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News for 05 August 2019

All the news for Monday 5 August 2019

Pan Am Games 2019 (Women) - Quarter-finals
Lima (PER)


4 Aug 2019     ARG v PER (QF1)     21 - 0
4 Aug 2019     CAN v MEX (QF3)     9 - 0
4 Aug 2019     URU v CHI (QF2)     0 - 5
4 Aug 2019     CUB v USA (QF4)     0 - 9

FIH Match Centre

Women's semifinal picture becomes clear

Ali Baggott

URU v CHI. Photo: Yan Huckendubler

On Day 7 of the Pan American Games the quarter-finals took place with the Top 4-ranked teams emerging with shutout victories. The semifinal games are now locked in and Canada will play USA, while Argentina will play Chile.

Quarter-final: Argentina vs. Peru (21-0)

On Day 7 of the Pan American Games, top-ranked Argentina beat Peru 21-0 to easily book their spot in to the semifinals. Argentina have been in the last eight Pan American Games finals but have not won gold since 2007, the same year that marked the sixth-straight gold for the Leonas at the Pan American Games.


Quarter-final: Canada vs. Mexico (9-0)

A convincing 9-0 victory over Mexico gave the Canadian Wolfpack their ticket in to the Pan American Games semifinals and just two games away from their ultimate goal of Olympic qualification. Eight different Canadians scored in the game including two from Natalie Sourisseau.


Quarter-final: Uruguay vs. Chile (0-5)

Three goals from Maria Maldonado powered Chile to a 5-0 victory over Uruguay to lock up the first semifinal match up. Chile will play Argentina in the first semifinal, while Uruguay will prepare to face Peru in the consolation round.


Quarter-final: Cuba vs. USA (0-9)

The USA came out firing for a 9-0 win over Cuba to wrap up Day 7. The Americans will advance to the semifinals where they will face Canada. Cuba will cross-over with Mexico to play in the 5-8th bracket.


Seminal action continues on August 6 with games at 15:00 (Argentina vs. Chile) and 17:15 (USA vs. Canada). The cross-over games for 5-6th place will take place at 9:30 (Peru vs. Uruguay) and 11:45 (Cuba vs. Mexico). All games times are listed local to Lima (-5 GTM).

The final day of women’s competition will take place on August 9 with the 7/8th place game at 9:30, 5/6th place game at 11:45, the bronze medal game at 15:00 and the gold-medal game at 17:15.

Follow the Pan American Hockey Federation on InstagramTwitter and Facebook at @panamhockey and online at panamhockey.org for the latest information.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

Strong Win for USWNT Over Cuba in Pan American Games Quarterfinals

LIMA, Peru - It was four years ago at the last edition of the Pan American Games since the No. 14 U.S. Women’s National Team faced No. 63 Cuba. In the final quarterfinal match of the day at the 2019 event in Lima, Peru at the Villa Maria Triunfo complex, USA secured their ticket to the semifinals with another strong goalscoring performance despite the adversity caused by Cuba’s relentless defense. Tallying five goals in the third quarter alone, USA’s determination to score showed as they went on to defeat Cuba 9-0.

The opening minutes saw USA take control of the possession. The red, white and blue swung it around the backfield and worked it into the corners trying to break through Cuba’s defense. A few circle entries were present, but USA was unable to find an outcome. In the 8th minute, Ashley Hoffman (Mohnton, Pa.) pushed a hard ball into the circle and earned USA their first penalty corner after it hit a Cuba foot. The slip to Linnea Gonzales (Bel Air, Md.) was swept down to Lauren Moyer (York, Pa.) who deflected it in to put USA on the scoreboard. USA didn’t let up their offensive pressure and continued to attack Cuba’s circle. A build up down the right side found Gonzales who drove into the circle and earned USA another penalty corner. Although unsuccessful off the first attempt, Kathleen Sharkey’s (Moosic, Pa.) straight shot hit a Cuba foot and earned another chance. The second try saw Hoffman send a low drag into the right corner to extend the lead to 2-0 just before the quarter closed.

Remaining on the front foot, USA resumed their game plan and swung it around the backfield with patience looking for the opportune moment to push forward. Good looks came through Sharkey, Moyer, Danielle Grega (Kingston, Pa.) and Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.) but Cuba’s defense continued to step and contest every shot. In the 22nd minute, Anna Dessoye (Mountaintop, Pa.) took a free hit quickly and pushed it through to Mackenzie Allessie (Mount Joy, Pa.) who put it on her backhand and swept it into the net making it 3-0. Following, a close chance came for Cuba as Yuraima Vera Rojas drove into their attacking 25, beat three USA defenders and passed it across to Yeskenia Gutierre, but she couldn’t get a touch. On the run, USA immediately took it down the other way as Grega weaved her way to the top of the circle, dished it left to Sharkey and got it back but her touch on goal was stopped by Cuba's goalkeeper Yurismailis Garcia. Cuba countered off this chance, got it into their circle and a shot by Vera Rojas was saved by USA goalkeeper Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas) but the rebound hit a USA foot, giving Cuba a penalty corner. Unable to convert, the halftime score stood in favor of USA 3-0.

USA started a bit slow in the third quarter, and in the second minute Cuba earned a quick circle entry. The slow pass ahead forced Bing to come out and clear the chance. This was followed by USA working it down the other way as Sharkey passed to Matson who sent it forward to Allessie in the corner. Allessie sent it back to Sharkey but goalkeeper Garcia got a touch on it. USA didn’t let up and tallied three goals in three minutes. The first came in the 36th when Matson was quick on a reception and pushed it toward goal. Goalkeeper Garcia stepped but the rebound fell to Casey Umstead (Green Lane, Pa.) who ripped it into the goal. Next on a textbook penalty corner play, Hoffman sent it down to Grega off the right post who tapped it in. Lastly, what started as a backfield transfer was sent forward and deflected enroute off a Cuba defender, the ball went to Manley who tucked it into the goal to make it 6-0. After a Cuba penalty corner, the goal scoring continued for USA as they added two more in the 43rd and 44th minutes. The first came after Matson used individual skill to drive the left baseline and feed it back to Allessie for her second of the game. The second when Sharkey was left alone in the circle and calmly put it in off the reverse. USA finished the quarter with an unsuccessful penalty corner but held the 8-0 lead.

The fourth quarter resumed in similar fashion for USA. As fatigue started setting in for Cuba, they dropped their press line deeper making it hard for USA to find positive circle outcomes. After an unsuccessful earlier penalty corner, the constant attack paid off for USA in the 53th minute when Hoffman sent another down to Grega off the right post to make it 9-0. A minute following, Cuba found a spark off a breakaway as they worked it up field. On the play, Caitlin Van Sickle (Wilmington, Del.) was issued a green card for a stick tackle but USA’s defensive unit shut down the threat. USA earned three more penalty corners in the closing minutes of play that they were unable to convert, leaving the score at USA 9, Cuba 0.

The U.S. Women’s National Team has advanced to the Pan American Games semifinals where they will face No. 18 Canada on Tuesday, August 6 at 6:15 p.m. ET.

USFHA media release

Team Canada defeats Mexico and books spot in semifinals

Canada’s thorough 9-0 win over Mexico sets up semifinal tilt on Tuesday

Photo: Yan Huckendubler

A convincing 9-0 victory over Mexico gave the Canadian Wolfpack their ticket in to the Pan American Games semifinals and just two games away from their ultimate goal of Olympic qualification. Eight different Canadians scored in the game including two from Natalie Sourisseau.

Canada quickly established their presence against Mexico as captain Kate Wright earned her side a penalty corner in just the second minute of play. Karli Johansen’s flick was steered away by Mexican keeper Jesus Castillo. Another penalty corner for Canada just minutes later was no the same story as Johansen this time flicked low and the ball beat Castillo past her left boot to lift Canada 1-0. Midfielder Rachel Donohoe made it 2-0 on a solo run in to the circle finished on the back hand.

Canada had a series of attacks but the Mexico defence of Marlet Correa and Mireya Bianchi continued to get their sticks in the way. In the 18th minute Canada had another chance for Johansen at the top of the circle but Bianchi was there to clear the ball of Castillo’s pads. After two corners were denied, the Canadian Wolfpack found a way with a different variation this time a Natalie Sourisseau deflection on a delivery from Johansen to make it 3-0. Mexico started to collapse in to their circle giving way for Brienne Stairs to weave through open lanes and feed Maddie Secco in the circle. Secco’s shot hit traffic but Amanda Woodcroft followed up from a tight angle and made it 4-0 for Canada.

Another penalty corner variation in the third quarter gave the Canadians a 5-0 lead. Johansen faked the flick and made a nifty pass to McManus who finished on her back hand. All of Mexico packed their circle but some how Sourisseau was left unmarked on a rebound off a Stephanie Norlander shot. Sourisseau even took an extra touch before burying a goal to make it 6-0.

Canada had three straight corners in the 41st minute. On the third attempt, Johansen flicked in her second of the game to bring Canada up by seven. In the 43rd minute Norlander sprung Brienne Stairs on a breakaway from outside the 23-meter area. Stairs patiently drew Castillo out and flipped the ball in to make 8-0, while scoring her fourth of the tournament. Haughn tapped in a ninth goal for Canada off an Anna Mollenhauer pass across the goalmouth in the 52nd minute.

A 9-0 quarterfinal win for Canada was on par with the teams’ last match up in 2018 when Canada won 8-1 at the Hockey Series Open in Salamanca.

Canada advances to the semifinals where they will face the winner of USA and Cuba. Argentina has also advanced to the semifinal to play the winner of Chile and Uruguay.

Photo: Yan Huckendubler

Field Hockey Canada media release

Pan Am Games 2019 (Men) - Day 8
Lima (PER)

Fixtures (GMT -5)

5 Aug 2019 13:30     ARG v PER (QF1)
5 Aug 2019 15:45     CHI v MEX (QF3)
5 Aug 2019 18:00     CUB v USA (QF2)
5 Aug 2019 20:15     TTO v CAN (QF4)

FIH Match Centre

Live From Lima: Quarterfinal Scouting Report - USMNT vs. Cuba

As a lead up to today’s Pan American Games (PAG) match-up, here are a few details you’ll want to know before the starting whistle.

Game Day: Monday, August 5, 2019

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET

Opponent: Cuba

FIH World Ranking: 69

2015 Pan American Games Finish: 8

Current Pan American Games Record: 1-0-2

Last Time USA Played Opponent: The No. 24 USMNT last faced No. 69 Cuba four years ago at the 2015 Pan American Games in their first match of the tournament. USA led with three goals in the first half, including a penalty corner goal by Aki Kaeppeler (Stuttgart, Germany). Cuba made a comeback, scoring three goals to even the score as time ran out. Over the course of pool play and crossovers, Cuba came away with close games against No. 4 Argentina and No. 37 Trinidad and Tobago but claimed no victories.

What You Need to Know: Cuba holds one win in the 2019 Pan American Games thus far after beating Trinidad and Tobago, 3-2, with goals coming from Carlos Consuegra and Roger Aguilera. They fell to Argentina and Chile by nine and four goals respectively, landing them third place in Pool A. The USMNT placed second in their Pool B, defeating Mexico and Peru by large goal margins. Deegan Huisman (Almere, The Netherlands), Alberto Montilla (Allen, Texas) and A. Kaeppeler lead in goalscoring for USA. Their only loss came to Canada where they were unable to get on the board and answer a four-goal setback. The winner of this match will go on to face either Argentina or Peru in the PAG Semifinals.

Cuba Name Roster:

#            Name     Caps
1           Leordan Hernandez (GK)     44
2           Yendry Delgado (GK)     2
3           Widmer Verrier     8
4           Denis Rodriguez     15
5           Juan Lope     7
7           Carlos Consuegra     8
8           Darian Valero     48
9           Renaldo Gonzalez     41
10           Wilfredo Sanchez     8
11           Felix Mena     3
12           Maikel Tritzant (C)     40
14           Iraidys Calderon     8
15           Richard Somontes     1
16           Rogers Aguilera     54
20           Yasmany Gutierrez     42
21           Julio Galarraga     8
            Head Coach: Alain Bardaji      
            Assistant Coach: Hilario Yera      
            Manager: Dauly Noriega      

USFHA media release

EuroHockey Championship II (Women) 2019 - Day 2
Glasgow, Scotland


4 Aug 2019     ITA v WAL (Pool A)         3 - 1
4 Aug 2019     POL v TUR (Pool A)     6 - 0
4 Aug 2019      SCO v UKR (Pool B)     7 - 0
4 Aug 2019     CZE v AUT (Pool B)     2 - 2

Fixtures (GMT +1)

5 Aug 2019 15:45     WAL v TUR (Pool A)   
5 Aug 2019 18:00     POL v ITA (Pool A)   

Pool Standings

Pool A

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Poland 1 1 0 0 6 0 6 3
2 Italy 1 1 0 0 3 1 2 3
3 Wales 1 0 0 1 1 3 -2 0
4 Turkey 1 0 0 1 0 6 -6 0

Pool B

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Scotland 1 1 0 0 7 0 7 3
2 Austria 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 1
2 Czech Republic 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 1
4 Ukraine 1 0 0 1 0 7 -7 0

FIH Match Centre

Seven-goal Scotland beat Ukraine on opening day of Women’s EuroHockey Championship II

Photo: Duncan Gray

Scotland, cheered on by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and a full house of fans at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre, won their opening match of Women’s EuroHockey Championship II 7-0.

A double for both Kaz Cuthbert and Lucy Lanigan; and goals from Charlotte Watson; Emily Dark; and Fiona Burnet gave Scotland an excellent opening result to the tournament.

Scotland got off to a flying start; Charlotte Watson opened the scoring after good build up down the right. The ball was cut back by Kaz Cuthbert who finished off by Watson for 1-0.

Lucy Lanigan came close a short time later when her shot in the D was well blocked. Lanigan wouldn’t be denied a second time when she slid the ball low past the goalkeeper for 2-0.

Scotland v Ukraine – photo by Duncan Gray

A good break by Scotland down the right had Sarah Jamieson turn well and smash the post with a powerful effort.

It went to 3-0 in the second quarter when captain Cuthbert smashed a rebound from a penalty corner low against the backboard for 3-0.

The Scots were rampant. Sarah Robertson ran half the length of the pitch and picked out Emily Dark at the far post, but she mishit the shot and it bounced clear.

Dark was heavily involved in Scotland’s fourth goal; a slick break down the right found Dark in the D who tried to force the ball home, her effort broke to Fiona Burnet and she made it 4-0.

Ukraine had a very good spell of pressure as they tried to play their way back into the match. Amy Gibson was forced into a quality save at her top right corner to keep the Ukrainians out.

The comeback was put down by a screamer by Emily Dark. Dark unleashed an absolute rocket into the bottom left corner of the net for 5-0.

Lanigan then bagged her double through a very good team goal by Scotland. A counter attack saw Jamieson produce some mesmeric skill to go past a couple of defenders, to find Lanigan to score from close range.

Cuthbert completed the scoring when she bagged her second when she popped up at the far post to prod the ball home and make it 7-0.

Scotland v Ukraine. The Scotland team with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. – photo by Duncan Gray

Scottish Hockey Union media release

2019 4 Nations Invitational Tournament (M)
Barcelona (ESP)


4 Aug 2019 10:00 ENG v MAS (RR)    3 - 3
4 Aug 2019 12:00 IRL v ESP (RR)       2 - 2

Final Pool Standings

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Malaysia 3 2 1 0 9 7 2 7
2 Spain 3 1 1 1 9 8 1 4
3 Ireland 3 0 2 1 6 7 -1 2
4 England 3 0 2 1 8 10 -2 2

FIH Match Centre

Malaysia make heads turn

By Jugjet Singh

Razie Rahim (left) defends against an England player in Terrassa, Spain, yesterday.

THE national team ended their Four-Nation campaign by holding World No 6 England to a 3-3 draw in Terrassa, Spain yesterday.

In earlier matches, they defeated World No 9 Spain (4-3) and 11th-ranked Ireland (2-1).

For the record, Malaysia were the lowest ranking team in the competition at World No 12.

Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal hopes the players will learn from the experience in Spain.

“Our team were thrashed 7-0 by England in last year’s Commonwealth Games, so the draw today is a great result,” said Subahan yesterday.

“We sent our players there to learn how to be consistent in their approach and I think they are picking up fast and gaining confidence.

“I hope the team will carry forward this momentum into the Olympic Qualifier (in October), where we need to win and qualify for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

“The coach (Roelant Oltmans) has been in constant contact with me and there will be a few changes in the team after they return from Europe.”

In yesterday’s match, Malaysia scored through Razie Rahim, Fitri Saari and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil.

The team will now head to the Netherlands to play against the Dutch on Aug 6-8 before moving their base to Antwerp for friendly matches against Belgium on Aug 9-12.

After the stint in Europe, Oltmans’ side will be involved in a Four-Nation with New Zealand, Australia and Japan on Aug 19-23 to test the Olympic venue in Tokyo.

New Straits Times

Hockey team draw cheers after topping four-nation tournament


Razie Rahim

PETALING JAYA: The national hockey team have received a timely boost ahead of the Olympic Games qualifiers.

Malaysia were held to a 3-3 draw by world No. 6 England in the final match of the four-nation invitation tournament in Barcelona, Spain, on Sunday but it was good enough for them to emerge as the champions.

World No. 12 Malaysia collected seven points to top the league.

In the earlier two matches, they fought back from two goals down to beat world No. 9 Spain 4-2 and again staged a comeback to beat 11th ranked Ireland 2-1.

The Malaysians stumped the English lads by taking a two-goal lead in the first half through penalty corner specialist Razie Rahim (pic) (third minute) and Fitri Saari (ninth).

England fought back through Sam Ward in the 24th minute and Christopher Griffiths in the 34th.

A resilient Malaysia regained the lead through Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil in the 54th minute but Phil Roper saved England the blushes by scoring the all-important equaliser in the 57th.

Razie is Malaysia’s top scorer in the tournament with three goals while Fitri and Tengku Ahmad have two each.

The side led by Roelant Oltmans have impressed in Europe and are hoping to win their Olympic Games ticket during the final qualifiers in Europe in November.

But before that, Malaysia play friendly matches against Holland (two matches) in Breda from Aug 6-8 and Belgium (two matches) in Antwerp from Aug 10-12.

The Star of Malaysia

England rally to secure draw in final Four Nations match

Late Roper strike secures draw in final Four Nations match

Phil Roper’s finish three minutes from full-time secured a 3-3 draw against Malaysia in England’s last Four Nations match as their preparations continue for the upcoming EuroHockey Championship in less than a fortnight’s time.

It was the second time in the tournament the team have struck late in a match to secure a draw with Mark Gleghorne pulling England level in their first match against Ireland.

There were several changes made to the team that were defeated last time out by Spain, but England started this game slowly and struggled to contain the attacking impetus from Malaysia.

The opposition profited from their early momentum and were two goals up within ten minutes, both times finding success through penalty corners.

England replied with one of their own before half-time, Sam Ward notching his third goal in just two games after bagging a brace against Spain on Friday, as the forward swept the ball in with a well-executed penalty corner routine.

Parity was restored just after the interval as Chris Griffiths got on the scoresheet with the team looking much improved from the opening minutes of the game.

Though England had battled their way back into the match, they were dealt another challenge to face as Malaysia found the back of the net with little over five minutes remaining.

Pushing forward in attack, England found an equaliser with just three minutes remaining as Phil Roper converted from a penalty corner to ensure the team wouldn’t finish the tournament with defeat.

Head Coach Danny Kerry commented after the match: “A poor start meant we conceded two goals whilst playing into hands of Malaysia. We took control of the game in second-half and the Malaysia ‘keeper played well.

“We experimented with some scenarios including playing with a keeper off for long periods and then had to play with a player down for 10. The lads did well to play themselves back into game under the hot conditions. Lots has been learnt towards selection for Euros and building on our game.”

England’s EuroHockey Championship campaign begins on Saturday 17 August against Wales at 10:15am BST before ties against Belgium (5pm BST, Sunday 18 August) and Spain (12:30pm BST, Tuesday 20 August) in the group stages with the team targeting gold at the competition to seal qualification to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

England 3 (1)
Ward (24', PC), Griffiths (34', FG), Roper (57', PC)

Malaysia 3 (2)
Rahim (3', PC), Saari (9', PC), Tajuddin (54', FG)
England Starting XI: Pinner, Willars, Ames, Jackson, Griffiths, Sloan, Hoare, Ward, Roper, Dixon, Condon
England Subs (Used): Gibson, Weir, Martin, Gleghorne, Sorsby, Calnan, Wallace
England Subs (Not used): Waller, Ansell, Gall

England Hockey Board Media release

Ireland denied win over Spain with last play in Terrassa

Ireland fell to a last minute equaliser for the second time in three outings in Terrassa to leave them in third place from their Four Nations event.

On Sunday, Shane O’Donoghue twice had Ireland in front from set piece goals but Spain fought back both times with Ignacio Rodriguez netting with the last play of the game for a 2-2 outcome.

O’Donoghue gave the Green Machine the lead in the 13th minute from a penalty stroke and they were good value for that slender lead at half-time.

Spain, though, pounced on some indecision in defence to win a penalty corner which Pau Quemada converted for 1-1 in the third quarter.

O’Donoghue restored the advantage with his fourth goal of the competition – his 106th international strike – with eight minutes to go.

But Spain, ranked ninth in the world to Ireland’s 11th, came on strong in the last phase and won a set piece which Rodriguez got on the end of, denying Ireland a win over Spain for just a second time in 17 meetings.

It followed Thursday’s 3-3 draw with England when former Irish international Mark Gleghorne nabbed a leveller with less than a minute to go.

As such, Ireland ended third overall with a sense of frustration as two wins slipped them by. Malaysia were overall winners with Spain second and England fourth.

Alexander Cox’s Irish side will complete their pre-European Championships match preparations with a Tuesday rematch against Spain in Barcelona.

Men’s Four Nations (Terrassa)

Ireland 2 (S O’Donoghue 2) Spain 2 (P Quemada, I Rodriguez)

Ireland: J Carr, J Jackson, J Bell, E Magee, K Shimmins, S O’Donoghue, S Murray, B Walker, D Walsh, P Gleghorne, L Cole
Subs: T Cross, M Robson, C Harte, J Duncan, S Loughrey, S Cole, M Ingram

Spain: Q Cortes, S Enrique, I Rodriguez, M Salles, R Santana, L Piera, X Lleonart, V Ruiz, A Beltran, J Romeu, P Quemada
Subs: R Sanchez, M Serrahima, E Gonzalez, J Tarres, D Arana, M Miralles, M Garin

The Hook

Cross’s Mother instrumental in new man joining the Green Machine

By John Flack

Tim Cross in action for Ireland against Scotland last week. Pic: Andrew McKibbin

Ireland’s new Australian signing Tim Cross has revealed that he owes a debt of gratitude to his Ulster-born mother, who was instrumental in persuading him to switch his allegiance from his country of birth.

Cross, who plays his club hockey for Tilburg in the notoriously tough Dutch top-flight, made his debut against Scotland in Glasgow last week.

He is set to win his fifth cap as Ireland round off their Four Nations campaign against their Spanish hosts in Barcelona today.

It’s been a whirlwind few weeks for Cross, who was named in the squad for this month’s European Championship in Antwerp just two days after winning his first cap.

The midfielder, who can also play in defence, qualifies for Ireland due to the fact he has an Irish passport and players can switch their allegiance provided they haven’t lined out at senior level for another country for at least three years.

Cross’s move bucks the trend somewhat after several Irish players switched to England and Great Britain in the past few years, having previously earned eight caps for the Kookaburras.

They include ex-Annadale star Iain Lewers, former Instonian Mark Gleghorne and Cookstown natives Ian Sloan and David Ames with Banbridge man Kyle Marshall the latest to swap green for red.

Marshall played for England’s Under-21s at the recent European Junior Championship in Valencia and, unlike the other former Ireland players didn’t have to fulfil the three year period in exile as he hadn’t previously played at senior level for Ireland.

Cross says he has no regrets about declaring for Ireland after previously making eight appearances for his native country.

He enthused: “My mum is originally from Newtownards and she encouraged me to look into the possibility of switching because I had an Irish passport.

“I hadn’t given it much thought before she made the suggestion but I decided I might as well go for it, jump in at the deep end and have a crack at it so here we are today.

“I am really happy with the decision and I have really enjoyed being part of the squad.

“They are a great bunch of guys and they have been really welcoming even though I am not from Ireland.

“I was bit nervous before my first match in which I just wanted to go out and play my usual game and the guys helped me out.

“Once the game started the butterflies disappeared and it was a lot of fun and I’m just glad of the opportunity to continue the journey and play more games at the Europeans.”

Alexander Cox, who became aware of Cross’s ability in the Netherlands where the Ireland boss doubles up as head coach of Kampong said: “Tim can play in two lines, either in defence or midfield and he has good basics as well as an attacking mindset, coming with his Australian hockey background.”

The Hook

2019 Test matches BEL v GER - 1st Test
Wilrijk (BEL)

4 Aug 2019     BEL v GER     2 - 2

FIH Match Centre

Big names return for the Vantage Black Sticks Men for series in Tokyo

Vantage Black Sticks Men’s Coach Darren Smith has named an incredibly strong side for their test series in Tokyo this month against India, Malaysia and Japan in the Ready, Steady Tokyo tournament. There are four players in the team who have played more than 200 times for the Vantage Black Sticks, while Sam Lane is the only player to not have played more than 50 caps for his country.
The side sees the return of Simon Child for the first time since the 2016 Rio Olympics, having missed the past three years through injury. Child has played 274 matches for the Vantage Black Sticks and scored a massive 150 goals in that time. The kiwis will be looking for all his experience as the team is gearing up for 2020 Tokyo qualification.

Black Sticks Coach Darren Smith commented on Child’s return to the side "It's fantastic to have Simon with us, he is a world class player and we are excited to have him back. Over the past 3 years he has been recovering from his hip injury and then has returned to hockey well. In Japan we will ease him back in and want him to love being back in the black jersey".
The event in Tokyo is going to be the Black Sticks final hit out before they travel to Rockhampton and take on Australia in the Oceania Cup from the 4th-8thSeptember. The winner of the Oceania Cup will gain direct entry to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The New Zealand Men have also welcomed former Kookaburra Glen Turner into the coaching staff. Turner played 136 times for the Australian Men and scored 96 goals in his illustrious career which also included two World Cup gold medals and an Olympic bronze.

Having another world class coach joining the side Smith commented "Glenn Turner joins us as striker coach for the Olympic campaign. This is an impressive man who is an Olympic medalist and two time World Cup winner. He is also a proven goal scorer at the international level, which our team can learn from. He has already made an impact over this training week”.

Darren Smith stated of the importance of this series "The Olympic test event against Japan, Malaysia and India gives us the opportunity to get ready for qualification and also see what the environment will be like in Tokyo. Considering the toughness of getting a ticket to the Olympics the biggest priority will be playing well and getting ready for qualifying with the 2nd part around experiencing the location a bonus".
Vantage Black Sticks Men - Ready, Steady, Tokyo Squad





Richard Joyce


North Harbour


George Enersen




Shea McAleese




Cory Bennett


North Harbour


Dane Lett




Blair Tarrant




Arun Panchia




Kane Russell




Nic Woods




Nick Ross




Marcus Child




Hugo Inglis

Midfielder / Striker



Simon Child

Midfielder / Striker



Hayden Phillips

Midfielder / Striker



Jacob Smith

Midfielder / Striker



Stephen Jenness




Sam Lane




George Muir


North Harbour


Tour Schedule
17thAugust – Vantage Black Sticks vs Japan – 10:00pm NZT
18thAugust – Vantage Black Sticks vs India – 10:00pm NZT
20thAugust – Vantage Black Sticks vs Malaysia – 12:30pm NZT
21stAugust – Finals Day

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Olympic goal remains clear focus for Green Army a year on from World Cup silver

By John Flack

Katie Mullan on the attack against Italy. Pic: Billy Pollock

It’s a year to the day since Ireland’s women won the hearts and minds of the nation by lifting the silver medals at the World Cup but team captain Katie Mullan insists there is still unfinished business to be done.

On that unforgettable day in London, a capacity 10,500 crowd turned the Lee Valley Stadium into a sea of green as Ireland’s fairy tale ended in a disappointing 6-0 to the Netherlands.

But the initial dejection at the final hooter lasted only briefly and quickly turned to elation as the magnitude of Ireland’s unprecedented achievement began to sink in with scenes of unbridled joy.

Since then, much has changed in Irish women’s hockey, with a higher profile for the sport and a new head coach following the shock departure of Graham Shaw to New Zealand with Sean Dancer moving in the opposite direction.

But while Ireland broke new ground in London, the Olympic dream remains unfulfilled and that’s something Mullan wants to put right a year on.

The Ballymoney player-coach said: “The last 12 months have been brilliant, the change for the sport in Ireland has been really positive, and we have a lot more kids playing the game which is great to see.”

“But, I think for us as players, we always said our aim was to qualify for an Olympic Games for the first time and even though last summer was amazing, we still haven’t reached that goal.

“That’s very grounding and we are working harder than ever to prepare ourselves for the qualifiers for Tokyo later this year.”

Ireland shot up the world rankings to eighth following their achievement in London and that should be enough to book them a two-legged qualifying tie, likely to be at home, with a ticket to Tokyo the rich reward for the aggregate winners.

The opposition will be confirmed after the conclusion of the various continental championships next month when a new set of world rankings will be calculated.

Ireland are off the Antwerp for the Europeans from August 16-25 and will have a dry run over the next few days when they take on Belgium in two internationals on Wednesday and Friday at the tournament venue.

Sean Dancer leads a team talk. Pic: Billy Pollock

Ireland continued their build-up with 7-0 and 4-1 wins over lower-ranked Italy at Stormont last week but Mullan admits Belgium, who are just one place lower on the global-list than Ireland, will be a step up in class.

Mullan added: “Belgium are a very different type of team to Italy with a different style and the games should be great preparation for the Europeans.

“Under Sean, we have been playing a more attacking style of hockey and it’s really exciting for us to get the opportunity to go forward more and take more risks.

“I think it suits us as a team, we are gradually getting used to it and, in the games against Italy, we dictated the pace which is something we want to be doing.”

The Hook

U.S. O-50 Men’s Masters Team Prepare for WMH European Masters Championship

KREFELD, Germany – In four days, the U.S. O-50 Men's Masters Team will start competition at the 2019 World Masters Hockey (WMH) European Masters Championship in Krefeld, Germany. Taking place from August 8 to 17 at the Crefeld Hockey and Tennis Club, this event will feature more than 30 men’s and women’s international teams from ten countries in the O-50 and O-55 age categories.

USA sits in Pool A with England, Ireland, Italy and Spain. Pool B features France, Germany, The Netherlands, Scotland and Wales. They will open up European Masters Championship play on Thursday, August 8 at 6:00 a.m. ET against Spain.

U.S O-50 Men’s Masters European Masters Championship Schedule:

Thursday, August 8        USA vs. Spain        6:00 AM ET
Friday, August 9        USA vs. Ireland    8:00 AM ET
Saturday, August 10    USA vs. Italy        7:00 AM ET
Tuesday, August 13    USA vs. England    10:00 AM ET

In preparation for the tournament the U.S. O-50 Men’s Masters Team had formal practices and competed in the Shooting Star Masters Tournament, a USA Field Hockey Sanctioned Event, from August 2 to 4 at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. The squad will arrive in Germany on August 7 where they will have practice sessions with their German coaching staff.

U.S. O-50 Men’s Masters European Masters Championship Roster:

Prashant Aji (San Jose, Calif.), Amir Akhtar (Tuttle, Okla.), Erik Enters (Harleysville, Pa.), Matt Hanson (Virginia Beach, Va.), Stanley Iyadurai (Dublin, Ohio), Peter Jones (Stamford, Conn.), Riaz Khan (Mission Viejo, Calif.), Markus Krueger (Seattle, Wash.), Damien Lanyon (Solana Beach, Calif.), Hugo Mazzalupi (Wayne, Pa.), John McGraw (Mechanicsburg, Pa.), Pradeep Menon (Cumming, Ga.), Michael Merkx (Moorestown, N.J.), Manny Morales (Miami, Fla.), Ulrich Reinhardt (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Alexander Rooks (Belmont, Mass.), Asim Siddiqui (Arlington, Va.), Paul Slaats (Ann Arbor, Mich.)

The O-50 men’s team will be led by head coach Claus Buehs, assisted by Christoph Weber and managed by Ishbel Dickens.

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

USFHA media release

Tips from ex-air force pilot to take wings

Handling pressure, especially in the dying moments of a match, has proved a major issue for Indian hockey teams.

B Shrikant

File image of women’s hockey team.(Getty Images)

What is similar between a fighter pilot and a hockey player? Though their jobs are as different as chalk and cheese, Sjoerd Marijne, chief coach of the Indian women’s hockey team sees one major thing that is common—both must know how to handle pressure, make split second decisions.

“If you are in a war and you have to fly, you cannot make mistakes because it is a matter of life and death. Though hockey is not about life and death but winning and not winning, we also can’t afford to make mistakes. Dealing with that pressure, pressure of qualifying, of winning, is special,” says Dutchman Marijne.

Handling pressure, especially in the dying moments of a match, has proved a major issue for Indian hockey teams. To improve his players’ ability to hold their nerve, Marijne recently invited a retired Air Force officer to conduct a session in Bengaluru, where the team is preparing for the Olympic Test Event in Tokyo slated later this month.

Some aspects of handling pressure were handled by Australian player Fergus Kavanagh when he held a clinic for defenders while Wg Cdr (retd) Abhishek Sinha addressed other issues.

“We are doing psychology sessions twice a week, we are training the body with specific skills on the pitch; for the mind too, we have to do the same. We have to keep training it, we can’t do one session once a month and it would be fine. For the mind, we have to keep training in different ways.

“We had a session with this Air Force pilot on how to deal with pressure. He had some great, great stories (to tell). All these will eventually help in making the team stronger in every aspect (of the game),” Marijne said over phone from Bengaluru at the weekend.

Taekwondo lessons

Besides the special camps for goalkeepers and defenders, the squad was also given lessons in taekwondo to help improve coordination and balance. “One of the things you need to do is force your opponents to make mistakes when in possession. Taekwondo is a sport in which balance is very important, and if you are not well-balanced, you will lose your match,” said Marijne.

One of the things on his to-do list is to hold sessions like shooting for his players as he feels it will help them improve concentration and precision.

The 45-year-old Dutch coach guided the team to silver in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and to the Tokyo Olympic Qualifying Tournament last month.

India will be up against the likes of world No 2 Australia, China (11th) and hosts Japan (14th) in the 2020 Olympics Test event (Aug 17-21) and Marijne is looking forward to it. India will get to play 4-5 tough matches in the event and it will be great opportunity for the players to test the lessons learnt in the special training sessions against strong opponents.

Hindustan Times

PHF vows to 'nationalise' hockey again, setting 2024 Summer Olympics as target

Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Secretary-General Asif Bajwa. Geo.tv/Author

KARACHI: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has set its eyes on the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris although the country's qualification to the games next year in Tokyo remains in the doldrums.

Speaking to Geo.tv, the PHF's newly-appointed secretary-general, Asif Bajwa, said the governing body for national hockey had set its eyes on the Paris Olympics scheduled for 2024 and, if everything goes according to the plan, the team would then be in a position to be on the medals' table.

“We have set Olympics 2024 as our target and have been planning to be at medals podium in the Olympics in 2024," Bajwa said in an interview with Geo.tv on Sunday. "I can assure you that we will be in a position to be among medal tally candidates."

The PHF boss, however, noted that he had still not given up hopes for the team's qualification for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. “We will know by next month about our tournament.

"We will play our best shot and try best to qualify for the next Olympics,” he said, adding that it was good to see hockey back in action and terming the national hockey championship a “satisfying sight”.

Bajwa said: “Hockey is our national sport and it was so unfortunate that we were not able to hold a national championship in the last two years.

"We have started resuming activities, and, of course, when you start doing things, you get to know about shortcomings. We have answered them all and, now, we are heading towards a final in a befitting manner.

"It is satisfying to see hockey being active again,” he mentioned.

Bajwa also highlighted his plans to expand Pakistan’s domestic hockey, with an aim to nationalise the sport once again. “Our plan is very ambitious,” he said.

“Our selection committee has been tasked to scout new talent. We want to add seven to eight national level tournaments in domestic hockey that will be spread to different venues of the country so that hockey can be seen being played everywhere, from KP to Sindh and Balochistan to Punjab.

"We want to nationalise hockey so that it can be played in each province of the country," he said. "Each province should host at least two tournaments."

In addition, Pakistan would also have a “Whites” team, along with a national squad and a junior team to prepare for the next junior world cup, the PHF chief explained. “We are also launching our program for 2025 junior world cup,” he said.

“This should have been started earlier … anyway, it is never too late,” Bajwa added, vowing not to let Pakistan miss any major tournament from now on.

Geo TV

Pak Hockey Federation's Secretary General says reviving bilateral ties with India top priority

The Pakistan Hockey Federation's newly-appointed Secretary General Asif Bajwa says reviving bilateral engagements with India is on top of his to-do list as that can lift PHF out of an ongoing financial crisis.

Bajwa, who took up the position only last month, said he is hopeful of succeeding in his efforts too even though he hasn't yet started work on it.

"It would be wrong to say I have had a chance to talk to anyone on the issue of bilateral hockey ties with India. But that is my main goal and I am very hopeful the ice will break soon between the two countries in hockey," he told PTI on Sunday at the Sattar Edhi hockey stadium in Karachi.

"The way I look at it, if we convince them to play, then it would give a big boost to hockey in Pakistan and also help us overcome our financial crunch," he added.

The last time India and Pakistan played a bilateral Test series was back in 2006. They have only been meeting at multi-lateral events ever since due to political tensions between the two neighbours.

Bajwa is believed to have good ties with top Indian sports administrator Narender Batra, who heads the Indian Olympic Association and the International Hockey Federation (FIH). Batra is also a former President of Hockey India.

The former Olympian said he would try to have talks with Batra soon on the possibility of having a bilateral series.

"If we can play like in the past on home and away basis perfect but we would also not rule out a neutral venue," he said.

Bajwa, who was PHF secretary general between 2008-13, said his focus is to make hockey a financially self-sufficient sport in the country.

"It is a great sign that we have managed to hold the National hockey championship after two years here...The way forward for us is to have at least eight to nine domestic events annually and also to eventually have our professional league hockey in the country with foreign players," he said.

Bajwa said Pakistan was in the process of paying a fine to the International Hockey Federation for not sending the team to the FIH Pro-Hockey League earlier this year.

"It was a mistake because the FIH Pro-Hockey League is the future of the sport and it will benefit us a lot. We still have a small window of opportunity available to us to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games but we have to wait and see what the FIH lines up for us," he said.

"But frankly speaking, I am already thinking ahead of preparing strong squads for the junior World Cup, senior World Cup, and the 2024 Olympic Games," he added.

Business Standard

South Africa's CTM PHL 2019 ends with two worthy champions

Photo - Marcel Sigg - Run, Ride, Dive

After 8 days and 38 games we have two champion sides. At the end of the adventure of the 2019 tournaments it’s the Madikwe Rangers celebrating their first title while the Drakensberg Dragons become just the second team to retain the title.

The Madikwe Rangers had the best chance early in the game when Nomnikelo Veto broke through the defence of the table topping Wineland Wings to have a one-on-one chance with Sandisiwe Tabata, in for Zimi Shange. However superb pressure from Dunell van Taak put Veto off her stride and the chance went astray.

The Wings created their own good chance, but nobody was able to convert after good by-line work from Tarryn Glasby. The Rangers then created another half chance but in truth both teams were defending impressively and the midfield battle between Kristen Paton and Jess Lardant was one of the finest CTM Premier Hockey League battles ever seen at Randburg.

The Rangers did however think they had taken the lead through Veto when she bundled home the ball after a goal mouth melee. The Wings though referred the decision and ultimately were proven correct as the ball had edged off Toni Marks shoe.

If there was doubt in that decision, there was no doubt a few minutes later when Veto fired in what could be the goal of the tournament to give the Rangers a lead. Picking up the ball on the right she moved into the D before firing home a superb tomahawk strike.

The goal opened the game up and the Wings looked to surge back into contention with Jade Mayne regularly pulling the strings in midfield. The pressure would eventually tell as Jessica Lardant got the goal her performance deserved.

That was the last big chance of the game and the 2019 title would be decided on a shootout. The Rangers scored their opening two, while the Wings missed theirs before a turnaround and three saves gave Stephanie Botha the chance to win the Wings the titles. Although she did eventually score it was well after the 8 second limit and it meant that we headed to sudden death. The order reversed and when Tarryn Glasby missed it gave Lise-Marie Deetlefs the opportunity to end the pain of two previous final defeats. She didn’t need to be offered twice as she fired home an unstoppable shot that sealed the match and a maiden CTM Premier Hockey League title for the Rangers.

The Drakensberg Dragons were also in their third final but unlike the Rangers had tasted victory before. The Mambas, who had topped the table were competing in their first final. Although a highly competitive final was expected, in truth it was a largely one-sided final.

The Dragons were tasked with keeping the attacking trio of Dollman, Kok and Cassiem quiet and they did that with spectacular effect. The best form of attack is defence and from the start that’s exactly what the Dragons did from the start. Creating at least 3 early chances before Miguel da Graca, who’s team has made the final in every Premier Hockey League. Da Graca found himself with a little space and punished the Mambas.

The Mambas would have been pleased to get to the half time break only 1 goal down as they had very little attacking opportunities in the opening half hour. After a big chat with his team at half time Lungile Tsolekile would have wanted the boys to come out fighting but they found themselves 3-0 down in just four minutes.

Bili Ntuli got another PHL final goal to his growing collection of big game goals. Richard Pautz produced a moment of magic to put the ball through his legs and find a fine run by Ntuli who chipped it over Mckinley. Pautz turned goal scorer two minutes later collection a ball by Bothma and finishing on the stretch. Pautz goal was the 100th goal of the men’s tournament in this year’s CTM Premier Hockey League.

Ntuli then made it a record final score when Pierre Bothma ran up the wing and fired in a cross for Bili Ntuli to score another final goal and the final goal of this year’s CTM Premier Hockey League final. The Dragons becoming just the second team to defend a PHL trophy.

Earlier in the day the Orange River Rafters secured a bronze medal when they beat the Daisies 4-1 thanks to Zimkhita Weston, Donna Small, Dirkie Chamberlain and Ongi Mali. Bianca Wood scored the only goal for the Daisies, her fifth of the tournament and making her the outright all-time highest goal scorer for the Daisies.

The Garden Route Gazelles were the men’s bronze medal winners with a 3-2 win. After leading 2-0 through Brandon James and Keenan Horne, the Gazelles saw Dayaan Cassiem and Keegan Hezlett erase that lead. Reece Arendse then netted the winner and a second bronze medal for the Gazelles.

CTM Premier Hockey League – Results – 04 August 2019

Women’s Bronze – Orange River Rafters 4-1 Namaqualand Daisies
Men’s Bronze – Maropeng Cavemen 2-3 Garden Route Gazelles
Women’s Final – Madikwe Rangers (3) 1-1 (2) Wineland Wings
Men’s Final – Drakensberg Dragons 4-0 Mapungubwe Mambas

CTM Premier Hockey League – Final Standings

1. Madikwe Rangers
2. Wineland Wings
3. Orange River Rafters
4. Namaqualand Daisies
5. Blyde River Bunters
6. St. Lucia Lakers

1. Drakensberg Dragons
2. Mapungubwe Mambas
3. Garden Route Gazelles
4. Maropeng Cavemen
5. Addo Elephants
6. Golden Gate Gladiators

CTM Premier Hockey League – Individual Awards

Player of the tournament
(M) – Bili Ntuli (Dragons)
(W) – Lisa-Marie Deetlefs (Rangers)

Top Goal scorer
(M) – Keegan Hezlett (Cavemen)
(W) – Sylvia van Jaarsveldt (Wings)

Young Player of the tournament
(M) – Dayaan Cassiem (Mambas)
(W) – Bianca Wood (Daisies)

Goalkeeper of the tournament
(M) – Rob Mckinley (Mambas)
(W) – Mmatshepo Modipane (Rangers)

SA Hockey Association media release

SSGC meet NBP in Noor Khan National Hockey final

NBP rout Wapda Whites

Mohsin Ali

KARACHI - SSGC will meet NBP in the final of the 65th Muhammad Noor Khan National Hockey Championship 2019 today (Monday) here at Abdul Sattar Edhi National Hockey Stadium.

Both the winning sides registered contrasting victories against Wapda Colors and Wapda Whites in the semifinals played on Sunday. A private channel will broadcast the final live. Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah will grace the occasion as chief guest.

In the first semifinal, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) routed Wapda-W 3-1. It was respectable crowd present at the venue. Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) President Brig (R) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar graced the occasion as chief guest, while PHF Secretary Olympian Asif Bajwa, chief selector Manzoor Junior, Olympians Hanif Khan, Shahid Ali Khan, former secretary Rana Mujhahid, Khawaja Junaid, Virtual Axis Pakistan CEO Khawaja Ahmed Mustaqeem, SO to PHF President Tariq Mir along with others were also present on the occasion.

The first semifinal got off to slow start, as both NBP and Wapda-W forwards failed to take advantage from the chances, which came their way thick and fast. The first 15 minutes were highly dull, as majority of play was held in the center. The match came into life in the 18th minute, when Attiq Arshad scored the wonderful field goal.  NBP took 24 more minutes to score the second goal, as Bilal Qadir scored in the 42nd minute and it was once again Bilal, who ensured a place in the final, when he slammed in his second and NBP’s third goal in the 48th minute. It could have been half dozen goals for NBP, but series of chances were missed by NBP strikers. Wapda-W managed to score a consolation goal in the 58th minute.

The second semifinal was highly entertaining as both SSGC and Wapda displayed world class hockey, which was thoroughly enjoyed by massive crowd. Mainly based on youngsters, both the teams were introduced with the chief guests. Wapda took lead in the 5th minute, when Aleem scored a wonderful field goal, but the lead couldn’t live long as SSGC hero Mubashir Ali equalized the score through a plenty corner in the 15th minute.

The second quarter was also played on high pace, as both teams were pushing forward and trying to score goals, but poor finishing was hurdle between further goals. The second quarter saw both teams having missing short corners while third half started with SSGC changing their strategy and making a few substitutions, which changed the entire complexion of the match. Wapda players were looking tired and weren’t be able to control the ball. SSGC took full advantage of the situation and added one more in 38th minute through Mubashir.  Wapda dug-out introduced a number of changes. Entire Wapda forwards along with half backs were trying to level the match, but SSGC played out of their skins and managed to protect their one-goal lead, till the umpires blew the whistle to signal the end of the match. Jubilant supporters and team management rushed to the ground to celebrate victory.

The Nation

Telkom soar, Police close in on Butali


Telkom's Maureen Okumu (left) celebrates her goal with teammate Phanice Olunga during their Kenya Hockey Union women's Premier League match against Sliders on August 4, 2019 at City Park Stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Ageless Jackie Mwangi and Maureen Okumu scored a brace each as Telkom crushed Sliders 6-1 in a one-sided duel at City Park to go three points clear atop the women’s hockey Premier League.

Barbara Simiyu and Terry Juma scored Telkom’s other goals in a match they led 2-0 at the break, before exploding to crush Sliders and take their tally to 17 points. Noel Makena handed Sliders the consolation goal with seconds to go.

Earlier, Kenya Police went a point closer to leaders Butali Sugar Warriors in men’s Premier League when they battled to beat stubborn Sailors 2-1 at the same venue

Telkom, who are chasing their 22nd league title, went into the weekend in third place in league with 11 points, but would thump Kenyatta University Titans 7-0 on Saturday, before subjecting the 1998 champions Slider to similar wrath to go top.

Telkom, who are due to adopt a new name, Queens of Hockey, when the season ends, takes a break after the first leg, having claimed five wins and two draws.

United States International University (USIU) Spartans are second with 14 points drawn from four wins, two draws and a loss and are followed by Strathmore University Scorpions on 12 points.

Daily Nation

SSTMI Thunderbolts still lightning without three key players

A class above: SSTMI Thunderbolts players and staff celebrate after winning the TNB Cup final against AHP-MSP-Thunderbolts at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Saturday. —­ FAIHAN GHANI/ The Star

PETALING JAYA: There is no stopping SSTMI Thunderbolts after they won their eighth TNB Cup title in the Malaysian Junior Hockey League.

The sports school defeated AHP-MSP Thunderbolts 3-0 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Saturday to secure the double this year. They had earlier won the National Junior Hockey League last month.

Coach Wan Mohd Roslan Wan Abdul Rahman said the team played well despite the absence of three key players – Mohamad Akhimullah Anuar Esook, Muhammad Arif Syafie Ishak and Muhammad Noor Firdaus Rosdi – who are with the national team in Europe.

“We were a bit worried playing without them but the boys performed creditably, ” he said.

“We now have able replacements for the future. It’s heartening to see them taking up the challenge.”

In the women’s final, SSTMI-PKS United defeated MBPJ Black Widow 6-4 for their third TNB Cup.

The Star of Malaysia

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