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News for 18 March 2019

All the news for Monday 18 March 2019

Australia men and New Zealand women triumph on Oceania Derby Day in Sydney

The giants of Oceania hockey went head-to-head at Sydney’s Olympic Park Hockey Centre on Sunday (17 March), with the national teams of Australia welcoming New Zealand’s Black Sticks for two crucially important FIH Pro League matches. 

Australia’s men added to Saturday’s triumph over Argentina by overpowering the Black Sticks men on Sunday, emerging 5-1 winners thanks to goals from Tom Wickham (2), Jeremy Hayward, Jack Welch and Daniel Beale to secure a fifth successive FIH Pro League victory. The result was the perfect ending to the Kookaburras ‘home’ campaign, who now sit at the top of the FIH Pro League standings for the first time, with New Zealand remaining bottom of the table.

While Australia’s men made it two wins in two days, it was the reverse for Australia’s women, who followed Saturday’s loss against Argentina with a 3-1 loss at the hands of the Black Sticks. Two goals from Olivia Merry - who sits clear at the top of the FIH Pro League scoring charts with eight - and a third from Amy Robinson gave New Zealand a fine triumph over their Trans-Tasman rivals, ending Australia’s hopes of winning their final FIH Pro League home match of this year. The Hockeyroos sit fourth in the FIH Pro League Standings, with New Zealand fifth.

Following some stellar work from the ground staff to clear the excess water that had gathered on the Olympic Park playing surface after a heavy downpour in Sydney, the men’s meeting between Australia (FIH World Ranking: 2) and New Zealand started without incident, although it was the Kookaburras who were quickest to assert their authority on of the contest. Two Australian goals arrived in the first quarter, with Tom Wickham scoring at the second attempt after a surging run into the New Zealand circle from Jake Whetton before a Jeremy Hayward penalty corner drag-flick doubled the advantage. However, New Zealand halved the deficit on the stroke of quarter-time through Hayden Phillips, who crashed home a second phase penalty corner effort.

Whetton claimed his second assist of the match in quarter two, ripping the Black Sticks defence wide open with a killer pass to Jack Welch, who drilled a low backhand strike between goalkeeper and post to re-establish a two goal cushion at 3-1. From there, the Australians never looked back. Wickham scored his second and Australia’s fourth when he guided home a Dylan Wotherspoon pass early in the third quarter, with Daniel Beale stealing possession from New Zealand defender Shea McAleese before completing the scoring with a cool strike on the backhand.

“It’s always a great game to play against our Kiwi friends and I’m just happy that the crowd came out and enjoyed the spectacle”, said Australia defender and Player of the Match Matthew Swann, who also reflected on his team winning five successive matches after claiming just one point from their opening matches against the Netherlands and Belgium respectively. “We didn’t get off to the best of starts, but I’m glad that for our home games we were able to get five wins out of seven. Now we have a long road ahead of us so we have to dig deep and win some tough matches on the road, so I’m looking forward to that.”

New Zealand captain Arun Panchia said: “We came out and tried to be aggressive early on, but the Aussies ran over us a wee bit in the first half. We had to try a few different things as we are not playing the best hockey, so it’s unfortunate.”

In the women’s match, both Australia (WR:3) and New Zealand came into the fixture on the back of defeats against Argentina, with New Zealand suffering a 3-0 loss against Las Leonas on home soil last week before the Argentines inflicted a 1-0 defeat on Australia yesterday (Saturday).

Australia had an early strike ruled out by a video referral before the prolific Olivia Merry gave New Zealand the lead in the second quarter, slapping a penalty corner into the net via the left foot of Australia goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram.

It was a seventh FIH Pro League goal of the season for Merry, who soon extended her advantage at the top of the scorers chart with an eighth, scoring from close range after she was left unmarked in the Australian circle in the the third quarter.

A yellow card for Holly Pearson reduced New Zealand to ten players for the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, a situation that Australia took full advantage of. A clever pass from Sophie Taylor was stylishly volleyed into the goal by Savannah Fitzpatrick, giving the Hockeyroos a lifeline. However, New Zealand responded soon after being restored back to their full quota, with Amy Robinson finding the target with brilliantly instinctive, waist-height deflection after Merry’s initial penalty corner effort flew into the air from an Australian stick. It proved to be the killer blow, giving New Zealand an important victory away from home.

"It was a tough game, we always know it is, but for us it is great to get the points”, said New Zealand captain and Player of the Match Stacey Michelsen. “We certainly didn’t get off to a great start [in the FIH Pro League] earlier this year, so to get the points today was great. For us it is about gaining momentum to hopefully make the play-offs [FIH Pro League Grand Final] in June.”

Australia captain Jodie Kenny said: “It is disappointing. We knew it was going to be a fast and challenging game. I feel unlucky that we didn’t come out with the win, but we definitely could have put together a better performance out there. You can learn a lot from losses, so we will definitely break those apart and work on the things that we need to better at moving forward.”

Ahead of both of today’s matches, a moment of silence was held as a sign of respect for the recent tragic events in Christchurch. The teams formed a ‘circle of unity’ ahead of the national anthems, with the players and coaching staff of both nations interlocking arms to mark the moment of reflection.

The FIH Pro League continues on Thursday 21 and Friday 22 March as China welcome Argentina and New Zealand to the Wujin Hockey Stadium in Changzhou.

FIH Pro League
17 March - Sydney, Australia

Result: Men’s Match 21
Australia 5, New Zealand 1
Player of the Match: Matthew Swann (AUS)

Umpires: Peter Wright (RSA), Raghu Prasad (IND) & Laurine Delforge (BEL - Video)

Result: Women’s Match 23
Australia 1, New Zealand 3
Player of the Match: Stacey Michelsen (NZL)

Umpires: Laurine Delforge (BEL), Liu Xiaoying (CHN) & Peter Wright (RSA - Video)


Official FIH Pro League Site

Hockeyroos Fall To New Zealand In Slippery Conditions

Alexie Beovich

The Hockeyroos have fallen 3-1 to Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in slippery conditions on Sunday night at Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre.  

Stormy weather threatened to delay the start of the match but that didn’t stop more than 1,700 fans from braving the tough conditions in the final FIH Pro League contest on Australian soil for 2019.  

Australia struggled to adjust to the wet conditions throughout the match, allowing three goals to the New Zealanders through Olivia Merry (17’, 32’) and Amy Robinson (52’).  

Though the play was quite even throughout the early part of the night, Australia struggled in front of goal with many of their ten shots firing across the face or being cut off by a tenacious New Zealand defence. 

Savannah Fitzpatrick looked to have sparked Australia’s comeback when she hit the scoreboard in the 48th minute but the Black Sticks extinguished the Hockeyroos flame moments later with a Robinson match sealing goal.    

“We’ve got to be able to finish, that’s the clear concern for us,” Hockeyroos Coach Paul Gaudoin said.  

“We had a number of chances and we’re not putting them away. That’s giving the other teams opportunities.”   Over 1,700 fans braved the tough conditions to watch the match.  

Black Sticks Captain Stacey Michelsen was named Player of the Match.   

Back-to-back losses to Argentina and New Zealand sees Australia fall to fourth in the FIH Pro League standings, the Black Sticks now sit in fifth place.  

In a mark of respect to those affected by the devastating events in Christchurch on Friday, both sides came together and linked arms during a moments silence before the match.  

The Hockeyroos next match is an ANZAC Day clash against New Zealand in Auckland.  

The first term was a back-and-forth affair which saw both sides in attack mode.  

A goal by Savannah Fitzpatrick in the 13th minute was overturned after the Black Sticks referred the play to the third umpire.  

The second term started with a flurry of New Zealand circle entries, the most dangerous of which was stopped by Sophie Taylor on the last line of defence.  

The Black Sticks didn’t have to wait long for another opportunity to hit the scoreboard, in the 17th minute of the match Merry was able to convert a penalty corner off of a slap variation. 

Hockeyroos skipper Emily Chalker had a chance to even things up just before halftime, she intercepted a pass and pushed forward into a one-on-one situation with Grace O’Hanlon but was unable to beat New Zealand goalkeeper for a goal.  

A fast start to the second half allowed New Zealand to hit the scoreboard first, again through Merry off an assist from Samantha Charlton.  

In the 35th minute Edwina Bone had a chance to bring Australia back into the contest but her shot from ten metres out was thwarted by Sally Rutherford.  

Holly Pearson was sent off with a yellow card at the conclusion of the third quarter, leaving New Zealand a player down for the start of the fourth.  

A player up, Australia was able to take advantage of the card and hit the scoreboard trough Savannah Fitzpatrick in the 48th minute. She found herself close to goal and smashed a half-volley deflection into the backboard.  

New Zealand answered from a penalty corner in the 52nd minute of the match, as first-runner, Bone deflected the initial dragflick which found its’ way to Robinson on the back post who guided it into the net.

Lily Brazel copped a ball to the face late in the match and was treated by medical staff on the pitch before being helped off.  

In the dying minutes of the match Australia pulled Rachael Lynch from the field but the aggressive move didn’t yield any scoreboard results.  

Australia 1 (S. Fitzpatrick 48’)
New Zealand 3 (Merry 17’, 22’, Robinson 52’)   

Hockey Australia media release

Mixed results for Black Sticks against Australia

Olivia Merry of New Zealand has a shot blocked by Edwina Bone of Australia. Photo / Getty

The New Zealand women's hockey team earned a hard fought 3-1 victory over Australia to get their Pro League campaign back on track tonight.

Olivia Merry scored a double and Amy Robinson scored a clever deflection to put New Zealand back in playoff contention with a majority of away games left on the schedule.

Merry opened the scoring in the second quarter from a penalty corner to take her tally to seven in the Pro League and added a second in the 32nd minute after a Sam Charlton pass found her unmarked in the attacking circle.

With Holly Pearson yellow carded for five minutes, Australia hit back through Savannah Fitzpatrick in the final quarter to make it 2-1 before Robinson, standing by the post at a penalty corner, deflected the ball past Australian goalie Jocelyn Bartram to secure the win.

"It was a tough game. We always know it is [against Australia]. We certainly didn't get off to a good start earlier this year so to get the points was great," New Zealand captain Stacey Michelsen said.

They will have a return fixture on Anzac Day which will be New Zealand's final home game but first they must travel to China who they face on Friday.

Their male counterparts had a harder time in Sydney suffering a 5-1 defeat.

The Black Sticks remain bottom of the Pro League table while Australia jumped to the top with their fifth win in seven games. With six of their final seven games on the road it looks a tall order for the Black Sticks to move into the top four.

New Zealand kept the home side at bay for most of the opening quarter with an aggressive style which denied Australia any shots on goal until three minutes remaining when they scored on repeat visits down the Black Sticks' end The first quarter scoring didn't finish there with New Zealand hitting back when Hayden Phillips pounced on a penalty corner rebound. Unfortunately for the Black Sticks that was their only goal of the game while Australia increased their lead in the second quarter.

Jack Welsh made it 3-1 when he was left unmarked in the attacking circle before another was added shortly after halftime. Some poor defence saw Australia make it five when Shea McAleese gave up the ball deep inside his own half and Daniel Beale turned the turnover into another goal.

"We came out and tried to be aggressive early on and the Aussies run over us a bit in the first half," New Zealand captain Arun Panchia said. "We tried something different and [were] aggressive but it's just unfortunate."

New Zealand head to Argentina next month ahead of their final home game against Australia, before finishing the tournament with five games in Europe.

The New Zealand Herald

Black Sticks women stun hosts Australia in Pro League match in Sydney

The Australian and New Zealand women's hockey teams observe a moment of silence for the victims of the Christchurch mosque shootings. GETTY IMAGES

A "devastated" Olivia Merry thought of her home town Christchurch as she scored twice in the Black Sticks' upset of Australia in the FIH Pro League women's hockey match in Sydney on Sunday.

Nearly a year on from their Commonwealth Games gold medal when beating Australia in the decider, the New Zealanders again produced the goods across the Tasman in a 3-1 victory at Olympic Park.

The Black Sticks, reeling from Friday's mass shooting in Christchurch, rallied in wet conditions to condemn Australia to a double loss in their last weekend of home matches.

Olivia Merry of New Zealand has a shot blocked by Edwina Bone of Australia during the Pro League match. GETTY IMAGES

Merry took her tournament-leading tally to eight goals.

New Zealand scored an upset 3-1 victory over Australia in the women's international in Sydney. GETTY IMAGES

"I'm from Christchurch and we're all devastated," she said.

"My heart goes out to all those people affected by it. We really appreciated the minute's silence before the game.

"We came out firing from the get-go and it was a good team performance."

Australian and New Zealand players form a huddle before the men's match in memory of the Christchurch victims. GETTY IMAGES

Merry opened the scoring with a penalty corner in the 17th minute, then helped the Black Sticks double their lead with a 32nd minute field goal.

Australia's Savannah Fitzpatrick narrowed the gap before New Zealand's Amy Robinson slotted home from a penalty corner in the 52nd minute to restore the two-goal buffer.

Goalkeeper Grace O'Hanlon was an imposing presence and key figure in the victory.

Tom Wickham of Australia celebrates one of their side's five goals against the Black Sticks men in Sydney. GETTY IMAGES

It was New Zealand's first away match of the Pro League and their fourth win from eight as they sit just behind Australia in fifth on the ladder.

It wasn't such good news for the New Zealand men who remained winless with a one-sided defeat to Australia at the same venue.

Australia beat the Black Sticks 5-1, after both sides huddled together for a minute's silence in memory of the Christchurch victims.

Hayden Phillips scored New Zealand's only goal in the 15th minute, via a penalty corner, to pull back a 2-0 deficit inside the first quarter.

But Australia regained the upper hand against their trans-Tasman rivals, and had their five goals by the 38 minute mark when Daniel Beale scored.

Tom Wickham notched a double for Australia, the competition frontrunners who have 22 goals in the tournament and five wins from seven.

For the Black Sticks men it was their fifth loss from seven matches, having scored 15 goals and conceded 27.


Indian men’s team eyes strong start

India begin their campaign against Japan on March 23 and will be looking to continue their winning form against the side.

Indian hockey team captain Manpreet Singh. Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

The Indian men’s hockey captain Manpreet Singh feels the team has learnt its lessons from the World Cup debacle last year and is geared up for a positive start to the season at the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia.

Speaking to the media before leaving for Ipoh on Sunday night, Manpreet said the side has prepared itself for the hot and humid weather in Ipoh by having noon practice sessions at the national camp in Bengaluru.

“...we are quite eager to make a positive start as it will give us the right momentum ahead of the FIH Men’s Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019. We have worked really hard in the camp, often training at noon to get used to playing in the hot and humid weather conditions,” Manpreet.

India begin their campaign against Japan on March 23 and will be looking to continue their winning form against the side, who they last met during the Hero Asian Champions Trophy last year.

“We will be playing the Asian Games Champions Japan in the opening match and we will have to be at our best to beat them. We have a lot of youngsters in the team, it will be a great test for them and us as a unit,” stated Manpreet who will have Surender Kumar as deputy.

The Indian team will play their second game against Korea on March 24 while they take on nemesis and Asian Games siler-medallists Malaysia on March 26.

“Though we are the highest ranked team in the tournament, we cannot get ahead of ourselves and have to take one match at a time rather than thinking directly about the Final as we have some tough encounters to begin with.

“Each step is important and the objective will be to ensure that we come out victorious in all our matches,” he said.

Manpreet believes that the 2018 Odisha World Cup, in which the team lost in the quarterfinals, was a major learning step and many players, who have been given a chance, are in a better position to handle pressure situations.

“The World Cup was great learning for all of us. Though, we weren’t able to go beyond the quarterfinal, I believe the world took note of the immense potential of a young team who played with all their heart.

“At this camp, we have looked back at our mistakes and have also tried to develop some new combinations that can help us improve our game. We are confident of our chances of winning but don’t want to get complacent,” he said.

The Hindu

Tokyo hockey test event may inspire Malaysia

By Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia men hockey team have been presented with a chance to test the 2020 Olympic Games venue – a year in advance in Tokyo.

Japan have invited Malaysia to compete in a four-nation test event from August 17-21 at the Oi Hockey Stadium, which is the venue of next year’s Olympics.

And maybe that will inspire the Malaysian team to go all the way to qualify for the Tokyo Games as they have yet to make the cut. Malaysia last featured in Olympics in Sydney in 2000.

Two other Olympic champions invited by Japan for the test event are eight-time Olympic winners India and New Zealand, who won at the Montreal Olympics in 1976.

Japan coach Siegfried Aikman said they were looking forward to playing against Malaysia at their home venue.

“I’ve 33 players in the training squad and I want to expose them with quality matches,” said Aikman.

Last year, his team played superb hockey to beat Malaysia in the final of the Asian Games in Indonesia. They were trailing 2-5 before they fought back to end the match 6-6 in regulation time. Japan beat Malaysia 3-1 in the penalty shootout. But first, Japan will get to test their team in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh from March 23-30.

“We are taking the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup very seriously as we have named 14 players, who were members of the Asiad winning team,” said Aikman.

“I’ve also included two very talented 19-year-olds for the tournament. They are Kazuki Yoneda and Ryosei Kato.”

Meanwhile, Malaysia are scheduled for their training camp in Dusseldorf, Germany, from July 21-29 and a four-nation tournament in Spain from July 29 to Aug 4. They will also play two matches against Holland in preparation for the two-leg final qualifiers for the Olympics on Oct 25 and Nov 3.

The Star of Malaysia

SA Women’s Hockey Squad Announced

Celia Evans is back in the squad after recovering from a knee injury suffered at the 2018 IPT. Photo - Marcel Sigg / Run Ride Dive

The South African Hockey Association have today announced the South African Women’s Hockey Squad. This squad will be the first under coach Robin van Ginkel and will be used to select the final tournament squads for the FIH Open Series Final in Valencia in June.

With Tokyo 2020 having just passed the 500 days away threshold, the excitement for the various qualification tournaments is palpable. South Africa will head to Valencia with the objective of finishing in the top 2. The African champions will take on Italy, Wales and Thailand in Pool B of the Valencia tournament, with hosts Spain partnered in Pool A with Belarus, Canada and Namibia.

The 26-player team announced features an exciting blend of new players with Robyn Johnson, Sandi Tabata, Ashleigh Datnow, Nikki Veto, Stephanie Botha, Casey-Jean Botha, Bianca Wood, Hannah Pearse and Tegan Fourie all looking to earn their first caps for the country.

Alongside the new faces is also a blend of great experience with Lisa Deetlefs, Erin Hunter, Nicole Walraven, Quanita Bobbs, Phumi Mbande and Tarryn Glasby among the players that van Ginkel will look to blend the newcomers to International hockey into the team.

“I am really excited to take my first team to Spain and look to do well in the FIH Hockey Series Final. The team selected has a good core of experienced players that will help blend the new names into the team and into International hockey. I am really looking forward to the start of our four-year process and the success we can bring to South African Hockey!”

South African Women’s Hockey Squad

No, Player, Province, Caps
1, Stephanie Baxter, North West, 23
2, Quanita Bobbs, Western Province, 114
3, Kara Botes, Southern Gauteng, 41
4, Casey Jean Botha, SA U21, 0
5, Stephanie Botha, SA U21, 0
6, Dirkie Chamberlain, North West, 225
7, Ashleigh Datnow, Southern Gauteng, 0
8, Lisa Deetlefs, Southern Gauteng, 250
9, Lilian du Plessis, Southern Gauteng, 119
10, Celia Evans, Northern Blues, 145
11, Tegan Fourie, SA U21, 0
12, Tarryn Glasby, Western Province, 30
13, Erin Hunter, Southern Gauteng, 41
14, Robyn Johnson, Southern Gauteng, 0
15, Nicole la Fleur (GK), Western Province, 19
16, Ongi Mali, SA U21, 10
17, Marizen Marais, Northern Blues, 14
18, Phumi Mbande (GK), Northern Blues, 35
19, Mmathshepo Modipane (GK), Southern Gauteng, 5
20, Kristen Paton, Southern Gauteng, 15
21, Hannah Pearce, SA U21, 0
22, Sandi Tabata, SA U21, 0
23, Izelle Verster, Northern Blues, 7
24, Nikki Veto, SA U21, 0
25, Nicole Walraven, Free State, 45
26, Bianca Wood, SA U21, 0

SA Hockey Association media release

ROUND-UP: English Men's Hockey League

Reigning champions Surbiton boosted their bid for another Men’s Hockey League Premier Division title with a 2-0 victory at second-placed side Hampstead & Westminster on Sunday.

Goalless at half time, the game sprung in to life mid-way through the second half as the division’s top scorer Alan Forsyth gave the away side the lead with a goal from open play in the 57th minute.

Zach Wallace sealed all three points for the league leaders with another goal from free play in the 63rd minute.

Beeston missed out on an opportunity to close the gap on second and cement third place as they fell to a 6-4 defeat at Reading.

Chris Proctor fired Beeston into a 3-0 lead with a hat-trick in the first half before Stuart Loughrey responded with two goals for reading to leave it 3-2 at the break.

Elliot Hibell extended the away side’s lead with a goal from a penalty corner in the 41st minute before goals from Lee Morton and Peter Scott (2) gave Reading the lead.

Loughrey completed his hat-trick in the 65th minute and sealed the points for the home side.

Elsewhere Wimbledon performed well at home, winning 1-0 against fourth place East Grinstead.

Jonny Codling scored the only goal of the game in the 46th minute from open play.

Brooklands MU came out on top after a thrilling 6-4 win at home against bottom of the table Sevenoaks.

Keenan Horne, Stefan Ray-Hills, Sam Perrin, Leo Watton and David Flanagan (2) were all on the scoresheet for the home side.

Tim Warrington (2), Duncan Parnis and Andrew Oxburgh were the goal scorers for Sevenoaks as they still look for their first win of the season.

The University of Exeter secured another point as they look to retain their place in the Premier Division for next season with a 2-2 draw at home against Holcombe.

Archie Winter and Sam Hooper were the goal scorers for the home side, Conor Caplan scored a brace for Holcombe as the sides had to settle for a point a piece.

Men’s Conference East

Southgate secured a top six spot in the Men’s Conference East with a 6-4 win at home against Old Loughtonians.

Alex Williams, John Sterlini (2), Robert Schilling and Jonny Maunder all found themselves on the scoresheet for the home side.

Maciej Janiszewski (2), Andrew McGregor and William Smith were the goal scorers for Old Loughtonians.

Brighton & Hove took a step closer to securing a top six spot with a 2-1 win at home against Richmond.

Rob Cornell and Joe Naughalty scored for the home side, Scott Wall scored a consolation for Richmond.

Elsewhere, Oxted won 3-1 at home against Cambridge, Canterbury won 3-1 at Teddington and Old Georgians versus Peterborough ended 2-2.

Men’s Conference North

Bowdon took a big step towards securing the Men’s Conference North title with a 3-0 win at Doncaster on Sunday.

Thomas Ainsworth gave the away side lead in the 21st minute with a goal from free play before Oliver Stoddart added a brace to seal all three points for the league leaders.

Loughborough Students moved up to third in the table with a 8-1 victory at Preston.

A hat-trick from Ronan Harvey-Kelly, a brace each from Evan Kimber and Nick Page and a goal from Murray Collins was enough to secure all three points for the away side.

David Greenough scored a consolation for Preston in the 63rd minute.

Elsewhere, Belper won 4-1 at Alderley Edge, Sheffield Hallam secured a 1-0 win at home against Leeds and the University of Durham won 4-0 at the University of Nottingham.

Men’s Conference West

Cardiff & Met sealed a place in the top six and a spot in Division One for next season with a 4-2 win at home against the University of Bristol in the Men’s Conference West.

Rhys Gowman (2), Ellis Robson and Ieuan Davies scored the goals that seal the win for the home side.

Thomas Minall and Josh Hallet were on the scoresheet for the University of Bristol as their hopes for a place in the top six took a blow.

Elsewhere, Havant took a step closer to securing the Men’s Conference West title with a 4-3 win ay the University of Birmingham.

Oxford Hawks won 4-3 at home against Team Bath Buccaneers, Olton secured a 2-1 victory at home against Fareham and Chichester won 4-0 at home against Isca.


Men’s Premier Division: Brooklands Manchester University 6, Sevenoaks 4; Hampstead & Westminster 0, Surbiton 2; Reading 6, Beeston 4; University of Exeter 2, Holcombe 2; Wimbledon 1, East Grinstead 0.

Men’s Conference East: Brighton & Hove 2, Richmond 1; Old Georgians 2, City of Peterborough 2; Oxted 3, Cambridge City 1; Southgate 6, Old Loughtonians 4; Teddington 1, Canterbury 3.

Men’s Conference North: Alderley Edge 1, Belper 4; Doncaster 0, Bowdon 3; Preston 1, Loughborough Students 8; Sheffield Hallam 1, Leeds 0; University of Nottingham 0, University of Durham 4.

Men’s Conference West: Cardiff & Met 4, University of Bristol 2; Chichester 4, Isca 0; Olton & West Warwicks 2, Fareham 0; Oxford Hawks 4, Team Bath Buccaneers 3; University of Birmingham 3, Havant 4.

England Hockey Board Media release

Jersey men through to England Hockey Championships semi-finals for first time

Jersey's men are yet to play at home in this year's competition. Credit: Jersey Hockey

Jersey are through to the last four of the England Hockey Men's Tier 2 Championships for the first time after knocking out the holders.

They beat Blackheath & Elthamians 2-1 away from home thanks to early goals from Sam Dunstan and captain Tom Millar.

The hosts pulled one back before the break but missed a penalty stroke in the second-half as Jersey held on to book their place in the semi-finals.

They will now face either Sheffield University Bankers or Repton at Les Quennevais on Sunday 31 March, in what will be their first home game in this season's competition.

    It should be a huge occasion. We enter this tournament because we want to play competitive games of hockey against top teams. We've reached the semi-final so we're assured of playing a really top side, and the fact that we get to do that at home in front of our home crowd is going to make it even more special.

– Tom Millar, captain, Jersey Men's Hockey

ITV News

Three Rock Rovers roar back to beat Glenanne and win Mills Cup

Hosking lays on perfect pass for English to touch home the killer fourth goal

Stephen Findlater

Three Rock Rovers’ Jody Hosking: he played a big part in the team’s fourth goal. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

The Three Rock Rovers juggernaut rolls on as the club retained yet another trophy at Grange Road, storming back from 2-0 down to win the Mills Cup with a 4-2 victory over Glenanne.

It adds a tenth trophy in the past 24 months, marking this out as probably the most successful period in the club’s 125-year history.

For the current campaign it adds to the Neville Cup, Leinster and National Indoor Trophy as well as promotion in Europe indoors and advancement to the Euro Hockey League outdoors.

For Glenanne thoughts of what might have been will linger. They were breathtaking for the first 20 minutes, and deservedly 2-0 up when Jerome Saeys won and scored a penalty stroke and Brad Venter smashed in from the top of the D.

Jamie Carr once again was earning his salt between the posts, but the game began to turn as half-time closed in.

Rovers got one back through captain Jody Hosking from a surprise corner variation, sweeping in low from the left of the circle.

It kickstarted a run of four goals in 18 minutes as Luke Madeley took the pace off a drag-flick to allow Ben Walker to guide home. Harry Morris then cleaned up from Kevin Mullins half-hit shot to give Rovers a 3-2 lead.

Hosking then played a brilliant part in the killer fourth goal. He emerged from a green card sin-binning at the perfect time to race off the bench and create an overlap from which he beat his marker for pace and laid on the perfect pass for Mark English to touch home.

Three Rock Rovers 4 (J Hosking, B Walker, H Morris, M English) Glenanne 2 (J Saeys, B Venter)

GLENANNE: I Walker, D Keogh, B Venter, C Jakobi, N Byrne, E O’Malley, S Boucher, J Brennan, R Shaw, G Gibney, S O’Connor. Subs: G Shaw, S Brownlow, J McCormack, J Saeys

THREE ROCK ROVERS: J Carr, R Nair, M Walker, R Canning, B Walker, L Madeley, D Walsh, H Morris, J Hosking, M English. Subs: C Empey, A Empey, K Mullins, J McAllister, H MacMahon

Umpires: R Abbott, R Argent

The Irish Times

Pegasus move further clear as Belfast Quins stun Loreto

Pegasus extended their lead at the top of the Irish women's EYHL table as they benefited from Belfast Harlequins' excellent comeback draw against Loreto; Ards made a big move as Cork Harlequins strengthen their playoff place

Women’s EY Hockey League round-up
Pembroke Wanderers 1 (A Naughton) Ards 2 (H Platt 2)
Harriet Platt scored on the double to earn Ards their first win of the season, a vital one as it lifts them out of range of Muckross for the time being in the relegation playoff place.

Pembroke had taken the lead in the fourth minute via Aisling Naughton but the advantage did not last long as Platt pounced on a loose ball in the 11th minute to slot into the corner for 1-1.

And they had the Dubliners on the back foot for much of the first phases but bounced back in the second with Gillian Pinder flashing a chance wide as did Naughton from a lovely Pinder pass.

Ards, meanwhile, were efficient in attack at went in front with their first foray forward in the second half, intercepting and then working a one-two which Platt finished off. A couple of Pembroke corners were kept at bay by Naomi McKnight’s defence as they held firm to record an important victory that lifts their chances of survival.

Old Alexandra 0 Pegasus 3 (S McCay, T Doherty, A Speers)
Pegasus extended their lead at the top of the women’s EYHL to four points as they won well at Old Alex. Alex did have the first major chance when a penalty corner was upgraded to a stroke but Lisa Jacob saw her effort saved by Megan Todd.

Pegasus’s high-pressing caused problems from early on but they could not find their way past Pam Smithwick and when they did, it was pegged back for an earlier penalty corner infringement, leaving it 0-0 at quarter-time. Alex Speers hit the post from another chance but Alex were also creating a decent amount and forced a couple of corners from which Erika Hinkson threatened.

The deadlock was broken in the second half when Speers surging run led to a corner which Shirley McCay – back after a head injury – smacked in from the top of the circle. McCay was called on to stop an Alex chance on the line from Hannah Kelly as the tie remained in the balance into the final quarter.

But the Ulster side had the key second goal when Taite Doherty tapped in at the back post following a swift attack along the baseline. And the icing was put on the cake following good play from McCay whose overhead to Speers led to a shot which Smithwick saved but her rebound fell to her to tap in.

Belfast Harlequins 3 (R Johnston 2, Z Wilson) Loreto 3 (S Torrans 2, S Clarke)
Belfast Harlequins and Loreto served up a cracking contest at Deramore where the hosts staged a stunning comeback from 3-1 down to salvage a hard-earned 3-3 draw. It was the same outcome as in the corresponding game last season although the circumstances were vastly different as, on that occasion, it was Loreto who came from 3-0 down to snatch a point with a last second Hannah Matthews strike.

Not for the first time this season, Quins made a slow start and Nicci Daly – one of five World Cup silver medallists on show – had a backhand shot well saved by Helen Stevenson in the sixth minute and then Siofra O’Brien fired narrowly wide.

Sarah Clarke’s effort from the first penalty corner of the match was expertly charged down by Rachel Johnston in the 10th minute. Twelve minutes later, Quins went in front with a brilliantly executed goal, started and finished by two London silver medallists.

As she fell on the slippery surface, Lizzie Colvin did well to find Jenna Watt and she, in turn, passed to Rhiannon Coulter whose right wing delivery was touched home first time by Zoe Wilson.

After Ali Meeke had sent a shot agonisingly past the far post, Clarke netted the equaliser in the 27th minute from a set-piece that was slipped left and her fierce shot gave Stevenson no chance.

After Daly had another effort well stopped, Sarah Torrans made it 2-1 at the long break with a cracking reverse stick finish and a minute after the restart the Irish international spun and shot low into the net for number three.

Quins looked dead and buried at that stage but Loreto were unable to see the game out and, in the 42nd minute, Johnston pulled one back with a penalty corner deflection out of the Anna O’Flanagan World Cup book. On the hour and with play continuing to swing from end to end, Johnston grabbed the equaliser with a replica of her first.

Both team had chances to win it in the final few minutes and Stevenson had the last word when she pulled off a stunning save from Ali Meeke.

Muckross 1 (R Cuddy) Cork Harlequins 2 (Y O’Byrne, R Barry)
Muckross were denied a crucial point late on by Rebecca Barry’s lovely deflection as Cork Harlequins made it three wins in-a-row to strengthen their place in the top four.

The first half burst into life in the minute before the break with Yvonne O’Byrne finishing off after Barry’s clever lift and cross from the left baseline led to a tap-in.

Rachel Cuddy equalised almost immediately when she slammed home a sharp chance, arriving just on time after Sophie Barnwell’s brilliant run got her clear down the right, pulling back behind the first wave of attackers to set up the chance.

And that was how it remained through a tight third quarter where a couple of cards were shown and Ellie McLoughlin made some key saves from penalty corners.

The winner came in the last 10 minutes when O’Byrne returned the favour for the earlier assist, taking a sideline ball quickly and firing it at pace into the circle where Barry ramped it into the roof of the goal. Muckross had a late corner chance but could not convert and now sit four points away from the relegation playoff place.

Railway Union 1 (K Lloyd) UCD 2 (A Russell, B Barr)
Bethany Barr’s first official goal for UCD settled a high-quality contest at Park Avenue as UCD continue to put the pressure on the top two while Railway suffered a setback in their playoff hopes.

Lena Tice (UCD) and Anna-May Whelan (Railway) were among two key players unavailable to play and it was Railway who struck the first shot in anger when Kate Lloyd shot into the sideboard early on.

UCD went 1-0 up when Abbie Russell chased after a long, hopeful ball which few would have expected her to retrieve but she came storming through and fired a rocket reverse past the advancing Carolyn Crampton for a cracking opening goal.

It was a deserved lead after they were well on top in the second quarter but Railway equalised in the 44th minute when Lloyd scored into an empty net after good team play via Katie Fearon and then Zara Delany who crossed.

But the students bounced back to get the winner in the fourth quarter after a hard cross from Leah McGuire was tapped in by Barr at the back post. Railway did have a corner with less than a minute to go but Emer Lucey’s strike was saved by Clodagh Cassin and then cleared.

The Hook

Western Wildcats women beat the weather and take the points

Snow and flooding caused the postponement of almost all Saturday`s Scottish National League 1 fixtures, but pride of place must go to Western Wildcats` women who not only beat the weather at Auchenhowie but also opponents GHK.

Western Wildcats’ 5-0 victory propelled them into second place in the table, still two points behind leaders Edinburgh University but now above both Dundee Wanderers and Clydesdale Western.

They showed little sympathy for the visitors on a chilly Auchenhowie, Alex Stuart opened with a reverse stick shot, then Erin Stevens finished off a brilliant team build-up for the second before the interval.

Western Wildcats dominated the second half and the score might have been greater but for multiple saves from GHK keeper Ali Westwood. However, the goals continued, Megan Cox made it 3-0 followed by a penalty corner conversion by Kate Holmes. The fifth came from player/coach Kaz Cuthbert after she was left unmarked in the circle.

Cuthbert then added:  “Wildcats set the tone for how we expect to see out the rest of the season.”

The result leaves GHK second bottom in the table and in the relegation play-offs.

There was no change to the rest of the women`s table and also not to the men`s as all their games fell foul of the weather.

The result is that Grange still lead the division by six points from Western Wildcats with Grove Menzieshill a further point adrift, and there are still only three games left in the schedule.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

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