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News for 26 May 2019

All the news for Sunday 26 May 2019

Belgium’s Red Panthers fight back to take bonus point against China in Changzhou

Belgium’s women overcame a losing position to salvage two points from a potential three in their FIH Pro League encounter with hosts China on Saturday (25 May), claiming a bonus point by winning the shoot-out after regular time finished with the scores locked at 3-3 in Changzhou.

China held a 3-1 lead going into the fourth quarter, but strikes from Emilie Sinia and Michelle Struijk ensured that both teams would take at least a point, before the Red Panthers took the bonus point on offer by triumphing 5-4 in the shoot-out.

The result means that Belgium have strengthened their hold on fourth position in the FIH Pro League standings, narrowing the gap on third place Australia, while China remain in eighth position. The top four finishers in the FIH Pro League will qualify for both the FIH Pro League Grand Final and the FIH Olympic qualifiers.

Despite being the lowest ranked team in the FIH Pro League, Belgium (FIH World Ranking: 13) came into the match sitting fourth in the standings and knew that victory over China (WR:10) would see them move ahead of Australia and into third position. The Red Panthers were looking to recover from last weekend’s 2-0 loss at the hands of Great Britain in London, and faced a China team that they comprehensively defeated when the two sides met in Brussels in April, where Alix Gerniers scored three times as Belgium triumphed 4-1. China started the day in eighth position in the FIH Pro League table, and were looking to bounce back from the 3-1 loss they suffered against the USA in Lancaster last weekend.

Going against their respective league positions, China were the better side in the opening exchanges and established a two goal lead inside three minutes as heavy rain fell in Changzhou. Zhang Xiaoxue scored with a perfectly executed penalty corner deflection before a superb counter-attack was expertly finished by Liang Meiyu, who moved past Belgian goalkeeper Aisling D’Hooghe before firing home from a tight angle.

Belgium recovered well from these two early blows to dominate the latter stages of the first quarter, but China held on and kept their opponents at bay throughout the second period, with goalkeeper Ye Jiao rarely tested by the Europeans.

The Red Panthers made the perfect start to the third quarter when Emma Puvrez scooped home at the second attempt from a penalty corner situation only for China to hit back through Guo Qiu, whose cross-shot from the left was inadvertently diverted across her own goal-line by Belgium shot-stopper D’Hooghe.

The fourth period was packed full of drama, with Belgium piling on the pressure and deservedly pulling themselves level at 3-3. Emilie Sinia volleyed home in the 51st minute before a slick penalty corner routine was converted just two minutes later, with Michelle Stuijk getting the all-important deflection in front of goal.

Whilst Belgium had the momentum, it was China who twice came close to winning the match in a dramatic final minute. The Red Panthers successfully defended a penalty corner before the hosts had the ball in the Belgian net only for it to be correctly ruled out due to an infringement in the lead-up, meaning that a shoot-out would be required to decide which team would take the bonus point.

The first barrage finished with the scores locked together at 4-4, thanks largely to a sensational finish from Belgium’s Stephanie Van Den Borre, who produced a stunning flick into the top right corner to send the shoot-out into sudden-death. Alix Gerniers scored what proved to be the decisive goal, with Belgium goalkeeper D’Hooghe forcing China’s Liang Meiyu into missing the target. The Europeans had claimed two points from a maximum three away from home, keeping their top four ambitions very much on track.

The FIH Pro League continues on Thursday 30th May when Belgium’s women and men welcome Great Britain to Antwerp.

FIH Pro League
25 May - Changzhou, China

Result: Women’s Match 49
China 3, Belgium 3 (4-5 after shoot-out)
Player of the Match: Gu Bingfeng (CHN)
Umpires: Aleisha Neumann (AUS), Kang Hyun Young (KOR) and Lim Hong-Zhen (SGP - video)


Official FIH Pro League Site

Impressive Start to Summer Internationals for Senior Men

The summer of International hockey got off to a great start at Serpentine Avenue on Friday evening as an impressive Ireland team overcame the USA 5 -0 in the 1st of a 2-match series.

In ideal conditions the opening exchanges were evenly matched with neither side asserting early dominance. Ireland got on the scoresheet in the 13th minute however through a Shane O'Donoghue backhand shot from an acute angle. In quarter 2, not long after missing a good chance, Matthew Nelson was able to convert Ireland's second goal via a neat low backhand deflection in 19th minute. Good interplay between John Jackson and Eugene Magee down the right flank saw Magee deliver the pinpoint cross for Nelson to finish.

The USA had several chances and good passages of play through the first half with the impressive Pat Harris pulling a lot of their strings in the centre of midfield.

In the 3rd quarter after the US had missed a gilt-edged goal chance Ireland unleashed one of their increasingly fast counter attacks. After a powerful 40 metre dribble by Matthew Nelson the ball fell to Sean Murray and his backhand shot was looping goalwards, Conor Harte was on hand on the back post to deflect it over the line for 3-0. Ben Walker then made it 4 - 0 in the 3rd quarter after a passage of fast passes resulted in him finding enough room in the US circle to get his low backhand shot away.

Eugene Magee scored Ireland's fifth goal shooting high into the net after receiving a baseline pass. At this stage the game was a very open affair with the USA threatening to get on their scoresheet. Jamie Carr and the Irish defenders were up to the challenge to make key interventions when called upon. Aki Kaeppelar after intricate stick skills was able to produce a deflected chance for the US which Carr dealt with. Luke Madeley had a goal line save at this point from a straight drag flick from a USA penalty corner.

The Irish defence were able to keep a clean sheet with Paul Gleghorne putting his body on the line of a goal bound shot in the last 30 seconds. Pat Harris was the standout player for the USA and Ireland had many strong performances with Eugene Magee again displaying the attacking ability that has helped earn him 278 caps so far for the Green Machine. But it was an impressive team performance from Ireland with solid defensive structure and strong counter attacking skill and intensity further up the pitch.

The evening was capped off in a very enjoyable manner with a large number of young players being treated to a skills clinic on the pitch with the entire Ireland team and coaches after the match. This experience will live for a long time with the many youngsters who participated, and many thanks must go to the Ireland team and management for facilitating this.

The Irish Senior Men’s next match will take place on Sunday May 26th at 12 noon v USA at Pembroke Wanderers HC.

These matches are excellent preparation for the Men’s FIH Series Finals in Le Touquet coming up in June. In the meantime the Men’s team will also take on France on June 4th and 6th in Lisnagarvey. There will also be an open training session for media and fans to attend on Friday the 31st of May in Lisnagarvey Hockey Club, from 16:00 to 17:30.

To find further information on the FIH Series Final tournament in Le Touquet this June, or purchase tickets, please see: //ticketingfihseriesfinal.fr/en/

Ireland 5 (S O’Donoghue, M Nelson, C Harte, B Walker, E Magee) USA 0.

Ireland; Carr J (GK), Jackson J, Bell J, Bell M, Madeley L, Nelson M, Magee E, Glassey N, O'Donoghue S, Murray S, Robson M, Walker B, Walsh D, Gleghorne P, Harte C, Cole L, Ingram M (GK), Cole S.

Team Manager: Kidd G
Stand-In Manager: Kelly R
Assistant Coach: Weusthof R
Assistant Coach: de Jager K
Physiotherapist: McCallion C

USA; Klages J (GK), Barminski M, Sundeen T, Harris P, Miller A, Montilla A, Holt W, Dhadwal A (C), Barratt T, Kaeppler K, De Angelis C, Harris S, Singh P, Cicchi S, Orozco J, Kaeppeler A, Huisman D, Gandhi M, Wisselink D(GK).

Team Manager: Mazzalupi H
Head Coach: Wiese R
Assistant Coach: Wijzenbeek P
Physiotherapist: van Ark H

Match Officials

Rob Argent
Malcolm Coombes

Technical Officials

David Acheson
Erica Porter
David Wolfe

Irish Hockey Association media release

Ireland Takes First Match Over USMNT

DUBLIN, Ireland - Perfect playing conditions awaited the No. 25 U.S. Men's National Team Friday evening in their first match of a two-game test series against No. 11 Ireland at the Pembroke Wanderers Hockey Club in Dublin, Ireland. Despite even exchanges to begin to the game, the Green Machine gained an early lead while taking advantage of turnovers by the red, white and blue in the second half to secure a 5-0 victory.

"We played better than the score would suggest, however games are won in both circles and we weren’t good enough there tonight," said Rutger Wiese, USMNT Head Coach. "We will continue to work on those areas and look to improve for Sunday.”

Ireland struck first in the 13th minute off a reverse shot by Shane O'Donoghue. Moments later, Ireland looked to double up their scoreboard advantage on a penalty corner, but a strong save by Jonathan Klages (Berlin, Germany) denied that chance. Early in the second, USA striker Pat Harris (Moorpark, Calif.) was issued a green card. Just as the penalty expired, Ireland's Matthew Nelson converted on a deflection to make it 2-0 in the 19th minute. USA countered and saw a prime scoring chance on a penalty corner try but was saved off the line. Just before the half concluded, Alberto Montilla (Allen, Texas) nearly scored for USA getting the shot past Ireland goalkeeper Jamie Carr, but just missed the goal.

USA came out fierce in the second half as they developed several scoring opportunities, including a play which saw Kei Kaeppeler (Stuttgart, Germany) draw out Carr before feeding to Sean Harris (Moorpark, Calif.) who could not connect on the play. The Green Machine capitalized on USA's miscues later in the quarter, including a turnover in the 42nd minute. The play started with an interception by Ireland's Nelson at midfield, who then took the ball into the circle. A quick pass to Sean Murray beat Klages and the USA defense as Conor Harte finished the play to give the home team a 3-0 advantage. One minute later, a field goal by Benjamin Walker made the score 4-0 as the fourth quarter quickly approached. Ireland's Eugene Magee would add one more goal in the 49th minute. One more chance by USA developed in the final moments as a shot by Deegan Huisman (Almere, The Netherlands) was denied by Carr to maintain the shutout.

Friday's match also marked the first international cap for both Montilla and Julian Croonenbergh (Tervuren, Belgium).

The U.S. Men's National Team will conclude their test series with Ireland on Sunday, May 26 at 7:00 a.m. ET.

USFHA media release

South Africa triumph in opening test against Namibia

Image courtesy of SA Womens Hockey Instagram Page

It was a largely tentative opening affair as African neighbours South Africa, proudly sponsored by SuperGroup, and Namibia took each other on in the first of three test matches at Randburg Astro. There was a large element of excitement in the air as it was the first international hockey played by the South African Women at home since 2017. To give the excitement of the hockey public context, Kristen Paton has played for South Africa at the African Cup, Commonwealth Games and World Cup, but this was her first test match at home.

Along with KP’s first home game it also marked the test debuts for Hannah Pearce, Nomnikelo “Nicky” Veto, Robyn Johnson and the youngster in the team Bianca Wood. Alongisde that Robin van Ginkel and Inky Zondi headed up the team for the first time and Erin Hunter captained for the first time.

Their opposition would be a determined Namibian side featuring several the African Indoor Champions, also preparing for their own trip to Spain. Their coach Erwin Handura, also coach of the indoor side, was determined to limit their opposition chances and set up with a very defensive game plan.

South Africa, wearing their splendid new Grays Hockey kit, looked to impress the crowd at Randburg as well as the number of people watching at home on the Shoott South Africa platform, started the better and controlled the game with a low amount of effort up front. With Namibia sitting very deep South Africa, were able to hold sustained periods of possession and were able to break up the play professionally whenever Namibia countered.

South Africa got the only goal of the game when captain Erin Hunter pounced on a goal mouth scramble after an initial shot at target was saved by the superb Petro Stoffberg in goal for the Namibians. Had it not been for some fine saves from Stoffberg the South Africans would probably have won the game more convincingly, but credit must go to Namibia for the resolute defensive display.

The teams take each other on twice on Saturday as the short series comes to an end.

SA Hockey Association media release

South Africa seal Series with comfortable 2-0 win

Photo – Robert Swanepoel / Run Ride Dive

On Africa Day there was a celebration of African hockey as SuperGroup South Africa and Namibia took each other on in the second test at Randburg Astro. After winning the opening game 1-0, the hosts were looking to entertain the crowd and seal the series.

Namibia employed the same game plan that had worked effectively in the opening game by defending with all 11 players behind the ball, while for large periods of time South Africa shifted the ball looking for gaps in the defence. They were also looking to build on the combinations and try a few new things ahead of the FIH Open Series Finals in Spain in June.

South Africa took a 1-0 lead through a superb tomahawk strike by Lilian du Plessis in the first chukka but had to wait nearly 50 minutes for the second when Tarryn Glasby diverted the ball through Petro Stoffberg’s legs. That touch by Glasby was imperative to beat the Namibian keeper.

SuperGroup South Africa, playing in their reverse white Grays South Africa kits, were hardly troubled throughout the game, keeping Namibia down to one early chance with neither Mmatshepo Modipane or Phumelela Mbande in goal having to make any saves.

Tonight, the teams will play for the third game and the South Africans will look to be a little more lethal in front of the goals, as they left far too many opportunities out on the turf. There will be many positives for van Ginkel already with Celia Evans return from injury that saw her miss the FIH world Cup, a massive highlight alongside the form of Kristen Paton and Lilian du Plessis.

The third and final test between the women’s side is at Randburg Astro at 19:30 and will be live streamed by Shoott South Africa through their Facebook Page.

SA Hockey Association media release

SuperGroup South Africa produce best display to seal series whitewash

Photo – Robert Swanepoel / Run Ride Dive

Its objectives achieved from the series for SuperGroup South Africa as they sealed a series whitewash with their best performance of the three games in a dominant 8-0 victory. Coach Robin van Ginkel had asked for more ruthlessness to the attack and a better conversion rate of the penalty corners and he got exactly that.

After a tentative opening quarter, in which South Africa for the third game in a row took a 1-0 lead into the break, thanks this time to Kara Botes from a PC, the South Africans continued to grind through the gears and in bits and pieces started to produce the moments of play that will make Robin, Inky and the management team extremely happy.

The game also saw Tegan Fourie, a non-travelling reserve for the FIH Open Series Finals, given her first test cap. Tegan is an International for SPAR South Africa in the indoor and will play for them later this week, but there was a great sense of excitement in seeing her in action for the first time for the national team.

Something that will impress the management team greatly was that the 8 goals scored were from 7 different goal scorers, including Nicky Veto and Izelle Verster getting their first goals for the country, alongside Quanita Bobbs, Lisa Deetlifs, Celia Evans, Izelle Verster and Dirkie Chamberlain. But for a few good saves from Petro Stoffberg and the post twice denying the South Africans it may have been an even bigger scoreline. 

Another thing that will make Robin and his team quite happy is the way the experienced players like Deetlefs and Bobbs have blended so well with the new crop making their debuts.

Five new caps, 3 Clean Sheets and 11 unanswered goals will give the team a good positive feeling when they leave for Spain in two weeks. They will be looking for more of the same as they take on Thailand, Italy and Wales in Pool B at the FIH Hockey Series Finals from the 19-27 June 2019.

SuperGroup South Africa vs. Namibia Series Results

Test 1 – SA 1-0 NAM
Test 2 – SA 2-0 NAM
Test 3 – SA 8-0 NAM

SA Hockey Association media release

Kenya men’s hockey team trounces Green Sharks 2-1 in friendly

By David Karanja

National men’s hockey team trounced league side Green Sharks 2-1 in an entertaining friendly match played at City Park Hockey stadium.

The match was used a buildup ahead of the Africa 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifiers slated for August in South Africa.

The squad of 34 players drawn from clubs and universities has been training at the City Park Hockey stadium since the start of the year.

The team which is a blend of veterans and upcoming players will be tasked to ensure Kenya returns at the international stage.

Veteran tactician Meshack Senge is optimistic the time remaining before the qualifiers is enough to come up with a formidable.

Senge insists with proper preparations and friendly matches his charges can pull a surprise in South Africa.

The former Kenyan international revealed that he will trim the side to 25 players  next weekend.

The Africa 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifiers are slated for 12th -22nd August in South Africa.

Meanwhile, the Red Bull Neymar Junior Five tournament came to a close after an electrifying final held at the City Park Hockey Stadium in Nairobi.

Gamerz FC from Nairobi secured their shot at clinching the world final title after defeating a strong Hamburg FC from Mombasa.

Red Bull Neymar Junior’s Five is an annual tournament that aims to inspire and give wings to upcoming game changers in football and is sponsored by the Neymar Junior Foundation.

The National finalists will visit and play at the foundation’s headquarters in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

A total of 327 teams from Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu registered for the tournament.

Malindi Member of parliament Aisha Jumwa claims that officers from the National Lands Commission are working in cahoots with unscrupulous individuals to undermine ongoing efforts to resolve land injustices in the coastal region.

Kenya Broadcasting Corporation

Indoor hockey camp starts

Bangladesh national hockey team players jog during a warm-up session on the first day of camp for July’s Indoor Asia Cup at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday. Photo: Star

34 out of the 37 players called up took part in the first day of training for the upcoming Indoor Hockey Asia Cup, at the Maulana Bhasani National Stadium in Dhaka yesterday.

The training on the first day was confined to within warm-ups and fitness drills and it will likely remain so for the next three days before a 12-day break for the Eid vacation.

As indoor hockey is hard to be simulated on astroturf, the training camp will shift to BKSP indoor facilities on June 9 while the team will have two weeks of training in Thailand ahead of the tournament, which will be held from July 15 to July 21, informed Bangladesh Hockey Federation’s (BHF) senior vice-president Abdur Rashid Shikder.

“We visited BKSP indoor facilities today. I won’t say I’m totally satisfied with the facilities, but I hope we it will be workable when we move the camp there on June 9,” Shikder told reporters yesterday.

Indoor hockey is a new concept to Bangladeshi hockey players. Although the indoor version of this sport has held World Cups and Asian Cups, many of the established teams do not participate in this miniature version of the game.

Bangladesh will be making their first appearance at the Indoor Asia Cup where they will be pitted against seven-time champions Iran along with Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines in Pool A. Pool B will feature Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Chinese Taipei, Singapore, Myanmar and Nepal.

Since Bangladesh have no prior experience in indoor hockey, they will need time to acclimatise with the format, which is held on a different surface and played with different balls and sticks under rules different from field hockey.

“The team will go to Thailand in the beginning of July to get more accustomed to the format before the tournament,” Shikder said.

The BHF’s senior vice-president also informed that they have already appointed a Polish coach, who will be available to come to Bangladesh after May 28.

In the meanwhile, two local coaches will conduct training sessions. One of them, former national team player Ashikuzzaman, said that having experience in this format would help players in field hockey too.

“A lot of things are different in indoor hockey from field hockey. But if someone plays indoor hockey, he can improve individual skills a lot which would help his in field hockey. The idea of indoor hockey is to improve the technical aspects of players,” Ashikuzzaman said.

The Daily Star

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