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News for 18 May 2019

All the news for Saturday 18 May 2019

Kookaburras Crush India To Seal Series Sweep

Ben Somerford

Western Australian forward Trent Mitton scored a double on home turf as the Kookaburras completed a 2-0 Test series sweep over India with a 5-2 victory in Perth on Friday night.

The world number two Kookaburras blitzed India in the first half, racing to a 4-1 half-time lead in front of almost 2,000 fans at Perth Hockey Stadium.

Flynn Ogilvie (3’) opened the scoring early before Mitton (11’) added a second, although India pulled one back before quarter-time through Nilakanta Sharma (12’).

Australia added second quarter goals from a clinical Mitton (24’) finish and a trademark Blake Govers (28’) drag flick.

Tim Brand grabbed the home side’s fifth goal in the 43rd minute before world number five India grabbed a consolation from a Rupinder Singh (53’) drag flick.

Australia had won the first Test 4-0 on Wednesday but Friday’s display was an improved performance, proving more emphatic and ruthless in front of goal.

The result provides Australia a confidence boost ahead of the European leg of the FIH Pro League next month, beginning with a clash against Great Britain in London on Sunday 9 June.

After a scramble inside the Indian circle, Ogilvie opened the scoring in the third minute.

Tom Craig and Tim Brand both tested India keeper Sreejesh Parattu in the sixth minute, while he also denied Mitton in the 10th minute.

Mitton made it 2-0 in the 11th minute with a sweeping angled finish from Jake Whetton’s release.

But India hit back almost immediately with close-range deflection from Sharma making it 2-1.

Mandeep Singh deflected a powerful drive over the bar in the 18th minute, heaping the pressure on Australia.

The Kookaburras continued to be ruthless in attack with defender Josh Simmonds brilliantly finding Mitton inside the D, before the forward slotted to make it 3-1 in the 24th minute.

Johan Durst made a good save to deny Armaan Qureshi, before Australia won a 28th minute penalty corner which Govers fired into the backboard.

Govers produced some wizardry inside the D before shooting wide in the 38th minute while Durst was called on again to thwart Qureshi.

Brand added Australia’s fifth with a touch of fortune, with his baseline cross deflecting in off Indian defender Gurinder Singh.

Eddie Ockenden found Jacob Anderson in a pocket of space inside the circle in the 48th minute but he was blanketed well by Sreejesh.

India netted a consolation with Rupinder’s flick from a 53rd minute short corner.

Australia 5 (Ogilvie 3’, Mitton 11’, 24’, Govers 28’, Brand 43’)
India 2 (Sharma 12’, Rupinder 53’)

Hockey Australia media release

Another hammering by Oz revives memories of past horrors

Krishan Pathak tries to make a save against Australia. hi

The Indian men’s hockey team ended their tour Down Under with a 2-5 loss to world no.2 Australia in the fifth and final match in Perth on Friday.

Trent Mitton (11th and 24th minutes), Flynn Ogilvie (3rd), Blake Govers (28th) and Tim Brand (43rd) scored for the hosts while Nilakanta Sharma (12th) and Rupinderpal Singh (53rd) registered their names on the scoresheet for India.

The visitors had the opening chance in the match, but it was cleared by Eddie Ockenden, while on the counter Australia forced Indian goalkeeper Krishan Pathak to make a brilliant save towards his left side as deflected it outside for a long corner.

The following seconds saw Australia score the opening goal of the match in the 3rd minute as Ogilvie managed to get the final touch.

The 8th minute saw Mandeep Singh win a penalty corner for India, but the resulting execution was wasted as Nilakanta Sharma could not trap the ball properly. This meant Australia broke on the counter but only for Rupinderpal Singh to return back and clear the ball away.

Australia won their first penalty corner in the 10th minute, but the shot was blocked by India, and cleared away.

However, the next minute saw India play out a loose ball from the back which was lost by Gurinder Singh, and it was Australia’s Mitton who took advantage as he found himself in space on the left flank and fired the ball past Pathak to make it 2-0.

However, India were quick to respond as Gursahibjit played a pass into the circle from the left flank, and it was Indian midfielder Nilakanta who got the last touch to put the ball into the back of the net, and pull a goal back in the 12th minute.

The first few minutes of the second quarter were quiet for both the teams, but it was India who found the opening chance in the 19th minute when Mandeep Singh’s deflection went over the bar.

India maintained possession in the second quarter and had another chance in the 23rd minute when Vivek Sagar Prasad played a quick ball into the circle, but Mandeep could not collect it.

Mitton found himself in a great position on the right side of the striking circle as Joshua Simmonds played a great pass to him, and Mitton turned and fired the ball past PR Sreejesh into the back of the net to make it 3-1 after 24 minutes.

In the 29th minute, Gurinder Singh was dubiously fined for a push inside the 16-yard line by the umpire, and the resulting penalty corner saw Blake Govers fire a shot past Sreejesh’s left side into the back of the net to make it 4-1 at the half-time.

The third quarter saw Australia maintain possession but were not able to create any opportunities in the opening few minutes.

The 40th minute saw Blake Govers run down the right flank beating a few defenders but could not keep his shot on target, while on the other end, India struggled to stitch passes together.

In the 43rd minute, Armaan Qureshi had a glorious chance to score India’s second goal but Johan Durst made a fine save on his left side, and it was Australia who managed to score on the counter as Tim Brand pushed the ball past Pathak to make it 5-1 with just one quarter to play.

India needed to score heavily in the last quarter and they tried to create chances but the Australian defence made sure that they did not give them space in the circle.

It was only in the 53rd minute that India managed to score their second goal as Rupinderpal converted a penalty corner as he fired the ball past Durst’s left side to make it 5-2.


Australia: 5 Mitton (11’, 24’), Flynn Ogilvie (3’), Blake Govers (28’) and Tim Brand (43’); India: 2 Nilakanta Sharma (12’), Rupinderpal Singh (53’)

The Tribune

2019 Test matches POL v SCO (Men)
Walcz (POL)

17 May 2019     POL v SCO     1 - 2       
18 May 2019 17:00 (GMT +2)    POL v SCO

FIH Match Centre

Scotland Performance Squad unlucky in defeat to France

Scotland Performance Squad lost 3-2 to France in a close contest at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre. The result follows a 3-3 draw in the opening game of the three-match series.

It was a composed and speedy start to the contest for the young Scotland Performance Squad with the team playing the ball with confidence from the first whistle.

Right at the start of the second quarter France took the lead. From the second phase at a penalty corner Johana LHopital scooped the ball into the net to make it 1-0.

Scotland’s first opportunity came a short time later and it was Rachael Mack who let fly from a penalty corner and was met by a good diving save low at the post.

France then scored a second when Victorine Van Kemmel deflected the ball past the goalkeeper to make it Scotland Performance Squad 0-2 France. Moments later and Elysee Lecas made it 3-0 with a hard strike from the top of the D.

Right on the stroke of half time Scotland pulled one back. Cat Booth struck a fierce penalty corner into the bottom left corner to make it Scotland Performance Squad 1-3 France at the break.

A good start to the second half saw Scotland score. Ruth Blaikie made it Scotland Performance 2-3 France with a lovely near post-strike in a tight space.

In the final quarter Scotland went on the hunt for an equaliser and Ellie McKenzie went on an excellent solo run past three French defenders only to be denied by a good near post save.

Then Blaikie was denied her second by the keeper after a slick Scottish break down the right.

McKenzie again had a good chance to score when she latched onto a French defensive error but her quick-fire shot went just wide of the left post.

The big push by the Scots in the final quarter came close to finding an equaliser but France held on for the win. The final meeting in the series is at 10am on Sunday at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

FIH Pro League Insight: Belgium

Great Britain welcome Belgium’s men and women to Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Sunday 19 May for an FIH Pro League double header.

It’ll be the first time that Great Britain will have met Belgium in the FIH Pro League with the women’s match starting the day at 1pm before the men’s game commences at 3pm.

Ahead of Sunday’s double header we took a closer look at the Belgian sides:

Belgium men hunting top spot

The World Champions may have started the FIH Pro League with a disappointing shootout loss to Spain following a 2-2 draw, but they responded well with a 4-2 away victory over reigning Olympic Champions Argentina.

Though Belgium have played the least matches (5) they are yet to taste defeat in the FIH Pro League with three wins and two draws.

Belgium will be frustrated to have only drawn with New Zealand, who are yet to win a match from nine games, but it was a strong finish to their opening matches with a dominant 4-1 victory against table-topping Australia and a 7-3 triumph over Spain in their first FIH Pro League home game.

That match against Spain (April 10) is the only match Belgium have played since February 3 against Australia with a busy schedule approaching over the coming weeks.

Currently occupying second place in the FIH Pro League table and looking to close the gap on Australia, Belgium have been lethal in attack with 21 goals from just five games, averaging the most goals per game in the league.

Featuring Arthur van Doren (FIH Player of the Year), Arthur de Sloover (FIH Young Player of the Year) and Vincent Vanasch (FIH Goalkeeper of the Year) the Belgium squad is bursting full of talent.

There’s also a wealth of experience to accompany this, Belgium’s squad averages 142 caps per player which is comfortably the highest of the FIH Pro League teams with Great Britain only averaging 100 per player.

There’s some history between the two teams with Great Britain ruthlessly winning 12-1 to take Gold at the 1920 Antwerp Olympic Games, in what was Belgium’s debut Olympic hockey appearance and their first home Games.

Belgium did return the favour at the Rio 2016 Olympics with a 4-1 victory on the way to their best ever finish as they scooped the silver medal.

Red Panthers looking to maintain strong start

Despite only sitting at number 13 in the FIH World Rankings, the lowest ranked side in the league, Belgium’s women’s team have impressed so far in the FIH Pro League.

Currently third with four wins, one draw and a loss, Belgium have started well, but with more than half their games left to play it’s going to be tough to maintain their present place in the table.

Having played the fewest games in the FIH Pro League so far (6, no other side has played less than 8) Belgium will need to keep up their winning run in order to preserve their high win percentage, stay in touch with the top two and secure a top four finish.

A 2-0 defeat to Argentina was far from an ideal start to their FIH Pro League campaign but impressive consecutive victories over Commonwealth Games champions New Zealand (1-0) and Australia (2-1) within two days of each other showed the quality Belgium possess.

Though the Red Panthers could only pick up one point against the USA following a shootout loss in a 1-1 draw, they bounced back with consecutive victories against China (4-1) and the USA (2-1) in their opening home games.

Only Caia Van Maasakker (4) has scored more goals from penalty corners than Belgium’s Alix Gerniers’ three strikes, though Gerniers has played two games fewer than her Dutch counterpart, with the Red Panthers holding a serious threat from the set piece.

The last time Belgium faced Great Britain, they were on the receiving end of a 3-0 defeat at the London 2012 Olympic Games where GB would go on to take bronze.

Great Britain Hockey media release

FIH to introduce second tier Pro League

By S. S. Dhaliwal

The success of the FIH Pro League is the catalyst for the International Hockey Federation to further expand the tournament.

Happy with the response from teams and Hockey fans throughout the world, the International Hockey Federation is now exploring the idea of adding a second division to the existing Pro League.

There are currently eight teams in the Pro League ( as Pakistan withdrew) but with India joining in for the 2020 edition, there will be nine teams in the second edition.

"We are now looking at the possibility of having a second level of competition for the next level of ranked teams,” revealed FIH President Dr.Narinder Dhruv Batra in an exclusive interview during his brief visit to Kuala Lumpur with FIH CEO Thierry Weil yesterday,

"There will be promotion and relegation of teams between these two tiers of the Pro Leagues.”

The proposal is set to be deliberated further by the FIH at its Executive Board Meeting in June.

The present competition sees the teams playing a home and away format which means they have to play a total of 14 matches.

"We studied the effects and realised it put a tremendous strain on the players with all the travelling as the teams are spread in all continents,” explained Thierry.

"So from next year we have reduced the number of matches to just eight for each team.

"We realise that there is a need to give other teams an opportunity to also be part of the Pro League.

"Hence we need to discuss this further and expand the Pro League so as to enable the second tier competition to commence in 2021,”

And this will surely be a big boost for Malaysia and other teams from Asia.

Within the next bracket of world ranked teams, there are five Asian teams, namely Malaysia. Pakistan, China, Japan and South Korea.

"Starting it in 2020 might be tough as we need to give adequate notice to the affected teams?” explained Thierry.

"But unlike the Pro League, there will not be home and away matches as we are looking at holding it at a single venue.

"So we need to work out several details like the hosts as well as other matters such as TV rights and marketing of the event before we get around to holding it.”

But FIH did not rule out staring it in 2020 should there be a positive response from the teams.

For those who followed hockey, there was such a tournament where there was promotion and relegation – the champions trophy and champions challenge.

And prior to that there was also the intercontinental cup that used to serve as qualifiers for the World Cup.

With the revamp of the ranking system and the innovative idea of hosting a second tier Pro League, this will surely provide a tremendous boost and reduce the gap between the teams in the top 10 bracket and the rest.

And the key word will be consistency from the teams as from January next year with the revamped Pro League, the result of every sanctioned match will be crucial in determining ranking points and eventually if the teams make the grade for the second tier Pro League.

Exciting times ahead for international Hockey as FIH take the bold step to be innovative and being forward thinking towards uplifting the standard of the sport globally,

Malaysian Sports

Canada Gives Back...Successful Season In Belgium

Stephanie Norlander (white) and Hannah Haughn (black) in a game between Leuven and Victory. Photo: Emma van Mol

Stephanie Norlander completed her second season with KHC Leuven, where she played alongside four other Canadian team mates. For Hannah Haughn, it was a first Belgian club experience. She and three other Canadians played for Royal Victory Hockey Club in Antwerp, the home base for all national trainings.

With 12 goals for Leuven, Norlander claimed fourth place on the scorers list. Stephanie started the season in September with a hat trick. Norlander regularly found her way to the back of the net in important games, leading Leuven to the bronze, the best club ranking in 20 years.

In Victory, Haughn is well respected by her club for the level of commitment she consistently shows. Her coaching contributions to the youth teams within the club added incredible value to the future of youth players.

The combination of training with the Canadian national team and playing in the Belgian club league is Stephanie’s and Hannah’s full time job. It requires major sacrifices from the Canadian athletes, as they all lived in or close to Belgium in order to train together and improve as a team. Coach Giles Bonnet believes it’s important for the team to give back to their clubs by making a difference to their environment. They are loyal, demonstrate a great work ethic and are committed to achieving their end goal...Olympic Games, Tokyo 2020.

Brienne, Stephanie and Hannah in a game Canada vs Scotland. Photo: Emma van Mol

Canada Takes On Scotland

With the Belgian league ending last week, the Canadian women’s national team is not returning home yet. Focussing on the Hockey Series Finals in June, the Wolf Pack flew to Glasgow to play a 5-game test series against the Scottish team.

With two wins earlier this week, Canada got off to a good start defeating Scotland with a 4-1 win in the opening game. Nikki Woodcroft scored the only goal before half time. The visitors continued to put pressure on the Scottish defense and with goals from Stephanie Norlander, Hannah Haughn and Holly Stewart, Canada booked the first win with a strong performance.

In the second game, the crowd had to wait until the 33rd minute for the first goal by Brienne Stairs. The powerful reverse shot proved to be the momentum shift for the Canadian team. From here Hannah Haughn doubled the score and Stephanie Norlander forced a third goal over the line, both players netting their second goal of the series.

Canadian Women's Team media release

Teams can now make it a point to compete in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

Royal backing: (From left) FIH president Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah Ibni Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Mustain Billah, Asian Hockey Federation chief executive officer Datuk Tayab Ikram and FIH CEO Thierry Weil. His Majesty received an award from Dr Narinder on Wednesday.

KUALA LUMPUR: Good news for teams competing in next year’s Sultan Azlan Shah (SAS) Cup.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) have decided to award ranking points for the invitational tournament.

FIH president Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra and FIH chief executive officer Thierry Weil revealed that this was in line with the revamp of the world ranking points from 2020.

“The new system will be revealed after the FIH executive board meeting next month. We will soon award ranking points for matches and tournaments that are sanctioned by FIH,” said Narinder.

Weil explained that although the ranking points were similar to football, the new system will be more innovative and foolproof. It will also reflect the progress made by teams.

“There will be points awarded for wins and points deducted for losses. So this will ensure teams pay serious attention towards their matches.

“The SAS Cup will be sanctioned by FIH as it is played in accordance with our tournament regulations,” added Weil.

The Perak Hockey Association (PHA) president Datuk Abdul Rahim Md Ariff said it is the best thing that could happen to the tournament since its inauguration in 1983.

“It would enhance the status of the tournament. It would also be an added incentive for top hockey nations to play here,” said Rahim.

“The tournament will be held between March and April next year which is perfect for top teams to come here ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in August.

“Though the Pro League is on next year we are working with the Asian Hockey Federation chief executive officer Datuk Tayab (Ikram) and Thierry to make it possible for teams in the league to participate in the Cup,” added Rahim.

Meanwhile, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah Ibni Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Mustain Billah was presented with the inaugural President’s Award by Narinder at the Istana Negara on Wednesday.

The award was in recognition of the King’s keen involvement in the sport not only in Malaysia but internationally.

The Star of Malaysia

PSi Showdown expands as Gormanston all set for three-day indoor hockey carnival

Indoor superstar Marlena Rybacha in indoor action in South Africa

The Irish Pro Series Indoor Showdown has expanded to feature 25 teams and 100 matches over three days in June as Gormanston Park braces itself for the second year of the indoor carnival.

It is a testament to the success of the inaugural year with a growth in participation of over 35% for the second season as youngsters feel the passion for indoor hockey.

“We are determined to keep spreading the spirit and love if Indoor throughout Ireland,” said PSi Ireland’s Miles Warren of the initiative.

The Meath venue will host the spectacular youth competition from June 1-3 with seven Irish franchises – the North Dublin Knights, Kildare Swans, South Dublin Vikings, East Coast Wasps, Kilkenny Cats, Carlow Colts and Belfast Bears and two English teams – the London Lancers and Edinburgh Castles – taking part.

Each franchise has been working hard on their game over the last number of months with the North Dublin Knights, for example, getting expert tuition from Marlena Rybacha, the Polish captain and one of the world’s best indoor players.

They will play in five fun-fuelled age groups at Under-11, 12, 13, 15 and 17 level with a dedicated umpiring team, headed up by Rob Abbott.

A top class exhibition game will take place on Saturday, June 1 with Olympic gold medalist Sophie Bray and indoor World Cup gold medal winner Donja Zwinkels captaining the respective sides which will feature a mixture Irish based players and some foreign flair. The exhibition match is free to attend.

PSi will also host an Indoor Hockey Goalkeepers clinic in the week building up to Showdown and this will be hosted by former South African goalkeeper and founder of PSi, Simon Martin.

On Monday, June 3, members of the Irish Ladies World Cup Silver medal winning team will be present to mingle with players, sign autographs and hand out the prizes and medals.

The hockey will take place against a carnival backdrop. There will be a fun zone in place with bouncing castles, target shooting, ten pin bowling, giant Jenga and many more activities while there is a live DJ and music throughout the event.

There is a sleep-in or slee-out option available to players and there are activities planned each evening for the players staying on site.

** For further information, go to the PSi Ireland website: http://www.psihockey.ie/ or contact Miles Warren on 087 7736076 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Hook

Parliamentary committee slams PHF for national team’s woes

Kashif Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel came down hard on the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) for the national team’s poor performance in international competitions during the last several years.

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Inter-provincial Coordination (IPC), which met here with MNA Agha Hassan Baloch in the chair to discuss the declining standard of the national game and issues concerning the Pakistan Cricket Board.

The committee while expressing its concern over PHF’s poor performance observed that the entire PHF regime should be held accountable for the pathetic performance displayed during the last several years by the national team which has not yet qualified for the 2020 Olympics.

Federal Minister for IPC Dr Fehmida Mirza said the the whole hockey fraternity across Pakistan had been expressing its concerns over the alarming decline of the national game. “During the last few years, the PHF was given significant funds by federal and provincial governments.”

The minister asked the PHF president retired Brig Khalid Sajjad Khohkar about the funding the federation received during recent years. Responding to this, Khokhar said during his tenure the PHF federation received almost Rs600 million from federal and provincial governments and sponsors.

At this stage, Olympian Khalid Bashir said the details of the revenue earned by the federation through the rent of PHF property in Karachi, should also be shared with the committee. The committee directed Khokhar to submit complete details of the funds and expenditure of the federation in the next meeting.

During the meeting, interestingly, the PHF president requested the committee chairman not to allow former Olympians to sit in the meeting when he briefed the committee.

Khokhar said the committee should first listen to former Olympians then he should be called in the meeting after a while for briefing. To this, the IPC minister intervened, saying, “You [PHF president] can’t dictate the committee. This is not your business to decide.”

The committee directed the PHF to provide complete details of its accounts of the last five years and added that the audit report of the said years should also be shared with the committee during the next meeting.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary committee also showed its reservations over the appointment of Asif Bajwa as PHF secretary as Iqbal Mohammad Ali Khan, a member of the committee, said Bajwa’s appointment, apparently, was against the rules and PHF constitution.

Noting that Bajwa faced allegations of human trafficking and corruption during his previous tenure, Iqbal reckoned a person who faced such serious allegations should have not been appointed to an important post at the PHF.

However, the PHF president defended the appointment of the new secretary, saying his appointment was legally covered. “Nothing was proved against Bajwa,” the PHF chief emphasised.

The committee members said the outgoing PHF secretary Shahbaz Ahmed Senior should have been present in the committee meeting to answer the questions of the lawmakers. The committee directed the PHF president to provide complete details when Shahbaz had submitted his resignation, why it was not accepted earlier and what prompted the PHF head now to accept the resignation, in the next committee meeting.

Former Olympians Manzoor Junior, Khalid Bashir and Naveed Alam also briefed the committee about the reasons behind the declining standards of hockey.

Earlier, the committee while discussing the affairs of cricket showed concerns over the unnecessary litigation between the PCB and members of the Board of Governors (BoG). The committee discussed the issue of PCB’s recent action against the BoG members.

Recently, the PCB decided to bar one member and issue show-cause notice to two other members for presenting a resolution — opposing the PCB plans to abolish departmental cricket and terming the appointment of Wasim Khan as the Board’s managing director — at the BoG meeting held in Quetta last month and subsequent media talks in which the said BoG members had criticised the PCB.

The standing committee urged the PCB to settle the issue of its BoG members amicably by removing the genuine reservations of the members for smooth functioning of the board.

The committee also asked the PCB management to provide complete details about the Board’s performance along with its audit reports and Pakistan Super League of the last five years, and deferred the issue till its next meeting.

Expressing his views on the occasion, Iqbal also showed his concerns over the appointment of dual nationality holder Wasim Khan as PCB managing director. However, PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed claimed that as per PCB’s act, there was no bar for a dual nationality holder to join the PCB.

The meeting was attended by MNAs Gul Dad Khan, Rasheed Ahmad Khan, Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali Bhinder and Gul Zafar Khan.


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