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News for 21 February 2019

All the news for Thursday 21 February 2019

2019 FIH Pro League (Men) - Weekend fixtures

22 Feb 2019 21:00 (GMT - 3)     ARG v GER (RR)     -     Cenard, Buenos Aires
24 Feb 2019 16:00 (GMT - 3)     ARG v NED (RR)     -     Cenard, Buenos Aires

FIH Match Centre

2019 FIH Pro League (Women) - Weekend fixtures

22 Feb 2019 18:30 (GMT -3)    ARG v GER (RR)     -     Cenard, Buenos Aires
23 Feb 2019 14:00 (GMT +8)    CHN v GBR (RR)     -     Wujin Hockey Stadium, Changzhou    
24 Feb 2019 18:30 (GMT -3)     ARG v NED (RR)     -     Cenard, Buenos Aires

FIH Match Centre

German teams ready for Argentina adventure

Germany men and women were the last team’s to start their FIH Pro league campaign, watching from the sidelines as their rivals tore into each other in the opening matches. Then followed a baptism of fire as they undertook the long journey to the other side of the world to face Australia and New Zealand.

First both teams faced Australia, in their own backyard in Hobart, Tasmania, where the men’s team lost 4-2 in a closely contested game. Despite the loss, Germany (FIH World ranking: 6) were far from outplayed, matching the higher ranked team all over the field – just failing to convert their chances.

For the women’s team (WR:5) an in-form Australia (WR:3) faced them. The Hockeyroos had won two of their three FIH Pro League matches, including a notable win over the world number one side, The Netherlands. It was a tough ask but Germany rose to the challenge and the match finished 2-2, although Australia went on to win the subsequent shoot-out.

Speaking about the match, women’s captain, Janne Müller-Wieland said: “Our game against Australia was our first FIH Pro League game after a long winter, where the emphasis was on indoor hockey. We couldn’t train outside due to ice and snow so we only had a couple of days in Australia to prepare for our first game. It was a really good game and in the end we could’ve even walked away with more than one point. We learned a lot from that game though and used the time together until the New Zealand game to work on a couple of things.

The hop across the Tasman Sea proved fruitful for both German teams. The men won 3-1 and the women won by the same margin.

Germany’s prolific striker, Christopher Rühr explained that match fitness was behind the team’s return to winning ways. “When we played against Australia it was obvious that it was our first game of 2019. We lacked fitness in the second half of the game, after enjoying a good first half. This aspect of the game was better in our New Zealand game and we could keep the pace up until the end of the match. We definitely deserved the win. In general, we’re happy with our three points and confident for the match against Argentina.”

Players and coaches are adapting to a new way of preparing for international encounters. Where most events are played over an intense 10 day period, these are one-off games with recovery time. As Rühr explains however, that will not always be the case. “For our first three matches, it’s all focused on one game. There is a good break between games which you don’t get in a tournament. This makes preparation a bit easier. This will be different when we play FIH Pro League games in the middle of our German Bundesliga season. We’ll see how this goes in March and April.”

For Müller-Wieland there are definite benefits to the new format: “It’s very different to prepare for one highlight event rather than for games every couple of weeks, all of which count. Over the course of the whole Pro League we have the chance to develop under competitive conditions, regularly playing the best teams in the world which is great.”

Prior to the start of the FIH Pro League, there were concerns among the teams about how the players would cope with the impact upon their bodies of long distance travel. As Rühr explains, it is something that the medical staff have been working hard to combat: “Our medical staff worked out a plan to fight jet lag. This means controlling our sleeping hours, working out the best timing for meals etc. This has worked very well and jet lag hasn’t been a big problem. We have had enough time to acclimatise.”

So next stop for Germany in their FIH Pro League journey is Argentina. It is a challenge that Rühr and Müller-Wieland are relishing.

 “We’re expecting a close game in front of a huge crowd,” says Rühr. “It’s awesome to play in Argentina, because the people are very patriotic and real fans of their teams. There will be a great atmosphere for sure. Our goal is to win and go back home with two wins from three matches.”

“Argentina is a very different opponent to Australia and New Zealand so it will be interesting to see how we perform against them,” adds Müller-Wieland. “We’ve had some great games against them in the past and both teams have changed a lot since we played each other at the World Cup. The atmosphere will be incredible – as always in Argentina – and we are looking forward to a great game.”


Official FIH Pro League Site

Female Coach of the Year 2018: Alyson Annan

What can be said about Alyson Annan that has not already been said. As a player, she was phenomenal: her 166 goals for Australia remains a national record and she has two Olympic gold medals (1996 and 2000) and two World Cup gold medals (1994 and 1998) to her name. She twice won the FIH Player of the Year Award. Now, as a coach she is continuing to instil winning ways into her team.

The Netherlands, under Annan’s skilful guidance, sailed through 2018 unbeaten. In fact, their unbeaten record at major internationals extended back to the 2016 Olympic Games final.

“Keeping it simple and playing a good passing game is much harder than it sounds.”
- Alyson Annan

Prior to winning this year’s Female Coach of the Year award – the second consecutive year that she has done so – Annan was also inducted into the Australia Hall of Legends. She is only the third hockey player to have been given that honour, after Ric Charlesworth and Rechelle Hawkes.

The secret to her success is “keeping it simple”. As she says: “Keeping it simple and playing a good passing game is much harder than it sounds.” At their superb best, the Dutch make it look easy. The ball travels smoothly from player to player and there is something achingly wonderful about a goal that has resulted from 10-15 silkily smooth passing moves.

Speaking at the recent Wangliabo Hockey Champions Trophy in China, Annan repeated the mantra of simplicity but added that within a squad you have to integrate many types of players. “There are those players that create and play the most wonderful 3D game. There are others who work and work. A team needs a good balance of those players. And then it is about playing the game well and making the right decisions. My job is to help the players make the right decisions.”


FIH site

Ards finish strong to retain Ireland’s place in Europe

Ards did Ulster and Irish hockey proud at the weekend when they finished a very creditable fifth at the EuroHockey Indoor Challenge tournament in Douai, France.

The Ulster champions saved their best to last in and their achievement means that next year’s Irish representatives, Railway Union, will also be competing in the third tier. At one stage Ards were in danger of relegation, but they staged a memorable comeback to beat Welsh side Whitchurch Saints 3-2 on Saturday.

That eased the pressure and they rounded off their campaign in style with an emphatic 5-2 win over Slovenian champions HK Moravske Toplice on Sunday. Ards were 4-0 up at the break after goals from Harriet Platt, Ellen Robinson, Amy Benson and Jodie Moore and Francesca Brown rounded off the scoring after Toplice had reduced the deficit to 4-2.

Saturday’s game was pivotal as Ards came back from 2-0 down at half-time to beat the Welsh side with goals from Brown, Becky Weir and Robinson.

Earlier in the competition, Ards lost their opening game 3-2 to Lisbon Casuals before drawing 3-3 with Turkey’s Bolu with a last second goal from Amy Benson.

They were dropped into the relegation pool before playing their final initial group game. They did end with another 3-3 draw, a slightly frustrating result given they had led on three occasions and were in front in the second last minute before the Slovakians tied it up.

It left the Ulster side under pressure, carrying just a draw into the relegation pool but they bounced back with two fine wins to top the group and finish in fifth place overall out of eight.

Women’s EuroHockey Indoor Challenge I
Pool C (relegation pool): Ards 3 (F Brown, B Weir, E Robinson) Whitchurch 2; Ards 5 (H Platt, E Robinson, B Weir, A Bendon, F Brown) Toplice 2
Final standings: 1. Ards 12pts (+4) 2. KPH Raca 9pts (+2) 3. Whitchurch 8pts (+3) 4. Toplice 1pt (-9)

The Hook

Railway reach seventh successive Jacqui Potter Cup final with Old Alex to challenge for the crown

Railway’s Anna May Whelan. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Railway Union reached the Jacqui Potter Cup for the seventh successive season as they snuck by Loreto in a shoot-out last Sunday, setting up a final date with Old Alex.

It continues the Park Avenue club’s incredible run in Leinster’s premier cup competition with wins in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018 to go with final appearances in 2015 and 2016.

Against Loreto, they swept into a 2-0 half-time lead in a dominant performance as they continued their strong rise in form on all fronts with former Trinity duo Niamh Sweeney and Cliona McCullough on the mark.

The Beaufort club stormed back with Sarah Clarke hitting in a penalty corner early in the second half. And Siofra O’Brien equalised after great link-up play and run down the line by Sarah Evans.

It sent the game to a shoot-out where it went tit-for-tat in the first four rounds with the tie poised at 2-2. Carolyn Crampton made the key save for Railway in the last round before skipper Anna May Whelan – both former Trinity players, too – stepped up to calmly score the winner.

They go on to the St Patrick’s Day decider where Old Alex will be seeking their first win in the competition since 2010 when Ivan Ovington was also at the helm with Pam Smithwick providing a player link to that vintage.

Alex took advantage of an understrength UCD line-up who were shy Irish internationals Clodagh Cassin, Bethany Barr, Ellen Curran, Lena Tice, Hannah McLoughlin and Leah McGuire as well as the Carey sisters.

The Milltown side had been threatening with Suzie Kelly clearing off the line before Emme Russell made no mistake for the game’s only goal.

On Monday night, Genesis and North Kildare shared the spoils with the former scoring just their seventh goal of the season, enough though to have them on 11 points. Kildare sit in fifth place, four behind Glenanne but seven clear of the bottom half of the table.

Jacqui Potter Cup semi-finals: Loreto 2 (S Clarke, S O’Brien) Railway Union 2 (N Sweeney, C McCullough), Railway win shoot-out 3-2; Old Alex 1 (E Russell ) UCD 0
Leinster Division One: Genesis 1 North Kildare 1 (N O’Malley)

The Hook

It’s victory for varsity

By Aftar Singh

Jubilation: UniKL players celebrate after beating Maybank to win the Malaysian Hockey League title at the Tengku Abdullah hockey stadium in Bangi yesterday. — GLENN GUAN / The Star

BANGI: Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) clinched their first-ever Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division title in style with one match in hand.

A. Arulselvaraj’s men came back from a goal down to edge Maybank 2-1 at the Tengku Abdullah Hockey Stadium in Bangi yesterday to register their 10th win.

With the win, UniKL have an unassilable 31 points from 10 wins and a draw. They wrap up their fixtures against TNB Thunderbolt in Bangi tomorrow.

Tenaga are in second spot with 27 points with one match remaining – against Terengganu tomorrow.

Even if Tenaga win the match, they will still finish second in the league.

UniKL, who made their debut in the MHL in 2011, took home RM100,000 for winning the league title.

Maybank, who lost 1-5 to UniKL in the first round, surprised the university side by taking the lead after only four minutes through Muhd Zulhamizan Awang Abas.

Defending overall champions UniKL then pushed forward in search for goals and managed to equalise through Rafizul Ezry Mustafa in the 26th minute.

Valentin Verga of Holland scored off an acute angle two minutes later to give UniKL the lead.

UniKL then kept up the pressure on the Tigers but failed to convert any of the six penalty corners they earned.

Arulselvaraj was overjoyed with his team for staying unbeaten to win their first league title.

“We finally won the league title after competing in the league for eight years.

“We dedicate the victory to UniKL chief executive officer Prof Datuk Mazliham Mohd Su’ud and club president Datuk Amir Azahar Ibrahim, who worked hard to form the club,” said Arul.

“Maybank went all out against us from the start to take the lead. We fought back to score two goals but I’m disappointed that we failed to capitalise on the penalty corners we earned.”

The top four teams will feature in the TNB Cup (overall) next week. Newly crowned league champions UniKL will face fourth- placed Maybank in the first leg semi-final on Feb 26.

Second-placed Tenaga take on third-placed Terengganu in the other semi-final. The return legs will be played on Feb 28 while the final is slated for March 2.

The Star of Malaysia

2019 South African Indoor IPT - Day 1

Results and Pool standings from the South African Indoor IPT


Results 20 February

WP v KZNIB (Pool B)     5 - 3 (2 - 1)
MPU v EP (Pool A)         3 - 4 (1 - 0)
KZNC v SGW (Pool B)     5 - 3 (3 - 2)
NAM v EG (Pool A)         6 - 2 (3 - 2)
NG v KZNM (Pool B)     2 - 0 (1 - 0)
SG v KZNI (Pool A)         2 - 4 (1 - 2)

Pool standings

Pool A

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Namibia (NAM) 1 1 0 0 6 2 4 3
2 Western Province (WP) 1 1 0 0 5 3 2 3
3 KZN Inland A (KZNI) 1 1 0 0 4 2 2 3
4 KZN C (KZN C) 1 1 0 0 5 3 2 3
5 Northern Blues (NG) 1 1 0 0 2 0 2 3
6 Eastern Province (NG) 1 1 0 0 4 3 1 3
7 Mpumalanga (MP) 1 0 0 1 3 4 -1 0
8 KZN Inland B (KZNIB) 1 0 0 1 3 5 -2 0
9 Southern Gauteng (SG) 1 0 0 1 2 4 -2 0
10 KZN Mynahs (KZNM) 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 0
11 Eastern Gauteng (EG) 1 0 0 1 2 6 -4 0
12 SG Witsies (SGW) 1 0 0 1 1 6 -5 0

Women A Section

Results 20 February

SG v WPP (Pool B)         6 - 1 (2 - 1)
WP v KZNM (Pool A)     3 - 1 (3 - 0)
KZN v NG (Pool A)         3 - 1 (2 - 1
MPU v KZNI (Pool B)     0 - 3 (0 - 2)

Pool standings

Pool A

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Western Province (RSA) 1 1 0 0 3 1 2 3
1 Spar KZN Raiders (RSA) 1 1 0 0 3 1 2 3
3 KZN Mynahs (RSA) 1 0 0 1 1 3 -2 0
3 Northern Blues (RSA) 1 0 0 1 1 3 -2 0

 Pool B

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Southern Gauteng (RSA) 1 1 0 0 6 1 5 3
2 KZN Inland (RSA) 1 1 0 0 3 0 3 3
3 WP Peninsula (RSA) 1 0 0 1 1 6 -5 0
4 Mpumalanga (RSA) 1 0 0 1 0 3 -3 0

Woman B Section

Results 20 February

NAM v KZNR (Pool A)     2 - 2 (1 - 0)
SGW v KZNIB (Pool A)     5 - 4 (3 - 2)
EG v NW (Pool A)         0 - 9 (0 - 4)

Pool standings

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 North West (RSA) 1 1 0 0 9 0 9 3
2 SG Witsies (RSA) 1 1 0 0 5 4 1 3
3 KZN Robins (RSA) 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 1
3 Namibia 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 1
5 KZN Inland B (RSA) 1 0 0 1 4 5 -1 0
6 Eastern Gauteng (RSA) 1 0 0 1 0 9 -9 0

SA Hockey Association media release

Balochistan, Sindh-A, KP-A score wins in National U-19 Hockey

ISLAMABAD - Balochistan, Sindh A and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP-A) registered victories in Pakistan's National U-19 Hockey Championship 2019, being played here at Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh Hockey Stadium, Rawalpindi on Wednesday.

In the first match of the day, Balochistan outclassed Gilgit-Baltistan 5-0 in a one-sided match. Meraj Ali scored a hat-trick for Balochistan, while Wakeel Ahmed and Abdul Munaf scored a goal apiece. In the second match of the day, KP-A thrashed sorry Islamabad 6-0. Ruman scored a brace while Jibran, Hamza, Usman Khan and Raza Habib contributed one goal each. Islamabad were completely hapless against KP-A, who dominated all the four quarters and could have scored more, had their forwards not missed handful goal-scoring opportunities.

In the third match of the day, Sindh-A hammered Punjab-D 4-0. Nauman Khan, Sarwar Khan, Ilyas and Adnan scored a goal each for the winners. Punjab D, who had the likes of upcoming future star Khubaib Ahmed and others, were cut down to size, as umpire failed to handle Sindh-A players’ dirty hockey, which resulted in three Punjab-D players including star striker Khubaib Ahmed got injured badly. Arm of one player was broken while one lost teeth and Khubaib felt pain in the neck due to foul game of Sindh-A players.

It is hoped that the PHF management will take action against poor umpiring and foul play by Sindh-A team.

The Nation

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