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News for 26 October 2018

All the news for Friday 26 October 2018

Men's Hero Asian Champions Trophy 2018 - Day 8
Muscat (OMA)

Results 25 October

PAK v MAS (RR)     1 - 0
JPN v OMA (RR)     5 - 0

Friday 26 October is a rest day

Final Pool standings

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 India 5 4 1 0 27 2 25 13
2 Pakistan 5 3 1 1 14 6 8 10
3 Malaysia 5 3 1 1 10 4 6 10
4 Japan 5 2 1 2 8 13 -5 7
5 Korea 5 1 0 4 8 15 -7 3
6 Oman 5 0 0 5 4 31 -27 0

FIH Match Centre

Irfan Jr scored match-winner for Pakistan against Malaysia

With the win, Pakistan climb to No.2 spot in the points table; to play Malaysia in Semi Final on Saturday

Ammad Butt against Malaysia

MUSCAT: Muhammad Irfan Jr’s goal clinched former champions Pakistan a 1-0 victory over Malaysia in the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Muscat 2018 on Thursday.

After several missed opportunities, Irfan Jr settled the fate of the contest when he collected Ajaz Ahmad’s cross from left in the goalmouth and duly flicked the ball into the open citadel as the Malaysian goalkeeper was beaten by the cross.

The victory secured Pakistan the second position the league standings. India topped the standings with 13 points, followed by Pakistan and Malaysia, both of whom finished on 10 points, but Pakistan had a superior goal difference than Malaysia.

Pakistan and Asian Games silver medallists Malaysia will meet again in the semi-finals on Saturday, while defending champions India will take on Asian Games gold medallists Japan.

In a match that features several miss chances, Malaysia had the first good shy at the goal in the ninth minute when Marhan Jalil collected a ball kicked by Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Butt on top of the circle. Jalik sent a firm shot, but Butt recovered his composure to effect a five save.

Pakistan suffered a setback when their captain, Muhammad Rizwan Jr limped off the pitch with a hamstring injury and did not return to the play any more role in the game.

Pakistan’s lone penalty corner came in the 46th minute, but Aleem Bilal could not capitalise on it as the goalkeeper padded the ball away.

With just seven minutes left, Irfan Jr trapped the cross from Ahmad that produced the match-winner.

Ahmad came into the frame with a fine fun on the right, but failed to score as his shot from the top of the circle went straight to the goalkeeper’s pads. Pakistan’s manager, Hasan Sardar said the three points should raise the morale of the team. “We could have scored more goals, but a victory is a victory,” said Sardar.

“”It was important for the boys to taste victory against the opponent whom we will face again in the semi-finals two days later,” he said.

Roelant Oltmans, coach of the Malaysian team, said the team that capitalised on the chances won the match. “We too had our chances, but the chance taken by a team proved decisive,” said Oltmans, adding that he was expecting better marksmanship from his strikers on Saturday.

Asian Hockey Federation media release

Japan coast to 5-0 victory over Oman in last league fixture

Japan to play defending champions India in the second Semi Final  on Saturday

MUSCAT: Asian Games gold medallists Japan scored a 5-0 victory over hosts Oman in the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Muscat 2018 at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Thursday.

Japan, who will play defending champions India in the semi-finals, were kept at bay by the Oman defence until the 14th minute before Koji Yamasaki opened the scoring.

The Japanese showcased their dribbles and passing, but the next goal only came in the 33rd minute through Wataru Matsumoto. Five minutes later, Kazumasa Matsumoto shot on target to make it 3-0.

The last two goals came within the space of one minute. In the 45th minute, Hiromasa Ochiai first scored in open play and then Hirotaka Zendana converted a penalty corner.

Japan’s coach, Siegfried Aikman said finding a way through Oman’s defence was not easy.

“It was a difficult match because Oman defended deep inside their own territory. With all players within their 25-yard territory, finding solutions past the Oman defence was not easy,” said Aikman.

“It is difficult for the players to keep discipline when they know they are better than their rivals. Everyone in my team wanted to show their skills,” Aikman added.

Tahir Zaman, coach of the Oman team, said injuries had reduced his side to just 15 fit players.

“It’s no secret that three of our players have been injured. We were down to 15 players, but a bigger problem was that all the three injured players were strikers,” said Zaman.

“To replace them upfront, we had to pull players from the midfielders and defenders, When we did that, the team lost its defensive structure,” he said.

Japan finished their five round-robin league matches with seven points, while Oman lost all their league matches in the six-nation competition.

Oman will play Korea in a play-off for the fifth and sixth positions on Saturday.

Asian Hockey Federation media release

Pakistan Edged Past Malaysia 1-0; face them again is Semis

It was these two teams' last match of the round robin phase at the  Hero Asian Champions Trophy Hockey Tournament  at  the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat, Oman.

Both  Pakistan and Malaysia had already qualified for the semifinals, and also virtually assured to face each other again in the last four stage.

Still, there was more than the bragging rights attached to this tie.

What added spice to this match was the fact that Malaysia's head coach, Dutchman Roelant Oltmans, was in charge of Pakistan team till one month back.

Under Oltmans tutelage, Pakistan had defeated Malaysia 4-1 when the two sides last met, in the Asian Games two months back.

Nothing much to describe the first 30 minutes. There were some soft circle entries at either end.

The only shot at the goal came via an Imran Butt blunder. Pakistani net minder's ridiculous clearance went to an opponent at the top of the circle. The Malaysian forward, who had all the time in the world, made a hash of it, shooting straight at Imran Butt. Neither side had a penalty corner.

Things livened up in the second half.

The tempo was faster and both the teams had some good chances but fine show by the two custodians and poor shooting meant it was still goal less after three quarters.

Pakistan earned the first PC of the evening in the 46th minute. Aleem Bilal's hard angular push was padded away by the goal keeper with an extended right leg.

Pakistan who had a bit more of the play finally managed to break the ice in the 53rd minute.

After electrifying passes on a counter attack, M.Irfan Jr standing close to the goal expertly put it in.

Two minutes later, a strong Ajaz Ahmad top of the circle shot was well taken by the well positioned Malaysian shot stopper  on his chest.

Thus, Pakistan ended second in the round robin behind India, edging Malaysia to third slot on goal difference.

Two sides will come across against each other again in the semifinal on Saturday.

India will face Japan in the other semifinal.

M.Irfan Jr (53')

PHF Media release

Pakistan 1 Malaysia 0, 'til we meet again Saturday

By Jugjet Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will play Pakistan in the semi-finals of the Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat, Oman on Saturday.

The national players ended third on the standings at the end of the pool matches, after they lost to Pakistan 1-0 Thursday.

It was Malaysia's only defeat of the tournament as in previous matches, hey started with a 3-0 win over Japan, followed by 3-1 win over Oman, 4-2 over South Korea and a 0-0 draw against India.

India topped the pool unbeaten, and will play Japan in the other semi-finals.

"Sport is very simple, you can’t win Matches if you don’t score. We didn’t in the last two matches. One time without conceding (0-0 with India) and one time we didn’t put enough efforts in our counter control.

"I believe we’ll see a match on a different pace (in the semi-finals against Pakistan again) and I’m convinced we’ll score goals in the upcoming match.

"If you play a semi-final, you always be able to give something extra. You can’t focus on the outcome, but you can on the right approach and execution of the plans," said Malaysia coach Roelant Oltmans.

Pakistan manager Hasan Sardar said: "“It was important for my men to taste victory against an opponent whom we will face again in the semi-finals two days later.”

The only difference in the pool encounter was Muhammad Irfan 54th minute goal, otherwise Malaysia had a good outing but failed to nail sitters.

         P      W       D       L       F      A        Pts

India 5 4 1 0 27 2 13
Pakistan 5 3 1 1 14 8 10
Malaysia 5 3 1 1 10 6 10
Japan 5 2 1 2 8 13 7
Korea 5 1 0 4 8 15 3
Oman 5 0 0 5 4 31 0

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Irfan sparkles as Pakistan down Malaysia to enter semifinals

LAHORE: Muhammad Irfan Junior goal clinched former champions Pakistan a 1-0 victory over Malaysia in the Asian Champions Trophy Hockey Tournament at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat, Oman on Thursday. After several missed opportunities, Irfan Jr settled the fate of the contest when he collected Ajaz Ahmad’s cross from left in the goalmouth and duly flicked the ball into the open citadel as the Malaysian goalkeeper was beaten by the cross. The victory secured Pakistan the second position the league standings. India topped the standings with 13 points, followed by Pakistan and Malaysia, both of whom finished on 10 points, but Pakistan had a superior goal difference than Malaysia.

Pakistan and Asian Games silver medallists Malaysia will meet again in the semi-finals on Saturday, while defending champions India will take on Asian Games gold medallists Japan. In a match that features several miss chances, Malaysia had the first good shy at the goal in the ninth minute when Marhan Jalil collected a ball kicked by Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Butt on top of the circle. Jalik sent a firm shot, but Butt recovered his composure to effect a five save.

Pakistan suffered a setback when their captain, Muhammad Rizwan Jr limped off the pitch with a hamstring injury and did not return to the play any more role in the game. Pakistan’s lone penalty corner came in the 46th minute, but Aleem Bilal could not capitalise on it as the goalkeeper padded the ball away. With just seven minutes left, Irfan Jr trapped the cross from Ahmad that produced the match-winner. Ahmad came into the frame with a fine fun on the right, but failed to score as his shot from the top of the circle went straight to the goalkeeper’s pads. Pakistan’s manager, Hasan Sardar said the three points should raise the morale of the team. “We could have scored more goals, but a victory is a victory,” said Sardar. “”It was important for the boys to taste victory against the opponent whom we will face again in the semi-finals two days later,” he said. Roelant Oltmans, coach of the Malaysian team, said the team that capitalised on the chances won the match. “We too had our chances, but the chance taken by a team proved decisive,” said Oltmans, adding that he was expecting better marksmanship from his strikers on Saturday.

The Daily Times

Pakistan beat Malaysia 1-0; face them again in semis

LAHORE - Pakistan hockey team defeated Malaysia 1-0 in the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Hockey Tournament at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat, Oman. The green shirts will again play against Malaysian in the semifinals.

Both Pakistan and Malaysia had already qualified for the semifinals and also virtually assured to face each other again in the last-four stage. Still, there was more than the bragging rights attached to this tie. What added spice to this match was the fact that Malaysia's head coach Dutchman Roelant Oltmans was in-charge of Pakistan team till one month back. Under Oltmans tutelage, Pakistan had defeated Malaysia 4-1 when the two sides last met in the Asian Games two months back.

Nothing much to describe in the first 30 minutes as there were some soft circle entries at either end. The only shot at the goal came via an Imran Butt blunder. Pakistani net minder's ridiculous clearance went to an opponent at the top of the circle. The Malaysian forward, who had all the time in the world, made a hash of it, shooting straight at Imran Butt. Neither side had a penalty corner.

Things livened up in the second half. The tempo was faster and both the teams had some good chances but fine show by the two custodians and poor shooting meant it was still goal less after three quarters. Pakistan earned the first penalty coroner of the evening in the 46th minute. Aleem Bilal's hard angular push was padded away by the goalkeeper with an extended right leg.

Pakistan, who had a bit more of the play, finally managed to break the ice in the 53rd minute. After electrifying passes on a counter attack, Irfan Junior, standing close to the goal, expertly put it in. Two minutes later, a strong Ajaz Ahmad top of the circle shot was well taken by the well positioned Malaysian shot stopper on his chest.

Thus, Pakistan ended second in the round robin behind India, edging Malaysia to third slot on goal difference. The two sides will come across against each other again in the semifinal tomorrow (Saturday). India will face Japan in the other semifinal.

The Nation

India’s win over South Korea resembled a dull movie with a great star cast

Sundeep Misra

India players celebrate a goal against South Korea. Image courtesy: Twitter @TheHockeyIndia

For a team so intrinsically built on momentum and a swathe of high-speed passes, India still needed a bit of luck, Harmanpreet Singh’s hat-trick of penalty corner conversions and a brilliant up-field pass to carve out a 4-1 victory over a South Korean side that has seen better days. India were still smarting from that dull, listless goalless draw with Malaysia. And with coach Harendra Singh criticising his forwards for not being in the right spot at the right time, the game against South Korea was an improved display yet one came off the match with that feeling of having watched a dull movie with a great star cast.

These are not critical times; yet to look into the Indian side with its traditional yo-yoing consistency, the coach needs to grab the issue by the scruff of its neck. India sit on the top of the points table with 13 points and Malaysia can catch them if they beat Pakistan. But India with an overall better goal difference will surely top the Pool and thus by all calculations end up playing Japan in the semi-finals.

For those who have seen South Korean teams over the last two decades culminating in their 2000 Sydney Olympics silver medal, this was an amateur side. The slide in Korean fortunes has been perplexing. Among a lot of factors, which includes a dwindling talent pool, is also the absence of a top-notch coach. Till Kim Sang-Ryul was there, the Korean hockey was tactically a top-six team and they held that position for almost a decade. Pace was the weapon for Korea along with a solid midfield domination and error-free play. Korea managed to hold India in the second and third quarter and also got a goal back in the 2nd quarter. In the 3rd quarter, they played resolutely in the midfield as India, for reasons known only to them, stopped the aerial passes and crept back into positions of 6-8 man defending.

The start was brilliant as India had a penalty corner in the fifth minute and Harmanpreet Singh was on target. India swarmed all over the Koreans in the next five minutes — Akashdeep Singh blazed over, Mandeep Singh couldn’t latch onto a cross and Dilpreet Singh was again a little hasty.

Just when India seemed a little down after a flurry of unfinished moves, Harmanpreet created a sensational up-field pass. Most of the players were caught grouped just around the India midfield when Harmanpreet steered the ball to his left and saw Gurjant, the lone forward inside the Korean striking circle.

Deep from the Indian half, Harmanpreet’s reverse hit sped perfectly onto Gurjant’s stick. He only had to trap, move up a little to his left and let loose a strike that the Korean goalkeeper could only watch fly by. It was a terrific goal that should have got the blood pounding in the rest of the players. Goals like these build big momentums, turn courses of matches and make even out-of-form players play like wizards.

At the end of the 1st quarter, India were still struggling in the midfield while Korea built themselves back into the match. In the 20th minute, Korean captain Seungil Lee found himself on the right hand corner of the Indian striking circle. Moving in towards PR Sreejesh would have cut the angle down. Lee did the next best thing. He hit a flat, rising shot that zipped high into the corner of the Indian goal. Sreejesh was rooted to the spot, caught completely unawares by Lee’s opportunism.

Korea played well after Lee’s goal. They held the ball and didn’t allow many errors to creep in. They kept the Indian defence occupied where Surender, Varun and Harmanpreet had a good outing. At the end of the second quarter, India had nine circle entries compared to Korea’s five; both the teams were running each other close.

Korea were slightly more aggressive in the 3rd quarter, cutting through India’s midfield to swarm the defence and off one such move that came in from the right flank, they scored with the ball going through Krishan Pathak’s legs, a silly goal to concede for any goalkeeper. India meanwhile referred and the video umpire reversed the decision. Pathak and India breathed easy.

Korea then also had their 2nd PC which was shot wide. It was a slightly scrappy affair as both teams tried to find a breakthrough. The perplexing bit about India’s play has always been the sporadic bits of brilliance with large chunks of mediocrity creeping in when raising its level is what good teams accomplish. Manpreet Singh had a great chance when Gurinder passed the ball in the middle of the Korean circle. Manpreet caught with his back to the goal tried to tap in the ball between his legs. But the Korean defence cleared.

India upped the aggression in the 4th quarter. Jarmanpreet made a few solo runs down the right flank. Manpreet, playing slightly on the right half side, created a few moves with Gurjant constantly threatening inside the Korean circle. India had two consecutive PCs and Harmanpreet flicked home his second goal of the match as India led 3-1. Jarman was shown the green card, an area India really need to look at even though in the match against Pakistan they didn’t get a card. Korea managed a 3rd PC after a shove by Surender on Kim JungHoo but Pathak was alert and brought off a good save. With approximately three minutes remaining in the match, Korea pulled off their goalkeeper and brought in a kicking back.

India pushed harder and Mandeep was literally jumped on by a Korean full back. The resultant PC was flicked in cleanly by Harmanpreet for his hat-trick as India led 4-1. Harmanpreet hat-trick would give him the necessary confidence for the upcoming semi-final, most probably against Japan, at the moment the 4th placed team. In the last ten meetings with Korea, India have won six with four matches drawn. In fact, in the 2017 Asia Cup in Dhaka, Korea had led till the last minute before India found the equaliser for a 1-1 draw.  The larger margins of victory have been 4-1, 5-3 (AG, 2018) and 3-0 (WC, 2014).

India would be prepared for the semi-finals with a two-day gap giving the much needed space for the team to huddle and work out plans for the knockout games. Each player knows the importance of the tournament keeping in mind the upcoming World Cup. Maybe, the momentum, speed and fast hockey played at the Champions Trophy, Breda is taking a bit longer to fade out. Or, the constant tinkering also takes a toll on players and coaches. Inspiration sometimes comes from within. For that, all the team has to do is rewind to Harmanpreet’s delectable reverse-hit cross followed by Gurjant’s brilliant goal.


Indian team seeks early goals, says ace penalty flicker Harmanpreet

Emphasizes that the Defending Champions are focused on retaining the title

MUSCAT: India’s ace penalty corner shooter Harmanpreet Singh says the team is focused on retaining the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Muscat 2018, currently underway at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex here.

“The Indian team goes out looking for early goals every time,” says Harmanpreet, who last night scored three goals to give India a 4-1 victory over South Korea in their last league outing.

India stayed on top of the league standings with 13 points from five outings. Their semi-final opponent will be determined after the last round of league matches tonight, although Malaysia, Pakistan and Japan have earned enough points to push South Korea and Oman out of the frame.

“The team is maintaining its structure and focused on retaining the title,” said Harmanpreet, whose coach considers him as one of the ace penalty corner takers.

“The support from Indian fans here in Muscat has been wonderful,’ said Harmanpreet, adding that Indian fans boost the morale of the team in all parts of the world. “The fan support is always a big boost for us.”

Harmanpreet made a dramatic entry into international hockey when he made his debut in the 2016 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh (Malaysia) and went on to represent India in the Champions Trophy in London and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro within a couple of months.

The spotlight has not left him since then. Coach Harendra Singh says Harmanpreet had developed into an excellent drag-flicker. “Harmanpreet is one of the best penalty corner shooters in the game today,” says Harendra, who wants the strikers to earn more penalty corners so that India’s strength in that can also transform into goals.

“The strikers should always keep in mind that there’s an option of forcing a penalty corner when they are not finding space for a shy at the goal,” said Harendra.

“When you are not finding space to shoot at the goal, try to earn penalty corners,” the coach advises his strikers. “The penalty corners provide a cushion and a chance for direct shot at the goal.”

“We have the ability to score both with direct penalty corner flicks and on the rebounds,” said Harendra.

India next plays the Semi Final on Saturday, 27 October 2018.

Asian Hockey Federation media release

We are always looking for early goals, says drag-flicker Harman

After scoring a hat-trick against South Korea, India’s penalty corner specialist Harmanpreet Singh said his team always looked to score early goals. Harmanpreet scored three drag-flick goals — one in the fifth minute and two late in the game — as India beat South Korea 4-1 in their last league match here on Wednesday.

“I feel happy the way I am shooting the penalty corners. I just focused on the job and the goals came,” said Harmanpreet, who was named the Man of the Match. “The Indian team goes out looking for early goals every time.”
India fell behind early against Pakistan and were frustrated by Malaysia in a goalless draw. In the other matches though, they took the lead early. Even against Pakistan and Malaysia, India created many goal-scoring chances in the first few minutes, but failed to convert.

India coach Harendra Singh said the strikers should also think about earning penalty corners when the opposition defence doesn’t give them much space. “The strikers should always keep in mind that there’s an option of forcing a penalty corner when they are not finding space for a shy at the goal,” Harendra said. “The penalty corners provide a cushion and a chance for a direct shot at the goal.”
The coach praised Harmanpreet, saying that the 22-year-old was “one of the best penalty corner shooters in the game today”.

Semifinal vs Japan

India go into the semifinals — to be played on October 27 — undefeated, and will play Asian Games champions Japan for a place in the final.

Pakistan qualified for the semifinals in second place after stunning Malaysia 1-0 in their final pool match today. Muhammad Irfan Jr scored a 54th-minute winner as Pakistan set up a last-4 clash with Malaysia.

India had dominated the pool stage in the Asian Games as well, but had slipped at the first big hurdle, losing in the semifinals. With the Asian Champions Trophy reaching its business end, Harmanpreet said the team was “focused on retaining the title”. “The team is focussed on maintaining its structure,” he said. “The support from the Indian fans here in Muscat has been wonderful. The fan support is always a big boost for us,” he added.

The Tribune

Tahir wants prove his coaching mettle with Oman

Shashank Gupta

Late Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto, once proudly proclaimed: “I always thought only soldiers fight for the pride of the country but here I have a soldier with a hockey-stick in his hand.” She was in fact referring to a player who chose to play the World-Cup even when his father expired at the beginning of the tournament.

The prolific right-winger was none other than Tahir Zaman, who teamed up with Shahbaz Ahmed Sr. and Kallemullah Khan, to get his country what it deserved three decades ago.

Among other things, the great right-in of his times, scored a stroke in the final of the 1994 World Cup tie-breaker, leading to ultimate glory in Sydney.

Unfortunately, his father wasn’t around to witness that moment.

Even in his playing days, the wily-winger Tahir dreamt of being a coach post his playing days. Tahir Zaman attends coaching courses conducted by FIH. His coaching experienced ranges from Egypt to Azerbaijan to Barbados. Back in early 2000s, the celebrated forward Tahir, also coached medal winning Pakistan team as well.

Early on in January this year, he took up the role of coaching Oman team. Notwithstanding the numerous limitations – a modest pool of players, challenges with fitness and non-relieving of players from their respective departments -- Zaman has still shown good results for Oman Hockey. Their team won the Asian Games Qualifier and got the ticket to recently finished Asian Games at Jakarta, Indonesia.

In the 3-nation tournament earlier this year, Oman ended playing a 4-4 draw against Pakistan. Oman is the only Gulf country which has made its mark in Hockey. Rightly, they stood 7th in the Asian Games maintaining their ranking in Asian Hockey. Playing against Bangladesh, the team ranked two-ranks higher to them, Oman were superior in all departments but ended up losing the match.

At the ongoing Asian Champions Trophy 2018, at Muscat, he hopes to get good exposure for his players. Oman is the lowest ranked team (33rd) in the competition, behind a 15th ranked Korea. Tahir is realistic about his aspirations from the Oman team. He wants them to be competitive against every team because three teams are World-Cup bound in this tournament, scheduled in Bhubaneshwar, in Nov-Dec.

Oman Government and the Federation has been supportive and Tahir emphasizes that there are only two tournaments in Oman named after Sultan Qaboos, one is Football and another one being Hockey.

On the degradation of Hockey in Pakistan, Tahir feels that Hockey India League has done a lot of good to India. He regrets that Pakistan and India don’t get to play each other often these days and feels bad about Hockey-fans that they don’t get what they deserve. Tahir Zaman runs a Hockey Academy in Gojra, Pakistan. He has a firm belief in grooming young talent and that’s what motivates him to continue his work at the grassroot levels. There are plans to have Pakistan Super League and Tahir strongly feels that India should be invited for the same.

Remembering his playing days, Tahir fondly remembers his playmates Shahbaz Ahmed Sr., Kaleemullah and relishes the game of Pargat Singh and Dhanraj Pillay. Tahir’s father once told him, ‘You keep winning insignificant tournaments. Show me something big!’ He went on to win the World Cup for Pakistan.

But those were the playing days. Will Tahir Zaman be able to pull-off something big yet again in his Coaching-career?


AHL Quarter-Finals

Ben Somerford

Queensland Scorchers 13 (Kenny 15’, 43’, 49’, Greiner 22’, 22’, Wilkinson 24', 24', Kershaw 28’, 29’, 49', 49', Eleison 25’, M. Fitzpatrick 33’) NT Pearls 0

In the opening match of the AHL Finals the top seeded Queensland Scorchers defeated the Northern Territory Pearls 13-0 on Thursday afternoon at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre.

Led by Hockeyroos Rosie Malone, Steph Kershaw and Jodie Kenny, the Scorchers were dominant all day, securing their spot in Saturday’s semi-final against either Canberra from 12:30pm (AEST).

Queensland had all the attack early in the match but some strong saves from Elizabeth Duguid including an impressive diving deflection kept the Pearls in the match.

Homegrown Hockeyroo Malone was amongst the action early, creating several penalty corner opportunities for the Scorchers, Kenny took advantage of one in the dying seconds of the first term, nailing a powerful drag flick.

Rebecca Greiner hit the scoreboard  in the 22nd minute with a field goal in congestion that found the top right corner of the net. Greiner went back and was able to slip the conversion past Duguid.

Britt Wilkinson scored just moments later, finding herself alone in the D. She too was able to go back and take advantage of her conversion opportunity.

The Pearls didn’t let up in attack, entering the D a number of times but unable to impact the scoreboard.

Layla Eleison was able to take advantage of an aerial ball close to goals, finding the ball and sending it into the back of the net. Duguid was able to stop the conversion this time with a strong dive to kill the ball.

Hockeyroo Kershaw scored with an impressive strike late in the first half and backed it up with an equally as impressive conversion, dribbling the ball past the NT Keeper and running it into the goal.

Despite several opportunities, the NT Pearls were unable to score during their PumpPlay and entered halftime trailing 8-0.

The second half started as the first ended, Queensland pushed into attack to create a penalty corner opportunity from which Madison Fitzpatrick launched a drag flick and scored her first for the match.

Kenny reminded her home crowd just how good she is with a huge drag flick goal in the 43rd minute of the match, blasting the ball past everyone in defence.

A flurry of goals in the 49th minute begun with veteran Hockeyroo Kenny drawing a penalty stroke from which she scored, launching the ball above the keepers glove. She was unable to score on the conversion.

Seconds later Kershaw took the most of a field goal opportunity, beating the defence and increasing the Scorchers lead by two with the goal and a penalty conversion.

Jacqueline Graf had an opportunity late in the piece to put the Pearls on the scoreboard, running the ball from defence and into the D, but Queensland keeper Hannah Astbury was able to prevent a score with a diving save.

Canberra Lakers 7 (N. Gupte 6’, Turner 23’, 23’, 57’ PP, 57’, B. Staines 55) SA Hotshots 0

Ex-Kookaburra Glenn Turner turned on a masterclass as the Canberra Lakers booked their spot in the AHL semi-finals after a 7-0 win over SA Hotshots on the Gold Coast on Thursday.

Turner claimed five of the Lakers’ seven goals in the emphatic win, which never looked in doubt, with Canberra to face either WA or NSW in the semis.

Niranjan Gupte slid home to open the scoring in the sixth minute, although his field goal conversion attempt hit the post.

Turner added the second in the 23rd minute with his shot smashing into the backboard, before fooling SA keeper James Richardson.

The Hotshots tried to rally in the final quarter with a series of penalty corners, coming closest in the 53rd minute when Simon Brown deflected Luke Larwood’s ball wide.

Canberra added final quarter goals, including one from Turner during the PumpPlay, to run away convincing winners.

Ben Staines worked a neat one-two with Kazuma Murata before dinking past Richardson, although he dragged his conversion over the baseline.

Turner put further icing on the cake with a goal in the 57th minute, followed up by his conversion.

South Australia Suns 0 (2) (H. Evans, Claxton) Canberra Strikers 0 (4) (Taseska, Middleton, N. Evans, E. Bone)

The Canberra Strikers have defeated the SA Suns in a thriller on Thursday afternoon at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre.

The back and forth affair couldn’t be resolved in regular time and went to a penalty shootout. Goals to Holly Evans and Jane Claxton weren’t enough to keep the Suns alive with Tina Taseska, Beckie Middleton, Naomi Evans and Edwina Bone securing the victory for the Strikers.

The Strikers will now go on to face Queensland Scorchers in Saturday’s semi-final matchup. The Suns will face off against the Northern Territory Pearls in a classification match.

The first half was a defensive grind for both sides involved with neither the Suns nor the Strikers allowing uncontested shots in their respective Ds.

It took until the Canberra Strikers’ Pump Play for the game to open up with both sides creating opportunities to hit the scoreboard.

Hockeyroo Edwina Bone created an chance for the Strikers to score double points, gaining possession in defence before running the ball into attack where her pass was missed.

Bone’s run was quickly answered by South Australian Emily Grist who intercepted a wayward pass in the middle of the pitch and ran into an open D however Strikers keeper Rene Hunter smothered the ball and extinguished any chance for a score.

Midway through the third term Suns player Alison Penington found herself open inside the attacking D but her shot was soundly deflected by Hunter.

Consecutive shots by the Strikers kept Ashlee Wells on her toes late in the third term, but the Hockeyroo was able to keep Canberra off the scoreboard with a series of deflections and dives.

With the game still tied nil-all at full time, the match went to penalty shootouts. Tina Taseska was the first to score slipping a goal past her opponent while South Australian Miki Spano couldn’t do the same.

Holly Evans put the Suns on the board with a fantastic shot around the body but Beckie Middleton answered for Canberra.

The next two shots were denied by the respective goal keepers leaving the score 2-1 in Canberra’s favour.

Hockeyroo Jane Claxton showed her experience, nailing her penalty shot. Naomi Evans quickly answered for the Strikers.

It all came down to the efforts of Canberra captain Eddie Bone who skilfully sent the ball through Wells’ legs to send the Strikers to Saturday’s quarter-finals against Queensland from 12:30pm (AEST).

Tassie Tigers 11 (Ockenden 9’, 9’, 31’, 31’, H. Beltz 37’, 37’, Edwards 43’, 43’, Dick 53’, Read 57’ PP) NT Stingers 0

Eddie Ockenden was the star as the Tassie Tigers secured their spot in the AHL semi-finals with an 11-0 win over the NT Stingers on the Gold Coast on Thursday.

Ockenden scored four goals, with his ninth minute field goal and conversion splitting the sides at the main break.

Two minutes after the long interval, Ockenden added another goal and conversion to stretch the lead to 4-0.

NT keeper Adam Luck saved from Ben Read’s drag flick, before Hayden Beltz poked home in the 37th minute from a goalmouth scramble before taking his conversion.

Kookaburra Jeremy Edwards’ 43rd minute angled reverse stick finish and conversion made it 8-0 with the Tigers running away with it.

James Dick was in the right place at the right time to swoop on a rebound from a penalty corner in the 53rd minute.

During Tassie’s PumpPlay, after a series of short corners, Read made it 11-0 with a drag flick too strong for Luck.

Tassie will play either Victoria or Queensland in the semis on Saturday from 3:30pm (AEST).

Victoria Vipers 6 (Padget 6', 6', Ratcliffe 18', 41', 41', Brazel 20') Tassie Van Demons 0

Reigning champions Victoria have cruised into the AHL semi-finals after a 6-0 win over the Tassie Van Demons in Gold Coast on Thursday night.

The Vipers were always in control, racing to a four-goal lead within 20 minutes and booked their semi-final date with either WA or NSW on Saturday.

Hayley Padget put the Vics ahead in the sixth minute, before taking her conversion.

Tasmania looked for a reply when Sarah McCambridge’s deflection from a short corner was well saved by Vics keeper Rachael Lynch.

The Vipers won a penalty stroke when a drag flick from a short corner was blocked on the line illegally and Madi Ratcliffe stepped up to make it 3-0 in the 18th minute.

Victoria won another penalty stroke two minutes later, with Lily Brazel taking the duties this time with the same result on 20 minutes.

Tassie rallied in the third with a series of chances, but the reigning champions went further ahead when Ratcliffe forced the ball home. She stepped up to take her conversion.

Victoria peppered the Tassie goal in the final quarter looking for more goals but had to settle for 6-0.

Tassie will play the loser of the WA or NSW clash in the classification finals on Saturday from 10:30am (AEST).

WA Thundersticks 2 (Frazer 18’, Coby Green 57’) NSW Waratahs 10 (K. Govers 7’, T. Craig 29’, Brand 33’, 33’, Hayes 35’, Lovett 36’, Ogilvie 50’, B. Govers 59’ PP, 59’)

A fast-paced clash at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre on Thursday evening saw the NSW Waratahs defeat the Western Australia Thundersticks 10-2.

Led by a strong contingent of Kookaburras, the Waratahs never trailed after scoring their first goal in the sixth minute of the match.

Bags of multiple goals from Tim Brand and Blake Govers helped push the Waratahs to an important win which will see them take on Canberra in Saturday’s semi-final.

Kieran Govers opened the scoring in the sixth minute when he made himself open in the attacking D, he settled and nailed a powerful shot past fellow Kookaburra Tyler Lovell. Lovell got some revenge though, sending the conversion shot flying and saving a goal on the scoreboard.

In their first penalty corner opportunity of the matchvthe Thundersticks opted for the dragflick over taking the ball out of the D for a field goal opportunity and it paid off. Frazer Gerrard rocketed a shot past Waratahs keeper Ash Thomas to level the score.

Tim Brand popped up in the 23rd minute of the match, getting on the end of a long pass and shooting at goal only to be denied by Lovell.

Late in the Thundersticks' PumpPlay the ball found its way bouncing into the path of Tom Craig who was able to skilfully loop the ball over Lovell’s head in the 29th minute of the match. The West Australian keeper took out his frustration during the conversion opportunity, brilliantly defending until the shot timer ran out.

Still looking for his first goal, Brand sparked a NSW onslaught with a slick field goal and conversion off a Flynn Ogilvie assist in the 33rd minute.

The Waratahs added another two goals in as many minutes through Jack Hayes and Kurt Lovett. Hayes’ goal came via a penalty corner while Lovett ran the length of the pitch, beating his opponent and slamming home the goal. Lovell defended the conversion chance beautifully.

Spurred by Kookaburras Jake Harvie and Aran Zalewski, the Thundersticks threw themselves at the Waratahs defence trying to break through. Despite having a number of chances close to goal, the Western Australians were unable to impact the scoreboard.

In the 50th minute the Waratahs were able to counterattack, using the momentum to find Flynn Ogilvie close to home. Ogilvie swept the ball past Lovell for a goal but was unable to beat the keeper in their one-on-one conversion opportunity.

The Waratahs PumpPlay initially freed up the flow of the game to the advantage of the Thundersticks who were able to hit the scoreboard by way of a field goal to Coby Green in the 57th minute. Green was unable to beat Thomas in the conversion chance.

With just one minute remaining Blake Govers was able to hit the scoreboard from the field for double points thanks to the PumpPlay. After barrelling his way into attack and scoring, Blake Govers was able to go back and take advantage of the conversion chance leaving the final score at 10-2 in the Waratahs’ favour.

The Waratahs will now face off against Canberra in Saturday’s semi-final while the Thundersticks will take on South Australia in a classification match.

NSW Arrows 6 (Jenner 11', 28', Smith 31', 31', Stewart 34') WA Diamonds 0

The NSW Arrows have qualified for the AHL semi-finals after comfortably accounting for the WA Diamonds 6-0 in rainy conditions on the Gold Coast on Thursday night.

The Arrows will face the Victoria Vipers in Saturday’s semis from 2pm (AEST).

Kate Jenner opened the scoring from a drag flick from an 11st minute short corner.

Jessica Watterson almost doubled NSW’s lead in the 16th minute when she found space inside the D but was blocked by a WA defender.

WA’s Line Malan deflected Rachel Frusher’s 23rd minute slider wide of the target from a penalty corner.

Jenner capped off a nice move, drifting forward, to convert from close range during NSW’s PumpPlay to make it 3-0 late in the first half.

WA keeper Aleisha Power smothered well to deny her conversion attempt.

NSW captain Emily Smith combined well with fellow Hockeyroo Grace Stewart to add another in the second minute after half-time. Smith coolly scored her conversion to make it 5-0.

Stewart got a goal of her own in the 34th minute but Power again thwarted her from the conversion.

Victoria Vikings 5 (Simmonds 48’, 60’ PP, Ephraums, 49’, 49’) Queensland Blades 6 (Boyde, 16’, 16’, B. Wotherspoon 25’, Whetton, 27’, 27’ PP)

Stormy weather threatened to ruin the night for a bumper crowd at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre on Thursday but in the end it was the Queensland Blades who ruined the night for the Victoria, defeating the Vikings 6-5 in a game that went down to the wire.

Multiple goals to Scott Boyde and Jake Whetton saw the Blades lock up the win and a place in Saturday’s semi-final against Tasmania.

With a thunderstorm looming in the distance it was Scott Boyde who struck first, scoring an impressive field goal through traffic in the 16th minute of the match. Boyde was able to step up and wrongfoot Australian goalkeeper Johan Durst to put the Blades up 2-nil.

The Blades struck again in the 25th minute, this time through Blake Wotherspoon with a powerful drag flick from the penalty corner opportunity.

Queensland’s Pump Play worked to their advantage when Jake Whetton  turned the corner in the D and found the top corner of the net for two points in the 27th minute. The Kookaburra then lined up for his conversion opportunity and didn’t disappoint, nailing the goal and extending his sides lead to six.

Victoria had all of the momentum in the third term creating a number of penalty corner opportunities and some solid shots on target. Despite having most of the play, the Vikings were unable to capitalise and failed to hit the scoreboard.

A dramatic fourth quarter saw two Queensland player receives cards in as many minutes. Dylan Wotherspoon received a red card in the 46th minute while Matthew Swann was called for a yellow immediately after.

With a two player advantage Victoria was able to work their way back into the game. First through Josh Simmonds who scored from a penalty corner in the 48th minute and then 30 seconds later through Nathan Ephraums who scored a field goal through congestion and the subsequent conversion.

Trailing by three goals Victoria entered their Pump Play desperate to hit the scoreboard. A number of near misses and well defended penalty corners meant that the deficit didn’t change until 60th minute.

In the dying seconds of the match the Vikings forced a penalty corner with the aim to score a field goal and take the conversion opportunity to tie the match.

Unfortunately for Victoria, time ran out and the side wasn’t able to play on for the field goal chance. Josh Simmonds still scored from the penalty corner, his score was doubled due to the Pump Play, but it wasn’t enough for the Vikings.

Queensland managed to hold onto their lead despite having players on the bench, defeating Victoria 6-5 and advancing to Saturday’s semi-final against Tasmania.

Hockey Australia media release

AHL Semi-Finals Match-ups & Start Times Confirmed

Ben Somerford

The Australian Hockey League (AHL) semi-finals fixtures have been confirmed after Thursday’s quarter-finals at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre were completed.

Both of hosts Queensland’s teams, the Scorchers and Blades, qualified for the semi-finals, which will solely be played on Pitch 1.

The Scorchers will play the Canberra Strikers from 12:30pm AEST, followed by the NSW Arrows against reigning champions Victoria Vipers from 2pm AEST.

The men’s semi-finals will take afterwards, with the Tassie Tigers playing the Queensland Blades from 3:30pm AEST. The Canberra Lakers and the NSW Waratahs will meet in the day’s final game from 5pm AEST.

Sunday’s gold medal matches will occur at 3:30pm AEST in the women’s and 5pm AEST in the men’s. All medal matches on Sunday will be live streamed on www.epicentre.tv.

Saturday will also see classification matches played from 8:45am AEST from 10:30am AEST on both pitches.

Tickets are available via Ticketbooth.com.au. The AHL Finals are made possible thanks to the support of Tourism and Events Queensland and the City of Gold Coast.

Saturday 27 October
Women’s AHL Semi-Finals Fixtures (all times AEST)
12:30pm, Queensland Scorchers v Canberra Strikers, Pitch 1
2pm, NSW Arrows v Victoria Vipers, Pitch 1
Men’s AHL Semi-Finals Fixtures (all times AEST)
3:30pm, Tassie Tigers v Queensland Blades, Pitch 1
5pm, Canberra Lakers v NSW Waratahs, Pitch 1
Women’s Classification Matches (all times AEST)
8:45am, NT Pearls v SA Suns, Pitch 1
10:30am, WA Diamonds v Tas Van Demons, Pitch 2
Men’s Classification Matches (all times AEST)
8:45am, NT Stingers v Victoria Vikings, Pitch 2
10:30am, SA Hotshots v WA Thundersticks, Pitch 1

Sunday 28 October
AHL Medal Matches Fixtures (all times AEST)|
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  

Hockey Australia media release

Goals Galore on opening day at Belville Velodrome

Photo - Cindy Hack - Facebook

The opening day of the South African 2018 Indoor IPT saw a remarkable 119 goals scored across 12 games at an average of just under 10 goals a game. Incredibly 10 different players bagged themselves hat-tricks on an opening day that featured four shut outs as well. It was another day advertising how entertaining the sport of indoor hockey can be as an average of a goal every four minutes offered the spectators at the Belville Velodrome some great excitement.

The most score-full game of the day was an absolute classic as the defending champions the KZN Raiders Men were stunned 9-7 by Namibia in a game of high octane hockey. At half-time the score was 3-2, but there were few signs of what was to come in an explosive second half. 6 goals in 7 second half minutes saw Namibia surge to a 9-4 lead before a late fight back from the defending champions set up an unlikely finish, unfortunately for the Raiders that was how it stayed.

There were 14 goals in one of the women’s games as the SPAR KZN Raiders scored all of them in a dominant display from the defending champions. 8 different players on the score sheet against Free State to put a big marker down as the favourites once again.

The KZN Mynahs, KZN Inland and Southern Gauteng women were all dismissive of their opposition winning comfortably with clean sheets against Eastern Gauteng, Witsies and WP Disas respectively, while there was a tight win for home team Western Province over Mpumalanga and a Northern Blues got Celia Evans her first win as a coach over Pens.

The KZN Mynahs men and the Northern Blues produced arguably the game of the day with Steven Paulo the star for the Pretoria side in a dramatic 5-4 win. Having trailed 4-2 with 6 minutes remaining the Mynahs pulled level only and with all the momentum on their side would have been confident of sneaking the win, but they didn’t as Paulo popped up with the winner, his third, in the final minute of the game.

Day 2 promises more action as team’s jostle for position and an advantageous group position for the cross-pool playoffs later in the week.

SA IPT 2018 | Womens Day 1 Results

Northern Blues 4-1 WP Peninsula
Southern Gauteng 10-0 WP Disa’s
KZN Inland 7-0 SG Witsies
KZN Mynahs 8-0 Eastern Gauteng
SPAR KZN Raiders 14-0 Free State
Western Province 5-2 Mpumalanga

SA IPT 2018 | Mens Day 1 Results

PSI WP Invitational 5-3 Eastern Gauteng
KZN Mynahs 4-5 Northern Blues
KZN Raiders 7-9 Namibia
Southern Gauteng 8-5 PSI WP Invitational
KZN Mynahs 5-7 WP Peninsula
Western Province 4-1 Eastern Gauteng

SA Hockey Association media release

Top picks from a top day of indoor hockey

It was as hot as I have experienced in Cape Town today and the action on the pitch did nothing to cool the arena down. In a day of 22 games I pick out five of my favourite ones on a thrilling day of action at the Velodrome.

Mens IPT 2018 – Northern Blues 6-6 Namibia

Namibia were sensational in opening an early 4-0 lead through Neethling, Finch, Cleak and Martins and they looked to be cruising to a second win of the tournament. But closing in on half time Lamprecht and Paulo pulled two goals back to wrestle the momentum. Namibia struck first in the second half through Neethling before three goals in two minutes pulled the game level. Lamprecht, Paulo and Forbes the scorers. Ernest Jacobs then scored a rare goal to give Namibia the lead but Janse levelled again for the Blues. Namibia then won a penalty stroke with 8 seconds left of the match, but Martins flick was saved by Champion to keep it level.

Mens IPT 2018 – KZN Raiders 5-3 Northern Blues

Having witnessed the Blues earlier draw with Namibia the Raiders knew they needed a win to set up a favourable quarter final. Keegan Hezlett, Jonty Robinson and Greg Last set up a fantastic first half but the Blues again fought back, through a Lamprecht double and another Steven Paulo goal. But the Raiders made sure of the win thanks to South African World Cup Star Jarryd Jones and Keegan Hezlett to win a tight game.

Women’s IPT 2018 – Western Province 1-1 WP Peninsula

In the classic “A” team takes on “B” team battle, the hosts derby lived up to expectation. The match was a tactical affair with Kaitlyn Byrne the absolute star for Pens denying chances regularly with class. Gillian Hermanus, Namibian World Cup Star, scored early for Province but the “B” side levelled on the stroke of half time as Rozanne Compion scored from open play. Although they had to defend gainfully the Pens were full value for their draw.

Women’s IPT 2018 – Northern Blues 2-4 SG Witsies

Northerns look a far better team than 12 months ago as Celia Evans works her magic as a coach, they also ran into a first half 2-1 lead thanks to Roxanne Paans. But an inspired performance by Lethabo Nkoe with a second half hat-trick made it a fantastic day for Blake Goosen and his team.

Women’s IPT 2018 – Mpumalanga 3-1 SG Witsies

Southerns followed up that dramatic victory with a historic defeat as Mpumalanga tasted victory for the first time ever over Witsies. The first goal of the game only came in the 31st minute through Jonker and Mpumalanga then got a second through Davey. Atkins pulled one back for Witsies, but the icing was put on the cake for Mpumalanga when Dunell van Taak punished a loose ball.

Among the other results were another two convincing wins for SPAR KZN Raiders in defence of the SA Indoor Women’s IPT title, Pietie Coetzee’s Southern Gauteng made their own shout too with a fantastic two victories and KZN Inland made it three out of three as well.

In the Men’s tournament Namibia, Southerns and Western Province remain undefeated after their three games.

SA Mens IPT 2018 | Day 2 Results

Western Province 14-2 Mpumalanga
KZN Raiders 4-0 WP Peninsula
Northern Blues 6-6 Namibia
Southern Gauteng 11-5 Eastern Gauteng
Mpumalanga 1-10 PSI WP Invitational
KZN Raiders 5-3 Northern Blues
KZN Mynahs 3-9 Namibia
Southern Gauteng 16-0 Mpumalanga
Northern Blues 9-3 WP Peninsula
Western Province 9-3 PSI WP Invitational

SA Women’s IPT 2018 | Day 2 Results

Southern Gauteng 11-0 Free State
KZN Inland 6-0 Mpumalanga
Western Province 1-1 WP Peninsula
Northern Blues 2-4 SG Witsies
SPAR KZN Raiders 24-1 Eastern Gauteng
KZN Mynahs 4-0 WP Disa’s
Mpumalanga 3-1 SG Witsies
KZN Inlands 4-2 WP Peninsula
SPAR KZN Raiders 12-0 WP Disa’s
KZN Mynahs 1-9 Southern Gauteng
Eastern Gauteng 1-8 Free State
Western Province 8-0 Northern Blues

SA Hockey Association media release

Change of format in Razak Cup following withdrawals

By Jugjet Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) competitions committee decided to stick with their Razak Cup rules, and accepted the withdrawals of three teams at the eleventh hour

The Razak Cup begins tomorrow with a change in format as well as fixtures after Division One saw Negri Sembilan and Perlis pulling out, while Kedah withdrew from Division Two.

The three men's teams withdrew because they felt that even though many of their players had other states' identification cards, the players were developed by them over the years, so they had a right to field them.

The MHC competitions committee stuck by the Razak Cup rules which state that each team can only register four guest players.

"The three teams wrote to MHC about their decision to withdraw and we have accepted. The men’s Division One and Two will now be a round robin affair with the top two teams qualifying for their respective title deciding matches," said Razak Cup tournament director P. Kuganesan.

According to Kuganesan, none of the other states raised issues at the managers’ meeting today.

Perak will lead the charge in Division One, also comprising Terengganu, Melaka, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor.

Division Two comprise Selangor, Armed Forces, Pahang, Singapore, Kelantan and Police.

In the women’s section, Selangor, KL, Melaka, Police and Singapore are in Group A while Group B comprise Pahang, Forces, Terengganu and Penang.



Men’s Division Two: Selangor v Armed Forces (4pm, Pitch I), Pahang v Singapore (4pm, Pitch II), Kelantan v Police (6pm, Pitch I).


Group A: Malacca v Singapore (9.30am, Pitch II), Selangor v Kuala Lumpur (9.30am, Pitch I)
Group B: Pahang v Terengganu (7.30am, Pitch II), Armed Forces v Penang (7.30am, Pitch I).

* matches at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

New Straits Times

Now it’s Perlis – pull-outs making a mockery of Razak Cup

By Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: The Razak Cup is the oldest hockey tournament in Malaysia but it has become a mockery – no thanks to the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) competition committee’s new rule.

The rule only allows each state to have four guest players. And Perlis has become the third disgruntled state to withdraw from the tournament – after Negri Sembilan and Kedah pulled out on Wednesday.

Perlis Hockey Association secretary Surizan Mansor said the four guest player rule set by the MHC competitions committee is really “ridiculous”.

“We have seven players, who played for us in all age group tournaments including the Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Perak last month.

“The seven players have lived and studied in Perlis but they cannot play for us in the Razak Cup because they are born in different states. They are considered as guest players.

“To make mattersworse, states like Kedah and Selangor, where these players were born, also don’t want their services,” said Surizan.

“We’re a tiny state and don’t have many players. So what are these players going to do as states like Kedah and Selangor have their own players?

“To solve the problem, I personally called MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan (Kamal) to help. But he too could not help us as he can’t go against the rules set by the MHC competitions committee.

“We were looking forward to playing for the first time in Division One after winning the Division Two title in Ipoh last year. But we’re annoyed with the MHC competitions committee’s ruling as we don’t have enough players to assemble a team. So we have decided to pull out,” said Surizan, who was supposed to be the manager of Perlis in the tournament.

“If the players can play in age group tournaments and also in the Sukma, my question is why are they being deprived of playing in the Razak Cup?

“The MHC competitions committee need to change the rules otherwise other states will have the same problem in assembling teams for the tournament next year,” said Surizan.

MHC have done a redraw for Division One and all six teams will play in a round robin format.

Group B comprises Melaka, Johor, Terengganu and Penang.

The Star of Malaysia

Changzhou plays host to year-end hockey spectacular

The Wanglibao Hockey Champions Trophy sees the end-of-year hockey spectacular taking place in the Chinese city of Changzhou.

Six of the world’s best women’s hockey teams will be pitting their skills against each other to claim, what could be, the final Champions Trophy title.

For China, this is a chance to showcase its country’s ability to host a top flight hockey event. The last time a senior, global hockey event was held in the vast Asian nation was 2008, at the Beijing Olympics [Nanjing hosted the 2014 Youth Olympics]. The last Champions Trophy to be held in the region took place in 2002 when the autonomous region of Macau played host to the competition.

What can spectators and players expect when they arrive in Changzhou?

The city itself lies in the Jiangsu Province of the Yangtze Delta area. Shanghai lies to the east, while Nanjing is to the west. There are 160 daily high speed trains to Shanghai, taking between 50-90 minutes to cover the 165k journey. A regular train takes up to three hours.

The 23rd Champions Trophy is taking place in the tail-end of the Chinese Autumn. This means the weather will be moderate, with temperatures ranging from cool to warm, but not hot. This time of the year in Changzhou sees much less rainfall than during the summer months.

History and Economy

Changzhou has previously gone under a number of different names: Yanling, Lanling and Jinling. It changed to Changzhou during the Sui Dynasty of AD 581-618. The name means “normal prefecture”.

Close to the hockey stadium are the remains of a walled city, the Ruins of Yancheng, an early settlement that was founded more than 3,000 years ago.

Over time, Changzhou has developed a role as an important trade centre. The building of the Grand Canal in AD 609 meant the city became a canal port and a transport hub for grain, rice, fish, tea, silk and bamboo. It has maintained this role ever since. Today, it is also an important centre for textiles, as well as industry and hi-tech.

Things to see and do

Changzhou is home to the China Dinosaur Park, a top-rated park with more than 50 fossils and an amazing collection of prehistoric bones from across China. There are also a number of rides in the amusement park, including the Brontosaurus Roller Coaster and the Whirling Dinosaur Carriage.

For a sense of tranquility, it is worth paying a visit to the Tianning Temple—one of the largest Zen Buddhist temple and monasteries in China. The city authorities recently rebuilt the Tianning pagoda in the temple grounds, which is adjacent to Hongmei Park. Standing at 153.79 m, the Tianning Baota pagoda is the tallest in China. It was first built during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618 - 907). Since that time it has been destroyed and rebuilt five times.

Changzhou is famous for its handpainted combs. These have been made in the area for more than 2,000 years and are made from materials such as bamboo, wood or animal bones. Making the simplest comb, comprises 28 process (heating, carving, painting, engraving etc), while the most intricate – a Bi – takes 72 different processes. While the combs can be purchased across the city, Fine Comb Lane is an area that has been specially designed as the centre of the comb-making industry.

Dongpo Park is a large park covering more than two and a half thousand hectares. The parkland is a mix of cultural sites and natural landscape.

The Wanglibao Hockey Champions Trophy starts on 17 November. To help spectators plan their trip, a full schedule of hockey action is available here.

FIH site

USWNT to Host FIH Pro League Opponent Belgium for Three-Game Series in November

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Don’t miss the U.S. Women’s National Team’s final series of 2018 when they host FIH Pro League opponent and No. 13 ranked Belgium in a three-game test series at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa. from November 26-29.

“In the preparation for the [FIH] Pro League, it’s great we have one of the competing teams visiting us here in Lancaster,” said Janneke Schopman, USWNT Head Coach. “Belgium is a strong and talented team that is constantly in the top-15 in the world rankings and had a good World Cup run. I look forward to playing three games in front of a home crowd and implementing our learnings from the training blocks.”

It has been more than six years since the last time these two sides met at the London 2012 Olympic Games. It was in the 11th/12th place game, where USA opened the scoring in the 7th minute of play. Belgium quickly developed their own rhythm, found the equalizer and go ahead goal off a penalty corner as the USWNT was handed a disappointing 1-2 loss to Belgium.

Tickets for the Belgium series are now on sale and can be purchased by clicking here. Only 1,000 tickets per game will be sold, so buy yours today! All games in the three-match event will also be live streamed on usafieldhockey.com.

USWNT vs. Belgium Series Schedule:

Monday, November 26        6:30 p.m. ET
Tuesday, November 27        6:30 p.m. ET
Thursday, November 29        6:30 p.m. ET

Games will be played on the outside turf at Spooky Nook Sports. Tickets will be for sale by assigned sections during the series. Single game tickets start $16.00 for Section C and $18.00 for seats in Section B (closest to the center). Youth (age 17 and under) and Active Duty Military tickets are available at a discounted rate.

There will be an option to purchase a full series pass starting at $20.00 for children under 18, senior citizens and military, and $38.00 for adults. See the USFHA site for for a full ticket listing!

Bringing a group? Contact Glen Hollingsworth, USA Field Hockey’s Events and Club Services Manager, by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to order your tickets today! Group discounts will be $1.00 per ticket for groups of 10 or more, $2.00 per ticket for groups of 20 or more and $3.00 per ticket for groups of 30 or more.

USA Field Hockey Members should have received an email with an exclusive discount code to use when purchasing tickets. Group and member discounts are available. If this email was lost or accidentally deleted, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name and membership ID number to receive the promo code.

USFHA media release

GB Women's EDP Four Nations Squad Announced

GB EDP Women

The GB Women’s Elite Development Programme (EDP) squad for a Four Nations tournament in China has been announced and includes several athletes who participated in the Six Nations event earlier this year.

The 18-strong outfit, made up of players from all three Home Nations, will play five games against China, Australia, Germany and a Jiangsu Province outfit between 2-10 November.

Kevin Johnson and Hannah MacLeod will be in charge of the side, with the former emphasising how important events like this to help these players develop into potential medal winning Olympians of the future.

“We are delighted to be invited to make the trip over to China to play in the upcoming Four Nations tournament,” Johnson said.

“Opportunities like these for our players allow them to engage with different challenges and environments which all adds vital experience in their ambitions to play senior international tournament Hockey for Great Britain in the future.

“We have had an promising training block since we came back together as a group in September and at the start of this week had a couple of very useful training games against the Scottish senior women so we feel ready and excited for what lies ahead.”

GB Women’s EDP Four Nations Squad
Beth Bingham – Holcombe
Nicole Bowen – Exeter University
Louise Bray (GK) – Durham University
Freya Bull – Birmingham University
Esme Burge – Nottingham University
Nicola Cochrane (GK) – Beeston
Meg Crowson – Cambridge HC
Catherine De Ledesma – Birmingham University
Emily Dark – Dundee Wanderers
Jennifer Eadie – Clydesdale-Western
Caroline Hulme – Nottingham Trent University
Holly Hunt – Birmingham University
Alexandra Malzer – Nottingham University
Lucy Millington – Loughborough University
Lizzie Neal – Loughborough University
Izzy Petter – Surbiton
Lottie Ross – Nottingham University
Eloise Stenner – Nottingham University
Laura Swanson – Edinburgh University
Amy Thompson – East Grinstead
Charlotte Watson – Dundee Wanderers
Alice Wills – Holcombe

Fixtures (all times GMT)
Friday 2 November – GB v Jiangsu (08:00)
Sunday 4 November – GB v Germany (08:00)
Tuesday 6 November – GB v Australia (06:00)
Wednesday 7 November – GB v China (08:00)
Friday 9 November – GB v Australia (03:00)
Saturday 10 November – China v GB (03:00)

Great Britain Hockey media release

New Ireland hockey coach Cox sets out his stall

By Stephen Findlater

Shane O’Donoghue and Jonny Bell at Ireland Men’s Hockey World Cup squad sponsorship announcement at Pembroke Wanderers Hockey Club. It also marked the unveiling of Turkish Airlines as the new primary sponsor of the senior men’s team. Picture: Morgan Treacy

Tuesday’s announcement of Alexander Cox’s World Cup squad and a new sponsorship deal with Turkish Airlines failed to generate the headlines expected by Hockey Ireland.

The reason? Their news was gazumped by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) confirming Ireland would host part of the women’s Olympic qualifying process.

Knowing it was in the pipeline, Hockey Ireland had flagged their announcements with the world body and requested no clash but, in the end, the two press releases appeared 20 minutes apart.

It meant limited airtime for Cox’s first official appearance in Ireland in Pembroke. He took the Johan van Graan approach to Munster press conferences, making a point of shaking hands with every journalist and dignitary present in the room, before outlining his selection in a typically Dutch, matter-of-fact manner. The focus will be on building from a defensive structure, built around a vastly experienced backline, with a deep press and fast counter-attacks the default tactic.

In terms of personnel, there was no place for defensive stalwart John Jackson, who could not commit fully to the recent series of training camps. There might have been more leeway under former coach Craig Fulton but Cox said it is not something he can accommodate for the World Cup which starts in India on November 30.

“When I came in, I asked all the players to be fully committed ‘within reason’,” Cox told the Irish Examiner.

“The within reason is because some guys have work so we take that into consideration.

“It’s a pity because John is an experienced player and he has the quality to be in the group but, leading up to a World Cup, it’s not fair [to select him].”

The situation regarding Jackson - who works at Bath University and has recently become a father - gave Cox an insight into the additional challenges of coaching an Irish team compared to his homeland where full availability is a given.

To be included in this panel, for example, Daragh Walsh has had to defer his December exams at Trinity until next August.

Jonny Bell has been turning up early and staying late at his environmental planning job to build up hours he will require to take off.

The squad start their warm-up preparations in earnest on Monday in Valencia with five matches in seven days, taking on Spain, England and the Netherlands. On home turf, frontline club hockey takes a break for the weekend with the focus on the intervarsities taking place in Dublin.

UCD have dominated the men’s and women’s competitions for the past five years and league form suggests little will change this weekend.

On the women’s side in the Chilean Cup, they have access to nine Irish Under-21 internationals meaning they are a ormidable outfit even though World Cup stars Lena Tice, Deirdre Duke and Katie Mullan are not around this term. In the men’s Mauritius Cup, a Cork side is assured of a semi-final spot with CIT and UCC both in a three-team Group B of the Mauritius Cup with UUJ as two sides advance to the semis.

The Irish Examiner

Cox and Kampong facing up to Rot-Weiss yet again

©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

SV Kampong coach Alexander Cox is facing up to yet another meeting with Rot-Weiss Köln in the KO16 next Easter in Eindhoven.

Incredibly, it will be the fourth successive season the sides have met and the fifth time in six years. The Dutch club have won all bar one of those games but Cox says he would much prefer to play someone else or, at least, face the German side much further down the line.

“We made a joke about it before the draw came out and then, again, it was Rot-Weiss Koln,” he told the EHL website.

“It’s great to play a side like that – it is a classic in the EHL, two top teams. But, on the other hand, it’s not nice to play each other so early in the competition and one of those teams will be out but, ok, it’s a cool game to play.”

Kampong won the Dutch title last season but have since seen star men like Constantijn Jonker, Quirijn Caspers, Sjoerd de Wert and Philip Meulenbroek retiring over the summer.

With a youthful new look team, the Utrecht club ended the first half of the Hoofdklasse in third place, ending with a narrow 1-0 win over Klein Zwitserland.

The level of performance, though, is not quite where Cox is hoping to be if they are to challenge for the crown once more.

“Yes I am happy but we need to improve big time in the second half of the season if we want to reach the same level as the last few years.

“It’s a different team and you can’t expect the same outcomes to come easy. It’s a young team and we lack a lot of experience but the way we play should be better.

“We are still a team that knows how to win games and to beat the opposition. We did that enough in the first half of the season but we need to be better to reach the playoffs.”

Euro Hockey League media release

Rovers’ Walsh relishing Dragons rematch following crazy 20-10 last time around

©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

Three Rock Rovers’ Daragh Walsh is relishing the challenge of taking on Dragons in the EHL KO16 next Easter following an “infamous” 20-10 result in a crossover game last year.

That game featuring the Irish and Belgian champions produced the craziest scorelines of the two-for-one field goals trial and probably played a part in its short-lived use in the EHL.

In normal terms, it would have ended 12-5 which is still a mad scoreline but World Cup-bound Walsh is keen for his side to come closer this time around.

It follows last Sunday's EHL KO16 draw where Rovers were drawn against Dragons where Walsh will come up against his international team-mates Shane O’Donoghue and Kirk Shimmins.

“We were obviously part of that infamous game last year,” he told the EHL website. “It will be good playing two of the Irish lads which will be good. We could have got a more favourable draw but we are all excited, will give it a crack and see what happens.

“They have lost a couple of key players which we know of but there is still have plenty of talent and plenty of internationals. We will certainly still be underdogs but we will give it all we have.”

Looking back on the 20-10 game, there was a stage when Three Rock trailed 17-0 but scored five field goals in 11 minutes to give a little bit of respectability to the scoreline.

Nonetheless, with up to 200 Irish fans making the trip to Rotterdam, their late rally did provide some momentum for their domestic season.

“It was looking pretty bad for us! We all just wanted to be out of there at some stage. Our crowd – we weren’t giving them much to chant for having made the trip over.

“I don’t know whether they took the foot off the gas or we stepped it up but we managed to get a few goals which gave us a bit of momentum going into the Irish Senior Cup final the next week so it did give us some confidence.

“I just remember we were out on our feet; we only had 12 or 13 players fit because the lads got a stomach bug. That wasn’t a cause of the 10-goal difference but the lads were wrecked so it didn’t help.”

Having such a support in place, though, did create a special memory for Walsh and he is keen for more of the same at Easter in Eindhoven. Rovers qualified from ROUND1 with a 6-0 win over Racing Club de France and a last-gasp 1-1 with Junior FC, giving them another chance of becoming the first Irish side to reach the KO8.

“That Saint Germain game was one of the best atmospheres I have played in. There were a couple of hundred for both teams; that Harry Morris goal got some of the biggest cheers I have experienced at a hockey game and hopefully they all come out in force again.”

Euro Hockey League media release

Surbiton aiming to make Euro Hockey League inroads

Surbiton coach Mark Pearn says that the Euro Hockey League schedule and draw will give the English club champions the “best chance possible” of challenging for Europe’s showpiece.

Surbiton have been drawn against Belgium’s Waterloo Ducks in the last 16 next April in Eindhoven, with both clubs making a return to EHL action after three seasons.

Overcome that tough hurdle and Surbiton will meet either Irish side Three Rock Rovers or KHC Dragons, another Belgian side, the two clubs who met in an EHL clash last season which saw a ‘crazy’ 20-10 result when the double field-goal rule was in place.

And with no Dutch side in Surbiton’s immediate sight, Pearn is still not taking the draw lightly.

“The Dutch clubs traditionally have the strongest squads in the EHL and, alongside Rot Weiss Koln, these were the three teams we felt could have given us the toughest test.

“Although we are pleased to have avoided these sides in the KO16 round, we won’t be taking Waterloo Ducks lightly. The Belgium league has become increasingly stronger over the past few seasons and we will need to be right at our best to progress to the quarter-finals.”

For once, the English domestic structure will fall in line with the EHL business end and Pearn is relishing the prospect.

“The way the KO16 and FINAL4 follows immediately after our domestic playoffs this season gives us the best chance possible to be successful in the competition,” he said.

“The normal timeline with a six-week gap between the KO16 and FINAL4 weekends is a tough challenge for any English club side that makes it through to the latter stages due to not having any competitive fixtures over this period.

“Also having our GB players available for the playoffs and EHL is obviously a major boost to our chances.”

Can Surbiton men and women reach EHL Finals? PIC: Tim Reder

With the EHL finals week taking place in between a raft of Pro League matches for the first time, there could be several club v country clashes, notably with Germany men and women.

But Pearn believes that the EHL is a calendar ‘must’ for every continental club player and Germany will be able to deal with those players involved in the KO16.

“I spoke at length to [German international] Matts Grambusch earlier this year at the European Indoor Championships about the Pro League and the impact it could potentially have on club hockey,” added Pearn.

“I know from talking to him that the German international players want to play for their club sides and I am sure that the national team will cope if they have to be without a few players for these two Pro League fixtures.

“They have the strength in depth to manage any unavailability and as it is only two matches out of the 16 league games it should not affect their chances of making the finals.”

HC Oranje-Rood will host the event from April 17 to 22, 2019 in Eindhoven

The Hockey Paper

PREVIEWS: English Men's Hockey League

Last season’s champions Surbiton head to Beeston on Saturday, aiming to secure a win and take the lead in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division.

With just one draw blemishing an otherwise 100% record, Surbiton have battled through the challenges of having several international players absent for key matches and are just two points behind current leaders Hampstead & Westminster.

“It was always going to be a challenge with the availability of international players coming in and out of the squad,” said Surbiton’s first XI manager Matt Jones. “But we’ve coped pretty well despite having to make some pretty radical changes to the look of the side.

“The only blip was the draw with the University of Exeter, when ironically we had all our internationals available! But I think it gave us the kick up the derriere that we needed because we’ve gone on to get three solid wins.

“Nottingham is never an easy place to go to and we will have to stay on our mettle. We’ve got a particularly difficult three-game run, so we need to be on our game.”

The match at Nottingham is part of Beeston’s Oktoberfest, which sees their respective women’s teams play each other at 4pm, with a promise of hockey, sausages and beer!

Elsewhere in the top flight, leaders Hampstead & Westminster have a tough home match against third-placed Holcombe who will want to get back to winning ways following a narrow defeat to East Grinstead last weekend.

East Grinstead take on bottom of the table Sevenoaks as they aim to build on that victory over Holcombe, while Reading will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s loss at Surbiton when they host Wimbledon.

And Sunday’s only top-flight match sees the University of Exeter at home against Brooklands MU. With both teams only having earned a point to date this is a key game in the relegation zone.

Leaders Old Georgians go to bottom of the table Richmond in the Men’s Conference East, while second-placed Brighton & Hove are also on the road, playing at the City of Peterborough on Sunday.

Unbeaten Bowdon play host to Sheffield Hallam in the Men’s Conference North, while the University of Durham are second and head to Leeds on Saturday. A victory there will see them go top of the table for at least 24 hours.

Leaders the University of Birmingham travel to University of Bristol in the Men’s Conference West for a Friday evening game, while Oxford Hawks host Cardiff & Met with both teams having identical records and just one defeat so far this season.


Men’s Hockey League

Friday, 26 October 2018

Men’s Conference West
Univ of Bristol v Univ of Birmingham 19:45

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Men’s Premier Division
East Grinstead v Sevenoaks 18:00
Hampstead & Westminster v Holcombe 18:00
Beeston v Surbiton 18:00
Reading v Wimbledon 18:30

Men’s Conference East
Old Loughtonians v Canterbury 17:00
Cambridge City v Southgate 17:00

Men’s Conference North
Leeds v Univ of Durham 16:00

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Men’s Premier Division
Univ of Exeter v Brooklands MU 12:30

Men’s Conference East
City of Peterborough v Brighton & Hove 13:30
Richmond v Old Georgians 13:30
Teddington v Oxted 13:30

Men’s Conference North
Belper v Preston 14:00
Loughborough Students v Doncaster 14:00
Alderley Edge v Univ of Nottingham 14:00
Bowdon v Sheffield Hallam 14:30

Men’s Conference West
Chichester v Havant 13:00
Fareham v Isca 13:30
Olton & West Warwicks v Team Bath Buccaneers 13:30
Oxford Hawks v Cardiff & Met 14:00

England Hockey Board Media release

PREVIEWS: Investec English Women's Hockey League

Beeston’s title ambitions face a tough challenge on Saturday afternoon, as they face current leaders and last season’s champions Surbiton in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division.

Currently fourth with two wins to their name so far, Beeston could climb to second if they win on Saturday.

The match starts at 4pm and - alongside the two sides’ men’s teams playing at 6pm - forms part of Beeston’s Oktoberfest celebrations with hockey, sausages and beer on offer.

“We’re very pleased with how we’ve started, it’s exciting being back in the Premier Division,” said Chris Glover, Beeston’s team manager. “It’s a big step up from the Conference and we’ve tried to prepare as well as we can and had a good pre-season.

“Most of the teams we’ve played have been impressed by how we’ve competed. We’re trying to play an exciting brand of hockey, but we need to be smart and pragmatic too, especially playing teams like Surbiton.

“It’s going to be a huge challenge for us, but this is why we’ve worked so hard to get back into this Division, to play in matches like this.”

Second-placed Holcombe head to strugglers Slough on Saturday as they bid to get back to winning ways following last weekend’s loss to East Grinstead, who are at home against Clifton Robinsons.

In other top flight action, Bottom of the table Bowdon Hightown entertain the University of Birmingham, while Buckingham go to Canterbury.

The top two play each other in the Investec Conference East, with Cambridge City hosting leaders Hampstead & Westminster. Meanwhile, third-placed Harleston Magpies could also go top if they can win at Sevenoaks and other results go in their favour.

Leaders Loughborough Students face a tough clash with Brooklands-Poynton in the Investec Conference North, while the University of Durham could go top in they can win at Leeds.

And in the Investec Conference West, unbeaten Stourport are preparing to meet the team below them in third, Gloucester City. Meanwhile, leaders Olton & West Warwicks go to Oxford Hawks.

* East Grinstead have been deducted the three points gained in their 2-1 defeat of Beeston on 29 September.

This is due to the participation of Rosa Villagra, who, whilst registered as an EHL player, had played for Popeye BC in the Argentina Women’s Club Championships from 20-23 September 2018. This made her ineligible to subsequently participate in the league. Rosa has now been re-registered by East Grinstead.


Investec Women’s Hockey League

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Investec Premier Division
Slough v Holcombe 12:30
Bowdon Hightown v Univ of Birmingham 13:45
East Grinstead v Clifton Robinsons 14:00
Canterbury v Buckingham 16:00
Beeston v Surbiton 16:00

Investec Conference East
Sevenoaks v Harleston Magpies 12:00
Ipswich v Southgate 13:00
Bedford v St Albans 13:30
Cambridge City v Hampstead & Westminster 15:00
Horsham v Wimbledon 15:30

Investec Conference North
Belper v Ben Rhydding 12:00
Timperley v Fylde 12:30
Loughborough Students v Brooklands-Poynton 12:30
Leicester v Sutton Coldfield 15:00
Leeds v Univ of Durham 18:00

Investec Conference West
Exe v Trojans 12:00
Oxford Hawks v Olton & West Warwicks 12:00
Swansea City v Isca 12:00
Gloucester City v Stourport 12:30
Reading v Barnes 16:30

England Hockey Board Media release

UMass field hockey retains Kennedy Cup with 2-1 win over Lowell


LOWELL — The UMass field hockey team pulled out a 2-1 victory against UMass Lowell, and retained the Kennedy Cup, Thursday afternoon at Wicked Blue Field.

UMass found itself down short after halftime when Lowell’s Katie Lynes scored in the 41st minute.

The Minutewomen (9-9) found their footing late in the second half when Antonet Louw logged her 21st goal of the season on an unassisted score after getting past three defenders.

Two minutes later, Lucy Cooper scored the game-winner on a one-timer assisted by Bailey McNamara.

“It feels really good. I don’t think I have ever celebrated my own goal so much,” Cooper said. “I think we just all wanted it at that point, even though we waited until the last four minutes we knew we had to score.”

Clodagh Moloney and the Minutewomen’s defense held the River Hawks to eight shots and two penalty corners.

“Clodagh has held down our defensive unit all season long,” UMass coach Barb Weinberg said. “She comes up with game saving tackles a lot of the time so she has been able to protect our circle and stop our opponents from getting shots on goal.”

It was the second time in as many games UMass rallied for a win.

“Sometimes it takes a little pressure to put a fire under this team,” Weinberg said. “We were holding possession for a lot of the game, but in terms of moving the ball forward and producing, that didn’t come until late in the game.”

UMass is 6-0 all-time against Lowell.

“Well, the seniors haven’t lost this cup yet, and with senior day coming up on Sunday, I think that was a very special win for them, and is going to be a great memory,” Cooper said.

UMass closes the regular season against Saint Louis, Sunday at 1 p.m. at Gladchuk Field Hockey Complex.

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Cal field hockey to cap off regular season against Pacific

By Tim Sun

Photo: Zainab Ali

Ups, downs, hope, doubt — this season for Cal field hockey has had it all. The regular season comes to an end Sunday, though, as the Bears are set for a home finale against Pacific — a program they’ve seen before.

It’s been less than a month since Cal last took on Pacific, but a lot has happened in that time. The Bears made their final road trip of the season to Syracuse, lost in heartbreaking fashion to Boston College and fell to Stanford twice by a single goal each time. Cal also snapped a six-game losing streak with back-to-back victories over UC Davis.

The Tigers (9-7, 3-2) are paced on offense by senior forward Kriekie van Wyk, who has scored 15 goals on the season, good for 10th in the country. On Sunday, in Pacific’s 4-0 win over UC Davis, van Wyk notched a hat trick in the first 15 minutes of play.

In the previous contest against Pacific, Cal did not allow van Wyk to get on the board, but two other Tigers stepped up in the 2-1 finish. Second-leading scorer Rylee Comeau put the Tigers ahead just 67 seconds into the match, and midfielder Ash Rutherford scored her only goal of the season with six minutes left to give the Tigers the victory.

This early and late scoring has been a trend for Pacific this season, as it has started and finished games particularly strong. Of the team’s 35 goals this season, nine have come in the opening 10 minutes, and eight have come in the final 10 minutes.

Cal, on the other hand, has struggled in the early going with manufacturing goals. The Bears have just two goals in the first 25 minutes of any matchup and none in the first 15 minutes.

Despite the lack of early scoring, the Bears have worked to keep up their intensity until the final whistle. The Bears have recorded six of their 25 goals in the final 10 minutes, and in both losses to Stanford, the Bears mounted a late comeback with a goal in the last five minutes of play.

These close games have been the story of the season for Cal. Five of the Bears’ 10 losses have been by a single goal, whether in a blown lead against Boston College or in comebacks that came up just short against Stanford.

“The ability to close out a game like that is really the same skill as coming back from being down,” head coach Shellie Onstead said after the Boston College loss. “They had to learn the hard way that it’s never over.”

The Bears have been continually building these skills, and Sunday will be the last chance for Cal to demonstrate its development with a victory. Pacific is the only unranked team that Cal has lost to, so the Bears have a chance to show that their previous loss was a fluke.

This season has been a roller coaster for Cal, but with a win on Sunday, the Bears can head into the postseason the same way they headed into the regular season — with hope.

The Daily Californian

After a letdown loss, Maryland field hockey wants to be ready for the postseason

The Terps are 16-2, with both losses to teams below them in the rankings.

By Lila Bromberg

Defender Bodil Keus protects the ball during Maryland field hockey's 3-1 win over Rutgers at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex on Oct. 5, 2018. (Andi Wenck/The Diamondback)

Following its second loss of the season to a team it was expected to beat, Maryland field hockey took a step back from the turf this week after the conclusion of its regular season.

Players and coaches took part in what coach Missy Meharg calls “Body, Mind, Spirit and Recovery” on Monday and Tuesday. The team indulged in thinking and breathing exercises, ice baths, massage therapy and yoga to get in the right mindset for the start of postseason play.

“It's really helped the team,” goalkeeper Noelle Frost said. “[We’re] just getting a rest and being able just to catch up on homework so we’re not stressed academically and so we’re in a good space to go into the Big Ten tournament.”

Last year, the Terps ended the season with six straight wins after overcoming a 6-5 start. They made it to the semifinals of the conference tournament, where they fell to Penn State in a back-and-forth matchup, then went on a run to the NCAA title game.

This season, Maryland played better from the start, producing its best regular-season record since 2013. Players and coaches have made it clear that this team is fully locked in on winning the national title.

The first step comes this weekend in the Big Ten tournament, where Maryland enters as the No. 1 seed.

"Now that we're getting into postseason and tournament play … there [are] no mess-ups anymore,” midfielder Riley Donnelly said. “You don't get a second chance, really, so it’s do or die, per se. We're just looking to play our best hockey every game."

This year, Big Ten opponents pose a bigger threat than in past seasons. The Terps expect the conference tournament to be a close battle.

Seven of the nine teams in the Big Ten are currently nationally ranked. Along with Maryland at No. 2, Penn State, Michigan, Iowa and Rutgers are all ranked in the top 10. Northwestern sits at No. 22 and Ohio State ranks at No. 23.

Michigan State and Indiana — one of which will face Maryland in the conference tournament quarterfinals Sunday — are the sole teams that haven’t been ranked this year.

Each of the seven teams in the ACC is nationally ranked, but only two — North Carolina and Duke — are in the top 10.

“When we first came into the [conference] … it was predominantly an ACC show at the top level,” Meharg said. “Maryland is now in a [conference] that’s so competitive that it’s any man's championship, any team can win it.”UMD used to be ACC but okay

The Spartans-Hoosiers play-in game is slated for Friday. The Terps already have wins over both teams this season, beating Michigan State 5-1 on Sept. 15 and Indiana 4-0 on Oct. 12.

But given this week’s loss to a low-ranked Virginia team — and the way Maryland fell short last season — the team knows nothing will come easy.

“When you get an opportunity to go that far along in the national tournament, you feel it and you want to get back there,” Meharg said. “We know we’re going to need to bring into our game to advance. Right now it’s all about advancing.”

The Diamondback

Weekend College Games

Each week, USA Field Hockey highlights some of the top college games in Division I, II and III.


DII: No. 7 Millersville vs. Mercy | 6:00 p.m. ET
Millersville will host Mercy in a non-conference match-up in Millersville, Pa. No. 7 Millersville is coming off a heartbreaking 2-3 overtime loss to No. 2 East Stroudsburg in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) game on Tuesday. After a clutch goal for the Maruders late in the second half sent the game into overtime, ESU took advantage off a failed clear attempt and shot the loose ball into the goal to secure the victory. The loss dropped Millersville to 7-5 overall and 3-3 in conference play. Mercy is coming off a tough 1-4 loss to Lindenwood on Monday. Lindenwood went up two goals but Mercy cut the lead to one in the second half. Despite their efforts, Lindenwood scored two more second half goals to put the game out of reach. The loss dropped Mercy to 4-10 overall. Tune into see which team can bounce back.

DIII: Anna Maria vs. Dean | 5:00 p.m. ET
Don't miss this regular season finale game for both teams in Paxton, Mass. Anna Maria is coming off their third straight loss on Tuesday, when they fell to Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) opponent Johnson & Wales (R.I.) 1-4. The loss dropped Anna Maria to 6-9 overall and 2-5 in conference play. Dean meanwhile is coming off a 0-7 loss to conference foe New England College (NEC) on Tuesday. The visiting NEC scored five second half goals to break open a close contest and post the win. The loss dropped Dean to 1-12 overall and 0-6 in conference play. Tune into see who will wrap up regular season play with a victory.


DI: Saint Francis vs. Richmond | 3:00 p.m. ET
Check out this Atlantic-10 (A10) game on Friday when Saint Francis hosts Richmond in Loretto, Pa. Saint Francis is coming off a 1-8 loss to James Madison this past Tuesday. JMU started out quick going up by three goals by halftime, but Saint Francis kept on fighting and managed to get one on the board in the second half. The loss dropped Saint Francis to 8-9 on overall and 4-3 in conference play. The Red Flash will look to get back on track with a win over Richmond this weekend. Richmond is coming off back-to-back shutout A10 wins defeating Davidson 2-0 on Friday and Lock Haven 2-0 on Sunday. The Spiders are now 6-11 overall and 3-4 in conference play and will look to get their third straight A10 win against Saint Francis.

DIII: Nichols vs. Western New England | 7:00 p.m. ET
It's an end of the season Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) showdown! On Friday, Nichols will host Western New England in Dudley, Mass. for both team's final game of the regular season. Nichols is coming off a 4-9 CCC loss to Endicott on Wednesday. The loss dropped Nichols to 8-9 overall and 3-8 in conference play. Western New England recorded their third straight victory when they beat Westfield State 3-1 on Tuesday. The Golden Bears took the lead in the 22nd minute of the contest, and doubled their advantage before the end of the half. The sealed the win mid-way through the second half, but not before Westfield State tallied a lone goal. The win moved Western New England to 6-11 overall and 5-6 in conference play. Tune into see who moves up in the CCC.


DI: Penn vs. Brown | 12:00 p.m. ET
This game will be a great one to watch in Division I field hockey this weekend. Penn will host Brown for an Ivy League battle on Saturday in Philadelphia, Pa. Penn is coming off a big 2-0 win over conference opponent Yale this past Saturday. The match remained scoreless through the first half but Penn came out strong in the second scoring two unanswered goals. The win improved the Quakers to 8-7 overall and 4-1 in conference play. Brown is also coming off a big 2-0 win over conference foe Cornell this past Saturday. The first half was scoreless but Brown came out of the locker room fired up scoring just 2 minutes into the second half. The Brown Bears would score again in the 58th minute to seal the victory. Brown is now 6-8 overall and 1-4 in conference play. Expect this game to be a hard-fought battle for the entire 70 minutes.

DII: No. 6 Stonehill vs. No. 9 LIU Post | 7:00 p.m. ET
Don't miss this top-10 Division II match-up this weekend! Stonehill will welcome LIU Post to Easton, Mass. for a Northeast-10 (NE10) game this Saturday. No. 6 Stonehill is coming off their third win straight, after defeating American International 5-0 on Tuesday. The win improved Stonehill to 10-3 overall and 6-2 in conference play. Also on Tuesday, LIU Post lost a close overtime game as they fell 2-3 to No. 5 Pace. The Pioneers took a 2-0 lead at the 52-minute mark but Pace responded with two of their own to force the game into overtime. Pace, who held the advantage in penalty corners and shots, sealed the overtime win in the 78th minute. The loss dropped LIU Post to 8-4 overall and 7-3 in conference play. Both teams have won back-to-back games, so tune into see which teams two game win streak comes to an end.

DIII: Sewanee vs. Concordia Wisconsin | 1:00 p.m. ET
Sewanee will host Concordia Wisconsin in Lexington, Ky. this Saturday in an end of the season Southern Athletic Association (SAA) match-up. Sewanee is coming off a 1-0 win over Transylvania this past Sunday. The Tigers had a strong second half with 12 shots, and in the 55th minute one struck the back of the cage. The win ended Sewanee’s two game losing streak as they improved to 9-5 overall and 2-2 in conference play. Concordia Wisconsin is coming off a 3-1 win over conference foe Hendrix this past Sunday. Concordia’s had very little offensive chances but were able to make the most of those opportunities. The win improved Concordia to 6-6 overall and 2-2 in conference play. Tune into see which team can keep their winning momentum going.


DI: California vs. Pacific | 11:00 a.m. ET
Don't miss this West Coast matchup when California hosts Pacific in an American East Conference (AEC) battle in Berkeley, Calif. this Sunday. California comes in to the matchup following a close 2-3 loss to conference opponent Stanford this past Sunday. California battled back from a one-goal deficit in the final two minutes but ultimately fell short to the Cardinals. The loss dropped California to 5-10 overall and 2-3 in conference play. Pacific is coming off a 4-0 conference win over UC Davis this past Sunday. Pacific’s quick start of four unanswered first half goals proved to be enough to secure the win. The victory improved Pacific to 9-7 overall and 3-2 in conference play. Tune into see who moves up in the AEC conference before postseason play starts.

DII: St. Thomas Aquinas vs. Saint Michael's  | 11:00 a.m. ET
In their last regular season game, St. Thomas Aquinas will host Saint Michael's in Sparkill, N.Y. this Sunday. St. Thomas Aquinas is coming off a 2-3 loss to Aldephi on Tuesday. Although they opened the scoring, Aldephi tied things up and took the lead 3 minutes into the second half. Adelphi doubled that by tallying another but St. Thomas Aquinas wasn't going quietly as they cut the deficit to one goal with just 9 minute left in regulation. The loss dropped the Spartans to 4-13 overall. Saint Michael's is coming off a 0-4 loss to Merrimack on Tuesday. Despite holding advantage in shots and penalty corners, Saint Michael's was unable to stop Northeast-10 opponent Merrimack's threatening offense. Saint Michael's is now 1-11 overall and 1-7 in conference play. Tune into see which team can end regular season play with a win.

USFHA media release

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