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News for 28 June 2019

All the news for Friday 28 June 2019

FIH Women's Series Finals Valencia 2019
Valencia (ESP)

Final results

27 Jun 2019     ITA v RSA (3 / 4)     3 - 1
27 Jun 2019     CAN v ESP (Final)     2 - 4

Final placings

1. Spain
2. Canada
3. Italy
4. South Africa
5. Belarus
6. Wales
7. Thailand
8. Namibia

FIH Match Centre

Spain outlasts Canada in Championship match of Hockey Series Finals

Top-two finish pushes Canada through to the final stage of Olympic qualifiers Photo Credit: Yan Huckendubler

Canada had a tough final match-up today against host nation, Spain, at the 2019 Hockey Series Finals. The energy was high in the crowds, as supporters from both teams filled the stadium. It was another early goal that caught team Canada in the first quarter, but Canada was able to bounce back with a penalty corner goal by Sara McManus. The first half was back and forth action throughout. Every goal Spain would get, Canada would come right back and tie it up. The first half finished with a close 3-2 lead for Spain.

Canada was hoping to get a quick goal to tie the game early in the second half, but Spain had a plan of their own. Three minutes into the third quarter, Spain was on the board again, with a commanding 4-2 lead. Although Canada was able to get chances, Spain’s strong defense and goalkeeping kept the door shut, as Canada was not able to put another goal in the net. The game ended with a 4-2 loss for Canada.

“Everyone was really excited after the game against Italy,” said Shanlee Johnston, a veteran player on team Canada. “Our focus was a little bit off at the beginning of this game, and that kind of hurt us. Although we fought back in the first half, It was too little too late, and our performance wasn’t good enough to beat Spain.”

Although Canada was able to draw 1-1 against Spain in the group stages, they were not able to defeat Spain’s strong offensive performance, something that Canada kept at bay in the first game. Spain, ranked 7th in the world, finished with a bronze medal at the 2018 Hockey World Cup, beating some of the top teams in the world.

Brie Stairs led the offense for team Canada throughout the tournament, achieving the event’s highest scorer award with eight goals. She adds to her great reputation as the most prolific scorer that Canada has ever had.

“It always feels great to be recognized but I feel the success comes from the team,” said Stairs. “I wouldn’t be able to get those goals without everyone else building the play up and passing those balls. For me its just about getting into the right spot at the right time.”

Anna Mollenhauer had a great tournament as well, winning the best junior player award in her first major tournament for Canada. Dani Hennig led the way on defense for Canada, while captain Kate Wright contributed on all ends of the pitch, with goals, assists, and some great defensive plays.

Despite the losing effort in the finals, Team Canada achieved what they set out to do: finish in the top two and secure a place in the next stage of Olympic qualifiers. Penalty corner offense for Canada was strong throughout the tournament, scoring at least one goal from the penalty corner each game. Because Canada, coming in at 21, finished higher than the 20, 17 and 15 ranked teams, they will receive a rankings boost. Stay tuned to the FIH rankings to see how high they shoot up.

“It’s definitely a high for us, to win in that semi-final,” Said Stairs. “Everyone contributed, everyone played so well, so it was really special for us to finish in the top two. Today was unfortunate, but we’re still happy with our performance overall.”

“For sure the biggest takeaway is that we qualified for the next round of Olympic qualifiers,” said Johnston. “I think we need to take that as a positive and just make sure we tighten up on the things that didn’t go quite well. There were a few games in the tournament where we didn’t feel like we played our best game, and we need to be able to find that standard throughout the entire tournament.”

Canada set out to show exactly what they’re made of, and they did just that in this FIH Hockey Series Finals. They look to carry this performance and momentum into the 2019 Pan American games which begins on July 29th in Lima, Peru.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Five Fiery Minutes seals third for Italy

Undoubtedly the worst game in sports tournaments is the third-place playoff. Less than 24 hours after tasting defeat in the semi-finals, Italy and Supergroup South Africa had to take to the field to decide the destination of the bronze medal at the FIH Hockey Series Final in Valencia. With the South Africans having played the later and more mentally exhausting semi-final there was always going to be a tough encounter.

With vengeance in their mind having lost the group stage meeting Italy emerged from the anthems with the greater fire in their bellies but the South Africans were resolute and impenetrable at the back. The South Africans then had most of the possession and created the most dangerous opportunities in the second quarter but were unable to breach the Italian defence.

Throughout the tournament the Supergroup South Africans consistently played their best hockey in the third quarter, but the exertion of physical and mental energy less than 24 hours ago started taking its toll. A series of misplaced passes were capitalized on the by the Italians and after winning a penalty corner, Italian striker Guiliana Ruggieri saw her slap deflected off Erin Hunter and through Phumi Mbande.

For the South Africans it was the kind of gut punch that leaves you winded and needing a good couple of minutes to get out the other side. While busy grappling with the metaphorically breath shortage the Italians landed two more punches through Lara Oviedo and Eugenia Bianchi.

Having received fantastic support from home, including from South Africa’s minister of sport Nathi Mthethwa, the team were determined to give their fans, something to celebrate and that moment came when Tarryn Glasby scrambled the ball home to earn a consolation for the reigning African Champions.

While there may be disappointment in the ultimate fourth place finish, the South Africans will be proud of the progress they have made and the positive signs for the future. Next on the agenda is the African Cup in Stellenbosch.

South Africa 1 (Glasby 52’)
Italy 3 (Ruggieri 34’, Oviedo 38’ & Bianchi 38’)

Pictures - FHCV

SA Hockey Association media release

2019 FIH Pro League (Women) - Semi-final results
Wagener Stadium, Amsterdam

27 Jun 2019     ARG v AUS (Semi Final 2)     1 - 1 (3 - 4 SO)
27 Jun 2019     NED v GER (Semi Final 1)     2 - 1

Full game replay on https://fih.live (May be Geo blocked if there is TV coverage)

FIH Match Centre

Netherlands to face Australia in women’s FIH Pro League final

The final of the women’s FIH Pro League competition will be contested between home favourites the Netherlands and Australia following two fiercely contested semi-final matches, with both teams overcoming monumental challenges posed by Germany and Argentina - who will play for bronze - at the Wagener Stadium in Amstelveen. The final and bronze medal matches take place on Saturday 29 June. 

Argentina (FIH World Ranking: 4) made a sparkling start to the first semi-final and needed less than four minutes to open the match scoring, with Julieta Jankunas showing a cool head to eliminate Australia (WR:3) goalkeeper Rachael Lynch and fire into an empty goal after Carla Rebecchi sparked a rapid counter-attack.

Having largely dominated the play and scoring chances, it was a lead that Las Leonas deservedly took into the quarter-time break, although the Hockeyroos improved greatly in the second period and, despite numerous chances for the Argentineans, pulled level on the stroke of half time. A penalty corner drag-flick from Jodie Kenny drew the Hockeroos level, with the effort taking a huge deflection from the stick of Argentine defender Victoria Sauze to deceive goalkeeper Belen Succi and find the bottom right corner.

The third quarter was tense and twitchy with neither side able to take control, although it was the South Americans who came closest to a winner in the final period as Agustina Albertarrio, Florencia Habif and Eugenia Trinchinetti all had clear sights of goal but failed to test the goalkeeper.

The result was eventually settled by a shoot-out that saw both teams gain slim advantages before finishing with the scores locked at 3-3, triggering sudden death. Rosie Malone put the Hockeyroos into a 4-3 lead, meaning that Silvina D’Elia had to score in order to keep the contest alive. However, Australia goalkeeper Lynch - later named Player of the Match - did everything in her power to stop D’Elia from getting her shot away, with the clock timing out the Argentinean player as Australia reached the final of the FIH Pro League.

“I’m super excited, I’m so happy”, said Australia’s Brooke Peris after the match. “Lynchy was outstanding in the one-on-ones, as was Rosie [Malone]. Some times you win like that and I guess we deserve to go through, and I’m very excited for the weekend.”

Argentina’s Agustina Albertarrio said: I think it was hard game and we deserved to win, but now we have to look forward to the [bronze medal] game.” 

Australia awaited the winner of the second semi-final, as hosts and FIH Pro League table-toppers the Netherlands (WR:1) faced Germany (WR:5), who finished the regular season in fourth place. The Oranje were heavy favourites, but it was Germany who scored first and the proceeded to frustrate the world champions for long periods.

Die Danas took the lead one minute before the end of the first quarter and it was a strike to savour, with Rebecca Grote’s penalty corner drag-flick flying into the top left corner of the Dutch goal. The Netherlands battled hard but found the Germany defence at the top of their game, making numerous important blocks and also making full use of their video referral in order to overturn the award of a penalty stroke just before half time.

Inspired by a Player of the Match performance from defender Sonja Zimmermann, Germany soaked up relentless Netherlands pressure in the third and fourth quarters, with goalkeeper Nathalie Kubalski brilliantly denying Frederique Matla and Xan de Waard while Pia Maerten’s showed terrific 3D skills to almost score for Germany very much against the run of play.

The Netherlands finally got the breakthrough they both needed and deserved in 52nd minute thanks to a wonderful defected effort from Frederique Matla, who guided a cross from the right into the bottom left corner just seconds after Germany’s Elisa Gräve had been given a yellow card five minute suspension. Gräve was still serving her suspension when Lidewij Welten scored the winner, producing a wonderful spin shot to pick out the bottom right corner and put the Netherlands into the gold medal match with a 2-1 victory.

“I’m really happy with the win in the end, but we didn’t really play our own game so I’m not very happy about that and that’s something we can definitely do better on Saturday [in the final]”, said Netherlands captain Eva de Goede. “We really wanted to start well, but we didn’t. Germany played really well though, so I’m really happy that we turned it around into a 2-1 victory for us.”

Germany captain Janne Müller-Wieland said: “We are gutted that we gave it away in the last minutes again, because we had a strong start, played really well. We weren’t afraid of the Dutch at all. It’s just annoying that we gave it away. Also, in the second half we had three cards and it is so tough to compete with such a nation being one person down. We did really well and will learn from it, but right now it’s just really annoying.”

The match between Netherlands and Germany was a special one for umpire Sarah Wilson, who took charge of her 100th international match. In recognition of this special achievement, Sarah was present with her Golden Whistle by Marieke Fleuren, European Hockey Federation President and FIH Executive Board member.

Friday 28 June is men’s semi-finals day at the FIH Pro League Grand Final, with two world class matches featuring the four highest finishers in the regular FIH Pro League season taking place on the second of four days of top-class hockey action at Amsterdam’s Wagener Stadium. Table-toppers Australia (FIH World Ranking: 2) face fourth place finishers Great Britain (WR:7) at 1715 (CEST - GMT/UTC+2) ahead of a meeting between world champions Belgium (WR:1) and European champions the Netherlands (WR:3), who finished second and third in the standings respectively, at 2000. The winners of the men’s semi-finals will meet in the title match on Sunday 30 June, with the losing teams playing in the 3-4 play-off.

FIH Pro League Grand Final - 27 June 2019
Wagener Stadium, Amsterdam (NED) 

Result: Women’s Match 73 - Semi-Final (2nd vs 3rd)
Argentina 1, Australia 1 (3-4 after shoot-out)
Player of the Match: Rachael Lynch (GK - AUS)
Umpires: Michelle Meister (GER), Michelle Joubert (RSA) and Coen van Bunge (NED - video)

Official FIH Pro League SiteSonja Zimmermann (GER)
Official FIH Pro League SiteAmber Church (NZL), Sarah Wilson (SCO) and Marcin Grochal (POL - video)

Upcoming fixtures and timings (all times CEST - UTC/GMT +2)

Friday 28 June 2019 - men’s semi-finals
1715: 1st vs 4th – Australia vs Great Britain
2000: 2nd vs 3rd –  Belgium vs Netherlands

Saturday 29 June 2019 - women’s competition
1430: 3-4 play-off - Germany vs Argentina
1700: Final - Netherlands vs Australia

Sunday 30 June 2019 - men’s competition
1430: 3-4 play-off
1700: Final


Official FIH Pro League Site

Hockeyroos Hold Nerve In Shootout To Reach Grand Final

Mitch Wynd

The Hockeyroos have reached the inaugural FIH Pro League final after a nail biting shootout against Argentina following a 1-1 draw in Amstelveen.

Argentina were on the front foot for much of the game and hadn’t lost a shootout in four attempts throughout the competition - but the pressure of a semi-final is different to a home & away match and the Hockeyroos stepped up to the plate.

The final will be played against the winner of the second semi-final between Germany and the Netherlands.

From the outset, Argentina had numbers streaming forward early and stretched the Australian defence. Their attacking run saw them open the scoring through Julieta Jankunas, who had the composure to turn and shoot past the onrushing Rachael Lynch.

The bulk of the momentum throughout the first quarter belonged to the Argentineans, with their speed and positioning catching the Australian defenders out. Some resolute defence kept the Hockeyroos in the game and a timely opportunity to reset at the first quarter break was welcomed.

That momentum continued into the second quarter as Argentina led the way in circle entries (20-7), penalty corners (6-2), and shots (11-3).

However, Australia still had some tricks up their sleeve and fortune on their side, a late penalty corner was awarded and Jodie Kenny’s flick caught a deflection on its way into the goal.

The goal was a much-needed morale boost for the Hockeyroos, who went into the half time break with renewed belief and a tied scoreline.

The third quarter was a tight affair both teams creating scoring opportunities but some scrambling defence meant the teams were still tied at three quarter time.

Argentina continued to threaten with a number of penalty corners earned in the final term.

But the Hockeyroos’ defence held until the end of regulation, and the match went to a shootout just as it had done when the two sides met in Buenos Aires.

The shootout went to sudden death with Rosie Malone calmly slotting her second shot before Rachael Lynch denied the Argentinians for an historic Australian win.

“Gutsy performance from the girls and exciting to play in the final of the inaugural FIH Pro League,” said Hockeyroos coach Paul Gaudoin.

“We are looking forward to another challenge.”

The final will be played at Amstelveen at 1:00am Sunday morning (AEST).

Australia 1 (Kenny 29’) - 4 (Malone O, Nobbs O, Kenny X, Peris X, Williams O, Malone O)
Argentina 1 (Jankunas 4’) - 3 (Rebecchi X, d’Elia O, Albertarrio O, d’Elia O, di Santo X, d’Elia X)

Hockey Australia media release

2019 FIH Pro League (Men) - Semi-finals
Wagener Stadium, Amsterdam

28 Jun 2019 17:15     AUS v GBR (Semi Final 1)
28 Jun 2019 20:00     BEL v NED (Semi Final 2)

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

FIH Match Centre

Preview - Men’s Semi-Finals: Australia vs Great Britain / Belgium vs Netherlands

Friday 28 June is men’s semi-finals day at the FIH Pro League Grand Final, with two world class matches featuring the four highest finishers in the regular FIH Pro League season taking place on the second of four days of top-class hockey action at Amsterdam’s Wagener Stadium.

Table-toppers Australia (WR:2) face fourth place finishers Great Britain (WR:7) at 1715 ahead of a meeting between world champions Belgium (WR:1) and European champions the Netherlands (WR:3), who finished second and third in the standings respectively, at 2000. The winners of the men’s semi-finals will meet in the title match on Sunday 30 June, with the losing teams playing in the 3-4 play-off.

Information about and quotes from the teams taking part in the semi-finals can be found below.

Australia vs Great Britain (1stvs 4th FIH Pro League)

Previous FIH Pro League meetings
16 February 2019: Australia 2-0 Great Britain – Perth Hockey Stadium (AUS)
9 June 2019: Great Britain 2-2 Australia (4-3 after shoot-out) – Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre, London (ENG)


FIH Hero World Ranking (as of January 2019): 2
How they qualified: 1st Place – FIH Pro League
FIH Pro League results summary: Pl: 14 Wins: 10 Draws: 2 SO-Bonus: 0 Losses: 2 GF: 40 GA: 26 GD: 14 Pts: 32

Notable honours: Olympic gold medallists (2004), 3x Olympic silver medallists (1968, 1976, 1992), 5x Olympic bronze medallists (1964, 1996, 2000, 2008, 2012), 3x FIH Men’s World Cup winners (1986, 2010, 2014), Hockey World League champions (2015, 2017), 15x Champions Trophy winners (1983, 1984, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1999, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2018), 6x Commonwealth Games gold medallists (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018), 10x Oceania Cup champions (1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017).

About the team:Australia – coached former Kookaburra Colin Batch, a gold medallist at the 1986 FIH Men’s World Cup in Willesden, England – secured a first-place finish by winning ten of their 14 matches, recording notable away wins over world champions Belgium, Olympic champions Argentina and European champions the Netherlands. The Kookaburras squad is packed full of quality and experience. The 350 capped Eddie Ockenden co-captains the team alongsideinfluential defender / midfielder Aran Zalewski, while Matthew Swann, Jake Whetton and goalkeeping duo Tyler Lovell and Andrew Charter have performed excellently this year. Blake Govers, Jeremy Hayward, Tim Brand, Daniel Beale, Jacob Anderson, Tom Wickham and Tom Craig have all made significant goal-scoring contributions over the course of the FIH Pro League. Make no mistake about it, the Kookaburras are serious contenders for the title. 

Coach Comment – Colin Batch: “The FIH Pro League has seen us play against the best over a six-month period. We’re really excited about the finals – we’ve been working towards this point since January and now we’re here. The renovated [Wagener] stadium is fantastic, and we know that the hockey fans will make it a great experience for us.”

FIH Pro League Team Page: https://www.fihproleague.com/men/teams/australia__4840
Hockey Australia website: www.hockey.org.au
Twitter - @kookaburras
Facebook: @TheKookaburras
Instagram: hockeyaustraliaofficial

Great Britain

FIH Hero World Ranking (as of January 2019): 7
How they qualified: 4thPlace – FIH Pro League
FIH Pro League results summary: Pl: 14 Wins: 6 Draws: 3 SO-Bonus: 1 Losses: 5 GF: 35 GA: 31 GD: 4 Pts: 22

Notable honours: 2x Olympic gold medallists (1920, 1988), Olympic silver medallists (1948), 2x Olympic bronze medallists (1952, 1984), FIH Champions Trophy silver medallists (1985), 2x FIH Champions Trophy bronze medallists (1978, 1984)

About the team: Great Britain’s qualification for the FIH Pro League Grand Final was achieved in dramatic fashion on the final day of the regular league season. A 4-1 defeat for Olympic champions Argentina against world champions Belgium in Antwerp denied the Pan American giants the point they needed to guarantee qualification, with Great Britain’s 2-0 victory over New Zealand in front of 12,000 fans on a magnificent occasion at the Twickenham Stoop – where pioneering technology has been used to lay a temporary hockey pitch in a rugby stadium – being enough to put GB into the final four by virtue of a superior goal difference. The team coached by Danny Kerry have achieved some eye-catching results this year, claiming away wins in Argentina, Netherlands, Germany, Spain and New Zealand. Phil Roper (8 goals), Sam Ward (8) and Alan Forsyth (5) have been in devastating goal-scoring form, bagging 21 of Great Britain’s 35 goals in the FIH Pro League. The recent return of all-time top scorer Ashley Jackson has further increased their attacking potency, making GB a side more than capable of causing an upset in Amsterdam.

Player Perspective – Adam Dixon (captain): “It’s a bit of a relief to be honest. It’s been a long league with a lot of trips, travelling and time away from home. And to make it all worthwhile with an appearance at the Grand Finals makes it all the more sweet. We’re excited to be there, to go and express ourselves on what is a nothing-to-lose-everything-to-gain weekend in Amsterdam.”

FIH Pro League Team Page: https://www.fihproleague.com/men/teams/great-britain__4837
Website: http://www.greatbritainhockey.co.uk/
Twitter: @GBHockey
Facebook: @GBHockey

Belgium vs Netherlands (2ndvs 3rd)

Previous FIH Pro League meetings
8 June 2019:Belgium 0-4 Netherlands– Wilrijkse Plein Antwerp (BEL)
9 June 2019: Netherlands 4-3 Belgium– HC Den Bosch, s-Hertogenbosch (NED)


FIH Hero World Ranking (as of January 2019): 1
How they qualified: 2ndPlace – FIH Pro League
FIH Pro League results summary: Pl:14 Wins: 8 Draws: 3 SO-Bonus: 1 Losses: 3 GF: 52 GA: 29 GD: 23 Pts: 28

Notable honours: World Cup winners – Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, Olympic silver medallists (2016), Olympic bronze medallists (1920), Hockey World League silver medallists (2015), European silver medallists (2013, 2017), European bronze medallists (2007), 5th place - Olympic Games (2012), 5th place - Rabobank Hockey World Cup (2014), 5th place - Hero Hockey Champions Trophy (2014).

About the team: Reigning world champions Belgium finished second in the standings with eight wins from 14 matches, recording excellent away victories against Olympic champions Argentina, Australia and Great Britain. The team coached by New Zealander Shane McLeod suffered a double set-back in home and away defeats against the Netherlands but responded magnificently with an 8-0 away demolition of Germany before thrashing New Zealand 4-0. While a recent 2-0 home loss against Australia indicates they are not infallible, the Red Lions remain the team to beat. Blessed with world class players such as Cedric Charlier, Arthur Van Doren and goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch and still basking in the afterglow of last year’s amazing world cup triumph, Belgium will feel that the inaugural FIH Pro League title is theirs for the taking.

Player Perspective – Thomas Briels (captain):“I think it’s going to be great in Amsterdam – there are always a lot of people as well as the four best teams of the moment. It is going to be a big challenge, after a long season and a lot of games. Now it’s up to us to be at the best we can be in these two games.”

FIH Pro League Team Page: https://www.fihproleague.com/men/teams/belgium__4836
Royal Belgian Hockey Federation website: www.hockey.be
Twitter: @BELRedLions
Facebook: RedLions
Instagram: BELRedLions


FIH Hero World Ranking (as of January 2019): 3
How they qualified: 3rd Place – FIH Pro League
FIH Pro League results summary: Pl: 14 Wins: 5 Draws: 5 SO-Bonus: 3 Losses: 4 GF: 37 GA: 32 GD: 5 Pts: 23

Notable honours: 2x Olympic gold medallists (1996, 2000), 3x FIH Men’s World Cup winners (1973, 1990, 1998), 8x FIH Champions Trophy winners (1981, 1982, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006), Hockey World League winners (2012- 14 Edition), 5x European champions (1983, 1987, 2007, 2015, 2017).

About the team: Led by globally respected tactician Max Caldas, the former Argentina international who guided the Dutch women to the World Cup title in 2014, European champions the Netherlands are phenomenally gifted and capable of beating anyone on their day. Defeated by Belgium in the final of last year’s FIH World Cup, the Oranje have certainly got the better of their near neighbours in the FIH Pro League. A Bjorn Kellerman double earned a 4-0 away win over the Red Lions in Antwerp on 8 June, with the Dutch winning 4-3 in the reverse fixture in s-Hertogenbosch just one day later. Those results give a good indication of their undisputed quality, and if they rediscover that form at the FIH Pro League Grand Final they could take some stopping.

Player Perspective – Seve van Ass: “I think the Grand Final games are going to be really close. If you look at the whole Pro League it’s so close. I expect tight games, but fun. High level games and I’m looking forward to it.”

FIH Pro League Team Page: https://www.fihproleague.com/men/teams/netherlands__4842
Website: www.knhb.nl
Facebook: oranjehockey
Instagram: oranjehockey


Official FIH Pro League Site

2019 Test matches JPN v CAN (Men) - 3rd Test
Echizen Town (JPN)

Results and fixtures (GMT +9)

24 Jun 2019     JPN v CAN     3 - 3
26 Jun 2019     JPN v CAN     5 - 2
27 Jun 2019     JPN v CAN     3 - 4
1 Jul 2019 16:00     JPN v CAN

FIH Match Centre

U.S. O-60 Women's Masters Team to Play for First Place, O-60 Men in 5th-6th Game of GMH European Trophy

ANTWERP, Belgium - June 27, 2019 - The U.S. O-60 Men's and Women's Masters Teams head into the final day of competition at the Grand Masters Hockey (GMH) European Trophy in Antwerp, Belgium. After finishing fourth in their pool, the O-60 Men met Alliance in the crossover round and was victorious 5-2. This advanced USA into the 5th-6th place game. Meanwhile, the O-60 Women played their final pool game against Alliance, where a 1-1 tie moved them into the title game against the same Alliance squad.

O-60 Men's 5 - 2 Alliance (Crossover)

This victory moved the U.S. O-60 Men's Masters Team in the 5th/6th place game on Friday, June 28 against Sixtierbians at 3:15 a.m. ET. These teams met in their second pool play game and finished in a 1-1 draw.

O-60 Women's 1 - 1 Alliance

The U.S. O-60 Women's Masters Team stepped onto the pitch for the third time in as many days, this time to compete against the Alliance International Hockey Club for the final game of pool play. USA entered the match 1-0-1 in the pool, 2-1-1 including friendly competitions. 

In an even contest, the Alliance and USA traded shots and scoring opportunities throughout the first half. In the second quarter, USA got on the board after midfielder, Loretta Di Pietro (New Haven, Conn.) carried the ball strong to the top of the attacking circle and laid it left. Diane Angstadt (Middletown, Pa.) was there to send her token cross to the goal. After a deflection by Sandra Galea-Martinez (Lakeside, Calif.) and a goalkeeper save, Josie Worthington (Owens Mills, Md.) punched it home. The USA fan-base, led by Worthington's two sons, erupted. Moments later at halftime, a Belgian pub crawl pedaled past to continue the excitement and add to the atmosphere.

Alliance came out strong in the third quarter and capitalized on a numbers up penalty corner opportunity, tying the game 1-1. USA's defense continued to chip away and at the end of the third quarter, the red, white and blue began to find their attacking flow. With a penalty corner at the end of the fourth, it looked as if USA might secure the win but a miscue sent the ball wide of the cage. The game ended in a well-fought draw with Cathy Jackson (Wilmington, Del.) and Pat Rudy (Mill Hall, Pa.) anchoring the play in the center of the field. 

This tie gave the U.S. O-60 Women's Masters Team 5 points and first place in the pool. They will go on to place Alliance again on Friday, June 28 in the gold medal match at 10:00 a.m. ET.

For more information regarding the GMH European Trophy including the full schedule, results, rosters and more, check out the official event page by clicking here.

USFHA media release

Last chance at Afcon for hockey women

by Helge Schütz

Kiana Cormack, seen here in action against Zambia, scored Namibia's goal in their 2-1 defeat to Thailand on Tuesday.

NAMIBIA's women's hockey team have one more chance of qualifying for next year's Olympic Games despite finishing last at the FIH Women's Series Finals in Valencia this week.

Namibia lost their final match 2-1 to Thailand on Tuesday in the seventh place play-of, after losing all three their group matches.

Namibia, however, have one more chance at the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers in South Africa in August when the continental champions will gain a ticket to the 2020 Olympic Games.

In Valencia, Namibia suffered heavy defeats in their group matches, going down 7-0 to Belarus, 10-1 to Spain and 17-0 to Canada, but gave a much better performance against Thailand on Tuesday, and with a bit of luck could have won the match.

Namibia applied the early pressure after some attacks by Maggy Mengo, Kiana Cormack and Tara Myburgh, while Cormack went narrowly wide with a back stick shot from a Myburgh cross.

Thailand, however, regained the initiative and took the lead after 10 minutes when their captain Tikhamporn Sakulpithak broke away from her marker to score from close range.

Namibia upped the tempo in the second chukka with Cormack and Joane van Rooyen putting in some strong attacks, but their final passes went astray. Namibia also won two short corners after good work by Mengo, but Thailand's defence held out and they increased their lead when an unmarked Sakulpithak scored her second goal just before half time.

Namibia continued to create chances in the third chukka with Dure Boshoff shining down the right wing, while Tara Myburgh came close when her deflection from a cross went narrowly wide of the goals.

Namibia's pressure finally paid off at the start of the final chukka when Van Rooyen sent in a cross and Kiana Cormack scored at the far post.

The momentum swayed to and fro as both teams gave it their all in the final chukka, but Namibian keeper Petro Stoffberg kept Thailand at bay with some fine saves, while at the other end, Namibia could not round off their chances, as Thailand held on for the win.

Namibia's coach Erwin Handura said he would comment on the team's performances on their return to Namibia.

Canada and Spain, meanwhile, qualified for the semifinals after finishing first and second in Pool B.

The 21st ranked Canada was the big surprise of the tournament, drawing 1-1 against the seventh ranked Spain, while beating the 20th ranked Belarus 8-2.

Pool B went according to rankings with the 15th ranked South Africa finishing on top, and the 17th ranked Italy second.

South Africa were due to play Spain in the semifinals yesterday, with Canada due to play Italy in the other semifinal.

Overall, Namibia's results were disappointing, especially after their fine performances against South Africa in a warm-up tournament in Johannesburg in May.

Then, Namibia narrowly lost the first two tests 1-0 and 2-0, before a fatigued team lost 8-0 in the third test.

After South Africa's success in Spain, one would have expected better results from Namibia, but if they can raise their game at Afcon to the level they displayed in Johannesburg, they still stand a chance of qualifying for the Olympics.

The Namibian

Kenya's most successful hockey club on the brink of disbandment


Telkom coach Jos Openda (left) and captain Tracy Karanja lead Kenyan hockey queens in celebrations after they were presented with the trophy for winning the women’s 2017-18 Premier League on February 18, 2018 at City Park Stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

In a move that could have a far reaching effect on women's hockey, Telkom, one of the leading communications firm has stopped sponsoring its women's hockey club.

It came as no surprise when the news were delivered at the team's training grounds at City Park Stadium on Wednesday when Telkom moved to withdraw after sponsoring the team for 25 years.

The team that produces close to 90 per cent of the players to the national team, can either look for another sponsor, move on as a self-sponsored outfit with a different name or disband altogether.

"There were all hints since last December when we won the continental clubs title that Telkom would stop facilitating the team. Those fears were confirmed when there were no news of the sponsorship renewal in March as it has been done the previous years," said a source from the team's training. "An official from Telkom delivered the bad news."

Telkom, the most successful club in the country, have won the national women's Premier League title since 1999 besides bagging the continental title a record 10 times.

"We are yet to decide what to do now," said a club official.

Daily Nation

'We are not going anywhere': Hockey giants to remain active


Telkom Ladies Hockey Club have no plans of disbanding the outfit despite their sponsors for the last 30 years Telkom Kenya withdrawing.

Team manager Jane Nyamogo said that they will hit the road to look for new sponsors before they can think of any other move.

However, Nyamogo said they withdrawal by Telkom Kenya will hit women’s hockey hard considering that 90 per cent of the team players form the national team.

“Getting basic things like team transport, training allowances and pitch fees among others things will cease and morale is likely to go down,” said Nyamogo. “It will take time for reality to sink.”

Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) chairman Nahashon Randiek described the move as "shocking" but said they would try help the team get another sponsor.

“It’s demoralising,” said Randiek, adding that Telkom have been on top for almost two decades and have given the telecommunication company visibility around the continent.

Telkom Kenya indicated in a statement that they have been reviewing its brand assets strategy to align it with ongoing business developments.

“This review has involved an open-minded consideration of all aspects of our existing partnerships and properties, in line with new business objectives and strategic priorities,” said the statement from Telkom’s corporate communications department.

The statement detailed that the review has impacted their long standing sponsorship with the club.

The statement elaborated that there is no doubt that their 30-year association with the iconic team has created one of the best partnership in the history of professional sports sponsorship in Kenya.

“Since 1989, the club has won 10 Africa Club and 21 domestic league titles. Further, the partnership’s successes have been a mascot for Telkom’s brand purpose to connect with Kenyans from diverse backgrounds through sports,” said the statement.

Daily Nation

Mark Knowles inspires Mount Isa hockey juniors

Derek Barry

INSPIRATION: Mark Knowles talks at the Glencore Great Western Games opening last week.

Hockey great Mark Knowles has used a visit to Mount Isa to say kids should not be afraid to follow their sporting dreams, despite Mount Isa's remote location.

The 35-year-old Knowles is the captain of the Kookaburras national team and is an Olympic hockey gold medal winner from the Athens Olympics in 2004 so knows a thing or two about how to achieve dreams.

He was in Mount Isa as a Glencore Great Western Games ambassador and also to give hockey clinics to junior players.

Knowles spoke at the Games opening ceremony which was hosted by Mount Isa Hockey and the Rockhampon-born player had the good humour to laugh when accidentally introduced as "one of Mount Isa's own".

Knowles and players.

"I am one of Mount Isa's own this weekend," Knowles said.

"I have to be careful when I say I grew up in a small country town, Rockhampton,

"It's got 90,000 people so it's not that small when I'm out here."

However Knowles said he felt at home in Mount Isa.

"I'm a hockey player, I've played my whole life and for the hockey people here now, I grew up playing on grass," he said.

"I played on grass until I was 13 years old and I went on to play for Australia at four Olympic Games, four Commonwealth Games and become the third highest capped player of all time."

And he had a message to the youngsters present.

"To young regional-based athletes, I want you all to understand, you can absolutely do it," he said.

"Don't let anyone tell you you can't achieve something that's pretty amazing.

Knowles said the message was true for all other sports.

"I'm a passionate sports lover. I'm all about healthy and active lifestyle and getting out in the bush. Enjoy what you do and have discipline and respect for those around you".

The Northwest Star

Hockey officials diss slow work on astro-turf pitches in Odisha, term it 'improbable'

Those associated with hockey viewed that it seems no serious thought was given to need of extra manpower, infrastructure, maintenance and operational aspects of poly-grass fields.

By Prasanjeet Sarkar

Astro-turf at PSH in Rourkela ( Photo | EPS)

ROURKELA: As the astro-turf pitches in all 17 blocks of the district remain a non-starter seven months after the grand announcement of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the much-hyped move is now being dismissed as improbable by hockey experts.

Those associated with the stick game viewed that it seems no serious thought was given to need of extra manpower, infrastructure, maintenance and operational aspects of poly-grass fields.

The announcement was made to create euphoria in the run-up to the Hockey World Cup 2018 and with an eye on the 2019 General Elections, they said.

Hockey officials and coaches pointed out that each of astro-turf at the block level would require at least one expert coach along with four personnel, including a groundsman.

While maintenance and operational aspects remain the biggest challenge, two-time watering daily is a must.

Each astro-turf would cost Rs 6-7 crore while monthly operational expenditure would be above Rs 1 lakh, they informed.

Former PSH coach and first government hockey coach of Odisha Sylvester Toppo claimed that the proposal is practically impossible to execute and get effective outcome.

Even if one-time capital expenditure is done on astro-turfs at 17 block headquarters, it will not be successfully utilised to tap and harness young talents until similar numbers of hostels come up.

It is impossible for young trainees from far-flung areas of a block to daily visit and practice at a centralised location in the morning and evening, he said.

Even the state government-run Sundargarh Sports Hostel (SSH) set up at Sundargarh town in 1997 does not have an astro-turf or natural ground for hockey till date.

The 45 hockey trainees (boys) continue to practice on the astro-turf facility of the adjacent SAI-SAG centre.

This apart, the replacement of two astro-turfs at Rourkela-based Panposh Sports Hostel (PSH) is pending for above four years.

The state government-run PSH has alone produced 54 of the total 63 senior and junior international hockey players of Sundargarh.

Hockey icon and former BJD Rajya Sabha member Dilip Tirkey had also initiated effort to lay an astro-turf at his native village Saunamora in Balishankar block, but only the concrete base has been laid in the last four years.

District Sports Officer Tej Kumar Xess said the state government has asked the district administration to identify land for astro-turfs, but refused to comment further.

Sports infrastructure

  • 17 astro-turf pitches proposed
  • Rs 6-7 crore cost for each astro-turf facility
  • Rs 1 lakh monthly operational expenditure

The News Indian Express

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