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News for 20 July 2019

All the news for Saturday 20 July 2019

I am umpiring at a morning tournament today. Results from the FIH Match Centre will be added about 2 hours later.

Irish U-21 agony in Litice as Scotland strike

The Irish Under-21 side missed out on promotion

Ireland’s Under-21 men missed out on promotion from the EuroHockey Junior Championships II as the fluidity displayed all week deserted them against Scotland the semi-final.

A win over their Celtic rivals would have seen them return to the top tier but Hamish Roberts’ eighth minute goal proved the difference in a 1-0 result.

For Ireland, it was a frustrating performance as they struggled to create too many tangible chances outside of four penalty corners and Scottish keeper Martin Rose did not have to make a save from the general play.

From the outset, Ireland did hold the majority of the ball as Scotland were content to sit deep and work balls down the channels when breaking out. For the goal, Andrew Webb’s long hit picked out James Nairn on the left baseline and he spun the ball into the path of Roberts to finish.

It threw Ireland and they lost their discipline in the second quarter with Conor Empey, Alexander Tinney and Luke Witherow all spending time in the sin-bin, the latter two on yellows for physical fouls.

Indeed, Scotland were making more with less as Luke Roleston got down to brilliantly save a drag-flick and, early in the second half, Guy Sarratt produced a remarkable clearance off the line.

It kept Ireland in the mix as Scotland had their time on the naughty step, going to down to nine for a spell. The most fluid Irish attack saw Witherow set Ben Johnson free and his pull-back got to Ali Empey – his shot was blocked by a defensive foot and the corner was repelled.

In the last five minutes, Conor Empey flashed a shot wide while the fourth corner was whipped off target, leaving Scotland jubilant and Ireland dejected.

Ireland will play Turkey in the third place playoff on Saturday in a reprisal of Wednesday’s 7-1 success.

In Valencia, the Under-21 women will play either France – whom they beat 1-0 on Thursday – or Belarus in the seventh place playoff on Sunday morning.

In Eindhoven, it was a day of near misses for the junior age groups against Belgium. On the boys side, the Belgian Under-18s took a 3-1 victory with Johnny Lynch pulling one back and Oliver Kidd hitting the post.

The Under-16s fell 2-1 in a close run contest as Ben Whelan impressed in the first half with some key saves. The Belgians did move 1-0 up only for Craig Mackay to get his second goal of the week to tie things up but the winner came a minute into the final quarter.

In the girls competitions, the results were identical. Sophia Cole scored a stroke early in the Under-18 game for a 1-0 lead and they were still right in contention at 2-1 with five minutes to go.

Belgium, though, made it 3-1 when Ireland had swapped out their goalkeeper.

For the Under-16s, Belgium won it 2-1 via a contested penalty stroke with four minutes to go. Zoe Watterson had levelled the game at 1-1.

Ireland’s four sides are up against Spain on the final day of action in the Volvo 6 Nations.

EuroHockey Junior Championships II

Semi-final: Ireland 0 Scotland 1 (H Roberts)


EuroHockey Junior Championships II (Plzen Litice)

Semi-final: Ireland 0 Scotland 1 (H Roberts)

Saturday, third place playoff: Ireland v Turkey, 12.45pm

Volvo 6 Nations

Under-18: Ireland 1 (J Lynch) Belgium 3

Under-16: Ireland 1 (C Mackay) Belgium 2


EuroHockey Junior Championship, seventh place playoff (Valencia)

Sunday, seventh place playoff: Ireland v France or Belarus, 8am

Volvo 6 Nations

Under-18: Ireland 1 (S Cole) Belgium 3

Under-16: Ireland 1 (Z Watterson) Belgium 2

The Hook

Scotland U21 men beat Ireland to clinch final spot and gain promotion

Scotland U21 Men are in the final of U21 EuroHockey Championship II after a tremendous 1-0 win over Ireland. It means the team has gained promotion to A-Division in two years’ time.

Ireland pressed from the start of the game but Scotland looked more than comfortable on the ball despite the pressure. They didn’t leave the Irish any room to play and looked dangerous on the counter attack.

It was the Scots who opened the scoring, Hamish Roberts with the strike to make it 1-0. It was a great start to the contest for the Scots and a deserved goal.

Ireland went searching for an equaliser but a couple of excellent saves by Martin Rose kept them out. The first was low to the right after a good burst into the Scots D; then from an Irish penalty corner an excellent save at the bottom left post.

Scotland was happy to soak up the pressure then burst forward at pace on the counter, always looking dangerous.

It nearly went to 2-0 when Cammy Golden sent a drag flick towards the bottom left corner but a great diving save kept him at bay.

In the end Scotland were more than a match for a very good Irish side and ran out 1-0 winners, clinching a final spot and promotion to A Division.

Scotland U21 Men Head Coach Graham Moodie said, “The guys were absolutely unbelievable. Just brilliant. They matched Ireland all over the pitch and it was a fantastic team performance against a very good team.

“Promotion was the goal for the tournament and I’m delighted we’ve achieved that. The players were down after the Italy game but I can’t compliment them enough; their attitude, discipline and work-rate has been absolutely superb. Now we get to play in a final, which they really deserve.”

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Scotland U21 Women earn promotion and place in Euros final

Scotland U21 Women beat Ukraine 4-1 in the semi-final of U21 EuroHockey Championship II to gain promotion to A-Division in two years’ time, and play for a gold medal in tomorrow’s final.

Scotland opened the scoring in the 13th minute, Katie MacCallum smashed a wonderful top D strike from a clinical short corner. 1-0.

The game continued as an equal affair with Ukraine taking the game level ten minutes later when a defensive lapse from Scotland allowed Alevtyna Shalyhina to slip one past keeper Jessica Buchanan.

Scotland continued their impressive work rate in hot conditions and were rewarded on the brink of half time. Another top D short corner strike from MacCallum was the difference between the two sides.

Ukraine started the second half with determination, however a short corner attempt was easily saved by the impressive Buchanan.

Despite being 2-1 up Scotland didn’t ease off and a brilliantly taken long corner was perfectly picked up by Georgia Jones who slickly turned inside the circle, and slid the ball past the keeper. 3-1.

A two goal lead wasn’t enough for Scotland; an impressive run from Lexi Sabatelli saw her slip a pass across the D for the fourth goal, with Jenny Walls picking up the spill from the keeper and smashing the ball off the back board.

Scotland U21 Women Assistant Coach Keith Smith said, “It was an excellent performance. We knew Ukraine would pose a unique threat – they’re brilliant at what they do and we knew they’d be dangerous. We had a game plan and it absolutely worked a treat.

“We’re delighted to have promotion, but the players are still really focussed – they have a final to play for now and there’s still a job to do. We’re looking forward to the match.”

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Last minute win for England U18 Boys

Action from England U18 Boys at the Six Nations Tournament. Credit: gpfoto.ie

A last minute goal from Dylan Holland was enough for England Under-18 Boys to scrape a thrilling 1-0 win over Germany at the Six Nations Tournament in Eindhoven on Friday.

The dramatic goal in the 59th minute came thanks to some good work from his team-mates, with Alex Pendle winning the ball on the half way line and progressing before laying it to Ellis Robson.

He made a telling diagonal run before passing into the D where Holland was waiting to lift the ball over the goalkeeper.

The game was not without earlier incident though, with both sides creating lots of chances in an end to end encounter.

“I’m happy with today’s result,” said Head Coach Jody Paul. “The boys proved that if you apply yourself and do the right things then the rewards are there to be had.

“We’re buoyed up by this result, and we’re ready for the Belgium game tomorrow.”

England take on Belgium in their final Six Nations Tournament match at 9am (UK time) on Saturday.

England U18 Boys 1 (0)
Germany U18 Boys 0 (0)

England Hockey Board Media release

Narrow loss for England U18 Girls

Action from England U18 Girls at the Six Nations Tournament. Credit: gpfoto.ie

Leading at half time, England Under-18 Girls lost out 3-1 to Germany in the penultimate match of their Six Nations Tournament in Eindhoven, Netherlands, on Friday.

Trailing by just one goal mid-way through the fourth quarter, England took their goalkeeper off and went in search of a way back into the match. But Germany countered and clinched a third and final goal.

Head Coach Sarah Kelleher said: “It was a really good performance even though we lost. We were ahead at half time and we had opportunities to be two-nil up.

“Even at 2-1 down we were still very much in the game, and we decided to take our keeper off and go in search of an equaliser. Unfortunately that’s when they scored their third goal.

“So we’re disappointed not to have won this game, but everybody is up for a big performance against Belgium in the final match tomorrow when we will be looking to finish on a high.”

Millie Attwell scored the opening goal for England earlier in the second quarter from a penalty corner, but Germany hit back with field goals on 41, 49 and 57 minutes.

England face Belgium in their final Six Nations Tournament, starting at 9am (UK time) on Saturday.

England U18 Girls 1 (1)
Germany U18 Girls 3 (0)

England Hockey Board Media release

Top spot for the Mapungubwe Mambas and the Wineland Wings after two days of action

Image by Marcel Sigg, Run Ride Dive

The second day of the 2019 CTM Premier Hockey League saw plenty of action as the Wings and Mambas top the Mens and Womens tournaments respectively. The 2019 defending champions the Blyde River Bunters suffered their second successive defeat while the Addo Elephants marched back into contention. But first the day began with the St. Lucia Lakers and Namaqualand Daisies playing their first game of the 2019 tournament.

It was record breaking start to the second day of the 2019 CTM Premier Hockey League when the St. Lucia Lakers and the Namaqualand Daisies started their campaigns. The record they beat was one they held together, being the most goals in a game. The 8 scored today beats the seven they shared in their first meeting in 2016.

The Daisies will be disappointed to have ended the contest with a defeat after leading 2-0 and 3-2 in the game. Sare Laubscher and Thati Segoale started the game almost unbelievably for the Daisies with goals in the 6th and 7th minutes. A frenetic second quarter saw the Lakers peg back twice through Steph Baxter and Lilian du Plessis but trailing again to Jean-Leigh du Toit. If the Daisies were hoping to get to the break even, they were disappointed as Polly Mashau levelled again.

After six goals in the first half there was the inevitable third quarter stillness before the Lakers landed the killer blow in the final quarter netting through the sensational Tegan Fourie and securing the victory with a late Megan Anderson strike to secure a place in the record book and a winning start under the tutelage of Tarrin Ramsden.

In an act that we have seen before by Cheslyn Gie’s side the Addo Elephants, the 2018 runners-up bounced back from an opening day defeat to surge to a bonus point 5-0 victory over the Golden Gate Gladiators.

Reza Rosenberg opened the scoring for the Elephants with the only goal in the first half with a tap in from one metre after great work from good friend Julian Hykes. The first half would hardly have prepared you for the carnage that was about to come as the second half and the final quarter saw the Elephants ramp home their advantage over the deflated Gladiators. Cerezo Comersamy got the second and third with two well taken finishes before Sinoxolo Mbekeni got his second of the tournament after Kyle Coker had made three superb saves but a deflection beat him almost unfairly!

There was no lack of fortune with the Elephants fifth and final goal. Elephants and South African legend Julian Hykes re-joined Richard Pautz as the all time second highest goal scorer in CTM Premier Hockey League history when he finished into an empty net. 5-0 the final score.

Having been gifted two goal laden matches so far, the expectation for more just kept rising and although there was not as many goals the Orange River Rafters still entertained as they overcame their opening day disappointment with a 2-1 win over the Madikwe Rangers.

After hitting the post through Lisa Deetlefs, the Rangers had to watch the Rafter go 2-0 up through Sulette Damons and an absolute Dirkie Chamberlain thunderbolt. Sulette Damons goal itself was an experienced finished after a world class through ball from Charne Maddocks. The Rafters started pushing forward looking for a third and the bonus point that comes with that. Instead they ended up trying to preserve the victory when Kristen Paton pulled a goal back with a wonderfully worked penalty corner variation. The South African international was having an impactful game and the goal was just rewards for her performance. Unfortunately for the Rangers it was not enough, and they had to settle for their first defeat of the 2019 Campaign.

The Cavemen and Mambas were looking to steal a march on top spot as they met in the fourth game of the day. But only one team was going to end the day with their hands on the number one position. That team is the Mambas. 

In a battle of the Cassiem brothers, the younger Mustapha got the laugh as his strike deflected off the stick of Kyle Lion-Cachet and looped over Duncan Fischer to make it 1-0. Greg Last then missed a stroke for the Mambas who were the better team on the day. Their second goal though was somewhat fortuitous as Tevin Kok poured forward. He looked to cross the ball for Luthando Jones but a mis-hit off the edge saw the ball diver through Fischer’s legs and into the Cavemen goal.

The Cavemen pulled off Fischer for the final four minutes and the decision paid benefit as Craig Wiid pulled a goal back with a blistering drag flick penalty corner. It gave Owen Mvimbi no chance on the line. Although both sides tried to get the games final goal, neither was able to and the Mambas secured the victory and top spot at this early stage of the 2019 tournament.

The final game of the day saw the 2019 champions the Blyde River Bunters look to bounce back from their opening day defeat as they took on the Wineland Wings. The Bunters though were left with more questions and no points after a Jessica Lardant inspired Wings performance gave them a second defeat.

The Wings opened the scoring through Sylvia van Jaarsveldt, her 8th career Premier Hockey League goal. They created shot after shot and were as dominant as they have been in a PHL matchup. The match was settled for the Wings when a brilliant press effected the turnover and found Tarryn Glasby open in the D. The South African international rode the challenge of Mbande in the Bunters goal before finishing coolly. The win moved the Wings to the top of the 2019 CTM Premier Hockey league table.

CTM Premier Hockey League – 19 July Results

08:00 – (W) – Namaqualand Daisies 3-5 St. Lucia Lakers
10:00 – (M) – Golden Gate Gladiators 0-5 Addo Elephants
12:00 – (W) – Orange River Rafters 2-1 Madikwe Rangers
14:00 – (M) – Maropeng Cavemen 1-2 Mapungubwe Mambas
16:00 – (W) – Blyde River Bunters 0-2 Wineland Wings

CTM Premier Hockey League – 20 July Fixtures

10:00 – (W) – Orange River Rafters vs. Blyde River Bunters
12:00 – (M) – Drakensberg Dragons vs. Garden Route Gazelles
14:00 – (W) – Namaqualand Daisies vs. Madikwe Rangers
16:00 – (M) – Golden Gate Gladiators vs. Maropeng Cavemen
18:00 – (W) – St. Lucia Lakers vs. Wineland Wings

SA Hockey Association media release

Boon makes move to Leo from Racing in huge Belgian league transfer

In one of the biggest transfers in the Belgian Honour Division’s history, Tom Boon will swap Racing Club de Bruxelles for champions Royal Leopold next season.

After a summer of speculation, Leo have won the signature of the iconic forward and they have tied him down to a five-year contract.

"It's true that it took a bit of time to come to fruition but it was essential for me that everything should be done in a state of the art way, " Boon said of the move.

"To be clear, I did not want to leave the club, even after the quarter-final loss to Herakles. However, I was really seduced by the project proposed by the Leo. I am 29 years old and I felt the urge to take on new challenges. I want to write a new chapter in my career and to do so, staying in Brussels, close to home, is a real plus."

He follows Max Plennevaux in joining the club, giving Leo one of the most formidable attacking line-ups and they have an EHL FINAL8 place to look forward to next Easter.

Boon follows Cedric Charlier in leaving Racing, Charlier departing for Dragons next season, with both hoping to land the national title.

"It's obvious that was in the back of my mind," said the Red Lions' top scorer with nearly 180 goals in 285 caps. "Leopold is a club that I have always respected. They are very ambitious.

“For the next seasons, the management has chosen to rely on several key players but also on young players from the region. That suits me perfectly. I will also have the chance to evolve with Max Plennevaux who I already know from the national team."

Boon started his career with White Star before moving to Uccle at age 11 and then on to Racing in 2009. He played two seasons with HC Bloemendaal from 2013 to 2015 before returning to Racing.

Euro Hockey League media release

Butali Warriors lock horns with Greensharks

By Elizabeth Mburugu

Champions Butali Sugar Warriors clash today with Greensharks in a Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League match at City Park.

Butali who are seeking to successfully defend their crown will be out to extend their unbeaten run as well as consolidate their top spot on the log. They will bank on their impressive record against Sharks to down them once again and bag maximum points.

The sugar millers have won three of their last five encounters against Sharks. In 2017, Butali dropped five points after playing to a barren draw and a 1-3 loss to Sharks which led to them finishing second behind winners Kenya Police.

Last season, Butali beat Sharks 2-1 and 2-0 in the first and second legs of the league and will be looking to maintain their good run over Sharks.

Butali captain Kenneth Nyongesa said Sharks are one of the toughest sides to play but they were prepared. “It has never been easy winning against Greensharks because they are a very tough side. Even so, we are well prepared and our aim is to bag maximum points,” Nyongesa said.  

His Greensharks counterpart Victor Osiche said they want to end Butali’s dominance over them. “We have always given them a tough time on the pitch despite losing narrowly in our recent encounters. We have trained well and we are hoping to turn the tables and carry the day,” Osiche said.

Butali top the log with 14 points, two more than fourth placed Sharks and a victory will see them open a four point lead between them and second and third placed Wazalendo and Western Jaguars. 

The Standard Digital

Fitri eyes lecturer job as well as help Malaysia earn spot in Tokyo Games

KUALA LUMPUR: For national hockey player Mohd Fitri Saari (pic), the sky is the limit.

The 26-year-old Fitri wants to help Malaysia qualify for next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games but he does not want to miss an opportunity to pursue his dream of becoming a lecturer.

He has signed up for a Masters degree in education at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and will begin his studies in September.

Fitri, who marshals the midfield in the national team, said he would strive for excellence in both fields.

“Not many hockey players get the chance to do a Masters degree programme. I consider myself lucky and I don’t want to waste the opportunity,” said the Kuala Terengganu lad.

“It’s a two-year programme. I’ll focus on becoming a lecturer once I retire from this sport.

“I know my schedule with the national team is busy. I’ll take a break from studies for a month in October to compete in the playoff matches. This is the final platform to qualify for the Olympics,” said the father of twin sons.

Fitri has represented Malaysia for seven years and has played in all major tournaments except for the Olympics.

“I want to play in the Olympics once before I retire. This is my motivation,” said Fitri, who has represented Malaysia 166 times.

Malaysia have not featured in the Olympics since Sydney in 2000.

“We want to defy the odds and take Malaysian hockey to the Olympics for the first time in 20 years,” said Fitri, whose elder brother Faizal is the forward in the national team.

The national team comprising 20 players will leave for Europe tomorrow to play nine matches in preparation for the Olympic playoff matches in October.

The Star of Malaysia

The Walmiki brothers’ journey — from darkness to light

Amazing success story of the siblings from Mumbai

Ashwin Achal

The stars: The Walmiki brothers, Devinder and Yuvraj, are keen to get back into national reckoning. 

The Walmiki brothers, Yuvraj and Devinder, recall the great hardships they had faced when they were young.

“Very often, I had to skip meals so that Devinder had something to eat. Our family lived in a small shanty in Mumbai, with no electricity, water or even a proper roof,” Yuvraj, the elder of the two, tells The Hindu here on Friday.

Their life forever changed when Yuvraj scored a crucial tie-break goal against Pakistan in the final of the 2011 Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament in China. “My parents had taken a lot of loans to help us pursue our dream of playing hockey. When Yuvraj returned from China, he paid off all the loans — totalling around ₹30 lakh,” Devinder says.

Dream realised

Watching Yuvraj shine strengthened Devinder’s resolve to break into the Indian team. The ultimate dream was realised in 2015, when both Yuvraj and Devinder scored a goal each in a 3-0 win over Poland in the Hockey World League semifinal.

“All the newspapers carried a photo of me lifting and hugging Yuvraj, with a headline ‘Walmiki Brothers do India proud’. That was a truly memorable moment,” Devinder says.

Along with the highs came the lows as well, when injuries and other issues forced Yuvraj out of the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. Devinder, on the other hand, made it to the 2016 Rio Games.

“We have one Olympian in our house, which is something to celebrate,” Yuvraj says.

Out of favour

Devinder too has since fallen out of favour with the national selectors, but like Yuvraj, he hasn’t given up hopes of making a grand comeback yet. “We still have international quality; all we need is one chance to prove ourselves,” Yuvraj says.

Regardless of what the future holds, the brothers can take pride in what they have accomplished so far.

“When I started playing hockey in 1999, my mother struggled to buy ice to treat my injuries.

“She would wash my match jersey every single day with her bare hands. When I scored against Pakistan in 2011, she watched the match on our neighbour’s television. Right through school, Devinder and I studied under candle light. Now we have a television, washing machine, air conditioner, lights and fans — things that my parents have never owned in their lives.

“Even now I get emotional when I think of those days. From darkness to light — that is our journey,” Yuvraj says.

The Hindu

Walmiki brothers: A mother’s diktat

A thunderous reverse-flick from forward Yuvraj gives Bengaluru United Hockey Club the lead against South Central Railway in the Bengaluru Hockey super division championship here on Friday.

His younger brother, midfielder Devinder, is among the first to run over and congratulate him.

“If Yuvraj doesn’t score a goal, I get into trouble because our mother scolds me for not passing the ball and creating chances for him,” Devinder laughs and says.

Yuvraj nods in agreement. “I call my mother after every match.

“If I don’t score a goal, my mother bluntly says that I am not fit to be a striker. So it’s imperative for me to keep finding the net, or else we’ll be in big trouble when we return to our home in Mumbai,” Yuvraj says.

The Hindu

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