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News for 22 October 2018

All the news for Monday 22 October 2018

Men's Hero Asian Champions Trophy 2018 - Day 4
Muscat (OMA)

Result 21 October

IND v JPN (RR)     9 - 0
Fixtures 22 October (GMT +4)

18:55     MAS v KOR (RR)
21:10     OMA v PAK (RR)

Pool standings

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 India 3 3 0 0 23 1 22 9
2 Malaysia 2 2 0 0 6 1 5 6
3 Pakistan 2 1 0 1 4 4 0 3
4 Japan 3 1 0 2 2 12 -10 3
5 Korea 2 0 0 2 1 5 -4 0
6 Oman 2 0 0 2 1 14 -13 0

FIH Match Centre

India outplay Asian Games champions Japan 9-0 to head standings

Defending Champions register third consecutive victory at the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Muscat 2018

MUSCAT: Six Indian players made entries on the scoresheet as title holders India outplayed Japan 9-0 in the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Muscat 2018 at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex here on Sunday.

Strikers Lalit Upadhyay and Mandeep Singh scored two goals each, while drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh converted a penalty stroke and a penalty corner to lead the Indian challenge.

Upadhyay opened the Indian scoring in the fourth minute with a diving deflection and again got into goal-scoring action in the 45th minute for his double, while Harmanpreet converted a penalty stroke in the 17th minute and then sounded the boards with a low penalty corner shot in the 21st.

As Japan’s defence was swept away by the Indian raids, Mandeep Singh capitalised on two openings in the last quarter – in the 49th and 57th minutes.

Japan’s goalkeeper Takashi Yoshikawa was injured in the eighth minute when he blocked Harmanpreet’s penalty corner shot, only for the ball to rebound to Gurjant, who picked flicked it in. Thereafter, reserve Yusuke Takano had to bear the thrust of the Indian attack.

Boosting the Indian challenge were a goal each from Akashdeep Singh (36th) and  Sumit (42nd).

With their third successive victory, India lead the six-team event’s league standings with a maximum nine points from three outings, followed by Malaysia on six points from two games.

Pakistan have three points from two matches, while Japan are on three points in three games. South Korea and Oman have lost both their matches.

Indian coach Harendra Singh was pleased by his team had executing the game-plan. “The way we played was good. We played to a plan and did not allow Japan’s team to play in a certain manner,” said Harendra.

Japan’s coach Siegfried Aikman said India were too strong to be contained in this contest. “We tried our level best, but they were very strong today. We were below the level as India sparkled with their speed, agility and hard-press game,” said Aikman.

Asian Hockey Federation media release

Ruthless India blank Asiad champions Japan 9-0, but questions persist over penalty corner conversion

Sundeep Misra

India have won each of their three matches at the Asian Champions Trophy 2018 so far. Image: Twitter/ @News18Sports

India’s road to redemption for the ‘sins of Jakarta’ continued as they mauled Asian Games champions Japan 9-0 at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat. In their last meeting at the Asian Games in Jakarta, India had whipped Japan 8-0 before imploding against Malaysia in the semi-finals. At the Champions Trophy on Sunday, Japan gave India their third consecutive win in as many matches. Even though the Japanese had brought in a few young players, India’s domination through the four quarters gave hardly any room to the opposition to experiment with a different structure or even try and keep the scoreline down. Lalit Upadhyay, Harmanpreet Singh and Mandeep Singh scored a brace each with Gurjant Singh, Kothajit and Akashdeep Singh rounding off the tally.

In their last ten matches against Japan, India are yet to lose a game. The closest Japan have run India has been the 3-4 scoreline at the 2017 Azlan Shah where the Japanese had the lead before a hat-trick by Mandeep gave India a 4-3 victory and the closest after that was a 2-1 win in a Test match. India’s biggest win in the last ten games was the 10-2 margin at the Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan when they won the title.

With the Champions Trophy a lead-up to the World Cup in just over a month, victories are the foundation on which India aim to build a campaign for the Bhubaneswar World Cup. That style, aggression, and intent were visible against the Japanese, even though the opposition, despite their being the Asian Games Champions, wasn’t the quality that Indian coach Harendra Singh would be too impressed with. Yet, for him, it’s always getting the goals that set the pace and rhythm. The midfield was a little more open than what they were against Pakistan who had the ball players to exploit gaps in the Indian midriff.

Japan were largely beaten on pace, skill, and subterfuge. Coach Siegfried Aikman was honest enough in his assessment that playing against India required every skill to stand out. “But give them space and they will finish you off,” he said. India rattled Japan early on by breaking through early with Mandeep’s strong run and perfect hit just missing out on Lalit’s stick. But not for long as Akashdeep, the man-of-the-match, stretched the Japanese before his cross was deflected in superbly by Lalit for India to lead 1-0. It was difficult for Japan from this stage on and not because India had the early goal. The Indians played almost three steps up, pushing Japan constantly on the back-foot. The Asian Games champions did try and create openings around their right flank but India constantly created turn-overs with three players cutting off the passes. India’s second goal came in the 8th minute off their first penalty corner and Gurjant was in the perfect spot to pick up the Harmanpreet Singh flick that rebounded off the Japanese goalkeeper Yoshikawa Takashi.

Japan’s coach Aikman knew what was in store. The Dutchman brought in players, created a six-man defensive unit and ensured India didn’t have further success in the first Quarter. Akashdeep, Mandeep and Dilpreet had their chances but the ball refused to cross the goal-line.

Meanwhile, Akashdeep found his rhythm. He moved in from either flank, creating havoc outside and inside the striking circle. Akashdeep created so much space that even with 7-8 defenders, Japan found it tough to tackle and mark the Indians. In one particular move, Akashdeep moved from the right flank onto the left and then cut in before seeing his flick go past the post. Yet, India kept individual play to the minimum, moving in fast using speed and dodge rather than the dribble.

India got the third goal off a stroke that led in from a penalty corner with the rebound hammered in by Manpreet Singh which seemed to go off the defender's head-guard. The stroke was converted by Harmanpreet Singh. And then in the 21st minute, Harman got his second goal of the match with a perfectly timed flick. India led 4-0 at the break. Even though possession was marginally in favour of India, they had 11 shots at the Japanese goal and 18 circle entries to Japan’s six, most of which came at the end of the second Quarter.

The third quarter was mixed for India. In terms of goals, it was their most rewarding with three but they also had a yellow card shown to Dilpreet who had to sit out for ten minutes. It’s a warning for the player and the management to make them understand that shoulder shoves and barging result in cards. India though had enough quality to ensure they didn’t suffer from just ten men on the pitch.

India had their 5th goal off Akashdeep who waded into a melee, prised out the ball and flicked it in. And then Hardik Singh created one for Akashdeep who gave it to Kothajit to slam in for goal No 6. Surender, meanwhile, itching to move up, finally got his moment with a lovely cross which found the edge of Lalit’s outstretched stick. India’s possession had increased to 63 percent and they already had 24 circle entries with 17 shots at goal. Japan had two shots at goal.

Dilpreet was back in the 4th quarter. India had their 5th penalty corner as Harmanpreet sold a dummy with a deft parallel pass to Varun whose flick was low and the rebound off the goalkeeper was hammered in by Mandeep. India led 8-0. It was here that Japan had two PCs and they lost the opportunity to at least get a consolation goal. Sumit, trying to forge a few moves through a crowded Japanese defence, did find a goal but was over-ruled by the video umpire for dangerous play. In the 57th minute, Jarmanpreet created a move from the flank where his cross found Indian captain Manpreet and the powerful hit was deflected in by Mandeep. Nine points from three matches before that big game against Malaysia would ensure India slept well.

India have scored 23 goals and conceded one. But what would make Harendra positive is that between Mandeep and Dilpreet, the duo have nine goals which augurs well when it comes to strikers being in form. More than the goals, it is their positional strength that is finally getting them the shots at goal. Penalty corners are still the main area of worry. Nothing looks better than a well-executed, drilled in penalty corner. Harmanpreet did have a brace against Japan, a stroke and a PC but the fluency is slightly awry. And neither has Varun really owned the flick. It could be tactical but with a man like Chris Ciriello in that position, India should look forward to a better PC drill.

For Harendra, victories are tonic, more like spreadsheets over which he endlessly pores trying to understand the dynamics of the match. It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to think that in the consistency and simplicity that he strives for, improving the last-ball finesse of the Indian forwards will be another priority area for him.


Experimental Japan experience the heat of young India

s2h team

Experimental Japan experience the heat of young Indians at Asian Champions Trophy. Both teams are young and experimenting, yet the young Indian team at Muscat could maintain the awe-inspiring show that their Jakarta counterparts set in. With rhythmic attacks, goals came for at regular intervals for the defending Champions India against the Asian Games Gold medallists.

Manpreet Singh's energy, Akashdeep Singh's athleticism and every other's precise game ensured India secure 9-0 win over Japan that has half a dozen new faces on the international arena.

All that Japan could do was to get two consecutive penalty corners in the entire match while India, besides sharp in the shooting circle, converted three of the five penalty corners too.

Attacking from the word go, India piled up goals at regular intervals, though some of the missing may not have escaped the goal-hungry Harendra Singh, the Indian coach.

Mandeep Singh started the goal spree as early as fourth minute, and then added two more in the last quarter. Interestingly, India struck two goals when played with a man less -- Dilpreet Singh was yellow carded -- in the third quarter.

Harmanpreet converted easily a stroke that came after a rebound off penalty corner was tackled bodily by a defender. Shortly later, he placed his flick to the left corner to add another feather in his cap.

Akashdeep Singh was in the thick of things, much like his captain Manpreet Singh.

Mandeep Field Goal 1 - 0
Gurjant Field Goal 2 - 0
Harmanpreet Penalty Stroke 3 - 0
Harmanpreet Penalty Corner 4 - 0
Akashdeep Field Goal 5 - 0
SUMIT Field Goal 6 - 0
UPADHYAY Lalit Field Goal 7 - 0
Mandeep Penalty Corner 8 - 0
Mandeep Field Goal 9 - 0


Rampaging India hammer Asian Games champions Japan 9-0

The Indian men’s hockey team put up a clinical performance against Japan, demolishing the Asiad gold-medallists 9-0 for its third win in as many matches at the Hero Asian Champions Trophy here.

As many as six Indian players made entries on the score-sheet on Sunday night in a dominating show that reaffirmed their supremacy in Asia and showed that the below-par Asian Games performance was an aberration. 
With their third successive win, India lead the six-team event’s league standings with a maximum nine points, followed by Malaysia on six points from two games.

Strikers Lalit Upadhyay and Mandeep Singh scored two goals each, while drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh converted a penalty stroke and a penalty corner to lead the goal-fest.
Upadhyay opened the Indian scoring in the fourth minute with a diving deflection and again got into the action in the 45th minute for his double, while Harmanpreet converted a penalty stroke in the 17th minute and then sounded the board with a low penalty corner shot in the 21st minute.

As Japan’s defence was swept away by the Indian raids, Mandeep Singh capitalised on two openings in the last quarter--in the 49th and 57th minutes.

Japan’s goalkeeper Takashi Yoshikawa was injured in the eighth minute when he blocked Harmanpreet’s penalty corner shot, only for the ball to rebound to Gurjant, who flicked it in. Thereafter, reserve Yusuke Takano had to bear the brunt of the Indian attack.

Indian coach Harendra Singh was pleased by his team’s ruthless performance.

“The way we played was good. We played to a plan and did not allow Japan’s team to play in a certain manner,” said Harendra.

The game also saw a goal each from Akashdeep Singh (36th) and Sumit (42nd).

On the points table, Pakistan have three points from two matches, while Japan are on three points in three games. South Korea and Oman have lost both their matches.

Japan coach Siegfried Aikman said India were too strong to be contained in this contest.

“We tried our level best, but they were very strong. We were below the level as India sparkled with their speed, agility and hard-press game,” said Aikman.

The Tribune

India on rampage, rout Asiad champs Japan 9-0

Akashdeep Singh was adjudged Man of the Match against Japan on Sunday. AHF

The Indian men’s hockey team responded to its coach’s demand for better finishing with a 9-0 hammering of Asian Games champions Japan, making it three wins out of three in the Asian Champions Trophy here today.

After India’s 3-1 win over Pakistan yesterday, coach Harendra Singh had said he was concerned with “our finishing”. “We missed a few chances. We are taking too much time to make decisions. That’s where we need to sharpen up,” he said. 

A day later, his players responded in style. India started the goal fest in the fourth minute and pumped in their last goal three minutes from the final hooter. Lalit Upadhyay (4th, 45th minutes), Harmanpreet Singh (17th, 21st) and Mandeep Singh (49th, 57th) scored braces, while Gurjant Singh (8th), Akashdeep Singh (36th) and Kothajit Singh (42nd) added one each.

It was another dominant performance by the world No. 5 side, enjoying more than 60 percent of possession in the opposition’s half. The difference was visible as the world No. 16 Japan struggled to match the young Indian team’s speed.

India next face Asian Games finalists Malaysia on Tuesday. They sit on top of the table with nine points and a positive goal difference of 22.

The Tribune

Korea test next

By Jugjet Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will play South Korea Next in the Asian Champions Trophy Monday night, and coach Roelant Oltmans' team should come out tops.

Malaysia has beaten Japan 3-0 and Oman 3-1 so far, while South Korea have lost both their matches to Pakistan (3-1) and Japan (2-0).

Even though Malaysia were not impressive against Oman, but newly appointed coach Oltmans seems to have made the team tactically stronger and the South Korea match will be a yardstick to conform this.

India, who had beaten Oman (11-0) and Pakistan (3-1) look to be the strongest team in the tournament and should make a final appearance.

After South Korea, Malaysia will be tested by India followed by Pakistan.

         P W D  L GD Pts
India 2 2 0 0 13  6
Malaysia 2 2 0 0 5   6
Pakistan 2 1 0 1 0   3
Japan 2 1 0 1 -1  3
Korea 2 0 0 2 -4  0
Oman 2 0 0 2 -13 0

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Pak chief coach walks out of ACT

Shashank Gupta

It is reliably learnt that Pakistan team coach Md. Saqlain has decided to walk out of Asian Champions Trophy. It is learnt that he had a tiff with the national men's team manager Hasan Sardar.

It will be a setback for the world No.13 Pakistan which considers the ongoing tournament a run up to the World Cup to come off in India in five week's time.

Pakistan lost to India yesterday tamely 1-3, with Indians easily outwitting their defence at will and also scoring some immaculately conceived and methodically executed goals.

He has told www.stick2hockey.com about his plan to return.

Saqlain is a volatile midfield of last decade. He was seen vehemently debating with Hasan in one of the TV shots of when the match was live yesterday on Star Sports.

Saqlain has been in charge of the team training last three months. According to Md. Saqlain he is not happy of handling the team for the Indian match yesterday.

"Manager Hasan Sardar is not happy the way I handled the team yesterday match against India. He wants full control. Which I am offering. I am happy to return Pakistan", Md. Saqlain said while getting ready to leave the hotel.

"I have been getting calls from Pakistan. My mind is in constant state of trouble for the full day. I am relieved now. And wish the team the best'.

Saqlain has already talked to Pakistan Hockey Federation officials and had informed them about his imminent return.

Watch his video on why he is leaving Muscat in Jai Ho Indian Hockey facebook page


Asian Champions Trophy: Pakistan eye win against Oman after mixed fortune

By Nabil Tahir

INCONSITENCIES AND DISAGREEMENTS: While Pakistan team is suffering in the Asian Champions Trophy due to incongruent changes in the coaching staff, the members of the staff are not happy with each other too. PHOTO COURTESY: TWITTER/ ASIAN HOCKEY FEDERATION

KARACHI: Pakistan hockey team, with a win against South Korea and a defeat at the hands of India, will be taking on a low-ranked Oman in their third fixture of Asian Hockey Champions Trophy.

Pakistan lost their second match against India despite taking the lead in the very first minute of the match. Muhammad Irfan who was able to score the first goal of the match told The Express Tribune that they were in a commanding position after the first goal.

“We were in good position when we took the lead in the very first minute. It was a bonus for us. At the same time we still had 59 minutes to go,” he said. “We should have controlled the game, we were not able to keep the lead and soon India made a comeback which put us under pressure.”

He added that the team was well synced but they couldn’t end the moves with goals. “We were making some good moves but the finishing was not well enough. We should have played better, we have the ability to do so,” he said.

Meanwhile, talking about their next match against Oman on Monday, the captain of the team Muhammad Rizwan Senior said senior player should take more responsibility. “We lost the last match where the seniors should have taken the responsibility. We are more experienced and have played more matches against India, we should have done well,” he said.

“The next match is against Oman and we have to win it. It will be a test for us before we take on Japan, to whom we lost in the Asian Games. Japan are a rising team and we need match their pace otherwise they might beat us in rankings and in matches,” he said.

He added that team’s problems also stem from the instability in the management. “We have seen coaches and management being changed. This is not good for the team. By the time player get in sync with the coach, he is changed and the new coach brings in new strategies which causes confusion,” he said.

Management problems

According to a source, members of the team management are not happy with each other, which was visible during the match against India, and coach Muhammad Saqlain has been sent back to Pakistan.

During the match, the manager of the team Hassan Sardar had an argument with Saqlain who was interacting with the team and asking them to control their game.

“The coach Saqlain and manager Sardar and not on the same page, they have a difference in opinion and that is leading to some serious arguments during the matches,” the source told.

Afterwards, source added that Sardar asked PHF to call Saqlain back or he will leave the team.

The source also added that team captain Rizwan Sr is also not happy with the senior players in the team.

The team captain asked the coach to change goalkeeper Imran Butt but Sardar and assistant coach Rehan Butt didn’t agree.

The Express Tribune

EHL KO16 draw sets up series of high quality knock-out ties

The draw for the EHL Men KO16 has produced a series of top quality matches as the race to be the champion of the 12th season of the world’s best club hockey competition is laid out.

HC Oranje-Rood will host the event from April 17 to 22, 2019 in Eindhoven at their spectacular stadium, welcoming fans back to the venue of the 2017 KO16 where sold out crowds came to see a memorable tournament.

For this year’s draw, home heroes Joep de Mol and Pirmin Blaak were on hand to conduct the draw and they left themselves with a tough path to possible glory.

The Eindhoven club will meet Uhlenhorst Mulheim in the KO16 with a potential date for the winners against either Dinamo Kazan or Mannheimer HC.

At the top end of the draw, SV Kampong will face Rot-Weiss Köln for the fourth successive season and the fifth time in the last six seasons, marking this out as a serious one grudge match.

The winner of that will have a tough KO8 match on their agenda as they will face the winner of AH&BC Amsterdam and Scottish newcomers Grove Menzieshill.

The next segment of the KO16 draw sees Saint Germain and Club Egara renew rivalries. Most recently, the French side beat Egara in ROUND1 in 2017 6-4 to reach the KO16 in dramatic fashion.

Who wins that game will play either Spanish giants Real Club de Polo or Royal Leopold in the KO8.

Irish side Three Rock Rovers will come up against KHC Dragons for the second successive season. The two clubs met in a crossover match last season which ended in a 20-10 result for the Belgians – when the double field-goal rule was in place – but since then both sides have seen a number of changes to their line-up.

England’s Surbiton and Belgium’s Waterloo Ducks lie in wait in the KO8 as both clubs make a return to EHL action after three years away.

Speaking about the draw, HC Oranje-Rood’s de Mol said: “We are pretty happy with the draw, playing a good team and a really good match. It doesn’t really matter who you play in the KO16; you have to put in a strong performance to get through and there are 16 teams who are capable of winning their games.”

The way the draw panned out, there was a potential for Oranje-Rood to face Dutch rivals SV Kampong, something he is happy to avoid at this stage.

“I’m happy to avoid a Dutch side, no matter who it is. It doesn’t matter if its Kampong or Amsterdam or whoever because we love playing in the EHL against teams from other countries and see how they do things.

“”I expect a big crowd whoever we play, playing at home. The last time in Eindhoven, it was a really nice event, a really big crowd and a lovely atmosphere and we will have the same again at Easter.”

The match schedule for the KO16 will be confirmed in the coming weeks in conjunction with the EHL’s stakeholders by early November. Tickets will also go on sale once the schedule is confirmed.

Euro Hockey League media release

EHL Men set for new knock-out format in 2019/20 season

EHL Men will move to a new format for the 2019/20 season with the world’s best club hockey competition now being played over two big weekends of knock-out action.

The KO16 will now take place in October with the clubs ranked 5 to 20 – via the EHL Ranking Table – playing a straight knock-out competition.

This will replace ROUND1 and will see 16 clubs play fully produced for television fixture over three days with four sides going forward to the FINAL8.

For the 2019/20 season, it means a change in the qualification process with 11 countries set to be represented based on the EHL ranking table.

The nations ranked 1-3 will have three teams in the EHL; the nations ranked 4-6 to will have two teams in the EHL. The nations ranked 7-11 will all have one team in the EHL.

The FINAL8 tournament will be played at Easter and will run in tandem with EHL Women and the U14 EHL Boys and Girls tournaments, making for a spectacular festival of hockey.

The FINAL8 will feature the champions from the top four nations on the EHL rankings table alongside the four sides that qualify from the KO16.

Further details about the men’s EuroHockey Trophy and the knock-on effects for the other European club competitions will be confirmed by the EHF by the end of October.

KO16 - October
• Three day event
• KO-format – Teams ranked 5-20
• Nations ranked 5-8 seeded 1-4
• No. 2 Teams from Nations 1-4 seeded 5-8
• Remaining teams drawn
• The 4 successful sides from KO16 proceed to KO8

FINAL8 - Easter
• Easter Weekend- 4 days
• KO-format
• Champions from top 4 national federations seeded 1-4
• Joined by 4 teams from KO16
• Classification matches for K8 losing teams

Euro Hockey League media release

EHL Women set for launch in 2019/20 season

©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

The Euro Hockey League is set for a major expansion next season with the introduction of EHL Women, raising the game for club hockey in Europe.

It is part of the European Hockey Federation’s #equallyamazing drive with EHL Women joining EHL Men in presenting the best club hockey in the world.

Official European club hockey events for women were started in 1974 with the creation of the Club Champions Cup and the Cup Winners Cup was added in 1990. A massive growth in the demand for events saw us reformat both events into the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup in 2010 with five divisions and up to 40 clubs from around Europe competing.

This successful event morphed into the EHCC in 2014 with the best eight clubs in Europe battling it out in a knock-out competition and 4 divisions with promotion and relegation sitting under the top event.

The belief of the EHF in the women’s game and its importance in the hockey landscape saw the continental body underwrite prize money for the winners and runners-up, top umpires being appointed and live streaming of all games on our OTT platform www.eurohockeytv.org

Our drive towards EHL Women has always been on the agenda so that we could present our equally amazing women’s players with the same razzmatazz as EHL Men.

This new chapter has been made possible by our women athletes consistently delivering hockey that is worthy of a bigger platform and ABN Amro who understand that their support is vital to taking this fantastic step for hockey in Europe.

Eight women’s teams will battle it out at FINAL8 alongside the EHL Men’s FINAL8 team to become EHL Champions and lift the coveted EHL Trophy.

The competition will be fully produced for television, have a full video referral system in place and equal prize money with EHL Men.

An EHL U14 Girls competition will also be run in tandem with an EHL U14 Boys tournament. All four tournaments will form part of one big EHL weekend at one venue every Easter.

From the 2019/20 season, the competition will be based on a FINAL8 knock-out format, starting with quarter-finals leading into semi-finals and the grand final will ranking matches in place for those knocked out at the first stage.

Teams will qualify for EHL Women in a similar manner to before with the top two nations on the EHL rankings table earning two places in the competition while the next six nations will receive one entry.

** To view the current ranking table, click here

Euro Hockey League media release

Women’s sport takes next step by joining Euro Hockey League

By The Hockey Paper

The Euro Hockey League was praised for taking club hockey “to the next level” on Sunday following the news that the 2019/20 season will see the introduction of EHL Women.

The new women’s event will join the men’s European showpiece for the first time after two standalone tournaments.

Eight women’s teams will battle it out at the knock out FINAL8 next Easter alongside the men, while there will be full television production, video referrals and equal prize money.

An EHL U14 Girls competition will also be run in tandem with an EHL U14 Boys tournament.

Teams will qualify for EHL Women in a similar manner to before with the top two nations on the EHL rankings table earning two places in the competition while the next six nations will receive one entry.

Holland and Germany currently hold the top two spots, with Spain, England, Belarus and Ireland ranked next in line.

German captain Janne Müller-Wieland said: “Full TV production, video referral, equal prize money, what’s not to like.

“Great job EHL for taking European club hockey to the next level.”

Kate Richardson-Walsh, who retired this season, said on Twitter: “Really pleased to hear there will finally be a Euro Hockey League for women starting in 2020.

“It’s taken 12 years to catch up with the men and finally we can show that we’re #EquallyAmazing Alas, I’m too old to play but I will definitely be supporting the best of European hockey.”

    Great job @eurohockeyorg & @ehlhockeytv for taking women’s club hockey to the next level! #equallyamazing #ehl pic.twitter.com/02fTvENSwP

    — Eva de Goede (@Evadegoede) October 21, 2018

Official European club hockey events for women started in 1974 with the creation of the Club Champions Cup. The Cup Winners Cup was added in 1990.

Both events morphed into the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup in 2010 with five divisions and up to 40 clubs from around Europe competing before the arrival of the EHCC in 2014, with the best eight clubs in Europe battling it out in a knock-out competition and four divisions with promotion and relegation sitting under the top event.

With the popularity, as well as drive in competition, it seemed only a matter of time before the Euro Hockey League streamlined both events over an Easter extravganza of hockey, with ABN Amro continuing its support.

The Hockey Paper

European Hockey to launch women's Euro Hockey League

A number of England players could move abroad to play in the new Euro Hockey League

European Hockey has announced a women's league will launch in 2020, matching the existing men's competition.

The men's Euro Hockey League (EHL) involves the top 24 teams from across the continent and has been running since 2007.

The new league is likely to lead to English players moving to clubs abroad.

"It's taken 12 years to catch up with the men and finally we can show we're #equallyamazing," former England captain Kate Richardson-Walsh tweeted.

"Alas, I'm too old to play but I will definitely be supporting the best of European hockey."

The EHL is hockey's equivalent of football's Champions League and features most of the world's best players.

It consists of five rounds, including a group stage and then various knock-out stages, with Dutch side HC Bloemendaal the reigning champions.

BBC Sport

Vics Win As AHL Pool Placings Are Confirmed

Alexie Beovich

Victoria's Vikings and Vipers have claimed Australian Hockey League (AHL) wins to round out the home-and-away stage and confirm placings ahead of the quarter-finals.

The AHL Finals take place on the Gold Coast from 25-28 October, with the quarters commencing on Thursday afternoon.

The Vipers defeated SA Suns 1-0 thanks to Hannah Gravenall's goal to clinch top spot in Pool B and confirm a quarter-final date with the Tassie Van Demons.

SA will play the Canberra Strikers in their quarter-final.

Russell Ford scored five goals as the Vikings thrashed the Hotshots 13-0 to secure second spot in Pool B and a blockbuster quarter-final meeting with the Queensland Blades, in a re-match of last year's Grand Final.

SA will play the Canberra Lakers in their quarter-final.

Hockey Australia will confirm game times later on Sunday afternoon. Tickets are on sale now.

Canberra Lakers vs SA Hotshots
Victoria Vikings v Queensland Blades
Tassie Tigers v NT Stingers
WA Thundersticks v NSW Waratahs

Victoria Vipers v Tassie Van Demons
Canberra Lakers v SA Suns
Queensland Blades v NT Pearls
NSW Arrows v WA Diamonds

Victoria Vipers 1 (Gravenall 45’) SA Suns 0, Melbourne

A back and forth match at the State Netball Hockey Centre saw Victoria Vipers defeat the South Australia Suns 1-0 on Sunday afternoon.

An impressive 45th minute goal to Hannah Gravenall off a penalty corner opportunity was enough for the Vipers to secure the win in front of a strong home crowd.

The victory locks up top spot in Pool B for Victoria heading into next weekend’s AHL Finals.

Despite strong performances from Hockeyroos Jane Claxton and Karri McMahon the Suns weren’t able to make an impact on the scoreboard and as a result will head into the AHL Finals ranked second in Pool B.

Both sides had plenty of opportunities in attack but ultimately the strong defence of both sides' goalkeepers, Victoria’s Rachael Lynch and South Australia’s Ashlee Wells, kept the game a low scoring affair.

Victoria Vikings 13 (Randhawa 15’, 22’, Hendry, 17’, 17’, Ford, 24’ 34’, 54', 59' PP, Cross, 29’, 29’, Webster 31’, 31’) SA Hotshots 0, Melbourne

The Victoria Vikings defeated the South Australia Hotshots 13-0 at the State Netball Hockey Centre on Sunday afternoon thanks to multiple goal efforts from Jayshaan Randhawa, Tim Cross, Max Hendry and captain Russell Ford.

The group combined for all 13 of Victoria’s goals in a performance which saw them finish above South Australia in Pool B of the AHL ahead of next weekend’s AHL Finals.

Victoria will face the Queensland Blades and South Australia will take on the Canberra Lakers in Thursday’s quarter finals on the Gold Coast.

Randhawa opened the scoring for Victoria finding the back of the net on a penalty corner attempt in the 15th minute of the match. Victorian fans only had to wait two minutes to celebrate their next goal when Hendry showed his skills, scoring a field goal and taking advantage of the conversion opportunity.

In the 22nd minute of the match Randhawa scored again from a penalty corner just moments before Ford scored his first field goal of the match. South Australian goalkeeper James Richardson was able to defend the conversion chance.

A flurry of field goals and conversions from Tim Cross (29’, 29’) and James Webster (31’, 31’) extended the Victorian lead to 9-0.

Another field goal from Ford in the 34th minute increased the Victorian lead to double digits. The conversion opportunity was defended well by Richardson.

Ford impacted again, scoring in the 54th minute of the match and the 59th minute of the match, his final goal was during the Victorian Pump play and was worth double.

The South Australians did their best to get back into the game late but a dominant Victorian side buoyed by their home crowd support didn’t allow any junk-time goals.

The 2018 AHL Finals will see the teams from all eight states and territories compete at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre from October 25 - 28. Secure your tickets here.

Hockey Australia media release

AHL Quarter-Final Game Times Revised

Ben Somerford

Hockey Australia (HA) advises the 2018 Australian Hockey League (AHL) quarter-finals game times for Thursday on the Gold Coast have been revised.

The AHL Finals will take place on the Gold Coast from 25-28 October, with the quarter-finals kicking the series off on Thursday afternoon from 1pm (all local time). Semi-finals are on Saturday, with medal matches on Sunday.

Thursday’s fixture has been amended following state requests and further HA review, to ensure there are no clashes of states’ men’s and women’s teams playing concurrently to create the best possible experience for supporters.

The women’s fixtures are unaffected, with the men’s fixtures changing, meaning the 2017 grand final re-match between hosts Queensland Blades and Victoria Vikings is the headline act at 6:15pm at Gold Coast Hockey Centre’s Pitch 2.

From 1pm, Canberra Lakers will play SA Hotshots on Pitch 1, followed by Pool A winners Tassie Tigers face NT Stingers on Pitch 1 from 2:45pm.

Pool B winners WA Thundersticks will face NSW Waratahs from 4:30pm on Pitch 2, followed by the Queensland-Victoria clash.

In the women’s competition, hosts Queensland Scorchers will face NT Pearls from 1pm at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre Pitch 2.

SA Suns are up against Canberra Strikers from 2:45pm on Pitch 2, followed by Pool B winners Victoria Vipers facing off with Tassie Van Demons from 4:30pm on Pitch 1. The NSW Arrows meet WA Diamonds on Pitch 1 from 6:15pm.

Tickets are on sale for the AHL Finals on the Gold Coast, with day tickets or season passes available via ticketbooth.com.au.

Sunday's medal matches will be live streamed at www.epicentre.tv. Highlights from all matches is available on Hockey Australia's Youtube channel.

AHL Quarter-Finals Fixtures (all times AEST, venue Gold Coast Hockey Centre)
QF2, 1pm, Canberra Lakers vs SA Hotshots, Pitch 1
QF1, 2:45pm, Tassie Tigers v NT Stingers, Pitch 1
QF4, 4:30pm, WA Thundersticks v NSW Waratahs, Pitch 2
QF3, 6:15pm, Victoria Vikings v Queensland Blades, Pitch 2
Winner of QF1 plays winner of QF3, Winner of QF2 plays winner of QF4

QF1, 1pm, Queensland Scorchers v NT Pearls, Pitch 2
QF3, 2:45pm, SA Suns v Canberra Strikers, Pitch 2
QF4, 4:30pm, Victoria Vipers v Tassie Van Demons, Pitch 1
QF2, 6:15pm, NSW Arrows v WA Diamonds, Pitch 1
Winner of QF1 plays winner of QF3, Winner of QF2 plays winner of QF4

AHL Semi-Finals Fixtures (all times AEST, venue Gold Coast Hockey Centre)
12:30pm, Winner of QF1 v Winner of QF3, Pitch 1
2pm, Winner of QF2 v Winner of QF4, Pitch 1
3:30pm, Winner of QF1 v Winner of QF3, Pitch 1
5pm, Winner of QF2 v Winner QF4, Pitch 1

AHL Medal Matches Fixtures (all times AEST, venue Gold Coast Hockey Centre)
12:30pm, Men's Bronze Medal Match, Pitch 1
2pm, Women's Bronze Medal Match, Pitch 1
3:30pm, Women's Gold Medal Match, Pitch 1
5pm, Men's Gold Medal Match, Pitch 1                        


Head to www.hockeyaustralia.altiusrt.com for more details.

Hockey Australia media release

Hockey Officials Confirmed For AHL Finals

Ben Somerford

Following the conclusion of the Australian Hockey League (AHL) home-and-away rounds, the #thirdteam of Hockey officials for the Finals on the Gold Coast from 25-28 October have been confirmed.

After casting their eye over national tournaments over the course of 2018 including AHL round matches, the Hockey Australia (HA) Officiating Panel is excited about the strong group of umpires appointed that will foster the fast and exciting brand of hockey that the 2018 AHL is all about.

HA Championships & Officiating Pathway Manager Cheyne Hackett said: “Our appointments to the AHL Finals this year are an exciting mix of youth and experience.

“We are needing to keep an eye on our officiating future so we have elevated some umpires that we think have very bright international futures.

“These umpires are also the ones that we feel will control the games but allow the teams to play fast and exciting Hockey – which is what everyone wants.”

Leading the umpiring panel are experienced (FIH World Panel, now International Elite & World Cup panel members) umpires in Melissa Trivic (WA), Tim Pullman (SA) and Adam Kearns (QLD).

Kearns, fresh from the Darwin International Hockey Open will be using this AHL Finals Weekend as preparation ahead of his 2018 Men’s World Cup campaign in Bhubaneswar in December.

Jim Unkles (VIC) has been selected fresh from his FIH appointment at the recent Youth Olympic Games.

Nathan Jennings (SA) & Caroline Davis (NSW) make their first AHL Finals appearance after impressive performances in their debut AHL round matches. Queensland and Victoria are well represented with four umpires each.

The Technical Official panel is also very balanced, rewarding some long-serving officials as well as providing a launching pad for those ready to take the step into international officiating space.

All eight technical officials will relish the opportunity to work under Technical Delegate Joshua Burt (VIC) who earlier this year was the Technical Delegate of the last ever Men’s FIH Champions Trophy – including WA’s Jared Correia who was speechless when he got the call up.

As already published, the #thirdteam is rounded out by the World Class team of Umpire Managers (Minka Woolley, Angela Holloway, Lynn Cowie-McAlister, Gary Marsh and Murray Grime) who will be mentoring and refining the umpires performances over their four days together.

HA encourages the support and respect of officials at all levels of our sport and expect this group appointed to the AHL Finals to facilitate some first-class games for the expected large crowds.

Full List of Officials:

Technical Delegate, Joshua Burt, VIC

Umpire Manager, Lynn Cowie-McAlister, QLD
Umpire Manager, Murray Grime, WA
Umpire Manager, Angela Holloway, TAS/VIC
Umpire Manager, Gary Marsh, QLD
Umpire Manager, Minka Woolley, TAS

Technical Officer, Matthew Apps, NSW
Technical Officer, Jared Correia, WA
Technical Officer, Rebekah Gupte, ACT
Technical Officer, Kerry Liebenberg, QLD
Technical Officer, Kim Monaghan, NSW
Technical Officer, Nicola Ogden, WA
Technical Officer, Scott O'Reilly, VIC
Technical Officer, James Stewart, VIC

National Umpire, Nicola Brown, VIC
National Umpire, Emily Carroll, ACT
National Umpire, Kerryl Chandler, QLD
National Umpire, Caroline Davis, NSW
National Umpire, Michelle Farnill, NSW
National Umpire, Ben Hocking, VIC
National Umpire, Nathan Jennings, SA
National Umpire, Adam Kearns, QLD
National Umpire, Tara Leonard, QLD
National Umpire, Zeke Newman, NSW
National Umpire Tim Pullman, SA
National Umpire, Kristy Robertson, ACT
National Umpire, Stephen Rogers, QLD
National Umpire, Tim Sheahan, VIC
National Umpire, Mel Trivic, WA
National Umpire, Jim Unkles, VIC

Hockey Australia media release

ROUND-UP: Investec English Women's Hockey League

East Grinstead climbed to third in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division with a 2-1 victory over hosts Holcombe on Sunday.

The victory moves them up to third and level on points with Holcombe, who were suffering their first loss of the league season. It also caps a good weekend for East Grinstead, whose men’s team also beat Holcombe on Saturday evening.

The visitors took the lead in the 18th minute through a Jess Denniff goal from open play, and they doubled their advantage in the 28th when Rosario Villagra scored from a penalty corner.

Joanne Westwood scored a late consolation for Holcombe from a penalty corner in the 65th minute.

Surbiton maintained their position at the top of the table with a 6-0 win at home to bottom of the table Bowdon Hightown.

A brace from Jo Hunter and goals from Giselle Ansley, Phoebe Willars, Erica Sanders and Sarah Evans were enough for Surbiton to secure all three points.

Beeston secured their second victory of the season with a 2-1 win at Buckingham.

Alice Huddlestone opened the scoring in the 15th minute, and although Buckingham equalised in the 25th minute through Phoebe Richards, Beeston regained the lead in the 33rd minute from a Caroline Hulme goal.

Elsewhere, Clifton Robinsons and Slough played out a 1-1 draw.

Aileen Davis scored the goal for the home side, while Kitty Baccanello claimed the equaliser for Slough.

The University of Birmingham and Canterbury also played out a 1-1 draw.

Catherine Ledesma opened the scoring for the University of Birmingham in the 62nd minute before Aimee Plumb equalised in the final minute with a goal from a penalty corner.

Investec Women’s Conference East

Hampstead & Westminster moved top of the table in the Investec Women’s Conference East with a 4-0 victory at home to Horsham.

Fleur Horner scored a brace and a goal a piece for Louise Radford and Amy Askew were enough for the home side to secure all three points.

Bedford clinched their first victory of the season with a 1-0 win at Ipswich. Yvette Van Yperen scored the only goal of a close affair in the 52nd minute.

Elsewhere, Harleston Magpies won 2-0 at home to Cambridge City, St Albans were victorious at home to Southgate winning 3-1 and Wimbledon and Sevenoaks played out a 1-1 draw.

Investec Women’s Conference North

Loughborough Students maintained their position at the top of the Investec Women’s Conference North with a 3-0 victory at Ben Rhydding on Sunday.

Ella Cusack gave the away side an early lead when she scored from open play in the fourth minute.

Lucy Millington doubled their advantage in the 16th after she finished a penalty stroke, and it was 3-0 in the 52nd via a goal from Jen Park from a penalty corner.

Elsewhere, The University of Durham kept pace with the table toppers, securing a 4-1 victory at Sutton Coldfield.

Leicester produced a good away performance winning 3-0 at Leeds, Belper also won 1-0 away at Fylde and Brooklands Poynton defeated Timperley 2-0 at home.

Investec Women’s Conference West

Olton & West Warwicks top the table on goals scored in the Investec Women’s Conference West after a 3-2 victory at home to Gloucester City.

Sally Walton opened the scoring for Olton in the fifth minute before Emily Rodgers equalised for Gloucester in the 23rd.

Walton scored again in the 39th to regain the lead for the home side before Gloucester hit back again in the 48th with a goal from Frankie Mayes.

But Walton completed her hat trick and sealed the victory for Olton & West Warwicks with a goal from a penalty corner in the 53rd minute.

Elsewhere, Stourport performed well at home winning 3-0 against Swansea City, Trojans overcame the challenge of Oxford Hawks winning 3-2 at home.

Isca won 1-0 at Barnes via an Emily Davies goal and Exe versus Reading ended 0-0 at full time.


Investec Women’s Hockey League

Investec Premier Division: Buckingham 1, Beeston 2; Clifton Robinson 1, Slough 1; Holcombe 1, East Grinstead 2, Surbiton 6, Bowdon 0; University of Birmingham 1, Canterbury 1.

Investec Conference East: Harleston Magpies 2, Cambridge City 0; Hampstead & Westminster 4, Horsham 0; Ipswich 0, Bedford 1; St Albans 3, Southgate 1; Wimbledon 1, Sevenoaks 1.

Investec Conference North: Ben Rhydding 0, Loughborough Students 3; Brooklands-Poynton 2, Timperley 0; Fylde 0, Belper1; Leeds 0, Leicester 3; Sutton Coldfield 1, University of Durham 4.

Investec Conference West: Barnes 0, Isca 1; Exe 0, Reading 0; Olton & West Warwicks 3, Gloucester City 2, Stourport 3, Swansea City 0, Trojans 3, Oxford Hawks 2.

England Hockey Board Media release

Irish Mens EYHL Weekend Round Up

Eugene Magee provided yet another blockbuster finish as Banbridge ended the fifth weekend of the EY Hockey League with a four-point lead over their rivals.

He fired home his second buzzer-beating drag-flick of the campaign – the other coming against Three Rock Rovers on day one – for their fifth win out of six games so far this season, beating Monkstown 3-2.

They had trailed 2-1 at half-time to goals from Gareth Watkins and Andrew Ward but a fine second half saw them draw level at 2-2 through Zach McClelland before Magee’s last-ditch winner.

Reigning league champions Glenanne moved into second spot with a 1-0 win over Three Rock Rovers with Shannon Boucher’s seventh-minute goal the only difference.

It keeps them unbeaten from five games. With a game in hand on Banbridge, they could close the gap to one point; Rovers drop back to third spot.

Pembroke, meanwhile, got back to winning ways as they held off a Cork C of I comeback to prevail 3-2. Keith O’Hare got a hat trick for the Dublin 4 club for a handsome lead only to concede two set-piece goals in the last ten minutes.

It moves them into a share of third place with Three Rock and Lisnagarvey on nine points. Garvey won their third game when they got the better of YMCA in a 3-2 result.

It was tight with Troy Chambers and Sam Hyland sharing the goals in the first half at 1-1 before Daniel Nelson put Lisnagarvey 3-1 up with a classy double. Grant Glutz got one back for the Y but they remain bottom of the table.

Annadale won a 4-3 thriller at Strathearn against Ulster rivals Cookstown. They trailed 1-0 and 2-1 but Peter Caruth was a constant thorn in the side, scoring twice and setting up one. When Cookstown got back to 3-3 late in the game, Caruth was coolly in position to flick home from mid-circle amid a melee.

 The season takes a break for a week until November 3.

EY Hockey League: Annadale 4 (P Caruth 2, D Tremlett, R Burgess) Cookstown 3 (T Sloan, R Millar, M Kerr); Glenanne 1 (S Boucher) Three Rock Rovers 0; Pembroke 3 (K O’Hare 3) Cork C of I 2 (J Jermyn, K O’Dea); YMCA 2 (G Glutz,  S Hyland) Lisnagarvey 3 (D Nelson 2, T Chambers); Banbridge 3 (E Magee 2, Z McClelland) Monkstown 2 (G Watkins, A Ward)

Weekend five – extended reports

Annadale 4 (P Caruth 2, D Tremlett, R Burgess) Cookstown 3 (T Sloan, R Millar, M Kerr)

Peter Caruth kept his head amid a melee to score the crucial goal that hands Annadale their second win of the season, jumping them above Cookstown in the rankings.

Timmy Sloan was credited with the final touch to a Greg Allen corner push for 1-0 to the visitors. Caruth power-slapped in a corner switch for the leveller but Cookstown were back in front via Ryan Millar, a close range finish from Stu Smyth’s cross after Matthew Rollins pumped the ball in from the right.

The second equaliser came in the second half with Caruth lurking on the left baseline, beating a man before crossing for David Tremlett to dive onto. Ryan Burgess got his second of the week with a drag-flick to put Dale in front.

They did not stay clear for long, though, as Michael Kerr was unmarked to finish off from the centre of the circle from a ball in from the left for 3-3. But the winner came when Ryan Getty showed some skills down the right to create the chance at the near post which Cameron Ruttle eventually dug out into the path of Caruth to pot.         

Glenanne 1 (S Boucher) Three Rock Rovers 0

Shannon Boucher’s seventh minute goal proved the sole difference as Glenanne continued their unbeaten start to the season, overtaking Three Rock Rovers in the process.

Three Rock had jumped ahead of the Glens on Thursday evening with a 3-2 win over Monkstown – a back match for the Euro Hockey League weekend – but they were unable to keep up their momentum.

Boucher scored a drag-flick from a corner. From there, they played a clever game, sitting deep and soaking up Three Rock pressure and then looking to hit on the break while they kept out Rovers’ corner chances to stay in the clear.

Pembroke 3 (K O’Hare 3) Cork C of I 2 (J Jermyn, K O’Dea)

Pembroke got back to winning ways as Keith O’Hare’s trio of set pieces goals saw them out-gun Cork C of I who rallied too late to force a result. O’Hare fired home inside three minutes of the first whistle for 1-0.

C of I had their corner chances with one of them hitting the post with Pembroke eventually clearing. O’Hare, meanwhile, scored from the spot after a stroke was given following a quick counter-attack.

Three minutes into the second half, O’Hare had his hat-trick when Pembroke made an extra man tell with Mark Gallagher in the sin-bin, using the space to win a corner. C of I got on the board from the penalty spot with John Jermyn slotting the stroke on his return with 17 minutes left.

They had their chances in the closing quarter but the only return came on the final whistle via a corner scored by Kevin O’Dea.

YMCA 2 (G Glutz,  S Hyland) Lisnagarvey 3 (D Nelson 2, T Chambers)

Lisnagarvey got back to winning ways as they fought their way to a 3-2 win over YMCA. A nip and tuck first quarter ended scoreless before Garvey ramped up the pressure in the second, forcing some good saves from Jakim Bernsden.

Sam Hyland was key in breaking up their attacks and, against the run of play, he helped win a corner along with Tom Ritchie, which the former got on the end of for 1-0. Garvey replied instantly with Troy Chambers firing back with a free shot in the D.

It was backs against the wall for a while in the third quarter for the Y with Ben Campbell serving a yellow card suspension. Three corners on the hooter were repelled to keep it at 1-1 but Daniel Nelson did get Garvey in front in the last period with a lift over Bernsden on his reverse.

He scrambled in the next, too, straight from the restart. YM did likewise, breaking forward from the tip off to win a corner which Grant Glutz scored from – his third goal in three games – and while Garvey shipped a 10-minute yellow, the equaliser would not come for the Dubliners.

Sunday: Banbridge 3 (E Magee 2, Z McClelland) Monkstown 2 (G Watkins, A Ward)

Banbridge ended the weekend four points clear of the chasers as Eugene Magee once again scored an overtime winner, this time seeing off Monkstown 3-2.

The Havelock Park club were a threat from the start with Josh Moffett hitting the post from one of their first attacks before the striker was required in defence to charge down a couple of Town penalty corners. Bann hit the front when Fraser Mills won a corner and Magee dragged in with power for 1-0.

Monkstown responded immediately with player-coach Gareth Watkins continuing his good early seasons form to make it 1-1 at the quarter-time break. And while Guy Sarratt limped off with an injury, the Dubliners started to control the game in the second quarter and got their second via Andrew Ward with 25 minutes gone.

It was all Bann in the third quarter and they got level just before the third break when Bruce McCandless produced a defence-splitting pass which found Zach McClelland who finished clinically.

They continued to press, having the guts of the play in the final quarter as Monkstown shipped a couple of cards. The result looked to have gone beyond them, though, until the last play from a penalty corner which Magee did the honours.

He had previously struck at the death in a 4-3 win over Three Rock while Bann also plucked a 3-1 win over Cork C of I despite trailing 1-0 with 10 minutes to go, showing their depths of mental strength.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Irish Womens EYHL Weekend Round Up

Pegasus continue to set the pace in the women’s EY Hockey League thanks to a superb comeback win over Railway Union at Park Avenue.

They trailed early in the tie to a Sarah Hawkshaw goal but Shirley McCay got them back on terms. And then two goals within 60 seconds in the closing quarter made the game safe, stretching them out to a 3-1 victory, youngster Kate Gourley joined on the score sheet by Michelle Harvey.

It made it four wins from four with Loreto and UCD in hot pursuit. Loreto ran up a comfortable 5-0 win over Ards with three goals coming in the first quarter – Sarah Clarke, Hayley Mulcahy and Sarah Evans doing the damage.

UCD, meanwhile, were 1-0 winners over Old Alex in a game that featured six sets of sisters across the teams. Ellen Curran was credited with the goal amid a melee with a defensive stick getting the final touch.

That came early in the second half and gave them their third win in succession in the competition.

Pembroke continued their upsurge in form with Maebh Horan’s excellent top corner strike with five minutes to go earning them victory at Cork Harlequins.

The tie was evenly poised at 1-1 after Cliodhna Sargent’s bullet corner countered Laura Noble’s first half goal before Horan provided a first goal of the season.

Belfast Harlequins won 2-0 against Muckross, moving them into fourth place in the division on seven points. Gemma Frazer’s corner rebound had the hosts 1-0 up at half-time and Rachel Johnston put them out of sight three minutes after the break.

The competition now takes a Halloween break before returning with a full round of matches on November 3 and 4.

EY Hockey League – day four results: Belfast Harlequins 2 (G Frazer, R Johnston) Muckross 0; Cork Harlequins 1 (C Sargent) Pembroke 2 (L Noble, M Horan); Loreto 5 (S Clarke, H Mulcahy, S Evans, S O’Brien, S Torrans) Ards 0; Old Alex 0 UCD 1 (E Curran); Railway Union 1 (S Hawkshaw) Pegasus 3 (S McCay, K Gourley, M Harvey)

Day four extended reports

Belfast Harlequins 2 (G Frazer, R Johnston) Muckross 0

Belfast Harlequins got back to winning ways in the women’s EYHL as they got the best of Muckross at Deramore Park. Both sides were without key players with Zoe Wilson and Emma Mathews on the sidelines.

Muckross created a couple of good early chances with Marianne Fox making key saves before Lizzie Colvin and Jenna Watt stepped up the tempo.

Gemma Frazer scored their first goal from a penalty corner rebound with a cheeky reverse-stick finish just before the end of the first quarter. They continued to hold sway in general play with Katherine Welshman a central figure at the back.

Muckross were unable to make a couple of great chances stick before the break and they were hit by a sucker-punch three minutes into the second half when Welshman’s slap was sent high into the net by a touch from Rachel Johnston. The game became feisty as time wore on while Muckross’s pace, particularly from Yasmin Pratt, stretched the game.

The Belfast side kept their concentration and they saw out the win, drawing some good stops from Ellie McLoughlin that could have made the game safer.

Muckross coach Sarah Scott said it was another step on their learning curve this term: “We competed really well today. I was really happy with some of the chances we created and the improvement in the last two games.”

Cork Harlequins 1 (C Sargent) Pembroke 2 (L Noble, M Horan)

Pembroke made it two wins in a week to continue their upsurge in results as Maebh Horan struck the beautiful, vital goal in the fourth quarter at Farmers’ Cross.

After a fast-paced first quarter, Pembroke took the lead in the second when Laura Noble got a sliding deflection to a sweet cross from Rachel Scott – back after a spell in Australia.

Cliodhna Sargent slammed home an equaliser in the third quarter from a penalty corner to make it 1-1. But Pembroke came back strong in the last quarter and got their winner when Horan received a perfect pass from Gllian Pinder and she roofed her effort.

Loreto 5 (S Clarke, H Mulcahy, S Evans, S O’Brien, S Torrans) Ards 0

Loreto scored three times in the first 16 minutes to set themselves up for a comfortable third win of the campaign, seeing off Ards at Grange Road. Sarah Clarke fired in a typically powerful first from a corner with previous little time gone.

Hayley Mulcahy added another from a slip pass before Sarah Evans got the third from play before the end of the first quarter. The Dubliners remained on the front foot for the rest of the first half but were held at bay until the closing quarter.

Siofra O’Brien did make it 4-0 when she got a deflection to Clarke’s pc hit. Sarah Torrans completed the scoring with a minute to go.

Old Alex 0 UCD 1 (E Curran)

Ellen Curran was credited with the goal that eventually handed UCD their third win from four EY Hockey League games, edging out an impressive Old Alex who are showing few signs of nerves in the top tier.

It was a family affair with six sets of sisters involved – the Connerys, Kellys and McDermotts for Alex; the Pattons and Careys for UCD while there was one Russell in both camps.

Abbie Russell’s powerful run set a high tempo from the outstet before Aine Connery won a corner for Alex, showing the attacking intent at both ends. Katherine Egan had the best of the early shots when she took in a bobbling ball but her effort went just wide as it remained scoreless into half-time.

The first corner for UCD came in the second half and it was eventually turned in with Abbie Russell in the mix. Curran’s shot, though, was deemed to have taken a defensive stick instead and so she was credited with the goal.

Hannah McLoughlin was mopping up everything for UCD in defence in a fine performance and they did well to up the ante in the final quarter, keeping the victory safe as well as their pursuit of Pegasus.

Railway Union 1 (S Hawkshaw) Pegasus 3 (S McCay, K Gourley, M Harvey)

Pegasus came from a goal behind to beat Railway Union and make it four wins from four in the women’s EY Hockey League.

Railway start brightly, creating a number of chances and were rewarded when a Kate McKenna pass found Sarah Hawkshaw in the circle to open the scoring. Much of the rest of the quarter was played between the two 25s with just one short corner, to Railway.

Pegasus began to settle into more structured attacks after the two-minute breather with Shirley McCay and Alex Speers solid, controlling the game flow of the game. A short corner slap hit by McCay into the bottom left saw a deserved equaliser.

Pegs carried that control into the second half with Railway being caught narrow but Holly Jenkinson put in some crucial tackles. A great counter almost saw Zara Delany and McKenna connect while Lily Lloyd and Anna-May Whelan’s link-play meant Railway always had a threat.

But the Ulster side took the initiative in the final quarter when Kate Gourley was found free and she skipped around the goalkeeper to slot. Immediately after taking the lead, Pegasus jumped into a 3-1 lead with a wide switch and scramble in the circle before Michelle Harvey squeezed home the goal.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Dharmaraj welcomes Singapore heat

By Jugjet Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian women's coach K. Dharmaraj welcomes the return of Singapore in the Razak Cup as he believes his trainees will benefit from playing against committed opponents.

The Razak Cup competitions for men and women starts on Friday and ends on Nov 3 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Singapore men will play in Division Two, while their women in Group A.

Last year, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia played in the men's Division Two, while only Indonesia featured in the women's event.

This year, the men's event will not feature national players as they are in Oman for the Asian Champions Trophy before they return to prepare for next month’s World Cup.

Speaking about the women, Dharmaraj said the Razak Cup and also next year’s national league should have more foreign teams and players as it will help his girls improve.

"I believe Singapore will give my players a healthy competition in the Razak Cup. We need to play regularly with players from other countries to become stronger.

"All my national trainees, except those who are playing in Europe and also sitting for their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examinations, will be playing.

"The remaining trainees will return to their states and I hope Singapore give our local teams a good fight," said Dharmaraj.

Selangor are the defending champions in the women’s event.

As for the men's event, last season's semi-finalists Negri Sembilan want to break their jinx and win the tournament.

Negri coach S. Chandran said: "With national players out of the Razak Cup, every state will have an equal chance to win the title and we hope to lay our hands on it after being bundled out of the semi-finals last year."

Negri will field eight Malaysia Games players while the rest are former club or national players.

In last year’s semi-finals, Terengganu edged Negri Sembilan 2-1 while Perak overcame Malacca 2-1 in a shoot-out after a 0-0 draw in regulations time.

Perak were champions following a 3-2 win over Terengganu.

New Straits Times

KL’s Razak Cup preparations thrown into disarray

By Aftar Singh

S. Sivabalan

KUALA LUMPUR: Kuala Lumpur’s preparation for the Razak Cup hockey tournament, which begins this Friday at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil, is in turmoil.

KL coaches and former internationals S. Sivabalan and Raymond Tio have quit the team due to a KL Hockey Association (KLHA) official interfering in the team selection for the Razak Cup.

It is learnt that 19 players were intially named on Tuesday night after completion of training.

Each state is only allowed four guest players but Sivabalan and Raymond wanted to include a fifth guest player.

The coaches were annoyed as they were denied the final say in the team selection and the decision was not made according to what was mutually discussed the night before.

Sivabalan declined to comment, only confirming that he was no longer coaching the KL team.

It is also learnt that another two former internationals, K. Gobinathan and Saiful Azli Abdul Rahman, have now taken charge of the KL team.

KLHA secretary V. Rajamanickam admitted that Sivabalan and Raymond quit as coaches as they wanted to include a fifth guest player – a goalkeeper from Selangor.

“We can’t include another keeper in the team as we already have two keepers. We also can’t include another guest keeper as we already have four guest players in the team. The coaches were unhappy and they quit the team,” said Rajamanickam.

Eight teams will feature in Division One and KL are drawn in Group A with defending champions Perak, Negri Sembilan and Perlis while Group B comprises Melaka, Penang, Johor and Terengganu.

The Star of Malaysia

No. 2 Maryland field hockey falls behind early and can’t come back in 3-1 loss to Virginia

The Terps close the regular season with a loss.

By Lila Bromberg

Head coach Missy Meharg talks to the team during Maryland field hockey’s match against Ohio State at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex on Sept. 21, 2018. (Andi Wenck/The Diamondback)

With less than 10 minutes left Sunday, Virginia defender Anzel Viljoen deflected the ball past Maryland field hockey goalkeeper Sarah Holliday on the team’s first shot of the second half, ending the Terps’ chances to conclude their regular season with a win.

On Friday, Maryland came back against No. 17 Northwestern after conceding a second-minute goal to win a share of the Big Ten regular season title. That win guaranteed Maryland its best regular season record since 2013.

But after falling behind early again by allowing the Cavaliers two goals in the first 10 minutes, the Terps couldn’t get back into the game. And despite Maryland dominating much of the second half, Viljoen’s late goal interrupted that momentum and carried the Cavaliers to a 3-1 win.

“It was pretty tough because we just started getting our energy back once we got our goal and we had to dig even … deeper,” forward Linnea Gonzales said. “Of course it was always possible ... but it just didn’t happen today.”

After fending off the Wildcats to secure the Terps’ fourth Big Ten regular season championship to open the weekend, the Terps’ final contest of the regular season against No. 23 Virginia seemed to be an easier task. But it was anything but that for No. 2 Maryland on Sunday.

Virginia dominated possession from the opening minutes and cashed in early, striking first in the seventh minute and then doubling the advantage about two minutes later.

The Cavaliers continually intercepted Maryland’s passes, preventing the Terps from generating attack.

The Terps didn’t take their first shot until the 10th minute and didn’t muster any substantial threats until the final 10 minutes before halftime. Maryland ended the opening period trailing by two goals for the third time this season.

“We opened up weak,” coach Missy Meharg said. “Just mentally, physically, we weren’t in sync. And Virginia was very prepared to pounce on us, and they did so.”

Maryland turned its play around in the second half, applying more effective pressure and controlling the ball more as a result.

Gonzales redirected defender Bodil Keus’ pass on the left side of the circle into the back of the net in the 40th minute. But her effort, one of nine shots on target for Maryland, was the lone to reach its target.

So even though it seemed the Terps may be on the road to their second comeback victory of the week, Viljoen’s penalty corner score ensured they closed the regular season with their worst loss of the season.

“Today wasn’t our best start in terms of the first half and our connections,” Gonzales said. “Looking at this [from] a positive perspective, I think it’s good to get a loss at now than rather than in postseason.”

The Diamondback

No. 23 field hockey upsets No. 2 Maryland and No. 15 Wake Forest

The Cavaliers completed their home slate with a pair of impressive victories over the weekend

By Mara Guyer

Freshman midfielder Annie McDonough scored the game winner against Wake Forest Friday. Courtesy Virginia Athletics

The No. 23 Virginia field hockey team (7-8, 2-4 ACC) defeated No. 15 Wake Forest (8-8, 2-4 ACC) Friday and No. 2 Maryland (16-2, 7-1 Big Ten) Sunday, finishing their home schedule with a pair of key victories over ranked teams.    

Freshman midfielder Amber Ezechiels put Virginia on the board early against the Deacons, with a shot off a corner around the 10-minute mark. The Cavaliers dominated the first half offensively, leading in both shot attempts — 10-3 — and penalty corners — 4-0 — but a second-chance goal by junior forward Kelsey Gill allowed Wake Forest to tie up the game entering halftime. 

The teams’ offensive attempts were more evenly distributed in the second half, but the Deacons were unable to score as senior goalkeeper Carrera Lucas tallied two saves. Wake Forest played down one player, then down two halfway through the period when the Deacons received a yellow and green card in quick succession. 

With a man-up advantage, the Cavaliers earned a penalty corner in the final minutes of the match. Freshman midfielder Annie McDonough scored the game winner — her first goal of the season — off a pass from junior midfielder Erin Shanahan outside the circle, giving the Cavaliers a 2-1 victory. 

Sunday’s game against Maryland was preceded by a ceremony recognizing the Virginia seniors. Fifth-year senior Lucas was honored alongside senior back Nikki Freeman, midfielder Greta Ell, striker Izzy McDonough and forward Brooke Castleberry. 

The Cavaliers quickly ran up the score against the second-ranked Terrapins and held onto their lead throughout the game. Freshman midfielder Greer Gill was efficient, scoring two goals in the first ten minutes of gameplay. Both shots came off penalty corners — the first was a rebound off the goalkeeper’s pads, while Ezechiels assisted the second. 

Maryland attempted to launch a comeback, scoring off a corner minutes into the second half.  The Terrapins kept up the pressure with nine shot attempts in the half, but couldn’t manage a game-tying second goal.

Virginia’s insurance goal came 60 minutes into the game, also following a penalty corner.  Junior back Anzel Viljoen inserted the ball with a pass to Annie McDonough, who set up a shot for Ezechiels at the top of the circle.  Viljoen was ready when Ezechiels’ shot bounced off Maryland senior keeper Sarah Holliday’s pads and lifted the ball into the cage, scoring the final goal of the game and her first of the season.

The Terrapins kept up the pressure and removed its goalkeeper to add an additional field player with fewer than ten minutes left to play.  They successfully shut out the Cavaliers’ shot attempts in five successive corners without a keeper, but were unable to put a dent in Virginia’s 3-1 lead.

Including Sunday’s Maryland upset, the Cavaliers have defeated two top-10 ranked teams this season. Their final game of the season — against William & Mary — will be played on the road, Friday, Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. The postseason begins Thursday, Nov. 1 as Virginia takes on Boston College (9-6, 2-4 ACC) at the ACC Field Hockey Championship in Chapel Hill, N.C.


'With each other, for each other': Unbeaten UNC field hockey downs Duke on Senior Day

BY Torre Netkovick

The field hockey team gathers and cheers as part of the celebration for seniors following their 5-2 win over Duke. Barron Northrup

"With each other, for each other."

That's the motto for the No. 1 North Carolina field hockey team this season, and that's exactly what it did in a 5-2 win over No. 4 Duke to remain undefeated at 16-0.

With a great offensive performance by the team, UNC sent off six players with a victory in its last regular season game at Karen Shelton Stadium — Malin Evert, Morgan Goetz, Mary Kathryn Harrah, Ashley Hoffman, Eva van’t Hoog and Leila Evans.

“It is important for the program and important for us seniors to make our mark," Evans said. “It is a great win going into the postseason. It is always a great day to win, always a good day to be a Tar Heel.” 

Early on, the matchup seemed to mirror the one the Tar Heels and Blue Devils had on Sept. 21 at Jack Katz Stadium. That game provided low scoring with strong defense, allowing the Tar Heels to win, 2-0.

But the win on Senior Day was far from a low-scoring affair.

The first goal was not scored until the 20th minute, when Megan DuVernois was awarded a penalty stroke, which she shot above the goalkeeper and into the net.

With a minute remaining in the first half, first-year standout Erin Matson scored an unassisted goal, which deflected off a defender and into the net to give her team a 2-0 edge.

Although it seemed like that goal would be the last of the half, Duke’s Caroline Andretta responded with a score of her own. It marked just the ninth goal an opponent has scored on North Carolina all season.

With a fragile 2-1 lead at halftime, head coach Karen Shelton had a message for her team. 

“We told them they were going to have to work hard for this win, and they were going to have to gut it out," Shelton said. “It was very disappointing to give up a goal ... We pride ourselves on, after every time we score, we want to focus on the next two minutes because teams get energized when they are scored on."

Shortly after play resumed, Catherine Hayden scored in the 38th minute to give her team a 3-1 lead — and bring the game back within the team's control. Hoffman passed the ball to Matson, who then transferred it on to Marissa Creatore who fired it to Hayden for the score.

"It was just nice for everyone to get a touch on the ball because it really was a team work goal," Hayden said. "I finished it but that was a team goal completely.” 

The Blue Devils would not go down without a fight, though. In the 43rd minute, they responded with a goal of their own to cut the lead to one.

The Tar Heel offense continued to push. Fifty-three seconds after the goal, first-year Hannah Griggs scored her second goal of 2018 to make it a two-score lead.  Then, in the 50th minute, Hoffman scored in her last regular season home contest to make it 5-2. That goal also capped off the victory for the Tar Heels.

This year's senior class achieved a lot in its four years at UNC. The seniors won two ACC Championships and reached the NCAA Final Four every season since coming to Chapel Hill. 

With the win, North Carolina remains undefeated on the season with one regular season game left. Even though the team has had much success this season, its main focus is to finish the campaign strong. 

“That was our second to last game and that was a big hump for us to get over," Hayden said. “Playing Duke again — it is hard to beat a team twice, especially such a good team." 

After the win, the team members put on their "With each other, for each other" t-shirts again to celebrate.

In order to continue the success, that's exactly what they'll need to do: play for each other.

The Daily Tar Heel

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