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News for 27 November 2017

All the news for Monday 27 November 2017

Classy Netherlands beat Brave Black Sticks in Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final

It was the dream final as host nation New Zealand took on the world number one side, the Netherlands. For the Black Sticks to go one better than their 2015 silver medal, they would have to do what no other team has managed in Auckland – score against a staunch Orange defence that had kept clean sheets throughout this tournament.

In the end it was an ask too far but the packed stands at the Harbour Hockey Stadium in Auckland were treated to a match of sumptuous hockey skills and really tough, uncompromising, top quality sporting action.

The Netherlands have been a team apart at this event and, in the final against new Zealand, there was no let-up as the team in orange showed a glittering array of hockey skills to take the title for the second time and cement their position as the number one side in the world. During the course of this tournament, the Netherlands scored 18 goals and conceded none.

For the Black Sticks, this has been a tournament that looked to be heading to disaster after some poor pool performances but was saved by great performances in the quarter-finals and semi-finals.

It was a measure of just how tense things were at the start of the match as Carlien van den Heuvel showed an uncharacteristic lack of composure as she pushed Sam Charlton over after the two players came together in a messy tackle. Van den Heuvel was given a yellow card and watched much of the first quarter from the bench.

Back with the hockey action, the first quarter was evenly matched as both teams tested each other. The action between the circles was characterised by attack and counter attack but neither side created any real scoring opportunities.

The second quarter saw a far more expansive game develop. Amy Robinson made a sparkling run for the Black Sticks up the right of the pitch but couldn't get past the flat stick of Caia van Maasakker. Stacey Michelsen was the next player to test the Dutch defence but her run was stopped abruptly by a staunch Dutch defence after she had managed to beat three players.

Now it was the turn of the Netherlands to attack. Maartje Krekelaar thought she was through on goal but a brave point-blank block by Sally Rutherford prevented the tournament's joint top scorer from adding to her tally. Kelly Jonker came close after Lidewij Welten had taken the ball to the baseline and slipped it back to her. The diminutive but combative forward found her shot brilliantly blocked by Brooke Neal on the line.

The breakthrough came for the Dutch seconds later when Jonker was able to nick the ball far too easily in the Black Stick's circle. She scrambled the ball past Rutherford to give her side the lead.

Welten was now beginning to hit top gear and it was the midfielder who created the second goal. She jinked her way through the field before slipping to Maria Verschoor, who moved the ball to her reverse stick and shot home to double the lead.

The Netherlands came out after half-time determined to increase their lead and, sure enough, just two minutes into the half Laurien Leurink made it 3-0 when she benefited from an inch perfect pass from Marloes Keetels.

New Zealand are nothing if not a resilient team and, inspired by their captain Stacey Michelsen, the players tried to get some momentum. Shiloh Gloyne made a strong run into the circle and forced Josine Koning in the Dutch goal to make her first save.

With the end of the third quarter approaching, Michelsen showed sheer hockey brilliance to release Kelly Smith. The forward won a penalty corner and the capacity crowd held its collective breath as the clever variation created confusion among the defence. Amy Robinson, positioned at the post, was millimetres from breaching the Dutch defence but her deflection went wide.

And so to the final 15 minutes. New Zealand kept probing but Netherlands held strong. While this team is glorious to watch when it attacks, so all the players are more than aware of their defensive capabilities. There was a clear determination throughout the team that they were keen to maintain their tournament clean sheet.

With four minutes left New Zealand continued to attack and Netherlands conceded a penalty corner. A great shot from Brooke Neal was well-saved by Koning. This proved to be the last chance for the Black Sticks to give their supporters something to celebrate but as the whistle went, the applause that rang round the stadium was as much for the hard-working Stacey Michelsen and her team as it was for the sumptuous skills of the new Hockey World League champions.

Captain of the Netherlands Marloes Keetels said: "We can say what a great team effort. You don't realise while you are playing but on reflection conceding no goals is quite an achievement."

Black Sticks captain Stacey Michelsen said: "We had to be at our absolute best and I don't think we came out playing at that level today. I think we can take a lot of positives from this tournament and we are so close to the top three teams. It has been a great opportunity to host a tournament here, it has been an honour to play in front of such an awesome crowd."

Bronze medal match: Korea 1, England 0

Tactical nous won out in the bronze medal match as Korea won their first Hockey World League medal with a composed victory over the world number two team, England.

In the opening quarter of the bronze medal, Korea continued to surprise as they defied their status as lowest-ranked team at the tournament to take the lead against England.

Korea's goal came from a well-worked penalty corner variation. From the trap at the top of the circle, the ball was slipped left and Kim Jongeun was able to rip the ball into the corner of Maddie Hinch's goal. England also lost their referral early in the game as they incorrectly questioned the goal.

For a team that had played the Netherlands in the semi-final only 24 hours earlier, Korea were playing with much energy in this game. At the same time, England were looking just seconds off the pace. A structured Korea defence was soaking up pressure but England were not asking many questions of their opponents at this stage of the game. There was a freneticism about the England team's play that didn't translate into meaningful attacks on goal.

With the quarter well underway, England won a penalty corner after a surging run from Lily Owsley. The shot was taken by Laura Unsworth but Sophie Bray's deflection bounced away off the post. England continued to probe the Korea defence – Owsley had a number of strong runs along the right and Sophie Bray made a run down the left but Korea's centre held firm and the Asia team were happy to let England hold possession in the non-danger areas of the pitch.

As the half came to an end, England left the pitch wondering what it would take to break down the Korea defence. As Sarah Haycroft summed up as she left the pitch, "We have to create space and play with patience."

In the second half, England immediately went on the attack. Erica Saunders made a run into the circle but was unable to find a teammate as Korea's defence held firm. This was symptomatic of the whole team, a busy build-up but no end result.

If anyone expected Korea to simply defend the the lead, this was not to be the case. At every chance, a thwarted England attack would result in a Korea charge down the pitch and England were forced to defend hard at times as well as continue to seek for the equaliser.

Korea's favoured route was down the right-hand side of the pitch. Another penalty corner to Korea saw Hong Ji Seon fire the ball at Hinch's goal but it slipped just wide. With seven minutes left on the clock, England were camped in the Korea half but with no reward. A few minutes later head coach Danny Kerry removed his goalkeeper from the pitch to give the team a field player advantage. They were further helped when Park Seunga was given a yellow card.

It was a frantic last two minutes as England surged forward against the 10-woman defence. Hollie Pearne-Webb found herself in a rare shooting position as all 11 England players went on the attack. Her shot flew harmlessly through the air past the goal and Korea lifted their arms in celebration as they realised that they had won a major global medal for the first time this century.

Korea's captain Kim Youngran said: "This is the highest finish in an international tournament for us. It was an amazing match and I am pleased with how our team did. It was nerve-wracking but we didn't have time to really think about it during the game. We got together and worked together and that led to our success."

England's captain Alex Danson contained her frustration as she said: "It was a very tight game and we showed a lot of grit and determination but there are some little details we need to work on, we learnt a lot today. Congratulations to Korea, they got a goal early and then kept us out."

Final positions:
New Zealand

Sentinel Homes Player of the Tournament:
Stacey Michelsen (NZL)

Sentinel Homes Best Goalkeeper:
Sally Rutherford (NZL)

Sentinel Homes Best Junior Player:
Lily Owsley (ENG)

Sentinel Homes Top Scorer:
Maartje Krekelaar (NED) and Delfina Merino (ARG) (Five goals apiece)


FIH site

Sentinel Homes Women's Hockey World League Final 2017 Award Winners

The Sentinel Homes Women's Hockey World League Final 2017 Award Winners Photo: FIH/WSP


Stacey Michelsen (NZL)


Lily Owsley (ENG)


Sally Rutherford (NZL)

TOP GOALSCORERS (5 goals each)

Maartje Krekelaar (NED) & Delfina Merino (ARG)

FIH site

Silver for Vantage Black Sticks in Auckland

Photo: www.photosport.nz

The Vantage Black Sticks have finished runners up at the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final after being defeated 3-0 by Netherlands in the gold medal match.

The world number one ranked Dutch were held well by the Kiwis early in the match but gained momentum as time progressed.

After a fiercely fought opening quarter, Netherlands stamped their mark with two goals in quick succession to open a 2-0 lead at halftime.

Kelly Jonker found the back of the net from close range in the 24th minute before Maria Verschoor added her side’s second just one minute later thanks to a crashing reverse stick shot into the corner.

Laurien Leurink delivered another goal for the visitors early in the third quarter and while the Black Sticks continued to fight they weren’t able to find a way past the defence of Netherlands, which did not concede a single goal at the tournament.

During the medal presentations, defender Stacey Michelsen took away top honours with the Best Player award while team-mate Sally Rutherford was named Best Goalkeeper.

Head coach Mark Hager paid credit to Netherlands after the match saying they were too strong.

“I thought we played well for the first 10 minutes and fell away after that. We conceded two goals in the second quarter and both were a bit soft,” he said.

“They hurt us through the midfield so plenty of lessons learned - we need to start again and be better next time. We’ve got to match the intensity for the whole game and not just bits and pieces.

“The Dutch were better tonight, they didn’t concede a goal all tournament so you’ve got to give them credit. They are a class act with a lot of depth in their team.”

In the bronze medal match, Korea held on for a 1-0 win over England thanks to an eighth minute Jongeun Kim penalty corner goal.

NETHERLANDS: 3 (Kelly Jonker 24’, Maria Verschoor 25’, Laurien Leurink 32’)
Halftime: Netherlands 2-0

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Black Sticks fall short at World Hockey League Finals

By Niall Anderson

Netherlands player Caia van Maasakker. Photo / Photosport

The women's Black Sticks' resurgent run at the Hockey World League Finals has fallen at the final hurdle.

Surprise finalists after two impressive elimination victories, the Black Sticks were no match for a superb Netherlands side, succumbing 3-0 at Harbour Hockey Stadium tonight.

Anything else would have been a remarkable upset, considering the Dutch dominance throughout the entire tournament.

Their final victory capped off a perfect slate for the world number one side, with the Netherlands scoring 18 goals and remarkably not conceding on their romp to the title.
Their dismantling of the Black Sticks continued a one-sided rivalry, if you can call it that, with the Black Sticks having failed to beat the Netherlands since 1975.

The Black Sticks' head-to-head record now stretches to two wins, six draws and 36 losses against their Dutch foes, after they rarely threatened against a top-class Dutch outfit.

Despite the defeat, the Black Sticks can still take positives from the tournament, which saw them jump up to fourth in the world rankings. They rebounded superbly to make the final, after losing all three of their pool games – one of which was a 4-0 loss to the Netherlands, and tonight's clash had many similarities.

"The Dutch were better – they gave us a bit of a hockey lesson tonight," said Black Sticks coach Mark Hager.

"We played well for the first 10 minutes then fell away after that. We've got to learn to match the intensity for the whole game and not just for bits and pieces."

Those first 10 minutes gave the hosts hope, with Dutch midfielder Carlien Dirkse Van Den Heuvel earning a yellow card for a retaliatory shove, but Black Sticks couldn't make the most of their five-minute numerical advantage.

When numbers were even, a slightly scrappy end-to-end affair quickly turned into a one-sided romp, as the Netherlands started to control possession.

They took a deserved lead through Kelly Jonker, who had earlier scored twice against the Black Sticks in pool play, and opened the Dutch account midway through second quarter.

A poor clearance from Frances Davies fell straight into the path of Jonker, who made no mistake, and the Black Sticks' failure to clear their lines proved problematic again two minutes later.

This time it was Maria Verschoor who pounced, firing a shot from close range into the bottom right corner.

The Black Sticks couldn't keep the Netherlands at bay, as wave after wave attacked Sally Rutherford's goal, and the clash was killed off right after half-time, when Laurien Leurink slotted home from close range to put the hosts out of reach.

Hager was disappointed to not break the Netherlands defence, and noted that his side only scored one goal from open play all tournament.

"We do have to look at our forward line and look at patterns and ways we can score goals.

"Lessons learned, and we need to go back to the drawing board – we've got to be better next time."

South Korea finished in third after a 1-0 victory over England in the bronze medal match.

Netherlands 3 (Kelly Jonker, Maria Verschoor, Laurien Leurink)
Black Sticks 0
HT: 2-0

The New Zealand Herald

Black Sticks outclassed by Dutch in gold medal match at Hockey World League final

Andrew Voerman

Black Sticks captain Stacey Michelsen on the ball early in the Hockey World League final. ANDREW CORNAGA/PHOTOSPORT

The Black Sticks women could only stay even with the Netherlands for so long.

For 23 minutes, in fact.

In the 24th, Kelly Jonker opened the scoring in the gold medal match at the Hockey World League final and from that point onwards, the Dutch didn't look back as they eased to a 3-0 win.

The Dutch celebrate their third goal in Auckland. HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES

One became two almost immediately, as Maria Verschoor found room in the D to fire off a reverse-stick shot, which hit the backboard in the bottom-right corner and gave her side a two-goal lead.

New Zealand has only beaten the Netherlands twice - in 1953 and 1975, in a penalty shootout - and the Black Sticks never looked like ending that 42-year drought at North Harbour Hockey Stadium in Auckland on Sunday night.

Sam Harrison on the attack in the Hockey World League final. ANDREW CORNAGA/PHOTOSPORT

Coach Mark Hager cut a realistic figure afterwards.

"I thought we played well for the first 10 minutes and then just fell away after that, and then in the second quarter we conceded those two goals, and I thought they were a bit soft.

"We've got to learn to match the intensity for the whole game, and not just in bits and pieces."

In fairness to Hager and his side, they were playing against a team which has had a year to remember.

The Dutch have now played 31 matches this year, for 27 wins, three draws and one loss – to Belgium in June.

They have scored 103 goals and conceded just nine.

And at this tournament, they have scored 18 while conceding none.

"The Dutch were better," said Hager.

"They didn't concede a goal all tournament, you've got to give them credit. They're a class act, they've got a lot of depth in their team, they basically gave us a bit of a hockey lesson tonight, so hopefully some of our young ones will learn."

The Black Sticks were given an early leg up in the fourth minute of the match, when Dutch midfielder Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel pushed defender Sam Charlton to the ground off the ball four minutes in, and had to spend the next five off the field after being shown a yellow card.

They couldn't capitalise, however, and while they hung in their defensively in the first quarter, the back-to-back goals in the second left them up against it.

If they had any hope coming out of the halftime break, it was extinguished two minutes in, when Laurien Leurink made it 3-0.

The Black Sticks have now finished their work for 2017, and as they move on to 2018, where they have the Commonwealth Games in April and the World Cup in July, Hager has one particular area of focus.

"We do have to look at our forward line, and our patterns, and the ways we can score goals.

"We scored one field goal in the whole tournament, and if we keep doing that, then we're not going to win games."

The 3-0 loss was an improvement on the Black Sticks' 4-0 defeat to the Dutch in the tournament opener, and after a slow start, where they lost all three of their pool games, they have given their home crowd plenty to cheer about in the knockout stages.

Captain Stacey Michelsen was named player of the tournament, while the goalkeeper of the tournament prize went to their stopper Sally Rutherford.

They have also moved up to fourth in the world rankings.

Earlier on Sunday, South Korea claimed the bronze medal, with Jongeun Kim scoring early from a penalty corner to give her side a 1-0 win over England.


Netherlands 3 (Kelly Jonker 24', Maria Verschoor 25', Laurien Leurink 32') Black Sticks 0. HT: 2-0

South Korea 1 (Jongeun Kim 8') England 0. HT: 1-0


England denied bronze by impenetrable Korea

England huddle v Korea

England were once again left frustrated at the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final as they were denied a third bronze medal of the year by Korea.

Despite controlling much of the game Danny Kerry’s side could not break through a disciplined Korea defence after their opponents took the lead early on through Jongeun Kim.

Sophie Bray hit the post in the first half and Giselle Ansley was well denied by Soo Ji Jang with just a few minutes remaining as England failed to convert their domination of the game.

Despite the result, captain Alex Danson said she was happy with the way a youthful squad performed during the tournament and is looking forward to playing alongside them at next year's Vitality Women's Hockey World Cup on the day the schedule was announced.

“Obviously we are very disappointed not to come away with the win today,” the forward said.

“We showed a lot of resolve and a lot of character as a squad today and across the tournament. This team has a lot moving forward.

“Having the sport back on home soil next year with the World Cup is very exciting. We’re looking forward to it and it should be a great tournament.”

Although Korea started the game brightly, breaking into the England circle twice early on, it was Danson who had the game’s first chance in the sixth minute as her reverse stick shot was well saved by Soo Ji Yang.

But it was Kim who opened the scoring two minutes later as she swept a corner past Maddie Hinch’s outstretched left leg seconds after the England ‘keeper had saved another corner from Yun Kyoung Cho.

England settled into a rhythm after that and controlled both possession and territory in the second quarter as their opponents picked up two green cards.

They failed to create many chances though, the best falling to Bray who deflected Laura Unsworth’s corner flick onto the post, as Korea held onto their slender lead at half-time.

That pattern continued in the third quarter as England continued to dominate the ball without creating any efforts, while the Koreans looked to break on the counter and won two corners, the first well charged down by Owsley before Ji Seon Hong put the second narrowly wide.

They came close again twice at the start of the final quarter as Mi Hyun Park’s cross narrowly failed to find a team-mate before Yesol Cha fired wide after a good run.

Danson tried to spark her team into life in the closing stages and, with Korea reduced to 10 players for the final four minutes, England came close as Ansley’s penalty corner was well saved by Jang.

That was to be their final chance though as Korea held on to win their first major international medal since 2007.

Korea (1) 1
Kim Jongeun (8, PC)

England (0) 0

Starting XI: Hinch, Unsworth, Haycroft, Toman, Martin, Petty, Danson, Ansley, Bray, Pearne-Webb, Owsley

Subs (Used): Paige, Sanders, Rayer, Defroand, Balsdon

Subs (Not Used): Tennant, McCallin

England Hockey Board Media release

England beaten to bronze by South Korea

England lost 1-0 to South Korea in the bronze-medal match of the Women's Hockey World League Final.

Kim Jongeun's penalty corner put the South Koreans ahead after eight minutes.

They held on for victory despite late pressure from world number two side England, who had been beaten by a late New Zealand winner in the semi-finals.

Netherlands beat New Zealand 3-0 in the final with goals from Kelly Jonker, Maria Verschoor and Laurien Leurink.

BBC Sport

Vitality Hockey Women's World Cup London 2018 schedule announced

The Pools and schedule for the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 was officially released by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) today.

The 16 national women's teams qualified for the event now know who they will face in next year's pinnacle event. Fans can also get in on the action with all remaining tickets now released for general public sale via the official ticket website.

A look at the schedule reveals some fantastic match-ups as the top teams in the world prepare to go head-to-head.

In Pool A, the world number one side and current holders of the World Cup, Netherlands, await the challenge of Asian giants China and Korea as well as rising European stars Italy.

Pool B is headed by the host nation and world number two team England. They will face tough challenges from USA, who won the 2017 Hockey World League Semi-Final in Johannesburg, recently crowned Asian champions India, and Ireland.

Argentina are ranked number three in the world, and they have European rivals Germany and Spain to contend with, along with African continental champions South Africa in Pool C.

Pool D sees Oceania rivals Australia and New Zealand go head to head along with Japan and 2017 Rabobank EuroHockey Championship runners-up Belgium.

There are some amazing games to look forward to in the Pool stages, with many matches guaranteed to have fans on the edge of their seats.

England versus USA is becoming a regular and compelling rivalry. From the USA’s demolition of England’s chances at this event in 2014, to the recent quarter-final win by England over USA in Auckland at the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Finals – the two teams play a similar, structured style and have an equally hard-working ethos. This Pool B meeting will be one more chapter of this on-going rivalry.

In Pool A, one fixture that is certain to be fiercely contested is the all-Asia clash between China and Korea. One ranking point separates these teams, with China the higher ranked nation. However, at the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final in Auckland, it was Korea who finished in the top-four, while China were left playing for 7/8th spot. Finishing positions were reversed at the Asia Cup when China took silver and Korea finished in the bronze medal position.

Reigning champions Netherlands will begin their title defence in Pool A Photo: FIH/WSP

South Africa spent time away from top international competition when they didn’t compete in the Rio 2016 Olympics. Since then the team has been rebuilt and the new domestic professional league has had the desired impact, providing the players with a high level of competition. How this will translate onto the biggest stage of all remains to be seen, but South Africa’s physicality against Spain’s flair and intensity will be an intriguing spectacle.

Pool D will see a clash between the Oceania giants Australia and New Zealand. Ranked fourth and fifth in the world respectively, the two teams relish the chance to go at each other and, on a World Cup stage, the competition will be even more intense. Australia might be the undisputed continental champions but New Zealand have enjoyed a fantastic medal-winning run at the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final and will be full of confidence.

The Pool C match that has the potential to be the most bruising encounter is the fixture between European rivals Germany and Spain on 28 July. Whilst Germany have been steadily progressing since their Rio 2016 bronze medal they have not forgotten their 2-1 loss to the Spanish during the Olympics. Both teams contain some amazingly talented and passionate athletes who have yet to hit their potential. Could 2018 be either team's year?

With England's 10,000-seater Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park sold out for six sessions, including all England's Pool matches - plus their potential quarter-final, the semi-finals and final, fans should not hesitate in snapping up the remaining tickets.

For those who can't make it to the venue, this event will be broadcast to millions across the world in over 100 countries through FIH's global broadcaster partners.

With eight months between now and the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 and today's release of the match schedule, the countdown has really begun.



FIH site

Upgraded Hockey Women's World Cup trophy revealed in Auckland

Standing 50 centimetres tall, the trophy that will be raised by the winners of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 is a study in craftsmanship and tradition. And the eight teams participating in the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final in Auckland, will get an early glimpse of the main prize as it is unveiled at the showcase event.

The original trophy was donated by the Royal Bank of Scotland at the IFWHA World Cup in Edinburgh in 1975 and then used again at the 1979 IFWHA World Cup before being used for the first time at the FIH World Cup in Kuala Lumpur in 1983. This followed the merger of the IFWHA and the International Hockey Federation. The original was a lovely silver bowl – or quaich as it is known in Scotland – with intricate engravings of thistles adorning it. Unfortunately, it was a much smaller trophy than the equivalent Men’s World Cup trophy and so, as the International Hockey Federation (FIH) pursues its aim to achieve gender parity in all areas of the game, a revised women’s trophy was required.

And so enter the master craftspeople of London-based goldsmiths and silversmiths, Thomas Lyte.

The luxury brand designs, makes and restores sports trophies for a wide range of top level events, including the Webb-Ellis Rugby World Cup, golf’s Ryder Cup, rugby’s Six Nations, the FIBA World Cup, the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger and the English Football Association’s FA Cup. The company also holds a Royal Warrant as suppliers of silversmith and goldsmith services to the British royal household.

Andrew Jones is one of the Directors of Thomas Lyte and he explained how the luxury brand became involved with the FIH.

“I was approached by the FIH with an interesting project to turn the ‘salad bowl’ as it was affectionately known, into a trophy that was comparable to the men’s trophy. The designs the team at FIH had come up with were fantastic, it was a case of us working out how we could meet their ideas and increase the size of the trophy to match the men’s without losing its original design.”

Among the stipulations made by the FIH design team were that the trophy was similar in height, weight and style to the men’s trophy. It also had to incorporate the original trophy in some way.

The original Women’s World Cup trophy stood at 13 centimetres, so some major additions were needed to raise its stature by a further 35 centimetres. The extra height comes from a beautifully decorated plinth and a heavily embellished silver column. The original silver bowl has had to be replaced with an identical one because its age was beginning to show and it would not have lasted another raucous celebration. The gold-played handles however, are the original handles and have been attached to the new silver bowl, which sits proudly atop the plinth and column.

The plinth is detachable because weight would be an issue if the entire trophy was handed to the winning team.

Matching the design to the Men’s Hockey World Cup trophy has presented some challenges.

Both trophies have intricate engravings on the column. For the women’s trophy these carvings will mirror the thistle emblems that decorated the original. The neck of the trophy has a gold-plated pattern which adds an extra layer of decoration. The whole trophy, Jones said with justifiable pride, “will look stunning.”

At time of writing the trophy was nearing completion before it embarked on its journey from London to New Zealand, where it is to unveiled at the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final. Jones explained the many stages the trophy had been through.

“The entire project was managed by one of our silversmiths. In this case Kevin Hart has been the man at the helm. We met with the FIH representative to discuss the designs and also to show them what level of work goes into making a trophy of this calibre.

“The process involves a silversmith spinning the silver on a lathe. An external craftsman who we work with on many projects created the plinth. We had an engraver working on the decorative patterns on the plinth and column and a different engraver added the wording on the silver bowl. The most challenging aspect is for the project manager to bring all the elements together, to our deadline.”

It is not just the design elements that must be taken into consideration. Jones points out that the trophy must also be practical. He laughs as he recalls the discussions around the Rugby World Cup trophy. “We had to think carefully about the size of the handles on the trophy. Would they be large enough for the hands of the biggest rugby players? Martin Johnson [captain of England in 2003] for example. And we have to make sure the trophy is not too heavy because that can also cause problems during the presentation and as the trophy is being passed around.”

Among the eight teams participating in Auckland, where the trophy is making its debut appearance, there will be a lot of players secretly dreaming lifting the trophy in London on 5 August 2018.


FIH site

Commonwealth Games Draw To Be Revealed On Tuesday

Ben Somerford

The Kookaburras and the Hockeyroos will on Tuesday learn their pool and match schedule for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

The draw will be held for hockey at the Commonwealth Games at 11.30am AEST on Tuesday 28 November with 10 nations vying for gold in both gender divisions.

Australia has won nine of the 10 gold medals available in hockey since its inclusion in the 1998 Commonwealth Games.

The Kookaburras are gunning for their sixth consecutive gold medal, while the Hockeyroos are aiming for their fourth in a row.

Among second-ranked Australia’s contenders in the male division are fellow 2016 Rio Olympics quarter-finalists India and New Zealand.

India were silver medalists in Glasgow in 2014, while England, who were 2014 World Cup semi-finalists, claimed bronze.

India (sixth), England (seventh), New Zealand (eighth), Canada (11th), Malaysia (12th), Pakistan (13th), South Africa (15th), Scotland (23rd) and Wales (24th) are the other nations competing against the Kookaburras.

Among fourth-ranked Australia’s contenders in the female division are England, with several members part of Great Britain’s 2016 Rio Olympics gold medal winning side.

New Zealand, who on Sunday lost the World League Final decider against the Netherlands, knocked the Hockeyroos out of Rio in the quarters and will be tough opposition.

England were silver medalists in Glasgow in 2014, while the Black Sticks claimed the bronze by defeating South Africa.

England (second), New Zealand (fifth), India (10th), South Africa (14th), Scotland (18th), Canada (21st), Malaysia (22nd), Wales (26th) and Ghana (30th) are the other nations competing against the Hockeyroos.

The hockey tournament at the Commonwealth Games will take place from 5-14 April 2018.

Fans should be ready to get in quick and secure their tickets via gc2018.com/tickets as once the draw is revealed the remaining tickets are expected to get snapped up.

Don’t miss your chance to cheer on the Hockeyroos and Kookaburras at a home Commonwealth Games.

Hockey Australia media release

England arrive for Hockey World League Final

Bhubaneswar [Odisha): World no.7 England arrived late Sunday evening for the much-awaited Odisha Men's Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017.

The Hockey World League Final is scheduled to begin on December 1 at the iconic Kalinga Stadium, here.

The team was welcomed by Government of Odisha officials accompanied by host nation Hockey India.

The tournament will see the top eight teams in the world battle it out between December 1 to 10.

Grouped in Pool B, along with World No.2 Australia, World No.6 India and Olympic Bronze Medalist Germany, England will look to continue a good run in 2017 that saw them win the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup earlier this year.

They also beat Germany to win the Bronze Medal at the European Championship.

"Yes, we've had a good summer and have tasted some exciting victories. We would be hoping to carry on that momentum here against the top teams. It will be a close competition and the team is really excited to be here in Bhubaneswar. We would be looking at showcasing our best hockey against the top teams in the world," expressed 25-year-old skipper Phil Roper.

Interestingly, their most experienced player Barry Middleton will complete 400 international caps for England in their match against Australia on December 4. To have an experienced player like Middleton in their squad is always an advantage said Roper.

"Oh, I always pinch myself when I think of how many matches Barry has played for the country. Playing his 400th game here will be huge and he is the most popular player in our team where ever we travel across the globe," added Roper.

Outlook India

Skipper Manpreet backs India to match major rivals

India are in a tough group at the Hockey World League Final that includes world champions Australia in the elite tournament to be played in Bhubaneswar.

B Shrikant

Manpreet Singh, Indian hockey team captain, is confident of good show at the Hockey World League Final.(PTI)

The continent was conquered in Dhaka last month and now the Indian hockey team will be hoping to emulate that success at the Hockey World League Final in Bhubaneswar. India had bagged a bronze medal in the HWL Final 2015 at Raipur and retaining it would be a great achievement and boost ahead of a hectic 2018 which has Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and the World Cup.

Skipper Manpreet Singh will have to bear the burden of expectations but is undaunted by the huge task. He says his boys are ready for the upcoming challenges starting with the Hockey World League Final (from December 1) where India (Pool B) face strong opponents Australia, Germany and England in the preliminary league.

“No matter who we are playing, we have to give our best. That was our motto during the Asia Cup win and it will be the same at Bhubaneswar. The Hockey World League is a very strong and prestigious tournament and we want to give it our best shot,” Manpreet told Hindustan Times in an interview.

India will open their campaign against world No 2 Australia — against whom they have had limited success in recent times. India have lost to the Kookaburras in the Champions Trophy, Azlan Shah and Commonwealth Games in the last few years. But Manpreet denied there was a psychological barrier when it came to facing the world champions.

“It is not that we have developed a mental block against Australia or feel extra pressure. Agreed, we have not beaten them in many matches in the recent past, but in the Champions Trophy final (2016) we held them goalless, and that too without seniors like Sardar Singh and Rupinderpal (Singh), though we lost in the shoot-out,” said Manpreet, who is supported by Red Bull.

“We know we have to avail whatever chances that come our way and allow as few chances as possible to the opponents. That’s our plan when we play teams like Germany, Holland or Australia.”

Indian forwards have been profligate at times, but Manpreet defended them. “The forwardline has done well in the Asia Cup and before that during the Europe tour. In the Asia Cup, all our forwards scored. Forwards in other teams too miss chances — it is not that only our guys make mistakes.”

Hindustan Times

Manpreet: Yes, am still a prankster

s2h team

Bhubaneswar: When 19-year Manpreet Singh made his debut with the junior team in 2011, his stick-work, style and tactical handling earned him the title of ‘Chota Sardar,’ echoing his brilliance to iconic player Sardar Singh.

Six years later, the Jalandhar lad has almost become ‘Sardar Singh’ – he now plays fullback, a position once held by Sardar, and now is also the skipper of the India men’s hockey team, a position Sardar had held for almost eight years. Its a great evolution for 'Chota Sardar' to 'Sardar'. But he has not given up his originality -- of being a prankster in the team, and none escaped from his pranks details of which much later.

A regular in the team, Manpreet has continued to win the trust of the changing coaches. So when India starts its run in the Hockey World League Finals on December 1, a lot of hopes will be pinned on this young lad.

But Manpreet wants to remain off any limelight or comparison to focus on his natural game.

“I am learning. In fact, I still consider myself as a junior. There is no age bar for learning. I have played with a lot of talented and experienced players and take inspiration from them. I don’t think I match Sardar Singh. I am Manpreet and happy to be so,” Manpreet told stick2hockey, in an exclusive chat. Taking over the reins from goalie PR Sreejesh early this year, Manpreet says, the captaincy is just another tag and doesn’t add any pressure on his game.

“Even though I was made the captain, I have hardly changed. During any match, my duty is to give the best shot so that there are no regrets later. Hockey is all about team work, where each player has to perform. It is like each one if the captain of their position on field,” he says.

In fact, he is still a ‘prankster’ and has not spared the new coach Sjored Marijne either.

“The extra tag has not been able to tarnish my image of a prankster. I still engage in a lot of leg-pulling. My recent victim was none other than our coach, whom I threw in the pool,” he laughs off. However, being a ‘senior’ to many young names in the team, the 25-year old, is the person to rely on whenever the juniors are depressed.

“It so happens that the juniors often get depressed when they make mistakes. Then, it becomes important to motivate them and ensure they don’t lose their mind and heart because that might affect the next game.”

After leading the team in major tournaments like the Hockey World League Semi finals and Asia Cup, Manpreet is ready to take on another challenge – the HWL Finals 2017.

“Besides penalty corner, counter-attack and maintaining defense structure, we are improving on inside the circle shots. There are tough teams here. But on the given day, it is all about how we play in those 60 minutes,” he signs off.


World hockey XI to tour Pakistan in January

ISLAMABAD: A World XI team will tour Pakistan from January 10 next year as a first step towards revival of international hockey in the country, president of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) retired Brig Khalid Sajjad Khokhar has announced.

Khokhar told a media conference here that the government had given clearance for the World XI tour, which also had the support of the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

“The situation is gradually changing and we are confident that after the World XI tours Pakistan, it will also pave the way open for foreign players to take part in our hockey league that we plan to launch sometime in 2018,” the PHF president said.

Without revealing details about the composition of the World XI or where they would play matches, Khokhar said the PHF was now on the lookout for sponsors and to sell broadcasting rights of the matches.

He said that India had become a high-profile hockey nation after hosting several FIH events while, in comparison, Pakistan had been deprived of international events at home because of security concerns.

“A lot of critics talk about Indian hockey but they forget that a lot of money has been channeled into Indian hockey in recent years by private and state sponsors and the Indian hockey league has been a big boost for them.”

He further said that the PHF had already done its homework to ensure the national senior team got visas to participate in the 2018 World Cup in India.

The Daily Times

Congratulations to All of the 2017 National Hockey Festival Winners

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - The 36th edition of the National Hockey Festival, presented by CranBarry, is in the books drawing thousands of field hockey fans. Athletes, coaches, families and umpires galvanized at the International Polo Club from regions all across the United States for the beloved annual holiday tournament. With its rich tradition, USA Field Hockey would like to thank all who participated and helped administrate another successful event.

USA Field Hockey would also like to congratulate the 2017 National Hockey Festival winners:


B: Nook Hockey
C: South Jersey Edge Pink
D: New Heights Red
E: Alley Cats
F: Jersey Intensity Black
G: IFHCK Warriors Select
H: New Jersey Starz U19 Blue


A: Metro HC
B: Rob Short Academy
C: IFHCK Pegasus Elite
D: Mayhem Strike
E: South Jersey Edge Black
F: Gateway Red
G: Lasting Legacy Storm
H: New Heights Black
I: X-Calibur


A: Doral Field Hockey
B: X-Caliber
C: UPRISE Field Hockey
D: TCOYO Prana
E: Key Biscayne Field Hockey

Under 12 CO-ED
Doral Field Hockey

Women's Open Division:
Red Rose Field Hockey

USFHA media release

Fatin’s hattrick powers Selangor to first Razak Cup title

By S. Ramaguru

In joyous mood: Selangor players and officials posing with their medals and trophies at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium yesterday. — M. AZHAR ARIF / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Selangor finally clinched their maiden women’s Razak Cup hockey title, thanks to Fatin Syafiqah Mohamed Shukri.

The 18-year-old forward scored a hattrick to lead Selangor to a 5-2 win over defending champions Pahang in the final at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium.

It was a tournament to remember for Fatin as she also won the final’s Player of the Match as well as the sharing the top scorer award with KL’s Nur Zatra Aziz on six goals.

Pahang were expected to chalk up an easy win after reaching the final with an unbeaten record. But they were in for a surprise as Selangor adopted an aggressive approach from the get-go to score two quick goals.

Nurain Hidayah Hasri gave Selangor the lead after only eight minutes with a field goal. Two minutes later Fatin increased it to 2-0 with another field goal.

Pahang took time to settle down and managed to reduce the deficit in the 16th minute through national player Rabiatul Adawiyah Mohamed.

But Selangor maintained their two-goal advantage in the 32nd minute when Fatin scored her fifth goal of the tournament.

Annur Amira Suziani then managed to pull a goal back for Pahang in the 38th minute.

Selangor, however, continued to push forward and were amply rewarded when Nur Atira Mohamed Ismail scored to make it 4-2.

It was over for Pahang in the 59th minute as Fatin completed her hattrick to give Selangor a convincing win.

Selangor coach Ikmal Abdul Jabar praised his team for keeping Pahang on a tight leash.

“Our strong start and the two early goals helped greatly. The players kept to the match strategy and managed to score when it mattered. It’s a great moment for us to win the title for the first time,” he said.

Said Pahang coach Benedict Arrais: “We were a little jaded. After letting in the two goals, we had a mountain to climb. Still, I am proud of the players. They tried hard to retain the title.”

The Star of Malaysia

Surbiton back on top as Beeston lose out to Brooklands MU

Goalscorer Alex Humphreys in action against Beeston. Credit David Kissman

A point was enough for defending champions Surbiton to go into the winter break back at the top of the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division after they drew on Saturday and Beeston fell to a dramatic home defeat on Sunday.

Surbiton had to settle for a point for the second week in a row after they were held 2-2 at home to Wimbledon.

Simon Mantell put Wimbledon ahead early before Gareth Furlong and Luke Noblett ensured the hosts had the lead at the break, but Ed Horler converted a penalty corner midway through the second to see the points shared.

That was enough though for Surbiton to reclaim first place as Beeston fell to a surprise 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Brooklands MU.

The visitors were two up at half time, Sam Perrin diving to turn in the opener on seven minutes before Oliver Clarke deflected home a penalty corner to double the lead.

Beeston hit back through Marius Gemmel, but Brooklands MU goalkeeper Chris Scott made a string of fine saves to keep the hosts at bay before Alex Humphreys (pictured) capped off the impressive victory with a brace in the final minute.

Elsewhere in Saturday’s top-flight action, Reading moved third after claiming all three points in an entertaining 4-3 victory at Holcombe.

Robert Field opened the scoring inside the first 60 seconds for the hosts, but in a lively start, goals from Tom Carson and Lee Morton ensured Reading were in front after just nine minutes, a lead they would hold till the break.

Two goals in three minutes after the restart, Ben Boon’s ninth of the season and a Richard Mantell penalty corner, put the visitors in control and despite a second half fight back from the hosts, Nicholas Bandurak netting his 12th of the campaign and a late Dan Webster effort, it was Reading that took the points.

East Grinstead picked up their first victory in five outings after a slender 1-0 home win over Hampstead & Westminster.

Simon Faulkner’s ninth of the season was the game’s only goal two minutes before half time, ending the visitors’ four game unbeaten streak.

Meanwhile the division’s bottom two, Sevenoaks and Canterbury, played out an exciting 3-3 draw in the all-Kent clash.

Sam Barrett and Michal Nowakowski had put Canterbury two up, but a brace from Duncan Parnis and one from Mike Barber looked to have given Sevenoaks the points.

However, 29-year-old Australian international Craig Boyne would have the last say, his goal three minutes from time earned Canterbury a share of the spoils, a draw doing neither side many favours in their respective battles against relegation.

Men’s Conference North

The University of Nottingham leapfrogged opponents Bowdon to return to the top of the Conference North after a 1-0 away win on Sunday, Sean Cicchi scoring the game’s only goal for the visitors.

Loughborough Students also leapfrogged their opponents to go second just a point behind after a 4-2 win at University of Durham, Matthew Ramshaw with a brace.

Leeds went fifth after an emphatic 6-1 victory over Preston in their ‘Roses’ clash, Ben Foster and Harry Lankfer both scoring two.

Sheffield Hallam made it three wins in four games to move off the bottom of the table, beating Doncaster 2-0 in a South Yorkshire derby.

Meanwhile, Deeside Ramblers and Cannock played out an intriguing 4-4 draw, Cannock squandering a three-goal lead before Kyle Gladwin rescued their first point in five games with a last-minute equaliser.

Men’s Conference East

A draw at Southgate was enough for Oxted to go top of the Men’s Conference East table, with former leaders Cambridge City being beaten 2-1 at home by Old Loughtonians.

Goals from Robbert Schenk, Oliver Whiteley and Chris Porter helped them take a point from their match at Southgate, for whom Simeon Bird scored twice and John Sterlini added another.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Fred Whitfield starred as Old Loughtonians claimed only their third win of the season so far by defeating Cambridge City - Kevin Ross and Max Sydenham scored the goals whilst Whitfield denied two penalty strokes with the scores level.

Elsewhere, Brighton and Hove moved up to fourth after winning 4-2 at home against Teddington, while Richmond were 4-1 winners against Chichester.

Peter Corbridge scored twice for West Herts as they drew 4-4 with Old Georgians – their first point of the season. Aaron Mitchell and Harry Benjamin scored their other goals.

Men’s Conference West

The University of Exeter go into the break at the top of the Conference West despite falling to only their second defeat of the campaign, 3-2 at home to third place University of Birmingham.

Jolyon Morgan scored two and Daniel Jowett the winner for the visitors after Sam Hooper’s first half double had put the hosts 2-1 up.

It was a good week for the chasing pack, with Cardiff & Met closing the gap to three points after they came from behind to beat Clifton Robinsons 4-1, Jack Pritchard netting two.

Matthew Cox scored twice as Havant defeated Team Bath Buccaneers 3-0 to go fourth, whilst Olton & West Warwicks twice came from behind to earn a 3-3 draw at Fareham.

Meanwhile, Craig Graham and Sam Carter scored in the final minutes as Cheltenham won for only the second time this season, a 2-0 home victory over Isca moving them off the bottom of the table.

England Hockey Board Media release

Surbiton back on top as English league enters winter break

©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

A point was enough for defending champions Surbiton to go into the English Premier Division winter break at the top after they drew on Saturday and Beeston fell to a dramatic home defeat on Sunday.

Surbiton had to settle for a point for the second week in a row after they were held 2-2 at home to Wimbledon. Simon Mantell put Wimbledon ahead early before Gareth Furlong and Luke Noblett ensured the hosts had the lead at the break, but Ed Horler converted a penalty corner midway through the second to see the points shared.

That was enough though for Surbiton to reclaim first place as Beeston fell to a surprise 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Brooklands MU. The visitors were two up at half time, Sam Perrin diving to turn in the opener on seven minutes before Oliver Clarke deflected home a penalty corner to double the lead.

Beeston hit back through Marius Gemmel, but Brooklands MU goalkeeper Chris Scott made a string of fine saves to keep the hosts at bay before Alex Humphreys capped off the impressive victory with a brace in the final minute.

Elsewhere in Saturday’s top-flight action, Reading moved third after claiming all three points in an entertaining 4-3 victory at Holcombe.

Robert Field opened the scoring inside the first 60 seconds for the hosts but, in a lively start, goals from Tom Carson and Lee Morton ensured Reading were in front after just nine minutes, a lead they would hold until the break.

Two goals in three minutes after the restart, Ben Boon’s ninth of the season and a Richard Mantell penalty corner, put the visitors in control and despite a second half fight back from the hosts, Nicholas Bandurak netting his 12th of the campaign and a late Dan Webster effort, it was Reading that took the points.

East Grinstead picked up their first victory in five outings after a slender 1-0 home win over Hampstead & Westminster.

Simon Faulkner’s ninth of the season was the game’s only goal two minutes before half time, ending the visitors’ four game unbeaten streak.

It leaves a glut of five sides covered by three points between third and seventh in the race for the playoff places. The league will resume in the first week of February in the new year.

Euro Hockey League media release

YM’s revenge served cold as frost puts paid to guts of ISC ties; Pembroke and TRR shine in EYHL

Monkstown’s Guy Sarratt holds off Calum Morrow. Pic: Adrian Boehm

YMCA got a revenge served cold over Annadale on a frosty weekend in the Irish Senior Cup with just three of the eight ties on the agenda going ahead across the island.

The Y’s trip north was one of the few to beat the weather and they managed to get one over on the side that ended their hopes of reaching the EYHL in the spring with a last minute winner.

This time around at Strathearn, there was plenty of twists and turns in the final few minutes with the Dubliners eventually taking the quarter-final slot.

The first half ended scoreless amid a midfield battle. Sam Hyland broke the deadlock with five minutes left to go with a bit of magic in the circle but Rhiley Carr equalised three minutes later from the penalty spot for 1-1.

It sent the tie to a shoot-out. Jakim Bernsden and Nick Holman both saved in the first round with the former keeping out the next two efforts while YM scored their next three for a 3-0 advantage.

Monkstown were another EYHL side who found the going tough against Leinster league opposition but did manage to score their sixth penalty corner with 13 minutes to go via David Cole for a 1-0 win over UCD.

Cork C of I advanced with a 7-2 win over Kilkeel in Garryduff with Julian Dale in inspired form. Corner goals from John Jermyn and Dale made it 2-0 before the latter got the third from a counter.

Mark Stevenson got one back from a penalty stroke but Dale completed his hat trick before half-time to make it 4-1. Jermyn stretched the lead further from the penalty spot before Dale got the sixth goal. Philip Sweetnam scored from play to close out their tally before Eddie Agnew got a late consolation.

Otherwise, the other five games on the card were all cancelled due to the freezing conditions, the same factor that ruled out Avoca’s league tie with Weston. Clontarf did get their game in against Dublin North, Max Harris and Robert Forrest scoring in a 2-0 win.

Dublin University joined UCD in the semi-finals of the Neville Cup courtesy of a strokes win against Corinthian after Cillian Hynes and Dan Treacy doubles shared a 2-2 draw.

Sunday: Men’s EY Hockey League
Pembroke 5 (A Sothern 3, R Sweetnam, J Ryan) Railway Union 2 (M English, S McKeever)
Another Alan Sothern hat trick strengthened Pembroke’s place in the top four as they won the Dublin 4 derby 5-2, putting five points between Pembroke and fifth placed Monkstown.

Sothern and Mark English exchanged penalty strokes in the first quarter before Richard Sweetnam put Pembroke in front from a corner switch move. Sothern added two more corners to make it 4-1 at half-time.

The third quarter was end to end with Railway ekeing out a couple of corners while Stephen O’Keeffe brilliantly denied Sothern a fourth goal. Simon McKeever’s deflection off the back of a long corner reduced the deficit against his former club but the result was put to bed when Kirk Shimmins attacked down the right, leading to Jack Ryan’s reverse-volley.

Three Rock Rovers 6 (B Walker 2, P Blakeney, C Empey, L Madeley, J Mullins) Cork C of I 0
Three Rock Rovers made it four wins in succession in the men’s EYHL as they eventually ran up a deceptively comfortable looking 6-0 win over Cork C of I whose weariness at the end of a double-weekend showed late in the day.

Rovers started in sprightly fashion, fresher due to a cancelled ISC tie on Saturday, scoring within a minute when Harry MacMahon’s cross got a perfect touch running across the circle from Peter Blakeney. John Mullins made it 2-0 from a corner in the ninth minute.

C of I largely had most of the ball for the next 40 minutes, looking threatening without fully finding the final pass. Julian Dale did produce some outstanding pieces of skill, once clipping the cross bar from a tight spot, the other time winning a corner. Jamie Carr blocked John Jermyn’s drag flick while a second corner in the second half was miscued by Dale.

And while Cork could not make use of their attacks, Rovers extended their lead via some very sharp reactions from Ben Walker to catch a rebound and volley in with 17 minutes left. Walker tapped home the next, again from a clever MacMahon pass to start the move; Conor Empey finished off the fifth from a Jody Hosking pass and Luke Madeley’s low drag concluded four goals in quick succession.

Men’s results
Irish Senior Cup, second round: Annadale 1 (R Carr) YMCA 1 (S Hyland), YMCA win shoot-out 3-0; Cork C of I 7 (J Dale 4, J Jermyn 2, P Sweetnam) Kilkeel 2 (M Stevenson, E Agnew); Monkstown 1 (D Cole) UCD 0
Postponed due to frost: Lisnagarvey v Railway Union; Queens v Glenanne; Three Rock Rovers v Cookstown; South Antrim v Pembroke; Mossley v Belfast Harlequins

Neville Cup, quarter-final: Dublin University 2 (C Hynes 2) Corinthian 2 (D Treacy 2), Dublin University win on strokes

EY Hockey League (Sunday): Pembroke 5 (A Sothern 3, R Sweetnam, J Ryan) Railway Union 2 (M English S McKeever); Three Rock Rovers 6 (B Walker 2, P Blakenety, C Empey, L Madeley, J Mullins) Cork C of I 0

Leinster Division One: Clontarf 2 (M Harris, R Forrest) Dublin North 0
Postponed: Avoca v Weston

The Hook

Belfast Quins avoid banana skin to finally take up second round spot

Belfast Harlequins celebrate Laura Johnston’s crucial goal. Pic: Billy Pollock (click for more pics)

Belfast Harlequins finally took their place in the second round of the women’s Irish Senior Cup as Irish international Zoe Wilson scored as they came from behind against Queens in the Belfast derby at Upper Malone.

An upset looked a distinct possibility after the Ulster Premier League side edged the first half against their local rivals. But Quins ultimately deserved their win which earns them a second round date with Pembroke Wanderers.

Triumphant coach Davy Frazer said to John Flack: “I think we were maybe a bit arrogant going into the game and thought we just had to turn up to win. But I told the girls at half-time just to relax and that the goals would come and that’s what happened fortunately.”

Queen’s boss Simon Bell was pleased with his side’s gutsy first-half display if not the result.

He added: “I thought we had the better of the opening 35 minutes and, had we made more use of our penalty-corners, we could have been further ahead.”

“We had a great chance to make it 2-0 later in the game before they scored and that was probably the turning-point.”

Jodie Kee broke the deadlock in the 11th minute when she touched home Erin Getty’s pass at a set-piece. Quins’ keeper Marianne Fox made a brilliant save from a Tori Hasting shot four minutes into the second-half after Jessica McMaster had set up the chance.

But that was as good as it got for Queen’s as Quins went on to dominate, Wilson equalising from the penalty-spot in the 45th minute after her initial shot had been stopped by a defender’s foot on the line.

Laura Johnston made it 2-1 from close-range before Wilson got her second from a penalty-corner drag flick with five minutes left.

UCD won their all-EYHL battle with Ards, also coming from 1-0 down to win 3-1. Chloe Brown scored from a second minute corner for the visitors to Belfield before Lena Tice levelled 16 minutes later.

Katie Mullan put the students in front with a spectacular one-woman effort and, with four minutes to go, Sorcha Clarke was picked out by Tice to compose herself and fire home.

Kate Lloyd’s pair put Railway Union through to the quarter-finals when they beat neighbours Muckross 3-1, one a cracking reverse, the other a stylish deflection. Jean McDonnell’s corner goal accounted for the other while Jane Fennelly was on the mark for Muckross.

Cork Harlequins also went through to the last eight with two goals in each half against Ballymoney. Michelle Barry and Cliodhna Sargent put them 2-0 up at the break before Naomi Carroll and Sargent extended out a 4-0 success.

Pegasus versus Genesis, Loreto against Monkstown and Ulster Elks’ tie with Lurgan were all victims of the weather.

Women’s results
Irish Senior Cup
First round: Queens 1 (J Kee) Belfast Harlequins 3 (Z Wilson 2, L Johnston)
Second round
Thursday: Old Alex 4 (F Bradish 2, S O’Mahony, R Gray) Glenanne 0
Saturday: Cork Harlequins 4 (C Sargent 2, N Carroll, M Barry) Ballymoney 0; Muckross 1 (J Fennelly) Railway Union 3 (K Lloyd 2, J McDonnell); UCD 3 (L Tice, K Mullan, S Clarke) Ards 1 (C Brown)
Postponed: Pegasus v Genesis; Loreto v Monkstown; Ulster Elks v Lurgan

Irish Hockey Trophy, first round: Our Lady’s 1 Greenfields 2
Munster Senior Cup, first round: Ashton 0 Bandon 2 (V Burns, M Barrett); Belvedere 0 Cork C of I 1 (E Coyne)
Postponed due to frost: Catholic Institute v UCC

The Hook

Cavemen, Rangers claim first PHL wins

Photo by Marcel Sigg

Today a year ago, Ricky West was getting married to the love of his life. This year he was slotting in a pair of goals to lead his Maropeng Cavemen side to a 3-2 victory over the Addo Elephants on the second day of the South African Premier Hockey League in Johannesburg.

And his wife, Coral, can expect an even bigger anniversary present after the defender was handed the man of the match cheque after the game for his efforts.

“It’s a special day – it’s our one-year wedding anniversary today so gifts all round – a bit of money, two goals and a win so a very lekker day. I already got her something nice this morning but now she knows I’ve got a bit more budget,” joked West.

It was a match that was a repeat of last year’s final, and it certainly lived up to expectations. The defending champion Cavemen had to come from behind twice in the match to claim the win. And having had yesterday’s rain-ruined match against the Garden Route Gazelles reduced to a shootout which they lost, this was an important win.

“Going down quite early in the first chukka put us on the back foot. Last year we had to fight to come back in a lot of games so I think a lot of that is still coming through,” explained West, who scored both his goals from penalty corners. Lungani Gabela was the other scorer for the Cavemen. “We didn’t get a run yesterday so we were a bit rusty, but we were building in every chukka which is a good sign for us.

“At half time the game was very much in the balance and then we came out and moved the ball a bit better. We got a bit more ball to our forwards, which was an objective for us.”

Cavemen coach Mark Sanders was always confident his team would pull off their all-important first win of the tournament. “It wasn’t really in doubt but we made it difficult for ourselves.

“The heat started creeping in for both sides. But that’s the final from last year so a bit of a grudge match and we ground it out. After watching that video from yesterday, I don’t think they themselves played particularly well, but they turned it around quite nicely and made it an incredibly competitive battle,” he added of the Elephants’ first match in which they went down 4-0 to the Drakensburg Dragons on Saturday.

Meanwhile, there were some frayed nerves earlier in the day when the clash between the Madikwe Rangers and the Wineland Wings was decided with a shootout. Daniella Rhodes had scored for the Wings in the 19th minute and Lilian du Plessis levelled matters in the third quarter for the Rangers to see the teams deadlocked at 1-1 at fulltime. All drawn PHL matches automatically go to a shootout, which on this occasion was won by last year’s runners up – the Rangers.

“I always say every game I age about five years and this one was no different,” admitted a relieved Rangers coach Tsoanelo Pholo afterwards. “It wasn’t our best start and it doesn’t help getting a card [for captain Louise de Jager] in the first three minutes. A 10-minute yellow was always going to put us on the back foot but I think we did very well to come back in the second half.

“We came here for three points and we got our three points. Winning a shootout is great for team morale and it was very exciting. Winning is a habit – it doesn’t matter how it comes so we’re happy.”

Du Plessis, who apart from her regular-time goal also scored the Rangers’ second successful goal of the shootout, added: “There was a bit of tremoring during the shootout but I’m feeling good now after the win. The last five minutes of a game when you’re drawing are very tense because nobody wants to go to a shootout, but we’re mentally preparing ourselves for it in the last minute or two.

“We’re really happy. Obviously we want to set a benchmark so this first game was really important because I think we’ve done that now.”

The match between the Namaqualand Daisies (SA U21s) and the Orange River Rafters also looked like it was headed for a shootout after the latter clawed their way back from 3-1 down to level the scores with a minute to go in the match. But Kristen Paton slotted one in just a matter of seconds later to hand the Daisies their first win of the tournament.

It did take a shootout for the Drakensberg Dragons to beat the Golden Gate Gladiators though, after they finished the game on 2-2. The Dragons took the shootout 3-1 to notch up their second win.

There was also a second victory for the women’s defending champions, the Blyde River Bunters, who defeated the St Lucia Lakers 3-1, thanks to a brace from Thati Segaole.

Premier League action continues at the Randburg Astro next weekend.


Sunday, 26 November 2017

Top T Madikwe Rangers 1-1 (2-0 shootout) Wineland Wings
Crossroads Maropeng Cavemen 3-2 Kilimanjaro Addo Elephants
iWYZE Namaqualand Daisies 4-3 Orange River Rafters
Pro-Grip Drakensberg Dragons 2-2 (3-1 shootout) iWYZE Golden Gate Gladiators
Tivoli Blyde River Bunters 3-1 Private Property St Lucia Lakers

SA Hockey Association media release

Draw to round off part one of men’s National League

Photo by Andy Lovat

Edinburgh University men failed to make significant inroads into their quest for a top four spot in men’s National league 1 after being held to a 2-2 draw by second bottom Uddingston at Peffermill.

The result leaves the students six points adrift of Western Wildcats in fourth place while Uddingston remain in the relegation zone.

Edinburgh took the lead in the first half when Chris Duncan fed the ball on to Alan Oldham in the circle, he turned and sent it to the back post where Peter McKnight deflected home. But the lead did not survive to the interval when Uddingston`s set piece expert Steven Percy fired the ball home for the equaliser.

In the second half Edinburgh had their chances to restore their lead, Matt Taylor came close with a reverse stick shot and a penalty corner effort brought out a great save from Uddingston`s keeper Craig Wallace. But it was the visitors who went into the lead with seven minutes left with a great finish by Aussie Brad Hughes.

However, two minutes later the home side levelled, the initial penalty corner shot was charged down, the ball fell to Duncan who pushed it on to Kevin Wong to level from close range.

The students had their chance to take all three points in the closing minutes but Ian Moodie`s shot was cleared off the line by an Uddingston defender.

Graham Moodie, Edinburgh University`s coach, said: “I was a bit disappointed we did not win the game, I felt we were the better side in the second half. But I`m satisfied with fifth in the division at the half way stage, I feel we`ve done a pretty decent job overall.”

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Champions Telkom march towards 20th title


USIU-A Spartans midfielder Rachel Wangui drives the ball during their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League match against Telkom on November 26, 2017 at the City Park Stadium, Nairobi. PHOTO | ALVIN WESONGA |  MAGONGO KENYA

Champions Telkom kept their unbeaten record in the Kenya Hockey Union women’s Premier League after an emphatic 6-0 win over United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) Spartans in a league match Sunday at the City Park Stadium, Nairobi.

Evergreen Jackline Mwangi’s brace inspired the league leaders to their 15th straight win this season. League top scorer Audrey Omaido finally ended her three match drought without a goal, as she buried home a short corner with Barbara Simiyu, Flavian Situma and Jane Ofula also getting their names on the score sheet.

Veronica Maua of USIU-A Spartans (front) shields the ball away from Telkom's Flavian Mutiva during their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League match on November 26, 2017 at the City Park Stadium, Nairobi. PHOTO | ALVIN WESONGA | MAGONGO KENYA

The win moved Telkom to 45 points, 11 ahead of Spartans with five matches left to play, though the students have six left. Telkom assistant coach Josephine Ataro was pleased with the result terming it a ‘title winning performance’.

“Last week we scrapped a win against Scorpions (Strathmore University) and we needed to improve today and the players fired in all departments and I am confident the title is now ours to lose,” an elated Ataro said.

It would have been a different script had Spartans’ midfielder Rachel Wangui converted a 35th minute penalty with Telkom two-up. Cynthia Onyango brilliantly dived to her right to keep out the dragged shot and five minutes later Telkom scored another to make it 3-0.

USIU- A Spartans midfielder Rachel Wangui (left) tussles for the ball with Telkom’s Barbara Simiyu during their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League match on November 26, 2017 at the City Park Stadium, Nairobi. PHOTO | ALVIN WESONGA | MAGONGO KENYA

Wangui had been brilliant in the match combining with skipper Beatrice Mbugua in midfield to disrupt Telkom’s rhythm. Upfront, international Rhoda Kuira’s pace was a constant menace to veteran defender Terry Juma.

Telkom went ahead on 20 minutes as Mbugua gave away a penalty corner which Omaido dragged to Simiyu who shot past Spartans keeper Nouvelle Becca. They doubled their lead a minute to the end of the second quarter as Mutiva’s sliced shot found the bottom corner.

Sheila Nazi had a chance to reduce the deficit but shot just wide with only Onyango to beat before Wangui’s missed penalty and Telkom proved deadly with two more goals in the final quarter.

“This was a match that could have gone either way but the result is very harsh on us, it is now impossible to catch Telkom but we will fight for second spot,” Spartans coach Willis Okeyo said.

Earlier, Multimedia University shocked Vikings 3-1 to record their second win of the season in another women’s top flight encounter. Rachel Nduta gave the students the lead before Winnie Wanyoike struck a brace.

Daily Nation

No stopping for Telkom: Champions open 11-point gap in league battle

Side eyes unprecedented 20th gong as race hots up.

By Elizabeth Mburugu

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

Kenya Hockey Union women's League champions Telkom are on a roll. Their form has been the envy of many a team in the league.

They have been sounding the boards at will. Their opponents have not had it easy either. So ruthless are the champions that despite leading the league standings with 11 points, scoring has been their hobby.

And their match yesterday against United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) Spartans was no different. They won 6-0. For the 19-time champions, they are not about to relent; they are marching on. Their closest challengers Spartans are second with 34 points.

Chasing a 20th league trophy, Telkom have been impressive this season and remain unbeaten so far. The team's assistant coach Josephine Ataro was impressed with her charges' display against the Spartans saying they had shown improvement from last week's 3-2 win over Strathmore University Scorpions.

"We played better than we did last weekend and that is because we realised our mistakes and rectified them in good time," Ataro said.

After a goalless first quarter, Barbara Simiyu converted a penalty corner to break the deadlock in the 20th minute. The USIU-A trio of captain Beatrice Mbugua, Rhoda Nyambura and Sandra Vodoti began its hunt for an equaliser but their efforts were thwarted by Telkom's backline of Terry Juma, Flavia Mutiva and Lucy Wangeci.

Mutiva added the second moments later as her side led 2-0 at the break.

Rachel Njogu wasted an open chance to pull one back for her side in the third quarter as she failed to hit the target from the spot. Audrey Omaido converted a penalty corner in the 40th minute for a 3-0 lead.

USIU-A goalkeeper Nouville Becca yet again failed another test as Jane Ofula added the fourth two minutes later to give Telkom a 4-0 lead at the end of the third period.

Veteran Jackline Mwangi bagged a brace in the final quarter to give Telkom a deserved 6-0 victory.

In another women's encounter, Multimedia University upset Vikings 3-1 to register their second victory this season.

Winnie Wanyoike netted twice for the students, who returned to the league this season after a three-year break.

Rachel Nduta opened the scores for Multimedia seven minutes into play, before Wanyoike scored in the 15th and 60th minutes.

Sarah Bonareri scored Vikings' consolation goal in the 45th minute.

The Standard Online

Maryland field hockey’s youth spurred its turnaround to reach the championship

By Scott Gelman

Long before the Maryland field hockey team lost three of four games at the end of September, rebounded to win seven straight and earned an NCAA championship appearance, the Terps wore sweatshirts into a pool. As part of their preseason team-building exercises, coach Missy Meharg's players had to keep the teammate next to them above the water.

The Terps weren't yet comfortable with each other, so the aim of the exercises was to build trust. As it turns out, the relationships were built weeks before Maryland's first contest. The team's seniors exchanged text messages with the incoming freshmen to reinforce expectations.

That trust took Maryland to the championship game against No. 1-seed Connecticut. The Terps fell, 2-1, but their core of talented freshmen now has final four experience. A return to the title game could be imminent.

"Maryland strung nine or 10 final fours together," Meharg said. "We've been a little dry. You get to that place and say, 'How are we going to do this?' It's a testament to the senior class and our alumni."

Under Meharg's leadership, the Terps had never gone four seasons without a final four appearance. About a month into the season, that streak appeared to be in jeopardy. Consecutive losses to Duke and Boston College in the Big Ten/ACC Cup didn't create panic. Neither did one-goal losses to Princeton and Northwestern.

But on Sept. 29, the No. 9 Terps fell to then-No. 6 Michigan with a second left in double-overtime. Meharg, in her 30th season, had never experienced defeat in such a way. Neither had anyone on the coaching staff.

At 6-5, the Terps were in danger of missing the NCAA tournament.

The Terps held a players-only practice three days after their loss to the Wolverines. They demanded more of each other and promised to hold each other accountable. It changed the course of their season and fueled Maryland's postseason run.

"There was never any drama," midfielder Kyler Greenwalt said. "No one would fight. [We learned to] always give one more than you think."

After the last-second loss in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Maryland won seven straight before falling to Penn State in the Big Ten tournament semifinals. Still, the youthful Terps didn't falter. Unseeded in the NCAA tournament, they topped Wake Forest and upset No. 2 Duke in Durham, North Carolina.

Facing a Michigan team that carried an 18-game winning streak into the NCAA tournament semifinals, Maryland came away with another upset win.

Defender Bodil Keus said the Terps had nothing to lose after their most recent win against the Wolverines. They played that way in the championship game, too, tying the game in the second half and remaining competitive.

Senior defender Carrie Hanks anchored the backline and senior midfielder Lein Holsboer and junior forward Linnea Gonzales combined for 21 goals throughout the season, but the team's youth powered its success.

Keus led the Terps with 13 scores and was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Greenwalt started all but nine contests and scored seven times, her last goal coming against the Huskies. Defenders Sophie Giezeman and Hannah Bond contained opposing attacks.

Quickly, the team didn't appear inexperienced.

"They were really eager to learn with us and latch on to what we have," Hanks said. "Everyone has made the same commitment."

The Diamondback

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