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News for 20 May 2019

All the news for Monday 20 May 2019

2019 FIH Pro League (Men) - 20 May

18 May 2019     GBR v ARG (RR)     2 - 3     Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London    
19 May 2019     GBR v BEL (RR)     0 - 4   Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London

Live streaming and full game replay on https://fih.live (Geo blocked if there is TV coverage)

Unofficial Pool Standings

Rank Team Played Wins Win Draws Loss Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points Percent
1 Australia 9 7 0 1 1 28 19 9 22 81.5
2 Belgium 6 4 1 1 0 25 12 13 18 83.3
3 Argentina* 10 5 0 0 4 22 25 -3 16 53.3
4 Great Britain 8 4 0 1 3 21 18 3 13 54.2
5 Netherlands 7 3 1 1 2 23 18 5 12 57.1
6 Spain 10 0 5 0 5 24 35 -11 10 33.3
7 Germany* 7 2 0 1 3 12 14 -2 8 38.1
8 New Zealand 9 0 0 2 7 21 35 -14 2 7.4

* A cancelled match contributes 1 point to each team's results that is not shown in the tables as a cancelled match
The FIH inexplicably and confusingly use a system not used in any other sports League in the World, of making the Percentage more important than Points until the end of the League when they will revert to Points only. Fieldhockey.com prefers to use the conventional Points and so the Unofficial Pool Standings on this site are reflected in this manner.

FIH Match Centre

2019 FIH Pro League (Women) - 20 May

18 May 2019     GBR v ARG (RR)     1 - 1 (1 - 2 SO)     Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London    
18 May 2019     USA v CHN (RR)     3 - 1     Spooky Nook Sports, Lancaster
19 May 2019     GBR v BEL (RR)     2 - 0    Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London

Live streaming and full game replay on https://fih.live (Geo blocked if there is TV coverage)

Unofficial Pool Standings

Rank Team Played Wins Win Draws Loss Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points Percent
1 Argentina 13 8 4 0 1 26 11 15 32 82.1
2 Netherlands 8 7 0 0 1 24 4 20 21 87.5
3 Australia 11 6 1 1 3 24 14 10 21 63.6
4 Germany 8 4 0 2 2 16 10 6 14 58.3
5 Belgium 7 4 0 1 2 10 8 2 13 61.9
6 New Zealand 11 4 0 0 7 19 24 -5 12 36.4
7 Great Britain 10 2 2 1 5 13 21 -10 11 36.7
8 China 13 3 0 1 9 18 34 -16 10 25.6
9 United States 13 1 1 2 9 13 37 -24 7 17.9

The FIH inexplicably and confusingly use a system not used in any other sports League in the World, of making the Percentage more important than Points until the end of the League when they will revert to Points only. Fieldhockey.com prefers to use the conventional Points and so the Unofficial Pool Standings on this site are reflected in this manner.

FIH Match Centre

Belgium men and Great Britain women power to victory

Two moments of sheer power – from Grace Balsdon and Lily Owsley – gave Great Britain women (World Ranking: 2) a 2-0 win over Belgium (WR:13) and their second win of the FIH Pro League season. The result moves Great Britain one slot up the FIH Pro League table to sixth position, while Belgium slip from third to fourth.

It was a very different outcome for Great Britian men (WR:7), who were given a lesson in disciplined defence and sustained pressure as Belgium men justifed their number one world ranking with a classy display that saw them win by a comfortable 4-0 scoreline.

Great Britain v Belgium (women)

Belgium women arrived in London on the back of a strong start to the FIH Pro League. Although the Red Panthers had played only six Pro League matches, they had won four of them, results that left them in third place in the standings.

Great Britain, by contrast, had played nine matches, winning just one and drawing three. Just 24 hours previously Great Britain had lost on shoot-out after a battling 1-1 draw with Argentina.

So the question ahead of this match was whether Belgium would benefit from a long break from FIH Pro League action or whether Great Britain would take advantage of a wave of momentum after finishing strongly against Argentina?

The game began brightly, with Belgium showing that their intention was to play a swift passing game that would punish any lack of concentration on the part of the Great Britain players. For their part, Jo Hunter and Hannah Martin led the attack, largely down the right-hand side of the pitch, and the game looked set to be an open and lively encounter.

It was Great Britain who came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first quarter. A typically surging run from Lily Owsley ended with a cross that just eluded Martin’s stick in front of the Belgium goal. For their part, the Red Panthers had won the first penalty corner of the game just minutes earlier but Great Britain’s Amy Tennant showed great awareness to come out and block the intended deflection.

The second quarter saw Great Britain pile the pressure onto the Red Panther’s defence. Goalkeeper Aisling D’Hooghe was called into action and made two outstanding saves to keep the host nation at bay. Laura Unsworth thought she had scored when she slammed the ball into the goal but the defensive midfielder was adjudged to have used the back of her stick.

The next chance fell to Hannah Martin. The midfielder is developing an intuitive partnership with Owsley and the combination led to a snap shot that led to another world-class save from D’Hooghe – the ‘keeper being forced to dive to her right to palm the ball away.

There was more drama in the final minute of the half as Isabelle Petter hit the post after some lovely build-up play by Owsley.

As she left the field after an outstanding first half performance that had undoubtedly kept her team in the game, D’Hooghe said: “This is a game where no one wants to make a mistake. We just have to keep working together, and not to get sucked into trying to do things as individuals.”

Speaking after the half-time break, Great Britain Head Coach Mark Hager said: “This is the best we have played so far. The Belgium ‘keeper has made some special saves but eventually one will fall. We will keep going and give ourselves every chance.” His words were to prove prescient.

During their early FIH Pro League campaign, Belgium have been praised for their ability to connect with each other across the pitch, but the pressure from the Great Britain players made this style of play difficult to sustain. Dangerous players such as Alex Gerniers, Louise Versavel and Sophie Limauge were kept at bay by the discipline of the Great Britain defence, in particular Laura Unsworth, Anna Toman and Player of the Match Hollie Pearne-Webb

The breakthrough came half-way through the third quarter. A powerful drag flick from Grace Balsdon finally broke the stalwart Belgium defence. Her shot, from a penalty corner, flew into the roof of the net and even D’Hooghe was unable to get a stick to it.

And so the match moved to the last quarter and there was a visible nervousness to the Great Britain team as Belgium pushed for the equaliser.

That was all dispelled when Lily Owsley took the game by the scruff of the net and powered down the pitch, dodging Belgium sticks and finally releasing a backhand shot that flew into the top of the goal to double Great Britain’s lead.

Before the match, Red Panthers Head Coach Niels Thijssen had spoken of the difficulty his team faced after returning to international competition after an intense period of club action. With nine games in the next five weeks, Thijssen emphasised the importance of his team, “re-discovering the rhythm we had earlier in the Pro League.”

Player of the Match, Pearne-Webb said: “I am really proud of the team. Today we knew we had to show Belgium a lot of respect and work hard. Everyone put a shift in and, even though the Belgium ‘keeper had an outstanding first half, we just kept believing. We recognised we were playing well and we stuck to our game plan.”

Goalscorer Balsdon said: “We had been building up all game for a goal. We deserved a break and I am so pleased that I was able to make that penalty corner count. Our performances have shown what we are capable of, we now need to get higher levels of consistency and punish other teams in the remaining matches.”

Great Britain v Belgium (men)

The vastly experienced Belgium side arrived in London with three wins and two drawn results from their five FIH Pro League matches. This fine form puts the Red Lions in second place in the league table. Great Britain have enjoyed a good campaign, with four wins from seven, but on the back of a disappointing defeat at the hands of Olympic champions Argentina, just 24 hours earlier.

Great Britain started the game brightly. Phil Roper was the first to challenge the opposition’s defence. His strong run into the circle was dealt with by Vincent Vanasch, but it signalled the intent behind Head Coach Danny Kerry’s game plan.

Belgium however, had different ideas and as the quarter progressed, the world number one side began to suffocate the Great Britain attack. The energy and discipline that the entire Belgium side displayed just didn’t let up and Great Britain were soon scratching their heads as they tried to find a way to score.

Things got worse for the host team with three minutes left in the quarter. Tom Sorsby was dispossessed by Tom Boon, who took the ball into the circle and passed to Florent van Aubel. Van Aubel made no mistake as he shot past Harry Gibson in the Great Britain goal.

It was a similar pattern in the second quarter as Belgium continued to work hard to close down any creativity by the Great Britain team. Alan Forsyth was always seeking a chance to attack but the close attention of Augustin Meurmans and Alexander Hendrickx gave the forward no space to work within.

Player of the Match Tom Boon was unlucky not to make it 2-0 when he nicked the ball in the Great Britain defending quarter. The Belgium forward muscled his way into the circle but Gibson was alert to the danger and made a good save.

“I was very unhappy with the first quarter,” said Head Coach Danny Kerry. “We spoke about the fact they would be very different to Argentina and they would start very fast. We should have been ready for that. We were better at getting out of the Belgium press in the second quarter and we will hopefully get even better in the second half.”

The third quarter saw both teams playing some incisive passes around the pitch, using every inch of the ground and forcing the opposition to dig deep. A measure of how hard both the teams were working was demonstrated by the speed at which the defence was set up as soon as possession was lost. This was disciplined defence at its very best.

George Pinner, who had replaced Gibson in the Great Britain goal, was called into action when Victor Wegnez spearheaded a fast counter-attack. His pass found Cedric Charlier in space but Pinner was on hand to kick clear.

As the quarter ticked on, Belgium increased the pressure as they sought a second goal. It came courtesy of the first penalty corner of the match. Pinner saved the initial shot from Hendricxk but could do nothing about the bobbling rebound from John-John Dohmen.

The task facing Great Britain was now huge and it was made even more immense when Wegnez made another run through the midfield. His pass found Thomas Briels, whose initial shot was saved by Pinner. The giant goalkeeper was unable to do anything about the rebound and Briels made it 3-0.

Throughout this FIH Pro League, there have been some amazing fourth quarter revivals but the high Belgium press was set up to prevent this happening. Great Britain kept probing, trying to find a way to move up the field but at every level, they were faced with a Belgium player pushing them back.

With four minutes left to play, Kerry removed the ‘keeper from the field to gain a player advantage in an attempt to break the Belgium press. It was almost inevitable that Belgium would take advantage and John-John Dohmen was able to double his tally with a simple tap-in and take Belgium to a comfortable 4-0 lead.

Great Britain won their first penalty corner of the game with 90 seconds left. The first attempt took too long to take a shot but perseverance led to a second penalty corner. This time Sam Ward was on hand to smash the ball home but Vanasch was alert to the danger. This was the pattern of the day – Great Britain gave their all, but against this Belgium team they just had no answers.

Thomas Briels spoke after the game about the preparation the team had gone through ahead of the fixture: “I think we played really well. We wanted to keep the ball and we wanted to break the momentum that Great Britain had developed against Argentina. We have a world class analyst team, so we had analysed Great Britain’s performance from yesterday and previous matches, so we were very well prepared.

“In the next game, which is at home, we will have learnt from this game. But I am sure they will want revenge, it is never easy to lose in front of a home crowd, and they will definitely come back stronger.”

FIH Pro League
19 May - London, UK
Result (women): Great Britain 2, Belgium 0
Player of the Match: Hollie Pearne-Webb (GBR)
Umpires: Liu Xiaoying (CHN), Kelly Hudson (NZL) and  (Francisco Vazquez (ESP) - video)

Result (men): Great Britain 0, Belgium 4
Player of the Match: Tom Boon (BEL)
Umpires: Francisco Vazquez (ESP), Jonas van t'Hek (NED), Kelly Hudson (NZL) - video


Official FIH Pro League Site

Britain's men punished by world champions Belgium in FIHPL defeat

Great Britain's men face Belgium in the FIH Pro League

Great Britain's men were punished by world champions Belgium in the FIH Pro League in London.

Belgium were ruthless in front of goal, taking advantage of any mistakes in our back line and showing the quality that gave them a first Men's Hockey World Cup at the back end of last year. Britain had their moments but the visitors were excellent at both ends of the pitch; decisive in attack and Vincent Vanasch top class in the Red Lions' goal.

While of course the home crowd wanted Britain to win, they cannot fail to have been impressed by a side that includes the current FIH world player, goalkeeper and young player of the year.

For Britain, they reflect on two games against Argentina and Belgium this weekend in which they performed well in considerable spells but ultimately weren't able to convert possession into the goals they craved.

It was another top class weekend of international hockey in the capital, and next up for Danny Kerry's side is the reverse fixture as we travel to Antwerp on 30 May.

Match report
Britain had the first noteworthy attempt, Phil Roper played into space by Alan Forsyth, forcing Vincent Vanasch into a stop at his near post. It was Belgium though who took the lead, Florent van Aubel smashing home after Tom Boon pinched the ball from Tom Sorsby - something of a tough ask for our Surbiton youngster Sorsby as he was making his second international appearance compared to Boon's 272nd.

In the second period Cedric Charlier almost produced a stunning touch to beat Harry Gibson but it went narrowly wide. Britain also showed skill down the left side; Rhys Smith gliding past a couple of players before Forsyth's effort was denied.

In a good spell for the home side, Will Calnan crashed in an excellent effort on the reverse but Vanasch was well placed to block, before Calnan again went close but saw his hit go just wide. It was a game of top class hockey, and Boon then forced Gibson into a save down the other end five minutes before half time. Moments later he should have scored but dragged just wide from close range.

Into the second half and Britain produced a nice move that was ended by a green card for a Belgian defender, before George Pinner produced a good save after magnificent skill from Victor Wegnez in the build-up. And soon it was 2-0, John-John Dohmen beating Pinner from a penalty corner after he made the initial save.

Belgium were ruthlessly punishing Britain for any slips, and when pinching possession on the edge of our box, captain Thomas Briels was on hand to turn home from close range after Pinner saved the first shot. Britain did not go into their shells though, Roper forcing Vanasch into another stop near the end of the third quarter.

With the visitors three to the good, Danny Kerry went for broke and removed goalkeeper Pinner, but Belgium were able to capitalise as Dohmen added his second and his country's fourth.

Britain searched for a consolation in the final moments, but Vanasch made a top class save from Phil Roper's corner and that proved to be the final action.

Great Britain 0

Belgium 4
van Aubel (13', FG)
Dohmen (38', PC), (56' FG)
Briels (43', FG)

Great Britain: Gibson (GK), Pinner (GK), Willars, Creed, Waller, Dixon (c), Ames, Sloan, Sorsby, Gall, Smith, Martin, Condon, Calnan, Wallace, Roper, Forsyth, Ward

Great Britain Hockey media release

Stunners from Balsdon and Owsley earn victory for GB women

Great Britain's women in the FIH Pro League

Superb goals from Grace Balsdon and Lily Owsley earned Great Britain's women their first FIH Pro League win in London.

Having been unlucky to only take a point from Argentina on Saturday, Mark Hager's side were impressive once again, and put in an excellent display to take all three points.

Britain were dominant throughout but found Belgian keeper Aisling D'Hooghe in superb form, especially in the first half when GB made 19 circle entries. However the deadlock was broken when Grace Balson lashed home a superb penalty corner on her 50th international appearance.

And with time ticking, the hugely impressive Lily Owsley capped her performance with a stunning goal, running from halfway before smacking home with seven minutes to go.

The win took GB up into sixth in the table, and with more key matches to come - especially at home - they will be looking to make further inroads in this year's inaugural FIH Pro League.

Match report
It was Britain who created the first close call, young Izzy Petter doing well down the right hand side and almost finding Hannah Martin sliding in close to goal. So no goals at the end of the first quarter but at that point GB had enjoyed 66% of the possession.

Into the second quarter and again it was Britain on the front foot early on, Anna Toman and Hollie Pearne-Webb combining well to set up Martin for a good chance; Aisling D'Hooghe making an important save. Soon afterwards Laura Unsworth thought she had a rare goal, only for it to be ruled out on referral for coming off the back of her stick. And then D'Hooghe made a superb stop to deny Martin again after she combined expertly with the omnipresent Lily Owsley.

The Belgian goal looked to be leading a charmed life as D'Hooghe was beaten right on half time - only for Petter's effort to hit the post and bounce back out.

After the break GB maintained their good play, Hollie Pearne-Webb putting in a great tackle to sprout an attack that again saw D'Hooghe make a good save; this time blocking Anna Toman's effort from a Petter pass.

There was nothing she could do about Grace Balsdon's drag flick though; the defender ripping the ball high into the net on the day she celebrated her 50th international appearance.

The final quarter started with a little more defensive work for GB to do, Amy Tennant having to make a rare save at her near post. But the pressure did not last long, Owsley scoring a fabulous goal after picking the ball up on halfway, running at the defence and producing a great finish for 2-0. The 24-year-old has been in stunning form recently, and made it two goals in two days with a brilliant solo effort.

It was not completely game over though, Tennant forced into a trio of important saves from a series of Belgium corners, before a slightly hairy moment when the visitors wanted a penalty stroke, only for their referral to be unsuccessful.

GB expertly saw out the last few minutes to round off a really good pair of performances over the course of this weekend. Firstly they were unfortunate to only take a point from Argentina on Saturday, then put in an excellent display to see off Belgium.

With more home games to come against Germany, Australia, Netherlands and New Zealand, Mark Hager's side go into the final phase of FIH Pro League matches in an upbeat fashion. Having played with purpose and attacking skill over the course of this weekend, there is a renewed sense of optimism around the women's programme. Of course there is much work still to be done, but boss Hager will be encouraged by what he saw at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

Great Britain 2
Balsdon (43', PC)
Owsley (53', FG)

Belgium 0

Great Britain: Tennant (GK), Unsworth, Toman, Ansley, Pearne-Webb (c), Balsdon, Costello, Jones, Evans, Defroand, Owsley, Hunter, Petty, Robertson, Petter, Martin, Townsend
Unused: Heesh (GK)

Great Britain Hockey media release

GB women beat Belgium 2-0, men lose 4-0

Lily Owsley scored her second goal in as many days for Great Britain

Great Britain's women scored two second-half goals to beat Belgium 2-0 in the FIH Pro League.

Grace Balsdon - celebrating her 50th international cap - put Mark Hager's side ahead in the third quarter with a stunning drag flick.

Lily Owsley then doubled Britain's lead, dribbling past several players before unleashing a strike past Belgium goalkeeper Aisling D'Hooghe.

The men's team lost 4-0 to Belgium, their second defeat of the weekend.

After a 3-2 defeat against Olympic champions Argentina, Britain's men went behind in the first quarter when Tom Sorsby was dispossessed by Tom Boon and Florent van Aubel shot past Harry Gibson.

Belgium made it 2-0 in the third quarter from the first penalty corner of the match as John-John Dohmen converted a rebound and the visitors added a third courtesy of another rebound from Thomas Briels.

Dohmen notched a second with a simple tap-in four minutes from the end.

That defeat leaves Britain in fourth place in the men's table after four wins from eight matches.

The women moved up to sixth in their table after their first FIH Pro League win in London and captain Hollie Pearne-Webb said: "I'm really proud of the girls.

"We had to come out and show Belgium respect. All the girls put a shift in and it was a good performance.

"We have to keep believing in what we are doing and stick to our game plan. We knew it would come in the end."

Next up for the men's team is a match against Germany at London's Lee Valley Centre on 6 June, with the women playing the same nation a day later.

BBC Sport

Hager: What this win will mean for our women's team

Mark Hager and Great Britain's women in the FIH Pro League

Great Britain women's head coach Mark Hager was delighted with his team's performance as they beat Belgium for a first home win in the FIH Pro League.

His side were excellent as they earned a 2-0 victory, dominating the game for long periods and crucially getting their rewards in front of goal.

Hager believes this victory will lift his side for the remaining games ahead, commenting, "It's great to win and I was more pleased with how we played in the game.

"A win helps the girls and gives everyone belief in what we're trying to achieve, and where we're heading. It's certainly a boost.

"I thought we were very good for three quarters of the game, we'll learn from the last quarter when I thought we allowed them too many circle penetrations."

Lily Owsley was superb once again, and scored an excellent goal after running from just inside her own half. Mark said, "She's growing more and more, she has a very good running game.

"We've been trying to balance her running and her passing, getting her to back herself and shoot, so it was really pleasing to see it happen today."

Britain are currently a long shot to finish in the top four in the FIHPL table, and probably need to take maximum points from their six remaining games to have any chance.

Hager is taking the permutations out of the equation though, and will simply focus on performance levels from here on in, commenting, "Coming into the weekend we always knew it was a slim chance of making the top four.

"Our goal is simply to play well and beat what's in front of us, the old adage of letting the rest take care of itself."

Great Britain Hockey media release

'The crowds have been fantastic and make it more special'

Great Britain's men and women with our season ticket holders

With the best part of 8,000 fans through the gates in London, Great Britain's men's and women's teams took part in a great weekend of hockey.

With both Olympic Champions, and the current men's World Champions on show, the supporters saw 13 goals, a shootout and 4 hours of world class play at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

With the chance to play on the pitch, meet the players and enjoy plenty of activity off the field, supporters will certainly have gone home happy from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Our season ticket holders also had their photograph taken with both squads after Saturday's play.

Men's midfielder David Ames said, "The crowds have been fantastic which is great for us.

"It makes playing here all the more special when it's a packed crowd.

"It's nice to play a double header, especially at home and we're looking forward to the rest of our games at Lee Valley and the Stoop."

On the field, Ames reflected on a clincial display from visitors Belgium, who showed why they are the best side on the planet.

He said, "Tough to take, we didn't play as well as we did on Saturday but they are the number one side in the world. They deserved to win, 4-0 looks disappointing but we failed to find a cutting edge and that's the quality they have at the minute.

"We've played two teams this weekend who are clinical; Olympic Champions and World Champions, we can learn a lot in terms of how we want to play. A lot of stuff I thought we did well, we've got to make sure we keep looking at the big picture.

"We're still growing, still learning and just trying to build over the next few months.

"Back into training next week then it's Belgium away before the Dutch, it's thick and fast before more games back at home."

Great Britain Hockey media release

Win for Canada against Scotland women and Scotland Performance beat France in Glasgow

Photo by John Preece

Canada won the fourth of five test matches against Scotland 7-1 at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre. The Scots are early in their preparations for this summer’s tournaments up against a Canada in full flight; providing great competitive experience for the Scots. The two will meet for the final time on Tuesday at 7pm.

Scotland started the contest well and very nearly took an early lead. Millie Steiger showed a great turn of pace before finding Charlotte Watson, who tore into the Canadian D, the ball popped up in the air and Fiona Semple nearly slammed the ball down from above her head into the net, but it went just wide.

Against the run of play Canada then took the lead. The ball was slipped in behind the Scotland defence and then switched to Samantha McCrory to finish for 1-0.

Canada are quick on the counter and doubled their advantage when they broke at pace. A nice finish by Brienne Stairs made it 2-0, a lovely first time touch placed the ball past the advancing goalkeeper, and the ball slid over the line.

Scotland kept coming. Nikki Alexander-Lloyd worked her way into the Canadian D, her shot was saved and Louise Campbell on the follow up was denied a goal by solid defending.

It would be Canada who scored next and it came when Karli Johansen pinged a delightful drag flick into the top right corner to make it 3-0.

Scotland pulled one back before half time and it was an absolute quality finish by Charlotte Watson to pull it back to 3-1. Falling forward wide to the right of goal, Watson reached out and delivered a reverse chip over the goalkeeper into the far corner of the net.

Canada struck the next goal through Rachael Donohoe right on half time to make it 4-1 at the break.

Scotland dug deep in the third quarter and edged the play. It would be Canada to score next, however, Holly Stewart made it 5-1 for the Canadians late in the third quarter.

The goalkeeper came off for Scotland in the final quarter to give them an extra outfield player. Despite Scotland enjoying possession Canada hit the home team on a counter attack and Madeline Secco made it 6-1 with a tap-in.

Then as Scotland pressed a quick counter attack was finished off by Rachel Donohoe to make it 7-1 to Canada to complete the scoring.

Photo by John Preece

Scotland Performance Squad v France

An excellent performance and win for Scotland Performance Squad saw them end the three-match series with a win over France in Glasgow.

Scotland Performance Squad made a good start to the contest; they applied good pressure and looked in control from the push back.

Cat Booth had a penalty corner attempt well blocked on the line as the Scots pressed for the opening goal.

Then Heather McEwan made Scotland’s early pressure count when they took the lead through a well-worked goal. McEwan opened the scoring with a lovely deflection into the roof of the net at a penalty corner to give Scotland Performance Squad the lead 1-0.

From the restart France broke forward and prompted an excellent save by Jess Buchanan with her leg guards as France almost equalised after the Scotland goal.

It was as half time approached that an equaliser for France arrived. Victoria Arnoud popped up with a far post finish to make it Scotland Performance Squad 1-1 France.

Scotland’s good play continued into the second half and they fashioned a number of chances to retake the lead.

They were once again rewarded with an excellent goal. A tremendous run and finish by the impressive Booth gave Scotland Performance Squad the lead; she powerfully strode through the French defence and picked her spot in the far corner of the net. 2-1.

France then equalised through a Victoria Van Kemmel penalty corner finish to level the score at 2-2.

Scotland responded well and Cat Booth scored again with a powerful penalty corner strike to make it Scotland Performance Squad 3-2 France.

The scoring was completed when a classic Lucy Lanigan diving finish at the far post made it Scotland Performance Squad 4-2 France to end the series on a win.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Goals Galore For The Canadian Women In Another Win Against Scotland

Photo: Emma Van Mol

Game four proved to be an exciting game in Glasgow as Canada remains undefeated in the series after a 7-1 win against Scotland.

The two teams started off the game evenly, but it was 19 year old Sam McCrory that gave an efficient Canada the 1-0 lead after 8 minutes. As Canada started pressing up high in the Scottish half, Brienne Stairs made her fourth goal of the series when she deflected the ball passed the goalkeeper.

With a brilliant finish, Karli Johansen converted a penalty corner to make it 3-0. The majority of the ball possession was for the Canadians and Rachel Donohoe set the half time score with a reverse shot...4-1.

Holly Stewart managed to get a goal as the Scottish goalie was not able to clear the ball and Maddie Secco did not fail when she put the ball in an empty net. Donohoe scored her second goal of the day after a break through on the left side.    

On Tuesday, the two teams collide for a last time to finish off the series.

Canadian Women's Team media release

Indian men's hockey team needs to score consistently under tight marking to match higher-ranked teams, says new coach Graham Reid

A file image of Graham Reid. AFP

Bhubaneswar: India need to consistently score goals under tight marking to narrow the gap with top teams like Australia, said coach Graham Reid after his first major assignment with the national hockey team.

On their tour of Australia that concluded on Friday, India lost both the games against the hosts after beating the A team.

Speaking about the tour comprising five matches, Reid, who was appointed as India coach last month, said that the assignment in his home country was an opportunity for him to understand his team better.

"It was good to get a view of where the team (India are raked five) is at, compared to the World Number 2 side (Australia). They have been playing against world class oppositions on a regular basis in the FIH Pro-League since the World Cup last year, and this showed up in our two matches against them," he said.

"For me, those matches provided a good bench-mark as to the level we have to be at as we move towards the Olympic qualification. So, in terms of preparation for our upcoming FIH Men's Series Finals (here next month), the tour was ideal.

"It provided me a great opportunity to view players at much closer quarters and under the pressure of a world-class team. Our first quarter in the first Match on Wednesday night showed me the level this team can play, we just need to do that on a more consistent basis. Not only across quarters but across games," said Reid.

The 55-year-old Australian said that his team was focused on improving its attack.

"Our ability to score goals under tight marking pressure will be critical if we are to close the gap with teams like Australia. Over the next few weeks in Bhubaneswar during our National Camp (starting Monday), we need to create as many opportunities as possible for our attackers to experience this tight pressure," he said.

"It will also be critical for our defenders to keep improving this area from a defensive point of view. With speed and power becoming the dominant forces in World Hockey, we also need to keep improving in these areas."

Hockey India on Sunday named a list of 32 players for the national camp. It has retained all the 18 players of the team that travelled to Australia. India won against WA Thundersticks and Australia 'A', drew another one against Australia 'A' before losing the two matches to the senior Australia team.


Hockey goalie Farah’s English experience will come in handy

By Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Hockey goalkeeper Farah Ayuni Yahya (pic) says her England stint will come in handy at the FIH Series Finals in Dublin, Ireland, from June 8-16.

The 30-year-old played 20 matches for East Grindstead in the English League from September to November last year and from February until last month.

Farah, who has represented Malaysia for a decade, said the experience will stand her in good stead to face the Finals challenge which is a qualifying tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The women’s team have never featured in the Olympics.

The Bukit Aman police inspector said that playing in the league has made her more confident between the posts.

“The standard is very high compared to our league and it’s played at a fast tempo. It has taught me to stay alert throughout the match,” said Farah, who has 120 caps.

“You can’t afford to make the slightest mistake as the forwards there really hit the ballhard towards goal and they’re also quick to pounce if the ball bounces off the keeper’s pads,” added Farah, who was named the best goalkeeper at the Asian Champions Trophy in Donghae City, South Korea, last year.

She also won the same award at the World League Round Two in Singapore in 2016.

Farah will be among 20 players heading to Europe on Thursday to play five friendlies in preparation for the Finals.

Eight teams will feature in tournament and Malaysia are drawn in Group A with Czech Republic, Singapore and Ireland, who were runners-up to Holland in the World Cup last year.

Group B comprises South Korea, France, Scotland and Ukraine.

Malaysia are aiming to finish in the top two to qualify for the playoff in October.

Farah, who said their strongest challenge will come from the Czech Republic and Ireland, will think about her future after the Finals.

“I’m already 30 and I will decide after the tournament whether to continue playing for the country,” added Farah, who is still single.

National coach K. Dharmaraj will use the friendlies to name his final squad of 18 for the Finals.


Goalkeepers: Farah Ayuni Yahya, Mas Huzaimah Mohd Aziz

Defenders: Siti Noor Amarina Ruhani, Julaini Mohamad Din, Nuraini Abdul Rashid, Raja Norsharina Raja Shahbuddin, Nurul Syafiqah Mat Isa, Noor Hasliza Mohd Ali.

Midfielders: Fatin Shafika Mohd Sukri, Fazilla Sylvester Silin, Wan Norfaiezah Mohd Saiuti, Surizan Awang Noh, Nuraslinda Said, Kirandeep Kaur

Forwards: Hanis Nadiah Onn, Norazlin Sumantri, Nur Zafirah Aziz, Nur Maizatulhanim Syafi Syeik Faud, Nur Amirah Shakirah Zulkifli, Siti Zulaikha Husain.

The Star of Malaysia

HTC Uhlenhorst Mülheim retain German men’s title in nine goal thriller

©: Dirk Markgraf / World Sport Pics

HTC Uhlenhorst Mülheim successfully defended the German men’s title in Krefeld they defeated Mannheimer HC 5-4 in a cracking final in Krefeld.

They did so by coming from 2-0 behind in the first 18 minutes when Argentine players Gonzalo Peillat and Guido Barreiros scored one each. The lead was swapped by half-time with Jan Schiffer and Malte Hellwig equalising from corners before Tobias Matania got a double for 4-2 on the half-hour.

A second Peillat corner reduced the gap but Julius Meyer advanced the score to 5-3 in the 41st minute. Lucas Vila cut the deficit to one goal once again with plenty of time still to play but Mülheim held on for the victory.

It followed up their Saturday win over UHC Hamburg while Mannheim had seen off Rot-Weiss Koln.

Mülheim coach Omar Schlingemann reflected on the season, saying: "After last year, with six departures compared to the previous season, and four losses at the beginning, we didn’t lose again after October and brought home the title at the end; it makes me very proud of the guys!

“The boys have done everything right today, keeping the defence tight so as not to let the fast Mannheim strikers get up to speed. You do not have to do much as a coach [when they do that]."

MHC coach Michael McCann looked back on the final, saying:: "Unfortunately we did not play our hockey after the 2-0 with stupid passes through the middle.

“Mülheim had some luck as they scored three from four chances in that phase. But we knew we had a shot at the title today and had enough scoring chances at 5-4. But overall I'm very proud of the team. Mülheim was a little more consistent than us and therefore deserves it!"

Euro Hockey League media release

Egara the Spanish men’s champions with final victory over Polo

Club Egara became the Spanish Honor Division champions as they got the best of Real Club de Polo – Copa Del Rey and regular season winners – in the final played in the Pla del Bon Aire.

Patricio Keenan’s charges started in great form with several major attacks, including a number of corners, but Mario Garin Fernandez had a fine opening to the tie between the posts.

As such, it remained scoreless into half-time. Polo crashed the ball off the crossbar in the third quarter before Egara made their move with Pau Quemada pouncing in the 37th minute for 1-0.

Soon after, Josep Romeu fired home a corner for 2-0 and Egara were on course for victory. Polo came back strong in what was Carlos García Cuenca’s last game in charge of an epic spell wth Polo.

Quico Cortés stoold up tall to a series of Polo attacks, en route to goalkeeper of the tournament. He was beaten with nine minutes to go by David Alegre to set up a busy final phase to the game and Polo won a last minute corner but Egara kept it out to win the crown.

The win means they quality for EHL Men’s FINAL8 next Easter with Polo set to play in the KO16 next October in their home city of Barcelona.

A day earlier, Polo reached the final with a shoot-out win over Club de Campo while Egara saw off Atletic Terrassa 2-1.

Euro Hockey League media release

Club an der Alster the German women’s champions

©: Dirk Markgraf / World Sport Pics

Club an der Alster retained the German women’s championship as they took the Final Four honours in Krefeld via a shoot-out, seeing off Dusseldorfer HC in the final.

Alster had stunned regular season winners UHC Hamburg in the semi-final 5-0 while Dusseldorf knocked out Mannheimer HC.

The final ended 1-1 in normal time with Sabine Markert’s sixth minute penalty corner cancelled out 11 minutes later by Felicia Wiedermann.

In the shoot-out, Alster’s attackers held their nerve to win out 3-1 with Anne Schröder, Hannah Gablac and Viktoria Huse all scoring.

For Alster coach Jens George, he admitted he was really emotional over his side’s success: “It was incredibly close.

“We had a lot of respect for the good Sabine Markert passing from DHC’s central defense and therefore we did not build up enough pressure in the first half and were too scared.

“In the second half, it went better and, in the last quarter we had clearly more attack than Dusseldorf. I'm glad that Vicki Huse, as captain, has taken the responsibility to be the final shooter in the penalty shootout and decided the thing for us! "

With, Club an der Alster secured their place in the EHL Women in 2020.

Euro Hockey League media release

Club de Campo complete famous Spanish treble to win EHL Women spot

Club de Campo survived a last minute equaliser to become the Spanish women’s champions, earning them a ticket to the first season of EHL Women next Easter with a shoot-out win the final against Junior FC.

A game that started without a clear side in the ascendancy as both sides had corner chances go close with both seeing saves either skim just over the bar or be saved on the post.

María Ángeles Ruiz made an extraordinary save to keep Campo level with a sliding stop on the line. That came before a suspension due to a storm risk as hailstones fell at Pla del Bon Aire but once hostilities resumed, Campo hit the front via Carmen Cano’s quick reactions in the 33rd minute.

Into the second half, Junior came more into it and bossed the closing stages but were frustrated for long periods until was nearly up. In the last minute, they got their golden chance from a stroke which Fernanda Flores stepped up to score for 1-1.

But Campo produced the better shoot-out, scoring four out of five for a 4-3 success with Rocío Gutiérrez, Begoña García, Bea Pérez and Carmen Cano all scoring while Maria Lopez was only denied by the inside of the post while Ruiz saved twice.

It completed a famous triple for the club, adding to the Copa de la Reina and the EuroHockey Trophy won last month in Holcombe.

Euro Hockey League media release

Jackline Mwangi's brace rescues champions Telkom


Lakers' Linah Baraza (right) vies for the ball with Telkom forward Maureen Okumu during their Kenya Hockey Union women's Premier League match at Simba Club, Kisumu on May 19, 2019. The teams drew 2-2. PHOTO | ONDARI OGEGA |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Defending champions Telkom rallied from behind to force a 2-2 draw against hosts Lakers in a hard-fought Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) women's Premier League at Simba club in Kisumu on Sunday.

The Kenyan women giants had evergreen forward Jackline Mwangi to thank, as she came from the bench to score twice in the final quarter to guard their unbeaten run this season.

The results see Telkom maintaining top spot on the table on eight points, while Lakers sits third on seven points behind United States International University-Africa (USIU), who have same points with a superior goal difference. USIU and Lakers played out a 0-0 draw on Saturday at the same venue.

The match, which had attracted a sizeable crowd, began on a high note with promoted Lakers taking the lead on the fifth minute through Aurelia Opondo after she capitalised on a defensive lapse from the visitors to beat goalkeeper Cynthia Anyango from close range.

The early goal looked to have sent shivers on the defending champions as they intensified their game, but Lakers defence led by skipper Ashley Akinyi stood their ground.

Akinyi added more misery on Telkom when she converted from a flick on the 40th minute to set Lakers on the path to their second win of the season.

However, the coach Brian Aduda led side surrendered their lead in the final quarter.

After failing to find the back of Lakers net from a series of short-corners, Mwangi reduced the deficit from a long range strike which caught goalkeeper Millicent Adhiambo by surprise.

The striker was not done yet as she again found the back of the hosts' net with another shot from outside danger area to salvage a point for the Nairobi-based side.

Telkom coach Josephine Ataro said her side struggled on the dusty surface.

“It was a nice game because they gave us good competition. But we are not used to this surface so it worked against us, “said Ataro

Her opposite number Aduda was comfortable with the results, saying it had sent a warning to their opponents.

“I am sure with the results we have been getting, teams will start fearing us. We have passed a warning that we are not under dogs at all. It is lack of concentration that cost us, “said Aduda.

Daily Nation

Telkom rally from behind to deny Lakers win

By Washington Onyango

Telkom's Ann Juma when they played Amira Sailors in the Premier Women League at City Park. (Jenipher Wachie, Standard)

Defending Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) Women Premier League champions Telkom came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with newbies Lakers Hockey Club in an entertaining match yesterday at Simba Club in Kisumu.

Substitute Jacky Mwangi scored a brace in the fourth quarter to cancel out Ashley Akinyi and Auralia Opondo’s first and third quarter goals.

Telkom remain top with eight points after the draw as Lakers stayed third with seven points, same as United States International University (USIU-A), who have two games in hand.

Speaking after the match, Lakers head coach Brian Aduda said they are happy with the result despite narrowly missing to bag a crucial victory.

“It was so close for us to gain a crucial win and their first goal in the fourth quarter changed their way of play. We held them off for the first three quarters but their experience paid off once again,” Aduda said in a post-match interview.

The hosts took the lead through Opondo in the fifth minute before assistant captain Akinyi converted a penalty flick in the 40th minute for a 2-0 lead.

Sensing defeat, Telkom coach Josephine Ataro brought in their top scorer Mwangi in the last quarter and the experienced forward sounded the boards twice to save the champions from an imminent humiliating defeat in Kisumu.

Ataro praised the hosts for playing well saying they gave them a reality check that they are not invincible.

“Well done to Lakers. They really pushed us in the match. They have a bright future proving themselves as worthy opponents but congratulations to Mwangi, who saved the day for us,” said Ataro.

“Coming out of Kisumu with a point is like victory because they are beasts at their home.”

The Standard Digital

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