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News for 26 February 2018

All the news for Monday 26 February 2018

Vantage Black Sticks suffer heavy loss

Photo: Rodrigo Jaramillo, worldsportpics.com

The Vantage Black Sticks Women have been handed a heavy 5-0 defeat by hosts Argentina in the fourth test in Buenos Aires.

It was a dominant display by the world number three ranked side who led 2-0 at halftime before pouring on another three goals in the final 20 minutes.

The result sees Argentina secure a series win with one test still to play having won three games against New Zealand so far along with one loss.

Argentina opened strongly and scored twice from the field in the opening quarter through Rocio Sanchez (2’) and Magdalena Fernandez (13’).

A strong passage of play starting late in the third quarter saw the hosts add a further three goals within the space of six minutes with Julieta Jankunas, Sofia Toccalino and Delfina Merino all finding the back of the net.

“It was a very disappointing result after our solid team performance yesterday,” head coach Mark Hager said.

“Argentina’s strikers really hurt us today which highlights why they are regarded as some of the world’s best.”

Striker Michaela Curtis brought up her 50th test for New Zealand during the match.

The Vantage Black Sticks have a rest day tomorrow ahead of the fifth and final test against Argentina at 10:00am (NZ time) on Wednesday.


ARGENTINA: 5 (Rocio Sanchez, Magdalena Fernandez, Julieta Jankunas, Sofia Toccalino, Delfina Merino)
Halftime: Argentina 2-0

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Women's Black Sticks suffer heavy 5-0 defeat to Argentina

Striker Michaela Curtis made her 50th appearance for New Zealand, in their 5-0 loss to Argentina. PHOTOSPORT

The New Zealand women's Black Sticks have lost their five-test series against Argentina.

The hosts comfortably won the fourth match of the series 5-0, in Buenos Aires, to take an unassailable 3-1 lead, ahead of the final test on Wednesday.

Argentina, the world's third-ranked side, scored almost immediately through Rocio Sanchez, before Magdalena Fernandez added a second goal in just the 13th minute.

A strong passage of play starting late in the third quarter saw the hosts add a further three goals in the space of six minutes, with Julieta Jankunas, Sofia Toccalino and Delfina Merino all finding the back of the net.

New Zealand are ranked fourth in the world, but couldn't manage a repeat of Sunday's 3-2 win.

"It was a very disappointing result after our solid team performance yesterday," Black Sticks head coach Mark Hager said.

"Argentina's strikers really hurt us today, which highlights why they are regarded as some of the world's best."


2018 Test Matches USA v CAN (W) - 4th test
California (USA)

USA - CAN 3 - 3

Canada wins the 4 Test Series 2-1

FIH Match Centre

No tourney for buddies

By Aftar Singh

Country first: Friends Fitri Saari (left) and Gonzalo Peillat will be on opposing sides in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

KUALA LUMPUR: Fitri Saari and Gonzalo Peillat are friends and teammates in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL). But, they will turn foes at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh from March 3-10.

While midfielder Fitri will be out to add bite to Malaysia’sattack, Peillat – the world’s top penalty corner specialist – will be strutting his stuff for Argentina in the six-nation tournament.

Fitri formed an exciting combination with Peillat for Terengganu in the MHL this year.

The Argentinian defender played a big role in Terengganu’s Premier Division league success in his MHL debut and even bagged the top scorer award with 16 goals.

Fitri said helooked forward to playing against his accomplished Terengganu teammate.

“He’s a great player and friend but I’ll be playing against him in Ipoh. It’ll be a challenge for the national team to stop him from scoring goals from his powerful drag flicks,” said Fitri, who has 103 international caps.

The 25-year-old Peillat has featured 130 times for Argentina and scored a whopping 150 goals. He netted 11 goals in Argentina’s gold-medal winning campaign in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The Star of Malaysia

Pakistan Probables for National Hockey Camp Announced

The training camp for the national hockey team for the Commonwealth Games, to be held  in Gold Coast, Australia from 4th to 15th April, will be established at the Abdul Sattar Edhi Hockey Stadium, Karachi from 01 March.

Chief Selector Islahuddin announced the names of the following 32 probables who have been directed to report on February 28  to the manager of the Pakistan team Hassan Sardar.

Imran Butt, Mazhar Abbas, Amjad Ali, M.Irfan Sr, Faisal Qadir, Mubashar Ali, Aleem Bilal, Tazeemul Hassan, Ammad Shakeel Butt, Abubakr Mahmood, Tauseeq Arshad, M.Rizwan Sr, Shafqat Rasool, Dilbar, Shan Irshad, M.Irfan Jr, Rana Sohail, Ateeq Arshad, Samiullah, Azfar Yaqoob, Ali Shan, Ajaz Ahmad, Arslan Qadir, Shajeeh Ahmad, Umar Bhutta, M.Rizwan Jr, Atif Mushtaq, Umar Hamdi, Taimoor Malik, Tasawwar Abbas, Khizer & Junaid Kamal

PHF Media release

Wanderers defeated in final match of Women’s EuroHockey Indoor Club Cup

Dundee Wanderers lost their final match of Women’s EuroHockey Indoor Club Cup against HC Rotweiss Wettingen. The result means Scotland has lost its place in the top women’s indoor tournament and will play for promotion next season.

Wanderers attacked from the opening of the match but a defensive error cost them early in the contest. A loose pass across the back by Wanderers was picked up by the Wettingen press and Stephanie Walti scored the opener to take advantage of the error.

Another defensive error provided Karin Bugmann with the chance to double the lead, she squeezed the ball home to make it 2-0 for Wettingen.

Wanderers continued to play positively but a swift counter attack for Wettingen saw Jessica Aebi put the ball into an unguarded goal for 3-0

There was a fourth a short time later when the ball was slipped under Carmin Dow in the Wanderers goal by Raffaela Triebold to make it 4-0.

A penalty corner was struck low into the bottom left corner by Walti to make it 5-0 with two minutes of the half to play. Her second goal of the match.

The second half didn’t produce the goals of the first, but there was no less entertainment as both sides went out to try and dominate.

The half was a terrific game played at speed and with a commitment to attack from both sides.

Wettingen had the best of the chances and shot narrowly wide of the target on a couple of occasions.

With just seconds remaining Aebi scored the game’s final goal and a sixth for Wettingen. She squeezed a penalty corner strike through the goalkeeper’s legs for a comprehensive victory in Women’s EuroHockey Indoor Club Cup.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Andrew hat-trick helps Beeston

Gareth Andrew celebrates the second of his three goals against Canterbury. Credit David Kissman

A hat-trick from Gareth Andrew helped Beeston beat Canterbury 6-3 in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Sunday – and keep the pressure on leaders Surbiton.

With Surbiton’s match at Reading being postponed on Saturday night due to a frozen pitch, second-placed Beeston took full advantage and closed the gap to just one point, although the leaders do have a game in hand.

Andrew completed his hat-trick in the first half, and with Richard Lawrence also scoring they were 4-3 ahead at half time, with James Oates, Craig Boyne and Michal Nowakowski scoring for bottom of the table Canterbury.

But after the break Beeston dug in and extended their lead thanks to goals from Lucas Garcia Alcade and Robbie Gleeson.

There were also plenty of goals at Brooklands MU as they took on fellow strugglers Sevenoaks and ran out 8-4 winners.

The goal scoring started with Peter Flanagan’s strike on 10 minutes and the floodgates opened with Brooklands 4-1 up at the break thanks to a second from Flanagan and contributions from Richard Slater and Peter Cornell. Tim Warrington scored for Sevenoaks to pull one back.

There were more goals in the second half with a brace from David Flanagan and efforts from Ross Hall and Thomas Lush clinching the win for Brooklands, while Mike Barber, Tom Samuel and Andrew Ross scored for Sevenoaks.

Reading being out of action gave Hampstead & Westminster the chance to push into the play-off place but their 3-2 defeat at Holcombe put paid to that.

Nicholas Bandurak, Daniel Webster and Matthew Rees-Gibbs were the scorers for Holcombe while Chris Cargo and Matt Guise Brown scored consolation goals for Hampstead.

Wimbledon boosted their play-off ambitions with a 4-1 win over East Grinstead. Peter Small, Ben Arnold, Iain Lewers and Ed Horler scored their goals with Ashley Jackson on target for East Grinstead.

Men’s Conference East

A goal with two minutes from the end from Will Anderton helped West Herts secure their first league win of the season, beating relegation rivals Chichester 2-1.

Callum Till had given them the lead just before half time, and although Luke Emmett levelled for Chichester, West Herts hit back to cling on to their hopes of avoiding the drop.

At the other end of the table, leaders Oxted were 2-1 winners at Richmond with Andy Cornick and Sam Driver scoring their goals.

Second-placed Southgate also had a good away win, beating Old Georgians 2-0 with Giulio Ferrini and Simeon Bird scoring their goals early in the second half.

Elsewhere, Brighton & Hove edged to a 3-2 win over Old Loughtonians, while Teddington were 5-2 winners against Cambridge City, with Chris Seddon and Andrew Pett scoring two each.

Men’s Conference West

Isca gave their survival chances a boost in the Conference West with a shock 5-0 defeat of third-placed University of Birmingham.

John Wright tucked away two penalty strokes and also converted from a penalty corner to complete a hat-trick. Ben Crocker had opened the scoring after just three minutes and Dave King scored Isca’s other. They are now on 11 points, five points above Cheltenham who lost 6-2 at Olton & West Warwicks.

Cardiff & Met kept the pressure on the leaders the University of Exeter with a 2-0 win over Team Bath Buccaneers, Ioan Wall and Callum Stanley both on target.

The University of Exeter are four points clear after beating Fareham 4-2, while Clifton Robinsons are still bottom after a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Havant.

Men’s Conference North

It’s tight at the bottom of the Men’s Conference North with only five points separating the bottom six teams.

A 4-0 win over Cannock saw Doncaster jump from ninth to sixth in the table, goals coming from Daniel West, Jonathan Powell, Andrew Appleton and Josh Pettinger.

At the other end of the table the University of Nottingham remain five points clear after a 3-1 defeat of hosts Leeds.

Bowdon are second on goal difference after beating Deeside Ramblers 2-0, while Loughborough Students are third after a 4-2 win at Sheffield Hallam. In the day’s other match, the University of Durham beat bottom club Preston 4-0.

England Hockey Board Media release

Holcombe put dent in H&W’s playoff hopes in England

©: Frank Uijlenbroek/world Sport Pics

Holcombe put a big dent in Hampstead & Westminster's playoff hopes in England when they ran up a 3-2 win against the Londoners

Nicholas Bandurak, Daniel Webster and Matthew Rees-Gibbs were the scorers for Holcombe while Chris Cargo and Matt Guise Brown scored consolation goals for Hampstead.

Wimbledon boosted their play-off ambitions with a 4-1 win over East Grinstead. Peter Small, Ben Arnold, Iain Lewers and Ed Horler scored their goals with Ashley Jackson on target for East Grinstead.

A hat-trick from Gareth Andrew helped Beeston beat Canterbury 6-3on Sunday and keep the pressure on leaders Surbiton.

With Surbiton’s match at Reading being postponed on Saturday night due to a frozen pitch, second-placed Beeston took full advantage and closed the gap to just one point, although the leaders do have a game in hand.

Andrew completed his hat-trick in the first half, and with Richard Lawrence also scoring they were 4-3 ahead at half time, with James Oates, Craig Boyne and Michal Nowakowski scoring for bottom of the table Canterbury.

But after the break Beeston dug in and extended their lead thanks to goals from Lucas Garcia Alcade and Robbie Gleeson.

Euro Hockey League media release

Irish Mens EYHL Weekend Round Up

Mark English gave Railway Union’s hopes of avoiding relegation from the men’s EY Hockey League a huge boost as he fired home the winner against Cookstown at Park Avenue.It moved them level with the Co Tyrone side on points – but several goals back on goal difference – setting up a big battle between them over their last six games to decide who goes into the relegation playoff spot and who goes straight down.

Will Fernandez and Ryan Millar exchanged first-half goals before Simon McKeever put Railway in front. Stu Smyth equalised with 10 minutes to go before English reversed into the top corner.

At the top, Glenanne moved an extra couple of points clear, moving into a massive 10-point lead over Lisnagarvey. Shane O’Donoghue scored two penalty corners to put the Glens into the winner’s enclosure against Annadale before Peter Caruth’s goal late in the game made for a few nervous moments. The Tallaght side held on for a 2-1 success.

Chasers Garvey came unstuck by a Julian Dale wonder goal for Cork C of I, tying the game at 3-3. The Ulster side led three times with Daniel Nelson and Daniel Buser seeing their goals annulled by John Jermyn drag-flicks – building his total to five in three games.

Matthew Nelson put Garvey in front yet again at 3-2 but Dale showed an array of 3D skills to take in a Jermyn long ball and then lob James Milliken for 3-3 with five minutes to go.In mid-table,

Banbridge scored three times in the last quarter to beat Pembroke 3-1 at Havelock Park. Pembroke went in front via Alan Sothern’s corner flick in the third quarter but a pair of Philip Brown goals in quick succession turned things around before Jonny McKee completed the win in the last few seconds.

Monkstown vs Three Rock Rovers was canceled due to the funeral of Michael Darling, father of Irish Olympian Mitch. Rovers are due to play Railway Union in a back match on Thursday, weather permitting.

EY Hockey League: Annadale 1 (P Caruth) Glenanne 2 (S O’Donoghue 2); Banbridge 3 (Ph Brown 2, J McKee) Pembroke Wanderers 1 (A Sothern); Cork C of I 3 (J Jermyn 2, J Dale) Lisnagarvey 3 (D Nelson, D Buser, M Nelson); Railway Union 3 (W Fernandez, S McKeever, M English) Cookstown 2 (R Millar, S Smyth)

Extended day 14 match reports

Railway Union 3 (W Fernandez, S McKeever, M English) Cookstown 2 (R Millar, S Smyth)

The battle to avoid automatic relegation looks set to go down to the wire as Mark English’s top corner reverse earned Railway Union their second win of the campaign. It moves them level with Cookstown on six points, six points away from eighth placed Cork C of I in the safety zone.

They led three times with the third time proving vital. Willie Fernandez opened the scoring in the second quarter when he deflected in English’s cross. Ryan Millar tied the game up for Cookstown before half-time.

Simon McKeever finished off a nice Railway corner routine to retake the lead, giving the Dubliners a 2-1 lead going into the final quarter. Stu Smyth’s drag-flick tied it up at 2-2 with 10 minutes to go, setting up a frantic closing phase with Cookstown enjoying plenty of ball.

In that endgame, English produced the moment of quality from mid-circle to record a crucial victory. It means the two sides have a straight dogfight to avoid the drop over the next six games.

Annadale 1 (P Caruth) Glenanne 2 (S O’Donoghue 2)

Shane O’Donoghue’s penalty corner double moves Glenanne ever closer to the men’s EY Hockey League title as they survived a late scare to win in Ulster for a second successive week.

The Olympian made the breakthrough from his side’s fourth corner after Johnny Moore and David Smyth kept out earlier efforts off the line. O’Donoghue repeated the dose early in the second half for a lead they carried into the final quarter.

Dale did summon a strong second half fightback and they got right back into the mix when player-coach Peter Caruth with 16 minutes to go. They hit the post from a final second corner, too, which led to yet another set piece but Iain Walker saved it away to secure three more points.

With results elsewhere, Glenanne move 10 points clear of Lisnagarvey. Garvey have two games in hand but the league title is now out of their own hands even if they win all their remaining ties.

Cork C of I 3 (J Jermyn 2, J Dale) Lisnagarvey 3 (D Nelson, D Buser, M Nelson)

Julian Dale added another collector’s item goal to his growing set to earn Cork C of I a third successive draw. In so doing, they punctured Lisnagarvey’s hopes of reeling in Glenanne at the top of the table.

Garvey had led three times, moving in front via Daniel Nelson in the 10th minute. Dale won a corner which John Jermyn ripped home past James Milliken for 1-1 at half-time in a closely fought tie with the visitors holding slightly more of the ball.

Daniel Buser restored the Garvey lead in the 41st minute with a sliding touch from the right of the circle. Jermyn repeated the trick to make it 2-2 – his fifth goal in three games – but Garvey had the lead yet again with 10 minutes left when Matthew Nelson was on the mark.

Then came Dale’s moment; Jermyn was his foil once again with a long overhead, the striker took the ball in mid-air and flicked it over his shoulder and lobbed Milliken in the one movement.

It earns a draw which moves C of I six points clear of the relegation playoff place. For Garvey, it now takes the league out of their hands. They trail Glenanne – who they meet in the title run-in – by 10 points now with two games in hand.

Banbridge 3 (Ph Brown 2, J McKee) Pembroke Wanderers 1 (A Sothern)

Banbridge struck three times in the closing quarter to come from behind to beat Pembroke 3-1 and make a significant move toward the top half of the table.

Bann dictated the first quarter, winning a trio of corners but could not make full use of them with Mark Ingram holding firm. Pembroke replied in kind in the second quarter, running up a couple of corners which Gareth Lennox dealt with, leaving the game scoreless at half-time.

Against the run of play in the third quarter, Pembroke went ahead from their first real attack of note with Alan Sothern flicking in from a set piece. He was close to getting a touch to Kirk Shimmins’ cross early in the final quarter.

Philip Brown equalised from a drag-flick just inside the left upright and he put the Co Down side in front with a couple of minutes when a penalty corner was upgraded to a stroke. He sent Ingram the wrong way for 2-1.

Pembroke withdrew their keeper, seeking to repeat the trick of last week when they snatched a last minute equaliser. It almost paid off as Sothern had a chance on the reverse but Philip Brown blocked the chance. In the aftermath, Jonny McKee scored into an empty net in the closing seconds to make it 3-1.

Bann remain in sixth place but close the gap to fifth placed Pembroke to one point

Irish Hockey Association media release

Loreto knock Railway off track; UCD fight back at Lurgan

Siofra O’Brien’s early goal proved enough for Loreto to join Pegasus and UCD in the Irish Senior Cup semi-finals while Belfast Harlequins advanced to the quarters.

Against Loreto, Railway’s best chance came in the opening minutes when Alannah Carragher blocked a close-range flick chance with the rebound going wide.

From there, the Beaufort side had the better of the openings in an end-to-end tie between two well matched sides who drew both of their leagues this term.

Ali Meeke was a driving force throughout and she played a crucial role in the goal, showing some nice skills before setting up O’Brien for a tap in. Grace O’Flanagan made some key saves to limit the damage in the rest of the first half.

In the second half, Kate McKenna went wide with a great chance while Carragher made a couple of good saves but Loreto were not subject to sustained pressure and they very nearly made the game safe when Sarah Evans’ touch to a cross went just wide.

The insurance goal was not required, however, and Paul Fitzpatrick’s side were through to the final four.

UCD, meanwhile, overcame a scare as they were made to hustle by Ulster Premier League side Lurgan as the slower sand-based pitch and the absence of Leah McGuire through injury and Deirdre Duke, Sorcha Clarke and Katherine Egan for exams made for a close-run tie.

Emma Russell did return while Katie Mullan played after a nasty cut last week and sported several stitches. They fell behind very early on from a corner which Clodagh Cassin saved initially but Emma Lindsay cleaned up the rebound.

From there, UCD piled on the pressure and got level in the 20th minute when Ellen Curran’s shot was half-cleared and Jane O’Brien picked up the pieces.

It took until eight minutes from the end before Mullan affected a superb turnover in the D and Emma Russell applied a powerful finish. Sarah Robinson completed the win in the last few minutes from a corner rebound.

Belfast Harlequins finally made it through to the last eight when they got the better of Pembroke 2-1 thanks to goals from Jenna Watt and Abigail Edwards. They will play Cork Harlequins on March 25 in the last eight.

Indoors, Ards’ lack of match practice in 2018 – with just a one-day blitz to win in Ulster and then two games on the national stage – showed as they finished eighth in Prague at the EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy. It means they will be relegated

Mossley completed the line-up for the Irish Hockey Trophy semi-finals with a shoot-out win over Cork C of I; NUIG are the first side into the Challenge final with a 3-0 win over NICS.

In the Irish Junior Cup, there were more shoot-outs with C of I getting the wins this time in Belfast with victory over Ulster Elks. It puts them into the semi-final. UCD wait in the final after they won a shoot-out at Loreto.

Railway will face C of I in the other semi-final on March 18 at Park Avenue.

Women’s Irish Senior Cup – quarter-finals: Lurgan 1 (E Lindsay) UCD 3 (J O’Brien, E Russell, S Robinson); Railway Union 0 Loreto 1 (S O’Brien)

Round 2: Belfast Harlequins 2 (J Watt, A Edwards) Pembroke Wanderers 1 (H O’Donnell)

Irish Hockey Trophy – quarter final: Mossley 1 Cork Church of Ireland 1 (A Roberts), Mossley won shoot-out 3-1

Irish Junior Cup, quarter-final: Ulster Elks 2 (K McFarland, J Hallen) Cork C of I 2 (A O’Mahony 2), C of I won shoot-out 4-3
Semi-final: Loreto 1 (R McCullough) UCD 1 (J O’Brien), UCD win shoot-out 3-1;

Irish Hockey Challenge, semi-final: NUIG 3 NICS 0

The Hook

Uniten’s Surizan wants birthday gift in form of trophy

KUALA LUMPUR: National midfielder Surizan Awang Noh wants her 24th birthday to be extra special.

The Sabahan has vowed to help PKS Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten)-KPT win their first silverware in the National Women’s Hockey League today – on the eve of her birthday. They face Penang Juniors at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Surizan is back to lead Uniten after serving a one-match suspension against MSN Kedah on Saturday for collecting two yellow cards in previous matches.

After featuring in the women’s league for the last four years, she is excited about the prospect of holding the league trophy for the first time.

“We’re just one match away from lifting our title tomorrow (today) and we’re optimistic that nothing is going to stop us from achieving it,” said Surizan, who has scored three goals so far.

“We outplayed Penang Juniors (7-1) in the first round and we’re confident of another big win over them.

“It’ll be nice to lift the trophy one day before my 24th birthday. It also feels good that we don’t need the services of foreign players to come this far.

“Winning the league title will be a good boost for Uniten as we’re eyeing the overall Cup next week,” said the Kota Belud lass, who is the fourth child among 10 siblings.

Uniten and Blue Warriors are tied on 27 points from 11 matches but the university team lead the standings with a better goal difference.

Blue Warriors face a tough match against last year’s double champions Terengganu Ladies at Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium in Kuala Terengganu.

The top four teams – Uniten, Blue Warriors, Terengganu Ladies and KL Wipers – will feature in the overall Cup.

The semi-finals will be played on Wednesday and the final is slated for Friday.

The Star of Malaysia

MJHL: Division Three poser

Jugjet Singh

MALAYSIAN Hockey Confederation (MHC) competitions committee, in its last meeting, had decided to have a three division Junior Hockey League (JHL) this season.

However, due to lack of entries, as many teams opted out -- the Competitions Committee decided to only hold a two division tournament.

A few Competitions Committee members are baffled with the decision, as their last meeting was held on June 10, and even this year's JHL rules had a three division tournament (to be created).

"So who decided to revoke the earlier decision, as the MHC Competitions Committee has not met since the last meeting in June 10, 2017?," questioned a member of the committee who declined to be named.

Competitions Committee manager Brian Fernandez said: "We could not hold a three division tournament because of lack of entries, and also the JHL will take a break for the National Under-16, as well as the Youth Olympics to allow players from some teams to represent their states as well as the country.

"Due to the prolonged tournament, it was decided that the JHL will not be held on a three division format as agreed earlier."

When asked the date of their last meeting, Brian said it was sometime last year but he could not remember the month or date.

"It was last year, but I can't remember the exact month or date. The information is in my office and I can only check it on Monday," said Brian.

The Competitions Committee chairman is George Koshy, and a member said the last meeting he attended was in June 10, last year.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

When the legendary Dhyan Chand stood in a queue to a watch hockey

At his best, Dhyan Chand had the world queueing up to watch his wizardry with the hockey stick but the politics of Indian sports once forced him to queue up for a ticket to watch the sport he defined, a new book has claimed.

Olympic gold-medallist and former captain Gurbux Singh, in his autobiography titled "My Golden Days", has shed fresh light on the legend of India's greatest athlete, whose birth anniversary is celebrated as the National Sports Day.

The anecdotes include Dhyan Chand's love for fishing and cooking, the hockey politics of 1960s and 70s, and the well-documented decline of Indian hockey.

It was during the 1962 Ahmedabad Internationals, the tussle between National Institute of Sports (NIS) Patiala and Indian Hockey Federation had come to fore and Dhyan Chand ended up bearing the brunt of it despite being a serving chief coach.

Dhyan Chand was then the chief coach at NIS Patiala and travelled to Ahmedabad with his trainees to watch the tournament, a one-off meet organised by the first Inspector General of Police of Gujarat, JD Nagarvala, the former chairman of selectors.

"He was not given admission card. A person like Dhyan Chand was compelled to stand in queue with his wards at every match to buy tickets. It was sickening," Gurbux describes in the book. "He was very fond of fishing," Gurbux writes remembering an incident when he placed his huge fishing rod at the airport to everyone's surprise. He would quietly sit in his shorts and cook his catch. He would call his friends and share his cooking," he fondly remembers.

Describing Dhyan Chand as a complete player, Gurbux writes: "Balbir Singh Sr probably is the greatest scorer that India has ever produced. KD Singh Babu was probably the greatest distributor and dribbler of the ball. What about Dhyan Chand then? Then answer is simple: He was the most complete player. A fine scorer also, maybe not as great as Balbir Sr, but Balbir Sr was no distributor. The greatest, most complete player was Dhyan Chand."

Remembering his first close interaction with 'Dada Dhyan Chand', he writes: "It was in 1955, when I turned out for Freshers' Club and played regular matches against Punjab Regiment managed by Dhyan Chand. I was asked by Dhyan Chand to play for them in Delhi and I appeared for Punjab Regiment against Indian Railways," the former India captain recalls.

"I could witness the genius of Dhyan Chand in the camp held at Patiala in 1959... His complete mastery of the bully and his half-volley was something that naked eye could not catch the movement," he writes as he goes on to profile 27 other greats.

The book also has a rare collection of photographs, including of a match between India and England at the backdrop of the iconic Lord's balcony in a 1967 pre-Olympic meet, which was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II.

The book begins with the Tokyo Olympics 1964 when India reclaimed the gold medal from Pakistan in what Singh describes as the "second golden era" that went on till the Asian Games triumph in 1968 before the game's gradual decline.

The recognition for Gurbux, a full-back who led India to the 1966 Asian Games gold, came in 1967 when he was awarded the Arjuna. "I was given third class fare from Kolkata to Delhi and received the award from Zakir Hussain. There was no money, it was just the award and the certificate. We did not even get a blazer or tie then. I'm not complaining but this was the time when we played," he says.

"I'm very lucky to see 50 years of hockey from close quarters. First as a player, then a manager, coach and journalist. This is just a sincere effort," he concludes.

Daily News & Analysis

Hockey Association of Malawi president Gill dies

Hockey Association of Malawi (HAM) president Tochi Tarlochan Gill is no more, he died on February 24 2018 in India after battling with a heart problem for over two years.

Chipambano Mbewe

Gill: No more

HAM Administration Manager Benjamin Chaura confirmed to Nyasa Times that Tochi Gill who served as HAM president for morethan 35 years developed a heart problem in 2016 and since then he has been in and out of hospital in India.

According to Chaura he described Gill’s death as a big blow to the whole hockey family as he was a pillar of the sport who gave his life to serve hockey in Malawi.

“This is a sad development to us and as HAM we will miss his dedicated services to the sport because he devoted his life to hockey and at times he used his personal resources to support the association.

“He was very influential in not only to hockey but to the community as a whole. Honestly, hockey has lost a very humble, loving and selfless person and there will never be another person like him in the history
of hockey,” said Chaura.

He added that the hockey fratenity will remember Tochi Gill as a godfather of hockey who under his leadership helped to make the sport known in the country.

In December 2017 Tochi Gill won as the president  again after he went unopposed and he won the seat while in absential during the HAM Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Mpira Village in Chiwembe, Blantyre.

Before he joined hockey mainstream administration Tochi Gill played for Indian Hockey Sports Club where he helped the team to win more trophies.

He was born and grown in Malawi over 60 years ago but his parents were originated from India.

Gill  is survived by two children.

The Nyasa Times

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