the World Cup. On Saturday, something equally radical was taking place: the Second Hockey India Five-a-side Senior National Championship 2017 was holding an exhibition tournament where mixed teams — men and women playing in the same team — were facing each other.

While many sports like badminton and tennis have traditionally had mixed doubles events, shooting recently introduced mixed team events in the 10m air rifle, 10m air pistol and trap categories, with the ISSF World Cup Finals in New Delhi being the first major tournament to give competitors medals. The Tokyo Games in three years’ time will be the first Olympics to have mixed team shooting events with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) aiming for gender equality.

However, in hockey the concept of men and women playing with each other brings along some concerns, given the nature of the game, where there is some contact between players. Male players are also perceived as stronger and faster. The mixed team event had some provisions to negate that: only pushes, flicks or scoops were allowed. A hard hit or slapping the ball would result in a foul, thereby nullifying the force men could put into their shots.

However, with the synthetic surface being used, along with the use of boards to keep the ball in play at all times, the pace of matches was relentless.

The mixed teams had nine-member squads, with four required to be women. The regulations for the tournament, hosted by Hockey Maharashtra, also required at least two female and two male players from each side to be on the pitch at all times during the three 10-minute periods which constituted a match.

Awkwardness, lack of cohesion

Predictably, most teams preferred to put two women and three men on the pitch for most of the time instead of the other way round — the only two permutations available for team combination given the rules. Once the event started, a lack of cohesion in teams soon became apparent — predictable, given that many of the players had not had any time to train with each other. Some of the teams like Haryana were even seen warming up in separate groups.

“Coordination was a problem because our culture is such. We don’t mix easily with people of the other gender. This format will also help players to develop their personality. Interaction between players is very important,” said Punjab coach Avtar Singh. He pointed out that before the event started in the morning his female and male players had barely spoken to each other, but had started to mingle as the day progressed.

The risk of injury also played on some players’ minds.

“There was a possibility of picking up an injury because the men ‘push hard’ while tackling. It comes naturally to them. I was apprehensive while playing because next year is very crucial for India’s female hockey players (with the Asian Games, World Cup and Commonwealth Games all slated for next year). So everyone hopes they don’t get injured. Sometimes an injury can put you out for a year or threaten your career. Even during a game I was tackled by one of the men and I just stopped because I didn’t want to injure my ankle or fall,” said Rani Rampal, who at 22 years of age captains the Indian national team. However, she didn't fail to add, “It was very exciting. We have never played such a game of hockey in our career. You need time to understand the format and what is happening in the game.”

Of course, players like Rampal adapted faster to the increased physicality and pace than some others. In Haryana’s first group match against Jharkhand, there was a moment of magic from the forward that made the whole gender debate seem moot, at least for a moment. She received a pass from teammate Sher Singh with her back to the Jharkhand goal, not to mention with defender Simta Ming and goalkeeper Johnson Ekka blocking the way. Her quick turn negated Ming and she quickly released her shot before the approaching Mangra Bhengra could get to her. The shot beat ‘keeper Ekka with ease.

Tough, but not rough hockey

As the tournament progressed, the female players learnt to use guile to negate the physical advantage of the male players.

As the tournament progressed, the female players learnt to use their guile to overcome the disadvantage due to physicality. Image courtesy: Facebook/Hockey India

“It is very different from the 11-a-side game which we play. Indoor hockey, especially mixed, is a completely different ball game. There is a difference of speed between men and women players. Since this is the first time we have played liked this, that is why it felt so different. If we work on this on a daily basis then female athletes will slowly understand the technique of the men’s team and catch up with them. We will understand how to tackle them in a game.

“When you play against a men’s team you have to use more strength and have to play with more focus. I am a striker and hence I need strength to receive the ball and hold it when a man is pushing you for the ball. You have to be mentally prepared for it, then you can handle it better,” Rampal added before revealing that their coach had asked the male players to mark players of the same gender and vice versa during the match.

Harpal Singh, Haryana’s captain, who has also played for India at the 2004 Athens Olympics, added: “I think women’s hockey will benefit from this because they will play tougher hockey when they face other men’s teams. When you play with a men’s team, you have to be tougher.”

Harpal admitted that the men were playing cautiously so as to not injure the female players.

“We tried to be careful obviously, but still to give our best and play tough. We played tough hockey, but not rough hockey.”

The IOC and the International Hockey Federation (FIH) were said to be keeping a keen eye on the event, with FIH president Narinder Batra and Hockey India CEO Elena Norman in attendance at the Balewadi Stadium.

While Batra was happy with the experiment, he scotched talk of the variation being tried at the Olympics anytime soon.

Action from the match between Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. Image courtesy: Facebook/Hockey India

“The idea behind this concept is that both genders can jointly play. You can get both genders involved and your following increases among both genders. The reason behind getting this concept in India is that the viewership in Olympics was about 525 million across the world. Out of that, 285 million were from India — more than half. But even then we found out that only 12 percent of India’s population watched the tournament. Most sports are going commercial. So how can you get the numbers until you expand the base? And how do you expand the base? Get people involved in the sport. This variation can be a weekend game or a community game.

“But having this mixed gender event at the Olympics is for IOC to decide. Right now I can say that until 2032, there is no possibility of this variation being there at the Olympics. But Youth Olympics has five-a-side competition. Maybe the idea can be tried there,” Batra said.

Meanwhile, Hockey India CEO Norman said the national federation was looking at broadbasing the concept. “We definitely want to expand this to other member units and are working towards promoting it on a large scale,” she said.

The jury though is out on whether the concept will work in India.

Punjab coach Avtar was categorical in his reply. “Like T20 in cricket, this format will also be popular and make hockey more popular. It is a part of field hockey and won’t hurt it. It will develop the players to make quick passes and think on their feet.”

The last word, though, came from India skipper Rampal.

“The concept should work. Whenever you begin something, the start is always difficult. People will ask questions like ‘what are they doing’ or say ‘this can’t be implemented’. We should continue with this and see whether it will better hockey or not. You can’t take a call whether it will work or not in the first attempt.”


Ward fires Beeston to top of English Premier Division

©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

Sam Ward scored a hat-trick as Beeston beat bottom of the table Canterbury 5-0 in England's Premier Division and, with Surbiton only managing a draw at Brooklands MU, Beeston go top of the table.

Lucas Garcia Alcalde and Marius Gemmel also got on the scoresheet as Beeston continued their great form, while Surbiton struggled.

Sam Perrin gave Brooklands the lead after just two minutes before Alan Forsyth pulled Surbiton level on 28 minutes. Forsyth put his side ahead with a 43rd minute strike, but five minutes later Brooklands hit back with Peter Cornell scoring from open play.

Brooklands MU thought they had the game won when Aidan Khares scored from a 68th minute penalty corner, only for Arjan Drayton Chana to score a field goal with a minute remaining to salvage a draw.

Elsewhere, Hampstead and Westminster are third following their 3-2 win over Holcombe. Josh Kelly and Daniel Edwards traded goals as the sides were level at 1-1 at the break, but two goals from Matt Guise Brown gave the home side the win, despite a second for Holcombe from Richard Lane.

Wimbledon climbed up to sixth in the table after a 7-0 win over strugglers Sevenoaks. Philip Ball scored four times, while other goals came from Iain Lewers, Ed Horler and Ben Arnold.

Saturday evening’s match saw Reading beat East Grinstead 6-1 to move up to fourth. After Tijn van Groesen had given East Grinstead the lead after just two minutes, Reading’s Tom Carson and Ben Boon scored twice each, while Dan Shingles and Duncan Riddell also scored for the hosts.

Euro Hockey League media release

Beeston leapfrog Surbiton to lead the Men's Premier Division

Beeston celebrate a goal. Credit David Kissman

Sam Ward scored a hat-trick as Beeston beat bottom of the table Canterbury 5-0 in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division – and with Surbiton only managing a draw at Brooklands MU, Beeston go top of the table.

Lucas Garcia Alcalde and Marius Gemmel also got on the scoresheet as Beeston continued their great form, while Surbiton struggled.

Sam Perrin gave Brooklands the lead after just two minutes before Alan Forsyth pulled Surbiton level on 28 minutes. Forsyth put his side ahead with a 43rd minute strike, but five minutes later Brooklands hit back with Peter Cornell scoring from open play.

Brooklands MU thought they had the game won when Aidan Khares scored from a 68th minute penalty corner, only for Arjan Drayton Chana to score a field goal with a minute remaining to salvage a draw.

Elsewhere, Hampstead and Westminster are third following their 3-2 win over Holcombe. Josh Kelly and Daniel Edwards traded goals as the sides were level at 1-1 at the break, but two goals from Matt Guise Brown gave the home side the win, despite a second for Holcombe from Richard Lane.

Wimbledon climbed up to sixth in the table after a 7-0 win over strugglers Sevenoaks. Philip Ball scored four times, while other goals came from Iain Lewers, Ed Horler and Ben Arnold.

Saturday evening’s match saw Reading beat East Grinstead 6-1 to move up to fourth. After Tijn van Groesen had given East Grinstead the lead after just two minutes, Reading’s Tom Carson and Ben Boon scored twice each, while Dan Shingles and Duncan Riddell also scored for the hosts.

Men’s Conference North

Ben White’s 43rd minute field goal was enough to give leaders Bowdon a 1-0 win at Cannock in the Men’s Conference North, while former leaders the University of Nottingham won 3-2 over Leeds.

Luke Hudson, Imre Gerrits and Noah Darlington scored all of Nottingham’s goals in a five minute purple patch, and while Harry Lankfer and Tom Roberts scored for the visitors, it wasn’t enough for the win.

Elsewhere the University of Durham won 5-1 at Deeside Ramblers with two goals from Elliot Dowley and others from Jack Waller, Rhys Smith and Torben Nowak.

Matthew Ramshaw scored twice as Loughborough Students won 3-1 over Sheffield Hallam, while Adam Wilson similarly scored a brace for Preston as they won 3-2 over Doncaster.

Men’s Conference East

Brennan Alexander Parker scored a hat-trick as leaders Cambridge City beat Old Georgians 5-2 in the Men’s Conference East. Other scorers were Darren Cheesman and Euan Gilmour.

Oxted remain just one point behind them in second following a 4-2 home win over Richmond. Sam Driver scored twice, while Robbert Schenk and Tom Rhodes were also on the scoresheet for Oxted.

Third-placed Southgate beat fourth-placed Tedding 4-2. Level at half time, two second half goals from Simeon Bird proved the difference for the visitors.

Brighton and Hove also won away from home, beating Old Loughtonians 2-1, while Chichester were comfortable 6-2 winners over bottom of the table West Herts with Ollie Baxter, Alex Pendle and Tim Ehret all scoring twice.

Men’s Conference West

Cardiff & Met had to settle for a draw once again in the Men’s Conference West, as hosts Olton and West Warwicks proved a match for the Welsh side.

Goals from Finlay Geelan and Steven Batten helped Olton lead 2-1 at half time, with Jack Pritchard having scored Cardiff’s only goal.

With five minutes left, Jagdeep Hanspal scored another for second-placed Cardiff, who have now drawn three of their nine games so far.

Elsewhere, leaders the University of Exeter won 3-2 over Havant thanks to goals from Sam Hooper, Ed Matts and Tom Watson, while the University of Birmingham won by the same scoreline, their goals coming from Scott Wall (2) and Jack Clee.

Team Bath Buccaneers moved up to fourth thanks to a 5-0 win over bottom of the table Cheltenham, while Isca were 3-2 winners at Clifton Robinsons.

* Full results, tables and fixtures from the Men’s Hockey League are available here - http://www.englandhockey.co.uk/page_noside.asp?section=2343§ionTitle=Fixtures%2C+Results+%26+Standings

England Hockey Board Media release

Irish Mens EYHL Weekend Round Up

Glenanne’s brilliant start to the men’s EY Hockey League kept on rolling as Shannon Boucher snatched a winner against Banbridge with less than two minutes remaining to earn a 3-2 win at Havelock Park.

It was the second time this season Glenanne have come 2-0 down to win by this scoreline and they allowed Bann a two-goal head start in the first half via Fraser Mills and Mark Barlow.

But Boucher gave Glenanne a foothold before half-time before Shane O’Donoghue equalised from the penalty spot. With Bann down players due to sin-binnings, Boucher popped up for the winner with a mid-circle smash.

Annadale produced the result of the day as they stunned Monkstown at the Merrion Fleet Arena. David Tremlett tapped in from Peter Caruth’s ball in for a half-time lead while Rhiley Carr’s drag-flick completed the win.

The game ended in painful fashion for Caruth who sustained a hamstring injury, showing his frustration by throwing his stick at the fencing which drew a yellow card. It will likely rule him out of the Ireland games in the Netherlands this week.

Cork C of I and Pembroke shared the spoils from a penalty corner battle at Garryduff with all four goals in a 2-2 draw coming from set plays in the second half.

John Jermyn opened the scoring only for Harry Spain’s switch-flick to level it at 1-1 with three minutes. Jermyn again put the Cork side in front with Alan Sothern equalising two minutes later for the share of the spoils.

Lisnagarvey remain in second place thanks to a 2-0 win over Railway Union, both goals coming in the second half, while Three Rock Rovers are third thanks to their 4-1 win at Cookstown.

Next weekend will see the focus switch to the Irish Senior Cup on Saturday with the second round in action while there are two EYHL games on Sunday – Pembroke vs Railway Union and Three Rock Rovers against Cork C of I.

EY Hockey League day seven results: Banbridge 2 (F Mills, M Barlow) Glenanne 3 (S Boucher 2, S O’Donoghue); Cookstown 1 (S Smyth) Three Rock Rovers 4 (M Darling 2, C Empey, B McCrea); Cork C of I 2 (J Jermyn 2) Pembroke Wanderers 2 (A Sothern, H Spain); Monkstown 0 Annadale 2 (D Tremlett, R Carr); Railway Union 0 Lisnagarvey 2 (M Nelson, J Corry)

Day seven extended reports

Banbridge 2 (F Mills, M Barlow) Glenanne 3 (S Boucher 2, S O’Donoghue)

Shannnon Boucher smashed home a 68th minute goal to continue Glenanne’s brilliant start to the season, ensuring that Banbridge’s woes also carry on with just two wins from nine games this term.

Boucher’s mid-circle finish completed the Glens’ second comeback from 2-0 down this season to keep their lead at the top of the rankings. Bann, meanwhile, suffered five green cards and two yellows in the last five minutes to finish the game with nine players.

Fraser Mills put Bann in front 10 minutes in when he snapped up a rebound created by Neil Gilmore’s shot. Zach McClelland and Bruce McCandless went close to second goals before Mark Barlow scored his first senior goal in the 29th minute with another rebound for 2-0.

Boucher pulled one back before half-time from close range to put the game back in the mix and they started the second half with a couple of corners that Bann did well to charge down. Gareth Lennox made a superb double save to keep out another to keep it at 2-1 going into the final quarter but a stroke a minute into the last stanza got Glenanne on terms, Shane O’Donoghue scoring.

Two more Glens corners were denied while Bann had a couple of great chances to go back in front, the biggest one from an Alexander Tinney break. Jamie Wright and Mills, though, both were shown yellow in the last four minutes with Boucher scoring the winner.

Cork C of I 2 (J Jermyn 2) Pembroke Wanderers 2 (A Sothern, H Spain)

Honours even from a penalty corner battle at Garryduff as John Jermyn twice put Cork C of I in front only for Harry Spain and Alan Sothern to tie things up. All the goals came in the second half of a well-matched game that leaves C of I in sixth place and Pembroke in fourth.

Set pieces always looked the most likely route to decide the tie with Billy Lynch saving two Pembroke corners in the first quarter. C of I had two of their own in the second quarter, one not trapped, the second well saved by Mark Ingram to leave it scoreless at half-time.

Jermyn slotted his first high into the roof of the net in the 39th minute for 1-0 but a switch move three minutes later made it 1-1 with Spain scoring for Pembroke. The Dubliners went down to nine players when Kirk Shimmins (green) and Nick Burns (yellow) went off for a spell.

Pembroke survived that short-handed spell but Julian Dale won yet another corner – drawing a card for Richard Sweetnam – which Jermyn dispatched just before the end of the third quarter. Again, the lead was short-lived with Sothern levelling at 2-2 in the 55th minute.

Richard Lynch became the third former C of I man to see the sin-bin for Pembroke with a yellow five minutes from time. It gave the Cork side a chance at grabbing the spoils in the closing stages with Dale winning another corner but Ingram saved to secure a point from an exciting tie.

Monkstown 0 Annadale 2 (D Tremlett, R Carr)

Annadale recorded their biggest win of the campaign to date, beating Monkstown 2-0 at the Merrion Fleet Arena, bumping Dale up two places to seventh spot.

The Carryduff side showed their hunger for the battle with two early circle incursions leading to corners which David Fitzgerald repelled. Aaron Bailey, in reply, made two brilliant runs that brought former Town keeper Nick Holman into play, saving at the feet of Shane Nolan.

Annadale went in front in the 18th minute when Peter Caruth – against his former club – made a superb run that ended up with Fitzgerald saving. Caruth recovered the ball and slapped to the back post where former Kilkeel man David Tremlett was on hand to tap in.

They held that lead into the big break courtesy of a Holman save from a Guy Sarratt drag-flick. The lead was extended to 2-0 13 minutes into the second half following a slightly fractious start to the second half in which David Cole got a green and then a yellow card, the latter leading to a corner which Rhiley Carr flicked into the bottom right corner.

From there, Dale frustrated Monkstown who piled forward, winning a couple of corners, one of which was saved off the line but could not breakthrough.

The game ended with a major flashpoint when Caruth – who was sensational throughout – pulling up with a hamstring injury. After a time spent on the ground, he flung his stick at the fencing on the stand side in frustration, leading to a yellow card. The injury will likely keep Caruth out of Ireland’s trip to the Netherlands this week.

Railway Union 0 Lisnagarvey 2 (M Nelson, J Corry)

Lisnagarvey got back on the winning trail after last week’s draw with Cookstown as two second half goals dispatched Railway Union who have scored in just one of their seven EYHL games this season.

The first half was predominantly controlled by Garvey, seeing one corner chance taken off the line by Kenny Carroll. Matthew Nelson’s screamer broke the deadlock four minutes into the second half and James Corry extended the margin to two in the 52nd minute from play to complete the win. Garvey remain second going into their date with leaders Glenanne next Saturday at St Andrew’s.

Cookstown 1 (S Smyth) Three Rock Rovers 4 (M Darling 2, C Empey, B McCrea)

Three Rock comfortably made it three wins in succession despite the absence of six first team regulars – Daragh Walsh, Ross Canning, Harry Morris, Richard Pautz, David Kane and James Walker – to win 4-1 at Steelweld Park.

Mitch Darling started the scoring in the 21st minute before Conor Empey added the second six minutes before half-time. A Darling deflection made it three in the third quarter and Ben McCrea scored his first for Rovers since his return from UCD, getting on the end of a good counter-attacking move. Stu Smyth pulled one back from a corner with eight minutes to go for scant consolation for the Co Tyrone club.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Womens EYHL Weekend Round Up

Lena Tice’s 40th minute penalty stroke kept UCD’s slender lead at the head of the women’s EY Hockey League intact as they beat Railway Union 1-0, ending the Park Avenue side’s unbeaten record.

She kept her nerve after Deirdre Duke won the penalty for the only goal of a thrill-a-minute battle with chances a plenty at each end.

The win keeps the Belfielders a point ahead of Cork Harlequins at the head of the table who swept to an impressive 3-0 win over Pembroke. All the damage was done in the first 22 minutes with Rebecca Barry starting the run that Roisin Upton and Naomi Carroll augmented.

Thereafter, Pembroke settled and made a number of chances despite the abence of Gillian Pinder and the ongoing unavailability of Emily Beatty but they remain stuck in ninth place.

Pegasus, in third, had a similarly comfortable win over Monkstown, running up a 3-0 lead over the bottom of the table side. Hannah Grieve book-ended the win, scoring the first and last goals from penalty corners either side of Michelle Harvey’s 22ndminute second goal.

Loreto gained ground on the top four with a narrow 1-0 win over Ards. Jessica McGirr’s second quarter deflection was the decisive moment to lift the Beaufort side into sixth place with a game in hand which, if taken advantage of, will see them move up another few notches.

Belfast Harlequins and Trinity shared a 1-1 draw at Deramore Park. Trinity led when Ailish Long scored eight minutes before half-time and they held off numerous penalty corners until the lively Jenna Watt got the sides level with 15 minutes to go. Further corners, though, could not yield a winner.

The league goes on a break until December 9 with the Irish Senior Cup next weekend followed by an international break with the Irish women playing a series in Spain.

EY Hockey League
Saturday: Pembroke Wanderers 0 Cork Harlequins 3 (R Barry, R Upton, N Carroll)
Sunday: Ards 0 Loreto 1 (J McGirr); Belfast Harlequins 1 (J Watt) Trinity 1 (A Long); Monkstown 0 Pegasus 3 (H Grieve 2, L McKee); Railway Union 0 UCD 1 (L Tice)

Women’s EYHL – day seven extended reports

Saturday: Pembroke Wanderers 0 Cork Harlequins 3 (R Barry, R Upton, N Carroll)

Cork Harlequins netted three times in the first 22 minutes to record a 3-0 win over Pembroke and maintain their place in second in the women’s EY Hockey League table thanks to three goals from former Catholic Institute players.

Rebecca Barry profited from a third minute interception to deliver a conclusive strike for 1-0 and the perfect start for the visitors. Pembroke went close to a response from Orla Macken’s deflection and a strong save from Emma Buckley from the first corner.

From Quins’ second corner in the 20th minute, won by Naomi Carroll, Roisin Upton made it 2-0 with the direct strike. Carroll then completed a goal from an attack down the left for 3-0.

Buckley and Iseult Cambay kept out further corners while Maebh Horan and Rosario Villagra went close to getting one back for Pembroke. Jilly Ringwood’s number one corner running shut down further Quins’ openings before Villagra had a chance hit the post in an open but scoreless second half.

Sunday: Railway Union 0 UCD 1 (L Tice)

Lena Tice’s 40th minute penalty stroke ended Railway Union’s unbeaten start to the season, keeping UCD’s slender one-point win at the top of the women’s EYHL table.

UCD were without the injured Sarah Robinson and Ellen Curran for the tie, meaning a bit of a reshuffle for Miles Warren but his side started well with a strong Deirdre Duke effort matched at the far end by the influential Michelle Carey.

Grace O’Flanagan was having a fine game and did brilliantly to keep out Katie Mullan and Tice. Emma Smyth’s ball across goal was touched just wide by Kate Lloyd.

Mullan, Duke and Bethany Barr were the key instigators for UCD while Carey, Smyth and Anna May Whelan gave as good as they got in midfield with Emer Lucey cleaning up the scraps at the back in a scoreless first half.

Five minutes into the second half came the key moment when Duke drew a foul in the circle with a corner initally awarded before a consultation led to an upgrade to a stroke. Tice held her nerve to slot the goal.

Nina Heisterkamp intercepted a loose Tice pass at the top of the D but Clodagh Cassin did well to snuff out a real chance. It continued at a thrilling pace with Lloyd weaving some magic; Orla Fox calmly cleared off the line and O’Flanagan denied Duke. UCD withstood Railway going with an extra attacker and then removing their goalkeeper, holding on for an important victory.

Ards 0 Loreto 1 (J McGirr)

Jessica McGirr’s second quarter goal was all that stood between Loreto and Ards, an important win for the Beaufort club that keeps them in touch with the top four with a game in hand.

It was a lovely deflection goal from a corner after the Paul Fitzpatrick-coached side had won a couple of early set pieces. They continued to have most of the play throughout the tie, drawing good stops from Naomi McKnight before Ards had the best of the closing quarter when chasing the tie. Indeed, they had a series of corners in the latter phases but Loreto held firm to move up to sixth place.

Belfast Harlequins 1 (J Watt) Trinity 1 (A Long)

Belfast Harlequins had to settle for their second draw in a row as Trinity nicked a second quarter lead through Ailish Long which Jenna Watt cancelled out 16 minutes from time.

In a lively start, Quins went close via Watt and Zoe Wilson with Carolyn Crampton alert to clean up the chances. Watt continued to be lively as the first quarter ended and the second began before Trinity upped their ante. They tested Marianne Fox before going one up via Long in the 27th minute.

The students survived three corners to go in 1-0 up at half-time and another one came and went for the hosts in the second half. Gemma Frazer and Robyn Chambers went close too. The leveller came a minute into the fourth quarter when Watt won a corner and she was the scorer moments later.

A further trio of corners down the closing stretch for the hosts went incomplete and Trinity clung on for their point.

Monkstown 0 Pegasus 3 (H Grieve 2, L McKee)

Pegasus won their fourth game of the campaign with a 3-0 win at the Merrion Fleet Arena as Monkstown’s wait for a first goal since the opening day of the season goes on.

Hannah Grieve put Pegasus in front in the 11th minute with a corner goal. Michelle Harvey’s rocket of a shot from the top of the circle made it 2-0 in the 22nd minute and it stayed that way until seven minutes from the end. Grieve completed the win with another corner strike to keep Pegs within two points of leaders UCD.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Gritty Telkom edge Scorpions in thriller


Telkom players celebrate a goal against Strathmore University Scorpions during their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League match on November 19, 2017 at the City Park Stadium, Nairobi. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Champions Telkom finally conceded their first goal of the season in their 3-2 win over arch-rivals Strathmore University Scorpions in a Kenya Hockey Union women's Premier League match on Sunday at the City Park Stadium, Nairobi.

The win took the leaders to 42 points, preserving their unbeaten run with six matches to go. Telkom have now won 14 in a row, but were pushed all the way by the students who were unlucky not to get atleast a draw.

Telkom assistant coach Josephine Ataro admitted that her charges were lucky to come away with the three points.

"Scorpions pushed us all the way and we had to dig deep for the win. We are disappointed that we conceded the two goals but the three points is all that mattered," Ataro said.

Telkom had gone 13 matches without conceding a goal prior to this match. The opening exchanges were closely contested with both defences on top. Telkom's attacking trio of Audrey Omaido, Jackline Mwangi and Maureen Okumu kept the Scorpions defenders busy but could not sound the boards.

Strathmore University Scorpions defender Jane Muragu tussles for the ball with Telkom's Lillian Aura during their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League at the City Park Stadium on November 19, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

It was therefore a surprise when the champions went ahead against the run of play in the seventh minute as Mwangi flicked Lillian Aura's pass past Scorpions keeper Tasha Maria and they carried the lead to the end of the first quarter.

Scorpions pinned back their opponents but were let down by their final ball in their opponents circle with striker Gilly Okumu a constant menace.

Scorpions collapsed in the 26th minute as Telkom carved them open scoring twice in a minute. Mwangi and Glennis Namasake combined to set up Barbara Simiyu for a 3-0 lead.

Scorpions however rallied back led by Okumu who engineered both goals for Denise Bila and Barbara Atigo.

Poor finishing cost them the equaliser in the dying moments as Telkom held on for the three points.

Strathmore University Scorpions coach Meshack Senge reacts during their match against Telkom on November 19, 2017 at the City Park Stadium, Nairobi. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU

Scorpions coach Meshack Senge admitted her charges were unlucky to lose the match.

"We concede very soft goals that should have been avoided. Our fighting spirit was impressive and we should have gotten more from this match," Senge said.

The result left Scorpions in the third place with 30 points effectively ending their hopes of a maiden title.

Earlier, Sliders and Vikings played out 2-2 draw in another women's top flight encounter. Christine Mmbone rescued a point for Sliders eight minutes to the end.

Vikings' Doreen Otieno vies for ball with Sliders' Anita Agunda during their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League match at the City Park Stadium, Nairobi on November 19, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU

In the men's Premier League, Butali Sugar Warriors beat Chase Sailors 3-0 to secure the second win of the weekend. A brace from Emmanuel Simiyu and further strike from Arif Shah gave the lakeside club the three points.

In Nakuru, Technical University of Kenya and Nakuru played out a goalless draw. Kenya Police inched closer to the league title after a 4-0 drubbing of Parkroad Badgers in Sunday's final match.

Goals from Samuel Wokila, Amos Barkibir, Moses Cheplaiti and Calvins Kanu carried the law enforcers past their opponents.

Daily Nation

Telkom’s search for spotless season continues

By Elizabeth Mburugu

Telkom Audrey Omaido)l) and Vickings Winnie Ivayo(r) chase the ball. (Jenipher Wachie)

Champions Telkom will have to wait until next season in their search for league title victory without conceding a goal.

This is after bitter rivals Strathmore University Scorpions ended their unbeaten run yesterday afternoon at City Park.

Even though they have dominated women’s hockey in the country, Telkom still dream of winning the title on a clean sheet. They came close this season after winning 13 rounds of matches, but once again fell short in their quest after Scorpions tainted their campaign despite winning the march 3-2.

A brace from Barbara Simiyu and a goal from Jackline Mwangi in the first half put Telkom on the path to victory. However, Strathmore came stronger in the second half and scored two goals through Denise Bila and Barbara Atigo and spoil Telkom’s dream.

Telkom assistant coach Josephine Ataro said they conceded goals after Strathmore improved their game.

“We had lapses in defence but that is not the only reason we conceded goals. They (Strathmore) have greatly improved. They made us work hard especially in the second half and that is a challenge to us,”  Ataro said.

Mwangi netted Telkom’s opener in the seventh minute after a lapse in Strathmore defence. The Scorpions had started well and seemed to contain Telkom in the early minutes of the first quarter.

Simiyu scored two quick goals in the 26th minute to give the champions a comfortable 3-0 lead at the breather. On resumption, Scorpions looked more rejuvenated as they took charge of the game, pressing deep into Telkom’s half in hunt of goals.

Their efforts paid off seconds to the break of the third quarter as Bila beat Telkom defence and goalkeeper Cynthia Onyango.

The goal ignited Scorpions’ will to fight as they hastened their hunt for a second goal.

The Standard Online

Perak whip Indonesia in Razak Cup

By S. Ramaguru

Eyes on the ball: Perak’s Nurul Anis Najwa (left) and Indonesia’s Yuanita Rahmadhani Suwito vying for the ball during their Razak Cup Group A match at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium yesterday. — M. AZHAR ARIF / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Perak bounced back from their opening loss to whip debutants Indonesia 3-0 in the women’s Razak Cup hockey tournament.

Having been humiliated 6-2 by Kuala Lumpur in a Group A clash on Saturday, Perak showed no ill effects at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium yesterday.

It took Perak only 10 minutes to grab the lead. From a cross by Nurliyana Ghazali on the right, Sofia Eizzatul Eillyana Zambahari easily tapped the ball past Indonesian goalkeeper Selly Amalia Fiorentina.

The Indonesians, who finished fourth in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in August, relied on fast counter attacks to get the equaliser but were let down by poor finishing.

Perak had to wait until the 45th minute before increasing the lead through a field goal by Wan Nur Syamielea Wan Mazlis.

Amira Natasha Abu Hassan then made it 3-0 in the 55th minute off a penalty corner conversion.

Perak coach Mohamad Azlan Ahmad was pleased that his team managed to recover from the opening match setback to secure all three points.

“We didn’t know what to expect from Indonesia, considering that they have their SEA Games squad. We were prepared for the worst. We are certainly happy to get a win,” said Mohamed Azlan.

Indonesia team manager Deny Fahruddin said: “It was an evenly-contested match. We had our chances too. We need to cut down on our mistakes.”

Indonesia will play their second match against defending champions Pahang today.

In Group B, Melaka and Selangor paraded a number of Sukma players and ended up in a 1-1 draw.

In Kuching last year, Melaka edged Selangor 2-1 to clinch their first Sukma gold.

Yesterday, Noraslinda Said scored a field goal in the 28th minute to give Melaka the lead.

But Selangor managed to secure a point, thanks to a 56th minute field goal by Ellya Syahirah Ellias.

Melaka coach Dr Mohd Aras Khamis was disappointed with the draw.

“I hope to see some improvements in the coming matches. I think we can play better than today’s match,” he said.

The Star of Malaysia

UConn field hockey finishes perfect season with third national championship in five years

UConn Athletics

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – National Champions. The No. 1 University of Connecticut field hockey team won its third national title in five years, defeating Maryland 2-1 in the 2017 NCAA national championship game Sunday afternoon at Trager Stadium in Louisville, Ky. The Huskies conclude their historic campaign as the only Connecticut field hockey team to go undefeated with a 23-0 record, and just the sixth team in the history of the sport to boast the accomplishment. The Terps round out the season at 16-7.

The 2017 crown marks UConn's fifth title (1981, 1985, 2013, 2014, 2017) and third under head coach Nancy Stevens. The Huskies cap their incredible season as the only team in program history to complete a perfect season, hoisting three trophies in five years. Overall, Connecticut owns a 38-24 (.627) mark in the national tournament and has won 31 of 43 tournament games since Stevens arrived to the Storrs campus prior to the 1990 season.

The 2017 national championship in field hockey is the 22nd NCAA title in UConn history and the 23th overall national championship. The other NCAA championships are in: field hockey (1981, 1985, 2013, 2014), men's basketball (1999, 2004, 2011, 2014), women's basketball (1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) and men's soccer (1981, 2000). The 1948 UConn men's soccer team was named the national champions by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America before there was an NCAA tournament in men's soccer.

Senior Charlotte Veitner was named the NCAA Division I Tournament Most Valuable Player after a two-goal performance in the game and a six-point performance (three goals) throughout the weekend. Teammates Margot van Hecking Colenbrander, Casey Umstead, Karlie Heistand and Nina Kleinreceived All-Tournament Team honors as well.

UConn scored on its first shot of the game. Following a Maryland turnover, senior Casey Umsteadsent a long pass up field to classmate Charlotte Veitner just outside the circle. UConn’s all-time leading goal scorer dribbled the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the circle before blasting a shot into the left hand corner of the cage. The tally marked her 33rd of the season.

The Terps tested Klein twice in the first half but could not break the redshirt-senior. The shots were even at three apiece for the two squads but it was the Huskies who carried a 1-0 edge after 35 minutes of play.

Maryland found its way onto the scoreboard in the 42nd minute. After the Huskies spoiled the Terps attack corner, Kyle Greenwalt knotted the score 1-1 with a drag flick into the ride side of the cage.

With just nine minutes to play, Veitner scored the most memorable goal of her career. In the 62nd minute the senior collected a loose ball in the circle, turned around and put home the game-winning tally.

As the final minutes ran down, the Huskies defense held strong until the final buzzer, wrapping up a season for the ages.


UConn completes perfect season with field hockey national title

Connecticut caps a perfect season with a 2-1 victory over Maryland to take home the NCAA title on Sunday.

By Vicki L. Friedman

Connecticut capped an undefeated season with a 2-1 win over Maryland for the program's fifth NCAA national championship. Courtesy Nicholas Perry

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Very little throws Nina Klein off her game. She's not rattled by spiders or scared by horror movies. The senior goalie on the UConn field hockey team defended flawlessly in an overtime shootout on Friday and wasn't flustered at the prospect of staring down Maryland's high-octane offense in Sunday's NCAA title game.

Heights? Uh ...

"Still working on it," she admitted.

But that didn't stop her from enjoying the view atop the NCAA field hockey world on Sunday afternoon after UConn defeated Maryland 2-1 for the national title. The victory, played out on a brisk afternoon at Trager Stadium, completed a 23-0 season and gave UConn its third NCAA championship in five years and fifth all-time.

For Nancy Stevens, it marked her 662nd career coaching victory, the most in the sport. For her five seniors, it's bookend championships. These Huskies repeated in 2014, and the favorites won again just a few miles away from Churchill Downs.

"It's unreal, really. I'm elated," said Klein, who finishes her career with 86 victories, including 37 shutouts with 13 of those this season. She started every game of the past four years and made five saves in her final one. "To go out on a high like this, there's nothing like it."

Charlotte Veitner, the nation's leading scorer, put UConn up 1-0 after she swatted a long ball to the far post midway through the first half. Maryland's balanced offensive attack that exploded for 39 goals in its last 11 games went scoreless until the 42nd minute. That's when freshman Kyler Greenwalt poked in the ball on a broken corner.

The Terps looked revitalized, but the Huskies remained unfazed, their methodical style a contrast to Maryland's speed and athleticism that has rolled over opponents the second half of the season. After starting the season 6-5, the Terps (16-7) made their first run to the final four since 2013, stunning Big Ten champion Michigan on Friday, 5-1.

But they couldn't solve the Huskies, whose only problem with connectivity came en route to this final four when the team had to divide into separate groups for three flights into three different airports before coming together in Louisville.

"We trust in each other," Veitner said. "We just stick to our game plan and stick to what we're doing and it ends up working out."

Veitner's reverse chip off a steal lifted UConn again. It was the 34th goal of the season for the German, and the 118th of her career, fifth all-time in the NCAA.

"I didn't really see it going in at first and then I saw it bounce off, and I was unbelievably happy," said Veitner, named most outstanding player. "As we learned in other games, it's about staying calm and composed."

You don't have to preach that to Klein, who made a career-high 13 saves in Friday's national semifinal against North Carolina. That game went to a shootout, and Klein stymied all three Tar Heels from scoring.

"She's a tough kid," said Klein's mom, Bernice, also unflappable after Maryland evened it, her quiet support a contrast to UConn nation belting out encouragement. "Nina's always been tough. Nothing bothers her. She jumped into a swimming pool at 2. Couldn't swim, but it was like, 'Whatever.' She loves being the last line of defense."

Klein got plenty of help up top from the defense -- Casey Umstead and Margot van Hecking Colenbrander were relentless -- that created chaos for the Maryland offense outside the arc.

Charlotte Veitner, left, was named MVP and goalie Nina Klein was named to the all-tournament team. Courtesy Adam Creech

"What they did really well was defended the arc, defend the shots outside of the circle," Terps coach Missy Meharg said. "They disabled us from getting into those spots."

Stevens said she knew in preseason that this Huskies group had all the elements of a national championship team. "You are enough" are words she wrote on the white board in their locker room in Storrs, a message she reiterated Sunday in Louisville.

"Sometimes the message is you're not enough," she said. "We're always pushing them to be better, but I think it's important as a leader of women to help them understand that they are enough. So we ended our season with that message on the board today."

The maturity of this group, headed by Veitner on offense and Klein on defense, helped after the 115 minutes of hockey played out 48 hours earlier. A less experienced group might not have been able to return to the pitch so poised, Stevens said.

"You have to convince your team to remember that that was not the national championship," Stevens said. "That just can't be thought of as the highlight of your season because you want the highlight to be on Sunday."

The Huskies left no doubt, becoming the first team to go unscathed since North Carolina won in 2007 with a 24-0 mark. The Tar Heels also were perfect in 1995, and Old Dominion finished unbeaten three times. This is the first time UConn finished without a blemish.

Stevens isn't predicting dynasty the likes of those "other" Huskies, who romped over Maryland in basketball on Sunday afternoon. UConn owns 11 NCAA trophies in women's basketball.

Stevens can't imagine catching up to her buddy Geno Auriemma.

"If I coach to be 100," she said. "You never know. My grandmother lived to be 100, so it's possible."

But this one goes in the books along the others UConn compiled in 1981, 1985, 2013 and 2014. Veitner and Klein, sitting by her side, couldn't escape the magic of the moment, and even some karma that led up to it. They stayed on the 14th floor of their hotel, Klein noted, "And the last time we won before today was 2014," she said.

Walking from the locker room to the stadium, Klein overheard "Another One Bites the Dust," a song played after home wins.

"It's all bittersweet," she said. "It was the last game of our careers. We left it all out there and luckily it wound up in our favor. We're going to enjoy it while we can and maybe come to some spring practices to get some more field hockey."

"I really don't know what happened, but I guess went just won a national championship," Veitner said. "It's something really, really special. To be able to do it in our freshman year and our senior year, what can get better?"


Maryland field hockey falls to Connecticut, 2-1, in the national championship

By Scott Gelman

Head coach Missy Meharg gives instructions to players from the sideline. (Marquise McKine/The Diamondback)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Defender Carrie Hanks rested her face on the top of her stick and glared at the turf as the final seconds ran off the clock in Maryland field hockey's 2-1 loss to No. 1 Connecticut in Sunday's national championship. Midfielder Brooke DeBerdine shook her head as she approached Maryland's postgame huddle.

Maryland's season was over after winning 10 of its previous 11 games. The Terps overcame a 6-5 start to reach the NCAA tournament. They upset No. 2 Duke and No. 3 Michigan to reach the title game. But the Terps (16-7) fell just short of upsetting the best team in the country. Connecticut (23-0) was the first team to finish undefeated since North Carolina went 24-0 in 2007. The Huskies have won three titles in the last five seasons.

Still, freshman midfielder Kyler Greenwalt couldn't refrain from smiling during her postgame interview. She figured the Terps would earn an NCAA tournament bid despite a 6-5 start. Now, she's confident Maryland is positioned for future deep postseason runs with five starting freshmen contributing this season.

"We had an incredible run," said coach Missy Meharg, who guided the Terps to their 23rd straight tournament, "probably a run we all agreed we are surprised to be in this position."

Meharg said after her team's win against No. 3 Michigan on Friday the Terps needed to contain Huskies forward Charlotte Veitner to secure the program's ninth title. But Veitner, who is part of a senior class that ended its career 87-5, was the difference. She scored twice, including the game-winning goal in the 62nd minute.

The Huskies' leading goal scorer capitalized on a one-on-one opportunity in the 15th minute, finding the net to give Connecticut a one-goal advantage. The Terps attempted three shots in the first half but couldn't capitalize.

But about seven minutes into the second half, Maryland's aggressive press helped it maintain possession. Greenwalt scored off an unsuccessful corner opportunity, tying the game at one. The Maryland fans at Trager Stadium waved towels and a Maryland state flag.

"Our energy immediately changed," Greenwalt said. "We were going after every single ball. We were constantly moving. We had our waves."

Veitner, however, stole the ball and scored a second time, just when it appeared Maryland was prepared to breakaway.

The Terps then missed a pair of penalty corner attempts, but Maryland remained aggressive, pulling goalkeeper Sarah Holliday with about five minutes remaining to use an extra attacker.

Maryland's aggressive defensive pressure-style, which Connecticut coach Nancy Stevens said the team expected, was unable to contain the best player in the country.

"They have many skilled forwards," Hanks said. "They're a fundamentally disciplined team."

Meharg used her team's youth to her advantage all season. Before Sunday, they didn't know the feeling of losing in a one-goal, tightly contested championship game. Now the Terps do, after securing a spot in the title game despite early season doubts.

Greenwalt has a feeling the Terps will be back.

"[Meharg] might have done one of her best coaching jobs ever," Stevens said. "For her to get her team to believe that they could get here, she did a remarkable job."

The Diamondback

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