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News for 19 February 2018

All the news for Monday 19 February 2018

2018 Oman Triangular Series - Day 5
Muscat (OMA)

JPN - PAK 1 - 2


R Team GP W D L GD P
1 Pakistan 4 2 2 0 4 8
2 Japan 3 1 1 1 2 4
3 Oman 3 0 1 2 -6 1

FIH Match Centre

Pakistan in Morale Boosting 2-1 Win over Japan

After a shocking 4-4 draw against Oman on Saturday, Pakistan rebounded to beat Japan 2-1 in the 3-nation hockey tournament at Muscat's Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex.

It was Pakistan's first win over Japan in five matches, after two defeats and two draws and should serve as a morale booster for the final on Tuesday.

The first half was scoreless.

Mubashar Ali broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute when he converted a penalty corner.

Withing two minutes, Japan equalised through Kenta Tanaka, also off a PC.
Both the sides fought hard to go ahead.

In the 48th minute, Pakistan again took the lead through their experienced striker Umar Bhutta and it remained 2-1 when the match ended.

Pakistan have completed their four matches of the double league phase earning eight points. Japan (four points) and  Oman (one point) would play the last match of the league on Monday.

Only a big Oman win over Japan would enable hosts to qualify for the final against Pakistan on Tuesday as Japan have a goal difference of +1 while Oman's goal difference is of -6.

In all probability, it will be a Pakistan vs Japan Final.

Pakistan: 2,    Japan: 1
Pakistan: Mubashar Ali (32' off penalty corner), Umar Bhutta (48')
Japan: Kenta Tanaka (34' off penalty corner))

PHF Media release

Van Huizen: No need to recall ex-internationals

By Jugjet Singh

PIC: From Left Stephen van Huizen,  Razie Rahim and Syed Syafiq Syed Cholan.

NATIONAL chief coach Stephen van Huizen has closed the door shut on ex-internationals, and prefers to bank on his tested players as well as four youth in a hectic hockey year.

He feels the one-month Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) is not enough to gauge players, as they might have given their best for a short period only.

"Well I know we have a very hectic year, with many tournaments and friendlies arranged, but I will stick with the best available in the country.

"The 24 that I have are the best, and I also have four more young players in the back-up to promote if needed. In fact, after the two friendlies against Argentina I might name one or two young players to replace some injured seniors.

"But there is no need for me to press the panic button and call ex-internationals," said van Huizen yesterday.

He was speaking at a press conference arranged by Astro, who will telecast live matches of the Azlan Shah Cup on March 3-10.

Malaysia will be up against World champions Australia, Olympic champions Argentina, Asia Cup champions India, England and Ireland in the Azlan Shah Cup.

And two weeks later, its off to Gold Coast Australia for the Commonwealth Games (April 4-15) followed by the Asian Games (Aug 18-Sept 2), Asian Champions Trophy (Oct 18-28) and finally the World Cup (Nov 28-Dec 16).

"Its a hectic year, and the main target is to win gold in the Asian Games and qualify for the Olympics so I will use all 24 Podium players as well as the four back up players and not recall ex-internationals who played in the MHL."

The four back-up players are Najib Abu Hassan (TNB), Luqman Nul Hakim (Terengganu HT), Sufi Ismat (Terengganu HT) and Ashran Hamsani (Universiti KL).

And with No 1 goalkeeper S. Kumar's doping case hearing yet to be fixed by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), van Huizen is training Junior World Cup goalkeeper Zaimi Mat Deris, alongside Hairi Abdul Rahman and Hafizuddin Othman.

Among the ex-interantionals who played extremely well during the MHL were defender Baljit Singh (UniKL) and goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin (KLHC).

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Fitri wants to shine at Azlan Shah Cup

By Naqib Nor Said

Fitri Saari (centre) wants to show that he is among the best midfielders in game. Pic by LUQMAN HAKIM ZUBIR

KUALA LUMPUR: Fitri Saari wants to show the world that he is one of the best midfielders in hockey at the Azlan Shah Cup, which starts on March 3, in Ipoh.

World No 1 Australia, Argentina, India, Ireland and England are the other confirmed teams.

He will go against the likes of Australia's Jake Whetton, India's Sardar Singh, Argentina's Ignacio Ortiz and Joaquin Menina along with England's Barry Middleton and David Condon.

Fitri, however, is unperturbed as he is determined to prove his mettle.

"We are not thinking big as we are using the tournament to get things right for the Indonesia Asian Games later this year, which is our main target," said Fitri.

"However, we will play to our best ability and make sure we give other teams a tough time.

"We want them to respect us and this is our goal this year.

"The Azlan Shah Cup is an important assignment as it is to build our confidence ahead of upcoming tournaments."

New Straits Times

Dharmaraj to name team for Gold Coast after Japan friendlies

Malaysia hockey coach K. Dharmaraj - Filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: The women’s hockey team for the Commonwealth Games will be fina­lised after five friendly matches against Japan.

National coach K. Dharmaraj has lined up the matches with the Japan’s Under-21 squad next month at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Dharmaraj said he would name 18 players from 26 trainees for the Games in Gold Coast, Australia, from April 4-15.

“I have selected 26 players based on their performance in last year’s Razak Cup but the squad will be trimmed after the friendlies,” said Dharmaraj.

“Currently, the players are playing for their respective clubs in the national league and they will report for training on March 5.

“I’ve been watching all the six clubs in action and a few players have impressed me. We’ll call them up for training.”

The Star of Malaysia

Beeston beat East Grinstead in Men's Premier Division

Beeston's Sam Ward. Credit Josh Dixon

Beeston closed the gap on Surbiton at the top of the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division with a 5-2 defeat of play-off rivals East Grinstead on Sunday.

With Surbiton at the EuroHockey Indoor Club Cup in Switzerland, it was a chance for Beeston to catch up their game in hand.

And they were in impressive form, going 3-1 up by half time through a Sam Ward brace (pictured) and a Lucas Garcia Alcade goal after Simon Faulkner had opened the scoring for East Grinstead.

They made sure of the result in the second half with goals from James Alberry and Richard Lawrence, although East Grinstead did pull another one back through Ashley Jackson.

The result sees Beeston just four points behind Surbiton while East Grinstead drop to sixth, two points off the play-off places.

Ed Horler scored a hat-trick for Wimbledon who were comfortable 7-1 winners against struggling Canterbury. Phil Roper, Johnny Kinder and a Simon Mantell brace completed the scoring for the visitors, while Andrew Sutherland scored Canterbury’s consolation.

Wimbledon will have to fight to secure a play-off place though, as Hampstead & Westminster are breathing down their necks and just a point behind after a 2-1 defeat of fellow play-off hopefuls Reading.

Richard Mantell had put Reading ahead with a penalty stroke on 25 minutes, but Hampstead struck back after the break with Rupert Shipperley and Chris Cargo firing back.

A late Ben Tanner goal secured a point for Holcombe after Sevenoaks looked to be on course for their second win of the season in a 3-3 draw.

Goals from Andrew Ross, Tom Samuel and Ali Taylor had given Sevenoaks a 3-2 lead with five minutes left on the clock but Tanner struck to add to goals from team mates Alistair Bray and Tom O’Keeffe to earn a point.

Men’s Conference East

Second bottom Chichester pulled off a great comeback to draw against second-placed Southgate in the Conference East after being 4-0 down with 10 minutes remaining.

A Tom Barratt double and goals from Adam Grout and Alex Williams looked to have secured the points for Southgate, but Luke Emmett’s 61st minute goal for Chichester sparked them into life as Alex Baxter and a late brace from Alex Pendle saw the game end 4-4.

Oxted still top the table by three points after a 5-1 win over Cambridge City. Sam Driver led the scoring with two.

Brighton & Hove beat West Herts 3-0, Richmond came out on top in a 3-2 win at Old Georgians and Teddington prevailed 2-0 in their game against Old Loughtonians.

Men’s Conference West

The University of Birmingham kept pressure on the University of Exeter at the top of the Conference West, beating Clifton Robinsons 8-3 on Saturday. Eddie Way, Jack Clee and Tom Poustie all scored two each.

The University of Exeter will have been relieved to take three points from their game against local rivals Isca, with the contest ending 3-2 to leave them four points clear.

Fareham beat struggling Cheltenham 4-1 at home and Team Bath Buccaneers’ game against Olton & West Warwicks ended 2-2 after Ben Edge scored with eight minutes remaining.

Cardiff & Met were in action at the Euro Hockey Indoor Club Challenge in the Czech Republic.

Men’s Conference North

Bowdon reduced the gap to the University of Nottingham to four points in the Conference North after an impressive 6-0 win against Cannock. Oliver Stoddart and Ben White both hit braces.

The University of Nottingham could only manage a draw against Sheffield Hallam, despite taking an early lead. Edward Iffla opened the scoring after just eight minutes but Hallam’s Will Hearne equalised with two minutes remaining.

The University of Durham beat Leeds 5-2 with goals from Rory Patterson, Torben Nowak, Ferdinand Von Oertzen, Angus Spittles and Matthew Plater.

Elsewhere Loughborough Students were 4-1 winners against Preston and Doncaster suffered a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Deeside Ramblers.

England Hockey Board Media release

Irish Mens EYHL Weekend Round Up

Three goals in the first 14 minutes saw Lisnagarvey win their big Ulster derby with Banbridge 3-1 and keep up their chances of putting pressure on Glenanne in the men’s EY Hockey League title chase.

The Glens were comfortable 5-1 winners at Cookstown, moving them 10 points clear at the top of the table with five games to go. Garvey, though, are very much lurking in the background with three games in hand, starting with a midweek date against Annadale to try and reel in the gap.

And they were flying against Bann when Sean Murray scored very early on. Andy Williamson’s penalty corner goal and a Neal Glassey strike built an imposing advantage and while Banbridge got back into the game via Luke Witherow’s goal, they had been left with too much to do.

Glenanne, meanwhile, were in control of their game in Co Tyrone when Eddie O’Malley put them one up in the opening minutes before two Shannon Boucher extended the advantage to 3-0 early in the second quarter. Jack Haycock’s reply proved brief respite for Cookstown as Gary Shaw and Jason Rogan stretched the lead out to 5-1.

Alan Sothern struck in the last minute of a thrilling finale to the Dublin derby between Pembroke and Monkstown. Sothern had opened the day’s scoring from the penalty spot only for Nick Dee to equalise at 1-1 at half-time.

Matteo Romoli then put Town ahead in the 68th minute but Pembroke instantly withdrew their  goalkeeper and used the extra outfielder to excellent effect, scoring through Sothern at the last.

John Jermyn’s hat trick saw Cork C of I continue to inch away from the relegation playoff courtesy of a 3-3 draw against Annadale at Strathearn, a result that keeps Cork in eighth and Dale in seventh. Dale play Lisnagarvey in midweek in one of their back matches.

Three Rock Rovers and Railway Union’s match was moved to March 1st on account of Three Rock playing in Georgia this weekend. There, they won the EuroHockey Indoor Club Challenge II with six wins from six, earning Ireland promotion to the third tier for 2019.

Men’s EY Hockey League, day 13 results: Annadale 3 (J Taylor, R Carr, O Flack) Cork C of I 3 (J Jermyn 3); Cookstown 1 (J Haycock) Glenanne 5 (S Boucher 2, E O’Malley, G Shaw, J Rogan); Lisnagarvey 3 (S Murray, A Williamson, N Glassey) Banbridge 1 (L Witherow); Pembroke 2 (A Sothern 2) Monkstown 2 (M Romoli, N Dee)

Extended reports

Lisnagarvey 3 (S Murray, A Williamson, N Glassey) Banbridge 1 (L Witherow)

Three goals in the first 14 minutes put Lisnagarvey on course for their second derby win of the season over Banbridge, keeping up their interest in a late bid to close in on Glenanne at the top of the table.

Sean Murray opened the scoring in an end-to-end opening phase before Andy Williamson made no mistake from a penalty corner. Neal Glassey got the third soon after for an imposing lead though the scoreline was perhaps more stark than the flow of play. Garvey maintained that lead into the half-time break before Bann had a series of corners in the third quarter and got one back shortly before the mini-break through Luke Witherow.

Both sides continued to create chances in a finely balanced final quarter but no further goals meant Garvey had their seventh win of the campaign. They remain 11 points off leaders Glenanne but have three games in hand, starting with Annadale on Wednesday evening at 8pm on Comber Road.

Pembroke 2 (A Sothern 2) Monkstown 2 (M Romoli, N Dee)

Alan Sothern salvaged a point in the dying moments of the Dublin derby at Serpentine Avenue, scoring when his side had gone for broke, swapping out their goalkeeper for an extra outfielder.

Both sides hit the post the the early stages of a lively encoutner as Kirk Shimmins took the fight to Town with some of his trademark runs. They took the lead via Sothern from a penalty stroke in the 29th minute.

Monkstown forced Pembroke back for much of the remainder of the half with Mark Ingram making from top saves and David Cole going close. Nick Dee equalised right on half from a corner deflection move.

Into the second half, Shimmins continued to cause plenty of problems while Monkstown’s speed on the counter created plenty of chances. Both sides had corner chances to go ahead before Matteo Romoli got on the end of Town move with two minutes to go for what looked like the winner. Pembroke brought on their kicking back, though, retained possession and eventually worked it to star shooter Sothern to secure the draw.

Annadale 3 (J Taylor, R Carr, O Flack) Cork C of I 3 (J Jermyn 3)

A John Jermyn hat trick earned Cork C of I a second successive draw, inching them a bit further away from the relegation playoff spot as they came back to tie 3-3 with Annadale.

Jermyn had the visitors 1-0 up in the first minute with a penalty corner drag-flick before John Taylor levelled in the second quarter and Rhiley Carr netted a corner for Dale for a 2-1 half-time lead.

Jermyn tied the game up once again in the second half only for Oliver Flack to give Annadale the lead for a second time. The third Jermyn goal made it 3-3 going into the final quarter. Dale did have a final second corner to win it and had the ball in the net but illegally so, meaning the sides stay in seventh and eighth place, respectively.

Cookstown 1 (J Haycock) Glenanne 5 (S Boucher 2, E O’Malley, G Shaw, J Rogan)

Glenanne extended their lead to a massive 10-points at the top of the men’s EY Hockey League table with a comfortable 5-1 win at Steelweld Park.

The Glens were slightly understrength but got the best possible start when Eddie O’Malley smashed into the far corner after good attacking play down the right by Gary Shaw.

With Mark Rooney in the sin-bin, Glenanne took advantage to get a second via a Shannon Boucher corner second phase goal. Quarter Two was barely two minutes old when the Glens got another goal, Boucher took it strong and flicked the ball goalwards, catching Josh McCabe moving in the other direction, and making it 3-0.

Cookstown did get a goal five minutes later when Jack Haycock deflected home from a well-worked penalty corner.

The second half began with a smashing double save from O’Malley and Stephen Brownlow by Josh McCabe, but the game was becoming end-to-end with several chances in short order for Stuart Smyth, Rooney, Brownlow and Boucher.

And they moved further clear following an O’Malley no-look pass was met on the run by Gary Shaw and he slotted home for 4-1. And Jason Rogan showed good poise late on to link up with Boucher upfield, before turning it past McCabe in the Cookstown goal.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Irish Womens EY Hockey League Weekend Round Up

Cork Harlequins fought back from a goal down to beat Pegasus 2-1, strengthening their hold on a top two spot and keeping their interest in the regular season title alive.

Emily O’Leary cancelled out Taite Doherty’s early Pegs goal before Naomi Carroll crowned a memorable week in which she also won her 100th international cap.

The result means they remain four points off first placed UCD but with five of their remaining six games on home turf in Cork. They do need a favour from elsewhere but this was another marquee win that leaves Pegasus in third place.

UCD, for their part, were too strong for Belfast Harlequins, building a 3-0 first half lead through international trio Lena Tice, Katie Mullan and Deirdre Duke. Duke and a late Katherine Egan goal extended the result out to 5-0.

Railway Union bolstered their hold on fourth place, putting five points between them and the chasers thanks to a 2-0 win over Ards at Park Avenue. Emma Smyth scored a great goal from turnover ball before Cecelia Joyce’s corner touch completed the win.

At the bottom, Pembroke and Trinity drew 2-2 to remain eighth and ninth place, respectively. The former looked on course for the win when Jilly Ringwood made it 1-0 in the first half and Aisling Naughton’s rebound put them 2-1 up, a lead they held into the latter stages.But Trinity finished strong and Rachel Burns popped up with a leveller for a 2-2 draw that moves them an extra point ahea of basement side Hermes-Monkstown.

Loreto beat Town 2-0 with both goals coming in quick succession in the first quarter from Ali Meeke and Jessica McGirr, an advantage they held for 55 minutes.

Next weekend, the league takes a break with the focus switching to the Irish Senior Cup with quarter-final ties between Railway Union and Loreto along with Lurgan against UCD. Belfast Harlequins host Pembroke in an outstanding second round match.

Women’s EY Hockey League: Belfast Harlequins 0 UCD 5 (D Duke 2, K Mullan, L Tice, K Egan); Loreto 2 (A Meeke, J McGirr) Hermes-Monkstown 0; Pegasus 1 (T Doherty) Cork Harlequins 2 (E O’Leary, N Carroll); Pembroke Wanderers 2 (J Ringwood, A Naughton) Trinity 2 (S Campbell, E Noone); Railway Union 2 (E Smyth, C Joyce) Ards 0

Pembroke Wanderers 2 (J Ringwood, A Naughton) Trinity 2 (S Campbell, E Noone)

Pembroke and Trinity share the points at Serpentine Avenue to mean the status quo remains between eighth and ninth place, leaving three points separating the sides after 12 rounds of matches.

Pembroke went in front seven minutes before half-time when Laura Noble passed into the D for Jilly Ringwood who swept home. Sally Campbell equalised for the students five minutea after half time with a reverse-stick strike but Pembroke were back in front when KJ Marshall saw a shot saved and Aisling Naughton snapped up the rebound.

The hosts looked the more likely to extend the lead when Emily Beatty and Eanna Horan had chances denied by Carolyn Crampton while corner chances were also defended. Trinity also cleared off the line before they fought back and had the best of the closing stages, pushing for the equaliser.

And they got their reward from a quick counter which played in Rachel Burns to make it 2-2 for what could be an important point.

Pegasus 1 (T Doherty) Cork Harlequins 2 (E O’Leary, N Carroll)

Naomi Carroll’s goal 15 minutes from time earned Cork Harlequins an important victory over Ulster’s top side Pegasus at Queen’s to strengthen their place in the top two of the women’s EY Hockey League.

For Quins, the result sees them remain four points off leaders UCD but with a potentially easier run-in on paper. They did it the hard way against Pegs, coming from a goal down – Taite Doherty netting in the 15th minute – before Emily O’Leary struck back from the first penalty corner of the game.

Carroll capped a memorable week with her winner, keeping her top of the goalscoring charts with 10, just a few days after her hitting 100 Ireland caps.

And the Quins woman is looking forward to five home games out of the remaining six to ensure they are in the best shape for the Champions Trophy playoffs.

“We have most of our travelling done already so we are hoping to push for that top two place at the very least and get a good crossover game.”

Railway Union 2 (E Smyth, C Joyce) Ards 0

Railway Union put daylight between them and the chasers for the fourth spot they occupy with a strong 2-0 win over Ards, heightening hopes of a potential EY Champions Trophy spot.

They played the more attacking hockey throughout while Ards defended resolutely with the Dubliners, perhaps, guilty of being wasteful at times. Ards did win the first corner of the game after four minutes with Grace O’Flanagan saving from the Ulster side’s playmaker Chloe Brown.

Michelle Carey won Railway’s first corner but Kate Orr’s drag-flick was saved away. Brown flashed a revers across the face of goal while two further Railway corners were blocked before the end of the first quarter.

The Park Avenue hosts bossed the second quarter and almost went ahead from a vintage move when Kate Dillon crossed from the right wing for a sliding Emma Smyth but the touch went just wide. Minutes later Kate Lloyd flashed another Railway chance wide.

Smyth dispossessed Tamara McLeod and drove into the circle and placed her shot in the corner of the goal beyond the advancing Ards keeper for a half-time lead.

Quarter three continued in similar vein albeit at a slower pace. Smyth and Dillon were tracking Chloe Brown closely, perhaps too much so as Dillon saw yellow in a feisty encounter.

Carey and Lloyd connected well down the right side but the finishing touch ended up weakly in the goal's side netting. Soon after, Kate Orr initiated a move from right back, involving Kate McKenna, who won a corner.

Railway scored their second goal from the corner when Cecelia Joyce deflected the ball into the net. Towards the end of the quarter, Amy Benson made a strong run into the Railway circle but O'Flanagan was quickly off her line to make the save.

In the closing stanza, Brown saw yellow to make the fightback more difficult for Ards and Railway created more chances but did not take them, content to record a 2-0 victory.

Loreto 2 (A Meeke, J McGirr) Hermes-Monkstown 0

Two early goals gave Loreto their third win of the season over Hermes-Monkstown, moving them into fifth place in the table after 12 games this season. Ali Meeke shot home a wonderfully-worked team goal in the 11th minute and Jessica McGirr double up four minutes later for a strong opening push.

The goalkeeping of Liz Murphy meant that is was not more for Loreto as they held most of the sway but Hermes-Monkstown stood firm in defence. The second half was scoreless with a number of cards shown, meaning Loreto had their fourth win of the campaign while Hermes-Monkstown remain bottom, two points off Trinity.

Belfast Harlequins 0 UCD 5 (D Duke 2, K Mullan, L Tice, K Egan)

UCD strengthened their place at the top of the women’s EY Hockey League table as they showed a clean pair of heels to Belfast Harlequins at Deramore Park. Ellen Curran and Emma Young were back from injury for the Belfielders but Emma Russell was out.

Lena Tice put them 1-0 up from a corner to set the ball rolling in the first quarter. Deirdre Duke got the first of her two goals when she slides home following a lovely pass from Abbie Russell. And they were 3-0 up before the big break when Katie Mullan scored a breathtaking reverse into the top left corner.

She would later depart with a gash on her knee while Leah McGuire also departed early with an ankle injury after a fine performance. The fourth goal came when Curran picked out Duke at the top of the circle to score on her reverse. Katherine Egan closed out the win with the fifth goal two minutes from time from a lovely passing move.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Blue Warriors snatch draw in dying minutes

By Aftar Sngh

Sharing the spoils: PKS Uniten-KPT’s Ellya Syahirah Ellias (centre) celebrating her goal against Blue Warriors during their National Women’s League match yesterday. — M. AZHAR ARIF / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Siti Zulaikha Husain scored in the dying minutes to help Blue Warriors snatch a 1-1 draw in the top-of-the-table clash against PKS Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten)-KPT in the National Women’s League.

With the draw, Uniten and Blue Warriors are tied with 23 points from nine matches. But Uniten top the standings with a better goal difference.

Both teams will meet again in the second round match tomorrow at the Tun Razak Hockey in Jalan Duta.

The university team started well by taking the lead in the 15th minute at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

Ella Syahirah Ellia’s shot from the top of the semi-circle sailed past national goalkeeper Farah Ayuni Yahya.

Uniten kept up the pressure and created many chances but they failed to increase the lead.

Blue Warriors, powered by three former India national players – Ritu Rani, Reena Ritu and Narinder Kaur – started to play well in the last two quarters.

They managed to equalise in the 55th minute off their third penalty corner when Ritu’s hit from top of the semi-circle bounced off the pads of the goalkeeper before Siti Zulaikha pushed the ball into goal.

Uniten coach Lailin Abu Hassan said his players dominated the match from start but wasted so many chances.

“We also failed to convert from the six penalty corners we earned in the match. It’s frustrating to see my players missing sitters,” said Lailin.

“It’s not over for us as we’ll face them again on Tuesday. I hope we can play better and collect full points to stay in contention for the league title.”

Blue Warriors coach Zulkhairi Ariffin was also not pleased with his team’s performance.

“We were a letdown in the first two quarters and we had to change our strategy. Fortunately, it paid off as we scored the equaliser.

“We managed to snatch a point and keep our chances alive for the league title,” he said.

The Star of Malaysia

Sport NZ boss gets emotional over merger of his old hockey club


Hockey great Nin Roberts and daughters Sophia Clentworth, 6, and Bella Clenthworth, 11. model the new Hutt United Hockey Club uniform.NICHOLAS BOYACK/STUFF

Putting theory into practice has proved an emotional experience for Sport New Zealand  chief executive Peter Miskimmin.

A life member of the Hutt Hockey Club, he has played an active role in the club merging with Eastern Hutt to form Hutt United Hockey Club.

As New Zealand's top sports administrator, Miskimmin supports clubs merging but as a proud life member of the HHC, he admitted  the merger was not easy for him.

Aniwaka Roberts and Sammie Purser model the new Hutt United Hockey Club uniform. Supplied

"Emotionally, I was walking away from my past."

The Miskimmin family have played a huge role in the club, both on the field and administratively.

Sport New Zealand boss Peter Miskimmin supports clubs merging. He has, however, found the merging of his own club, a challenging experience. Alden Williams

In terms of Hutt Valley sporting success, it is only rivalled by the Petone Rugby Club.

As well as numerous Wellington men's titles, it has produced high profile Black Sticks including Peter and Brent Miskimmin, Laurie Gallen, Grant McMinn, and current Black Sticks Alex Shaw, Stephen Jenness, Blair Tarrant and Harry Miskimmin.

With the Miskimmin and Gallen families prominent, it has also been one of the most well run sporting clubs in the region.

Eastern Hutt's Nin Roberts celebrates after a goal in the Wellington women's hockey final in 2011. The Black Stick great supports her club merging with the Hutt Hockey Club.

Miskimmin said that despite its proud history, merging was the right thing to do. "We need to keep looking forward, this is not about today, this is about the next 10, 15, 20 years."

Society was changing rapidly and nationally membership of sports clubs was in steady decline.

The boom days of the 1960s and 70s were over and clubs were finding it harder and harder to survive, he said.

During the boom period, clubs built single use clubrooms, which were now increasingly hard to maintain.

Miskimmin believed pooling resources was the way forward but he acknowledged that for older  club members, like himself, that was often easier said than done.

His sister and HHC stalwart Sally Lancashire said the merger was about creating a strong family club with clear pathways for junior players.

Eastern Hutt had  been one of the better performing women's clubs over the last couple of decades.

President Nin Roberts said that in recent years the club had put a lot of effort into junior hockey.

Boys, however, have had to join HHC and with the club deciding it wanted to become more family orientated, merging was the best option.

Like HHC, it has an impressive record. Roberts was a Black Sticks great, playing more than 140 games for her country. Other Black Sticks include her sister Aniwaka​ Roberts, Caryn Paewai, Suzie Muirhead (nee Pearce) and Lisa Bishop.

She agreed with Miskimmin that  merging was in the best interests of hockey.

"I am really excited about where the club is going to head over the next few years."

Hutt City Council general manager Matt Reid said both clubs deserved credit for making what could not have been an easy decision.

Clubs needed to start collaborating and sharing facilities in order to survive, he said.

Hutt United will field nine senior teams and is expecting to have 130  juniors players for the 2018 season.

It has received funding from the Pelorus Trust for new uniforms.


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