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News for 28 September 2019

All the news for Saturday 28 September 2019

Gurjit's last-minute goal gives India women 2-1 win over Great Britain

File photo of Gurjit Kaur who scored a last-minute goal in India's win.   -  Getty Images

Gurjit Kaur’s last minute effort saw Indian women beat Great Britain 2-1 in a thrilling opening encounter of the five-match series.

It was a brilliant come-from-behind victory for India after trailing 0-1 as goals from Sharmila Devi and Gurjit sealed the match for the visiting side.

In the first quarter, neither team managed to break the deadlock, despite sporadic attacks from both teams.

In the second quarter, India took control of the game and won a couple of penalty corners in the first few minutes forcing smart saves from custodian Maddie Hinch.

Soon enough, it was Great Britain’s turn but in India’s goalkeeper Savita Punia pulled off a smart save to deny the home team as it was goalless at half-time.

Great Britain broke through first in the final quarter, with Emily Defrond scoring in the 46th minute to give her team the much-needed lead.

Despite trailing, India mounted pressure and soon reaped the dividends with Sharmila restoring parity.

The match looked like ending in a draw but with 48 seconds left, India won a short corner and Gurjit successfully converted it. The second match of the series will be played on Sunday.


Malaysia close South Korea Test with another defeat

SHAH ALAM: National hockey coach Roelant Oltmans wasn’t pleased after Malaysia ended their South Korea Test campaign with another defeat in Jincheon.

Malaysia lost 4-5 to South Korea and Oltmans attributed it to mistakes and leaky defence.

Goals by Malaysia were scored by Faizal Saari (13th and 40th minute), Shahril Saabah (sixth) and Nik Mohd Aiman Nik Rozemi (49th), while Jang Joo-hyun was the toast for South Korea after scoring a hattrick (26th, 29th and 41st) and followed by Lee Nam-yong (48th) and Hwang Tae-il (50th).

All the South Korean goals were scored through penalty corners.

Said Oltmans: “It shows how poor our penalty corner defence is. For me, just like the previous game, unnecessary mistakes brought us down.

“We started well in the first quarter, but somehow faltered in the second. The next two quarters were reasonable but our defence should have been tighter.

“I saw some fighting spirit in the boys and we scored three field goals. We couldn’t score any in our previous three matches, but today we got it right.”

In Jincheon, Malaysia won the first game 2-1, were held 2-2 in the second and lost 2-0 in the third match.

Malaysia are gearing up for a two-leg Olympic qualifiers against Britain on Nov 2 and 3.

“We’ve five more weeks to prepare. At times, we showed some high quality hockey in South Korea but we’ve to work harder, that’s for sure, ” added Oltmans.

The Star of Malaysia

2019 Test matches USA v CAN - 3rd Test
Lancaster (USA)

27 Sep 2019     USA v CAN     1 - 4

FIH Match Centre

We’ll do our homework on Chile, says GB shot-stopper Hinch

In the latest of a series of video interviews with the teams that will participate in the upcoming FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers, Great Britain (FIH World Ranking: 5) goalkeeper Maddie Hinch – a central figure in the GB team that won Olympic gold at Rio 2016 – looks ahead to her team’s crucial two-game clash against Chile (WR:18). The all-important matches will take place at London’s Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on 2/3 November 2019, with timings to be confirmed in the coming weeks. A transcription of the interview can be found below.

The FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers will be taking place very soon. How will your team prepare for these hugely important matches?

Maddie Hinch: “We’ve obviously got a massive period ahead of us. I think it is really important as a group, not just as England from the Europeans but also GB from the [FIH] Pro League that we really reflect on what has happened this year; what we have learned, what we did do well and what we didn’t do so well. I think that this period will be about making sure that we have made those progressive learnings, so that come those games in November, the mistakes we have been making don’t repeat themselves and what we are good at are like our ‘super strengths’. Obviously, it is going to be an incredibly pressurised weekend, but if we get this period right and we do everything we feel we can, it’s like going into an exam when you have done all your homework, you’ll feel ready to go and the result will take care of itself.”

What can we expect to see from your team in the FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers?

Maddie Hinch: “I think we’ll just probably be a little bit tighter than we’ve been, if we are being honest. I think we have been a little bit inconsistent. I think we have showed signs that we are capable of competing with the top teams in the world but have also showed signs that teams can get the better of us when we are not quite ‘at it’. I think it is so important now that we make our ‘bad’ day still a very ‘tough to beat’ day, so even when we are not playing our best we still grind out results. That is the sign of a very good team and I think that is what you will see come November.” 

What are your thoughts about Chile, your opponent in the FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers?

Maddie Hinch: “We are looking forward to the qualifiers. We are pleased to now know who we are playing. Chile are not a team we necessarily know that well, but we have to respect them. They are going to come here very ready. They will be looking at it as, you know, two games and they are on a plane to Tokyo, so they have got a lot to play for. But at the same time, I think if we just attack this period with everything we have, and we make these learning progressions day in, day out, the result will take care of itself and that is what we hope for.” 

Finally, what would qualifying for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 mean to you and your team?

Maddie Hinch: “There is no hiding away from what is in front of us, but this challenging journey that we have would make it that little bit sweeter if we manage to get ourselves on the plane to Tokyo. But for now, the focus is purely on that weekend in November and we cannot look further beyond that right now.”

Each qualifier consists of two back-to-back matches which will be played in the same venue. The winners of these FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers will qualify for the 2020 Olympic hockey tournaments which will be staged in Japan’s capital city from 25 July to 7 August next year and involve 12 Men’s and 12 Women’s teams.


FIH site

Chris Grassick retiring from hockey

Chris Grassick

Chris Grassick has taken the difficult decision to retire from hockey after a long and protracted injury that has plagued him for more than a year.

The midfielder steps away after playing 135 combined international matches, captaining Scotland at two Commonwealth Games – including on home soil at Glasgow 2014 - and leading them to the top tier of the EuroHockey Championships for the first time in 14 years.

He was also part of the Great Britain team that played in front of the biggest hockey crowd since London 2012 at The Stoop earlier this year having made his debut five years agi.

Grassick took the decision to retire after continuing to suffer from a rare hamstring problem that can be linked back to an ACL injury he picked up just before Rio 2016.

He had surgery in October 2018 and fought back to feature twice for GB during the 2019 FIH Pro League but, despite playing well in both matches, Grassick felt he wasn’t performing at the level he could.

Furthermore, the pain worsened once again and after using the summer break to reflect on his situation, he decided it was the right time to retire.

“I would describe myself as playing at 60-70% in those FIH Pro League games because I couldn’t physically do what I was capable of,” he recalled.

“As the weeks went on it felt like time was closing in and it wasn’t getting any better. I knew then that it was getting harder and harder to get back and it just felt like the right time to step away.

“I went home, got married, went on honeymoon. I had a lot of time to think at that point and it just felt like a good natural progression to close that hockey chapter in my life and move on to something new.”

Despite retiring aged just 28 and not being able to achieve his dream of representing GB at an Olympic Games, Grassick will leave the sport with plenty of positive memories.

And even though the last three years have been very tough for him, he believes he has learned plenty of important lessons that he will carry for the rest of his life.

“Even though it’s not quite gone to the plan I’d dreamed of when I was younger, I would do it all again,” he said.

“Looking back, I’ve learned a lot – how to be resilient, how to accept disappointment having been so close to making the last Olympics.

“The last time I played for Surbiton was when we won the league a couple of years ago. I’d never won the league before and it had been an ambition of mine to do it with Surbiton so that was a big highlight for me.

“My last game for Scotland was playing at the Gold Coast where we finished in our highest ever position at a Commonwealth Games which was a great achievement, as well as us reaching the top division of the EuroHockey Championships and achieving our highest ever world ranking.

“And then playing my last game for GB at The Stoop was amazing. Although I didn’t physically feel very good for those couple of weeks, coming back and playing in the Dutch game and at The Stoop was brilliant and I was so glad to do that.

One of the most popular members of the team, Grassick has always received plenty of love and support from team-mates and fans alike, something that has really helped him through the tough times.

He said: “I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported down in England, up in Scotland or from wherever. It’s always been hugely appreciated and always adds to the great memories I’ve had when playing.

“On top of that I’d like to say thank you to everyone involved within GB and Scottish Hockey who has been involved in helping get me back. It’s been a real team effort!

“Being a full-time hockey player for six years was something I had never believed would actually happen. That is something I’ll always be chuffed about.”

Former men’s head coach Bobby Crutchley paid tribute to the player he handed a GB debut to against France in 2014.

He said: “It was an absolute pleasure to work with Chris, during our time together on the GB programme.

“As well as his clear hockey ability, he brought an extremely high level of dedication and intelligence, that not only brought the best out of himself, but also those around him. I am sure these skills will enable Chris to be extremely successful in whatever he chooses to do in the future.”

On behalf of everyone at GB Hockey, we would like to thank Chris for his exceptional service to our sport and wish him the best of luck for his next career move.

Great Britain Hockey media release

Hockey One Round 1 preview

An exciting new chapter for Australian sport begins this Sunday (29 September 2019) with the long awaited opening day of the inaugural Sultana Bran Hockey One League.

A ‘Super Sunday’ to kick off the season will see double headers (men’s and women’s) in Sydney, Canberra and Perth, with all matches to be broadcast LIVE and exclusive on Kayo.

Every squad is littered with current or former Kookaburras or Hockeyroos and some of the best Australian an international talent, which all leads to a showcase of world class hockey players and elite competition.

Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre in Homebush will host the first double header of the season with NSW Pride at home to the Adelaide Fire from 1:00pm AEST.

Then at 2pm AEST attention turns to the nation’s capital as the women’s and men’s Canberra Chill teams take on the Brisbane Blaze at the National Hockey Centre. The Blaze’s Men’s team boasts seven current members of the Kookaburras so it is going to be a huge first up challenge for the outfit from Canberra.

The action continues over in Western Australia as the Perth Thundersticks welcome Hockey Club Melbourne to the Perth Hockey Stadium at Curtin University. The Men’s match is up first at 3pm local time before the women’s teams take the field from 4:30pm.

With state pride on the line and the opportunity for players to impress the national selectors and come into consideration for next year’s Tokyo Olympics, there will be no holding back once the teams cross the white line on Sunday.

Excitingly, there are a number of rule initiatives being introduced to further spice up the Sultana Bran Hockey One League. When a field goal or penalty stroke is scored during a match, the same player will get to have an automatic one-on-one shootout with the goalkeeper for the chance to score an extra goal.

“This will encourage a move away from a reliance on penalty corners (drag-flick) and is a great example of Hockey One’s focus on creating moments to celebrate,” said Sultana Bran Hockey One General Manager, Tony Dodemaide.

“Hockey One is really fan-centric. We want all fans, those new to hockey and hockey fanatics, to experience world class hockey that is fast, exciting and entertaining.”

Furthermore, team lists will be restricted to 14 players in total, which is in contrast to international matches, while all matches must have an outright result, with drawn matches to be decided by a penalty shootout.

All clubs will be hoping to get off to a winning start as the season consists of each team playing the others once with the top four sides after seven rounds qualifying for the semi finals with the Grand Finals to take place on Saturday 16 November 2019.

For ticketing details click here.

Sultana Bran Hockey One 2019 Season – Round 1 Fixtures

NSW Pride v Adelaide Fire

Sunday 29 September 2019

Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre (NSW) 

Match Start: Women’s 1:00pm local (1:00pm AEST), Men’s 2:30pm local (2:30pm AEST)

Tickets: Click here for ticketing details

Broadcast: LIVE and exclusive on Kayo

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #NSWvADL #HockeyOne

NSW Pride Women’s squad: Alice Arnott, Jocelyn Bartram (GK), Morgan Blamey, Emily Chalker, Kate Hanna, Greta Hayes, Kate Jenner, Sarah Johnston, Georgina Morgan, Kaitlin Nobbs, Jess Parr (GK), Mikaela Patterson, Renae Robinson, Casey Sablowski, Courtney Schonell, Maddison Smith, Grace Stewart, Jessica Watterson, Mariah Williams, Abby Wilson

Adelaide Fire Women’s squad: Linzi Appleyard, Brooklyn Buchecker, Jane Claxton, Emma De Broughe, Kate Denning, Holly Evans, Emily Grist, Amy Hammond (GK), Sarah Harrison, Amy Hunt, Euleena Maclachlan, Gemma McCaw, Karri McMahon, Gabi Nance, Hattie Shand, Miki Spano, Ashlee Wells (GK), Leah Welstead

NSW Pride Men’s squad: Tim Brand, BJ Bruton (GK), Lain Carr, Tom Craig, Matthew Dawson, Hayden Dillon, Blake Govers, Sam Gray, Jack Hayes, Ehren Hazell, Kurt Lovett, Dylan Martin, Flynn Ogilvie, Ryan Proctor, Daine Richards, Lachlan Sharp, Nathanael Stewart, Ash Thomas (GK), Tristan White, Ky Willott

Adelaide Fire Men’s squad: Lachlan Busiko, Eddie Chittleborough (GK), Angus Fry, Scott Germein, Fred Gray, Ross Hetem, Cameron Joyce, Luke Larwood, Andy Leat, Dan Mitchell, Al Oliver, Glyn Tamlin, Kota Watanabe, Chris Wells, Simon Wells, Cameron White, Hirotaka Zandana

Canberra Chill v Brisbane Blaze

Sunday 29 September 2019

National Hockey Centre (ACT) 

Match Start: Women’s 2:00pm local (2:00pm AEST), Men’s 3:30pm local (3:30pm AEST)

Tickets: Click here for ticketing details

Broadcast: LIVE and exclusive on Kayo

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #CCHvBBZ #HockeyOne

Canberra Chill Women’s squad: Sakiyo Asano, Edwina Bone, Meredith Bone, Kalindi Commerford, Sassie Economos, Mikayla Evans, Naomi Evans, Anna Flanagan, Talei Forrest (GK), Sophie Gaughan, Yui Ishibashi, Rebecca Lee, Olivia Martin, Beckie Middleton, Shihori Oikawa, Brooke Peris, Aleisha Price, Jess Smith, Tiny Taseska, Taylor Thomson

Brisbane Blaze Women’s squad: Hannah Astbury (GK), Layla Eleison, Ashlea Fey, Savannah Fitzpatrick, Madison Fitzpatrick, Morgan Gallagher, Rebecca Greiner, Georgia Hillas, Jordyn Holzberger, Madeleine James, Jodie Kenny, Ambrosia Malone, Morgan Mathison, Ashlyn McBurnie, Aleisha Neumann, Meg Pearce, Jesse Reid, Renee Taylor, Britt Wilkinson, Emily Witheyman-Crump (GK)

Canberra Chill Men’s Squad: Garry Backhus, Andrew Charter (GK), Josh Chivers, Owen Chivers, Daniel Conroy, James Day, Kentaro Fukuda, Anand Gupte, Jamie Hawke, Brendan Hill (GK), James Jewell, Aaron Kershaw, Aaron Knight, Jay MacDonald, Lewis McLennan, Kazuma Murata, Lewis Sheperd, Ben Staines, Jake Staines, Manabu Yamashita

Brisbane Blaze Men’s squad: Jacob Anderson, Daniel Beale, Robert Bell, Scott Boyde, Justin Douglas, Matthew Finn (GK), Tim Howard, Shane Kenny, Mitchell Nicholson (GK), Hugh Pembroke, Matthew Pembroke, Joel Rintala, Matthew Swann, Jared Taylor, Luke Tyne, Corey Weyer, Jake Whetton, Ethan White, Blake Wotherspoon, Dylan Wotherspoon

Perth Thundersticks v HC Melbourne

Sunday 29 September 2019

Perth Hockey Stadium at Curtin University (WA)

Match Start: Men’s 3:00pm local (5:00pm AEST), Women’s 4:30pm local (6:30pm AEST)

Tickets: Click here for ticketing details

Broadcast: LIVE and exclusive on Kayo

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #PTXvHCM #HockeyOne

Perth Thundersticks Men’s squad: Will Byas, James Collins, Matthew Fisher, Liam Flynn, Dave Gavranich, Tim Geers, Frazer Gerrard, Brandon Gibbs, Coby Green, Jake Harvie, Brayden King, Tyler Lovell (GK), Trent Mitton, Alec Rasmussen, Daniel Rayney, Ben Rennie (GK), Marshall Roberts, Daniel Robertson, Tom Wickham, Aran Zalewski

HC Melbourne Men’s squad: Kiran Arunasalam, George Bazeley (GK), Simon Borger, Jonathan Bretherton, Joel Carroll, Johan Durst (GK), Nathan Ephraums, Russell Ford, Will Gilmour, Casey Hammond, Max Hendry, Aaron Kleinschmidt, James Knee, Craig Marais, Andrew Philpott, Joshua Pollard, Jayshaan Randhawa, Jake Sherren, Josh Simmonds, Oscar Wookey

Perth Thundersticks Women’s squad: Roos Broek, Jemma Buckley, Caitlin Cooper (GK), Jacqui Day, Rachel Frusher, Annie Gibbs, Line Malan, Phillipa Morgan, Agueda Moroni, Caitlin Pascov, Candyce Peacock, Chloe Pendlebury, Aleisha Power (GK), Renee Rockliff, Jolie Sertorio, Karri Somerville, Penny Squibb, Shanea Tonkin, Jade Vanderzwan, Georgia Wilson

HC Melbourne Women’s squad: Laura Barden, Krissy Bates, Nikki Bosman (GK), Lily Brazel, Kary Chau, Olivia Colasurdo, Laura Desmet, Hannah Gravenall, Takara Haines, Nicola Hammond, Carly James, Amy Lawton, Rachael Lynch (GK), Claire Messent, Hayley Padget, Madi Ratcliffe, Sam Snow, Sophie Taylor, Ash Utri, Florine Van Grimbergen

Tassie Tigers – BYE

Tassie Tigers Women’s squad: Holly Bonde, Phillida Bridley, Esmee Broekhuizen, Lauren Canning, Jessica Chesterman, Emily Donovan, Jean Flanagan, Nicole Geeves, Molly Haas, Ruby Haywood, Madeleine Hinton, Caashia Karringten, Katerina Lacina, Samantha Lawrence, Sarah McCambridge, Hannah Richardson, Sophie Rockefeller, Isabelle Sharman, Laura Spandler, Amelia Spence

Tassie Tigers Men’s squad: Kieron Arthur, Hayden Beltz, Joshua Beltz, James Bourke, Joshua Brooks, Kurt Budgeon, Henry Chambers, Tim Deavin, Eddie Ockenden, Gobindraj Gill, Jeremy Hayward, Nicolas Leslie, Joshua Mardell, Sam McCambridge, Linden McCarthy, Sam McCulloch, Benjamin Read, Oliver Smith, Jack Welch, Grant Woodcock

Sultana Bran Hockey One League

Website: www.hockeyone.com.au

Twitter: @H1League

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/H1League/

Instagram: @h1league

Hockey One website

Gemma McCaw gets Australian deal after starring in NZ NHL

Gemma McCaw in action for Midlands in the women's NHL. (FILE PHOTO) PHOTOSPORT

Gemma McCaw's return to hockey has received another rapid boost.

The former Black Stick has headed to Sydney this weekend to play for the Adelaide Fire in the new domestic Australian hockey tournament.

"And so the hockey journey continues," McCaw wrote on her Instagram page.

"Excited to be in Sydney playing in the @h1league this weekend for @adelaidefireh1. Loving the amazing weather so far (25 degrees today ?) and looking forward to exploring this beautiful place."

The wife of former All Black skipper Richie McCaw was the top goalscorer in the women's competition at the recently-completed National Hockey League in Tauranga.

McCaw scored eight goals in her comeback tournament as her Midlands team finished fifth.

McCaw made her return to top level provincial hockey in August after giving birth to her first child, daughter Charlotte, with husband Richie in December.

The 246-cap Black Stick last played at the nationals in October 2017 and hasn't worn the black kit since the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Asked in August whether the door was open for a return to international hockey at next year's Olympics, McCaw said: "You can never say never, but at the moment I'm just focusing on Midlands and NHL."


UCD face double test of credentials in Irish men’s EYHL

Glenanne’s Ian Marron and YMCA’s Ben O’Grady. Pic: Sinead Hingston

UCD’s credentials face a double test on the second weekend of the men’s EY Hockey League with Dublin derbies against YMCA and Glenanne.

This weekend was originally scheduled to be a double-weekend but only UCD and Glenanne’s battle on Sunday remains on the schedule following confirmation of the Irish senior men’s training camps.

The Green Machine travel to Bordeaux at 2pm on Sunday for their two-game series with the French. All the games scheduled for October 12 also remain on the agenda but October 19’s games are cancelled. The Irish Senior Cup will go ahead as planned on October 5th and 26th.

UCD’s ranks are bolstered by the arrival of Sam Byrne from Monkstown after his Leaving Cert points were boosted after some rechecks, getting him into his preferred course.

It adds another talent at Michael Styles’ disposal and they will certainly be in high spirits for the games after last weekend’s win over Three Rock Rovers.

Against YM, the students may be in the strange position of having more experience – indeed, they had seven players making their EYHL debuts against the Glens. For UCD, only Jamie Pullen, Ewan Ramsay and Belgian player Gauthier Beirnaert were in the same boat.

On Sunday, squad depth could well come into play with UCD having a wide selection this year while the Glens are tighter on numbers this season. Jerome Saeys missed last week’s game with YM but could add a lively presence to their line-up.

Their first game of the weekend is against Pembroke on Saturday at Serpentine Avenue.

Banbridge welcome Three Rock Rovers to Havelock Park in a traditionally lively affair. Bann are likely to have Eugene Magee back after a slight injury kept him out of their Monkstown date.

Peter Brown and Luke Witherow were both on holiday last time out but are back now. Youngsters Luke McConnell and Robbie Scott have their chance to stake a claim in the panel on an extended basis. For Rovers, Mark English returns up top for the Dubliners.

Lisnagarvey go to Annadale as heavy favourites off the back of their impressively clinical 6-0 win over Pembroke. Dale will have access to Ben Wallace’s services after he missed the opening day of the season with a suspension carried over from last season for an accumulation of yellow cards.

Peter Caruth is another to have served a suspension on the first day of the season, a code of conduct breach during his time as Annadale coach. It means he is free to make his debut for Corinthian and return to face another of his former clubs, Monkstown.

Monkstown’s David Cole and Banbridge’s Josh Moffett. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Both clubs are looking to build on an opening day 2-2 draw in which they fell behind before going in front 2-1.

In Leinster, Rathgar meet Kilkenny in a battle between two sides who won last weekend, both hoping to continue their perfect starts. Portrane meet Dublin North in Donabate, hoping to repeat their Fingal Cup win of a few weeks ago.

Avoca host Dublin University, Clontarf travel to Bray and Railway go to Weston. In Munster, UCC make their seasonal bow against Cork C of I with Catholic Institute host Cork Harlequins and Waterford taking on Ashton.

Men’s weekend fixtures

EY Hockey League

Saturday: Annadale v Lisnagarvey, Strathearn School, 4pm; Banbridge v Three Rock Rovers, Havelock Park, 2.45pm; Corinthian v Monkstown, Whitechurch Park, 1.30pm; Pembroke v Glenanne, Serpentine Avenue, 2.30pm; UCD v YMCA, Belfield, 2.50pm

Sunday: Glenanne v University College Dublin, St Andrews, 2.30pm

Leinster Division 1: Avoca v Dublin University, Newpark, 1pm; Bray v Clontarf, Temple Carrig, 1pm; Portrane v Dublin North, Donabate LC, 1pm; Rathgar v Kilkenny, The High School, 2pm; Weston v Railway Union, Griffeen Valley Park, 2.45pm

Munster Division 1: Catholic Institute v Cork Harlequins, Rosbrien, 3pm; Cork C of I v UCC, Garryduff, 4pm; Waterford v Ashton, Newtown, 1.30pm

Neville Cup – Round 2 (Sunday): Naas v Clontarf, Caragh Road, 3pm

The Hook

The season starts here: Irish Senior Cup raises curtain on new women’s season

Irish Senior Cup holders Cork Harlequins. Pic: Adrian Boehm

The curtain on the women’s national stage tentatively raises this weekend with three Irish Senior Cup ties on the agenda as the EYHL lies in wait in mid-November.

It looks like reigning champions Cork Harlequins will have to defy even tougher odds than last term if they are to make an impact in the competition once again.

Darren Collins’ side stunned Loreto to win the title for just the second time last spring but they travel to a strengthened Pembroke on Saturday for a tricky first round date.

Ingrid Burns and Olivia Roycroft both returned to Bandon while Irish Under-21 star Caoimhe Perdue has been co-opted by UCC. With ex-international Julia O’Halloran taking a break and Cliodhna Sargent recovering from an ACL injury, they face a big battle to get through the first round.

Pembroke, meanwhile, welcome current international Leah McGuire into the fold but they will not have access to Gillian Pinder and Emily Beatty due to the proximity of the Olympic qualifiers.

That is the reason why the EY Hockey League is on hold until November with up to four rounds of the Senior Cup to be played off before then.

The other first round fixtures pit Catholic Institute against UCD in Limerick, with the former welcoming back Naomi Carroll. The 111-time Irish international has been back training with the club since mid-August with her home club after four seasons – and an ACL injury – away as she hopes to reignite her international career.

She just missed out on the World Cup panel in 2018, playing in the final warm-up tournament prior to final selection for London. Soon after, she suffered her ACL playing ladies football for Cratloe and since then, the triple-star – who has played both football and camogie to country level – has been documenting her knee reconstruction via weekly videos.

It has been quite the journey, using many household items in her innovative recovery bid in addition to visits to the sports science department in UL and in Santry.

It has her in position to link up with Insta for their season opener on Saturday against UCD, a potential first step to working her way into national coach Sean Dancer’s plans.

She will link up with fellow international Roisin Upton in due course at Insta. The sweeper, though, is in camp with the Irish team along with Lena Tice and Ellen Curran.

Glenanne face Old Alex in the third tie with the latter coached this term by Niall Denham following a hugely successful spell with Three Rock Rovers.

Plenty of water has to pass under the bridge before the EYHL begins in earnest but here is our look at the women’s teams in the all-Ireland division.

Women’s EYHL – team by team previews

Belfast Harlequins

Last season: 8th EYHL, Irish Senior Cup quarter final, Denman Ulster Shield finalists

Coach: Phil Mills (1st season) Manager, Roisin Walsh

Players in: Bethany Barr (UCD), Serena Barr (Beeston), Natalie Barr (Lurgan), Julie Dennison (Exe, England)

Players out: Zoe Wilson (Randalstown), Gemma Frazer (Armagh)

Overview: With they women’s EYHL programme delayed until beginning November, coach Phil Mills – who switches from Ards to Quins this year – has had the luxury of time to develop a strong preseason squad.

Although there are two notable absentees from last season, the club retains a committed core of top level players and he can look forward to welcoming back Lizzie Colvin who is joined by current Irish international twins, Bethany (from UCD) and Serena Barr (Beeston). Natalie Barr also adds experience to the group and is looking forward to playing alongside her sisters again. Julie Dennison (nee Allison) returns from England to add to the midfield mix. Jenna Watt leads the front line.

Belfast Harlequins’ Jenna Watt. Pic: Adrian Boehm

The challenge is undoubtedly to keep the intensity high in the absence of league matches but the flip side is, they hope, the late start will offer a more cohesive programme of weekly matches once the league begins.

Catholic Institute

Last season: EYHL2 Winners, Munster Women’s Division 1 Winners, Munster Senior Cup Winners

Coach: David Passmore; Assistant Coach: Ger O’Carroll; Manager: Brenda Moloney;

Players In: Naomi Carroll (Cork Harlequins)

Players Out: Michelle Barrett (U Mass Amherst), Mariana Birdthistle (Lock Haven)

Overview: With Naomi Carroll back to full fitness after her ACL operation, she will be a threat up front for Insta and will no doubt be looking to impress Sean Dancer to work her way back into the senior panel. Mary Immaculate student Roisin Begley has been in sharp pre-season form and has some great midfield elimination and passing skills that could unlock defences.  At the back, club stalwart Christine O’Shea marshalls the defence and joins the attack.

Naomi Carroll is back with Catholic Institute for the first time since 2015. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Insta have a number of young players who have come through the club’s junior ranks and several from the successful Cresent Comprehensive senior team from last year.  Anna Horan has shown dynamism coming forward and Leah Clery has been lively up front.

It is the first time EYHL hockey has been in Limerick and coach Dave Passmore – who returns to the job to work with a talented group, some of whom helped Crescent win the Kate Russell last season – says: “We have no illusions as to the challenge we are faced with this season, our first in the EYHL but I have been tremendously impressed with the attitude and desire to develop that the players have shown to date.

“Losing forward Kym Daly to a long term knee injury means we will struggle for squad depth and will need to keep everyone fit and healthy.  We aim to make Rosbrien a tough place to come to and will need to be competitive in every game against the lower placed teams to maintain our top level status.”

Cork Harlequins

Last season: 4th EYHL, Irish Senior Cup winners

Coach: Darren Collins (2nd Season), Manager Eugenie O’Leary

Players in: Kate Murphy (goalkeeper from UCC)

Players out: Ingrid Burns (Bandon), Olivia Roycroft (Bandon); Saoirse Griffin (UCC), Caoimhe Perdue (UCC), Jane Murphy (study break), Enya O’Donohue (study break), Julia O’Halloran (break from hockey)

Overview: It has been a summer of flux for the Irish Senior Cup winners as a series of strong players have decided to take a step away for the new season with Ingrid Burns and Olivia Roycroft returning to Bandon while Saoirse Griffin and Caoimhe Perdue have been co-opted by UCC.

With Julia O’Halloran taking a break and Cliodhna Sargent still out injured following an ACL injury, it will be a building period for this side as they look to get back to the heights of the past few seasons. There is still a good amount of quality in the side with Emily O’Leary, Rebecca, Michelle and Nikki Barry and Emma Barber leading the way with Yvonne O’Byrne the team’s spiritual leader while there is a tranche of young players who will endeavour to step up and make their mark.


Last season: 2nd EYHL; EY Champions Trophy runners-up; Irish Senior Cup runners-up, 7th EuroHockey Club Champions Cup

Coach: Paul Fitzpatrick (4th season); Assistant Coach: Ian Clarke (2nd season); Manager: Anne-Marie Curran (5th season)

Players in: Lisa Mulcahy (Muckross)

Players out: n/a

Overview: Loreto look forward to the new season with their new water-based pitch in the pipeline following a frustrating campaign last year, finishing runners-up on three fronts. It has been a reasonably settled summer with defender Lisa Mulcahy the one addition to the line-up while none of the central panel have moved on.

Loreto’s Sarah Evans. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Irish internationals Nicci Daly, Ali Meeke, Hannah Matthews and Liz Murphy give the side a serious backbone while Sarah Torrans, Caitlin Sherin, Christina Hamill and Siofra O’Brien are ones who could soon be following them into the national side. Indeed, there is a glut of good young talent at Beaufort with Mia Jennings, Sara Twomey and Grace McLoughlin part of a well rounded panel.


Last season: 9th EYHL, stayed up via promotion/relegation playoff win over Queen’s; Irish Senior Cup quarter-final; Jacqui Potter Cup quarter-final

Coach: Simon Pearson (1st season); Assist Coach: Anna O’Flanagan; Manager: Freda Canavan

Players in: Anna O’Flanagan (Pinoke), Sinead McGirr (Loreto), Jess McGirr (Loreto), Nikki Keegan (Loreto), Jane O’Brien (UCD), Kate Hennessey (UCD)

Players out: Rachel Cuddy (Amsterdam); Niamh Gowing (Providence, USA; Yasmin Pratt (Monmouth Hawks); Lisa Mulcahy (Loreto); Grace Keane (UCD); Emma Dawson (UCD), Ellie Fitzgerald (Queen’s University, Charlotte, USA)

Muckross midfielder Emma Mathews. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Overview: Having survived in dramatic circumstances last May, Muckross are looking to build in their second year in the EYHL and, to that end, have made some eye-catching additions to the panel. Anna O’Flanagan is undoubtedly the star signing and she will give a sharp edge to their forward line, a real issue last term with just 11 goals from 18 outings in the league.

Sinead and Jessica McGirr – as well as Nikki Keegan – bring quality and experience to what was a young side last season. Their arrivals are timely with several of their young stars moving to university – either in Ireland or the US – for the forseeable future. Goalkeeper Ellie McLoughlin is an exciting talent to keep an eye on.

Simon Pearson moves up from the assistant coach role to take over the reins from Sarah Scott and he has enjoyed a productive pre-season which started back on 2nd August with a number of friendly games. He will be assisted by O’Flanagan in the coaching team.

Old Alex

Last season: 7th EYHL, Irish Senior Cup first round, Jacqui Potter final

Coach: Niall Denham (1st season)

Players in: Sarah Robinson (Derwent, Tasmania), Emilie Ryan Doyle (North Kildare), Liz McInerney (Hermes), Jeamie Deacon (Irish and Leinster Rugby), Orna Bools (Three Rock Rovers), Sorcha Cunningham (Muckross)

Players out: Leah Lenehan (Spain), Vanessa Winn (Australia), Emma Duncan (Australia), Hannah Kelly (Leaving Cert. commitments), Rachel Kelly (Leaving Cert. commitments), Amy Giblin (Avoca)

Overview: After a successful inaugural season in EYHL Division 1, they are looking forward to building on our promising 7th position last season. Key to their success will be Aine Connery who was a superstar in her return year to the top table, equal top-scoring with 12 goals and some virtuoso performances.

Along with Lisa Jacob, Emma Russell and Erika Hinkson, they have a good smattering of experience and quality which will be added to by the returns to action of Sarah Robinson, Liz McInerney and Jeamie Deacon who have won plenty of national titles between them with former clubs.

Old Alex’s Aine Connery up against Shirley McCay. Pic: Adrian Boehm

On the flip side, the panel is trimmed by the emigration of consistent performers like Leah Lenehan, Vanessa Winn and Emma Duncan. Niall Denham is the new coach following a hugely successful four year stint with Three Rock Rovers.


Last season: 1st EYHL, EY Champions Trophy Champions, Irish Senior Cup Semi-final, Ulster Shield Champions, Belfast City Council Sports Awards Team of the Year 2019

Head Coach: Greg Thompson (2nd season); Asst Coach Andy Smyth (2nd season), GK Coach Sharon Moffett (4th season), Manager Vanessa Beattie (2nd season)

Players in: Olivia Berry (Banbridge), Niamh McIvor (Mossley), Molly Dougan (Mossley), Charlotte Beggs (Rainey), Ella Armstrong (Pegasus Juniors)

Players out: Steph Thompson (Maternity leave), Kate Miller (Maternity leave), Grace Irwin (Retired), Kate Gourley (University of Delaware), Sarah Crompton (University of Stirling), Hannah Jemphrey (Glasgow University), Claire McKane (Cardiff University)

Overview: Last season’s dominant force, Greg Thompson’s Pegasus will have to adapt to a number of changes to their panel with midfield duo Steph Thompson and Kate Miller not playing this season while rising star Kate Gourley is among a quartet leaving Ireland for college.

Nonetheless, they still have loads of quality and know-how with Shirley McCay, Alex Speers and Michelle Harvey combining for hundreds of international caps while Kerri McDonald, Taite Doherty and Ruth Maguire are powerful performers.

Pegasus celebrating their EY Champions Trophy win. Pic: Adrian Boehm

With the addition of talented youngsters like Olivia Berry (from Banbridge), Niamh McIvor (Mossley) and Charlotte Beggs (Rainey), they should be there or thereabouts when it comes to trophy-time next spring. Preseason has gone well with wins over Ulster Elks, Lurgan, Ards and Banbridge while they look forward to playing their games on the new turf at Queen’s this season.


Last season: 5th EYHL; Irish Senior Cup round 3; Jacqui Potter Cup quarter final

Coach: Gavin Groves (2nd season), coach: Stephen Brownlow (2nd season), S&C: Sami Dowling (2nd season)

Players in: Leah McGuire (UCD), Aoife Glennon (Avoca), Rachel O’Brien (Trinity)

Players out: Katie-Jane Marshall (UCD), Iseult Cambay (Trinity)

Overview: Pembroke’s players have worked extremely hard in the off season, heading back into the gym earlier then planned, hoping they can close in on a playoff place this term. They were cruelly denied a spot on the last day of the season last time around by a 3-3 draw with Old Alex with Cork Harlequins leaping above them.

Pembroke’s Aisling Naughton on the attack. Pic: Adrian Boehm

They have made some really good additions with Leah McGuire linking up with international team mates Gillian Pinder and Emily Beatty. Rachel O’Brien will add some proven talent following her spell with Trinity and Pembroke feel they have more depth to the group this year with Jilly Ringwood and Rachel Scott returning to the group.

On the flip side, former St Andrew’s students and underage internationals Katie-Jane Marshall and Iseult Cambay have switched to college hockey.

Railway Union

Last season: 6th EYHL, Jacqui Potter Cup winners; Irish Senior Cup semi-finals

Coach: Dave McGivern (1st season)

Players in: Katie Millar (University of Michigan), Lisa McCarthy, Avril Dooley-O’Carroll (Pembroke), Rhiannon Evans (Whitchurch)

Players out: Holly Jenkinson (work), Kate Orr (Trinity), Anna-May Whelan (travel), Amy Elliott (UCD), Sarah Whelan (Trinity), Leah Paul (Trinity), Ailish Naughton (work), Maeve Reidy (work)

Overview: David McGivern has a number of new faces to embed into the Railway panel following his move from a good spell at Clontarf, helping the northside club earn promotion to Leinster Division One.

Railway Union’s Orla Fox. Pic: Adrian Boehm

They will have to cope without midfield dynamoes Anna-May Whelan and Amy Elliott while the steady hand of Holly Jenkinson will also be unavailable for the time being for work reasons. On the flip side, Lisa McCarthy is back in Ireland after a lengthy spell in the US while Avril Dooley-O’Carroll links up with former Trinity club mate Niamh Sweeney.

Sarah Hawkshaw has been superb in 2019 for Ireland and she will be supported by Katie Fearon who did well with the Irish Under-21s. Kate Lloyd, Orla Fox, Zara Delany, Hannah de Burgh Whyte and Emer Lucey make for a solid spine to the side who can cause plenty of issues for most opponents, particularly in their speciality – the Jacqui Potter Cup.

Grace O’Flanagan took a break last season but is now back in camp with the Irish senior women’s squad.


Last season: 3rd EYHL; EY Champions Trophy semi-final, Irish Senior Cup quarter final

Coach: Miles Warren (5th season); Coach: Keith Crawford (1st season), Manager: Marty Burke

Players in: Amy Elliott (Railway Union), KJ Marshall (Pembroke), Kirsty Coombes (Cork C of I), Grace Keane (Muckross)

Players out: Leah Ewart (Pembroke), Beth Barr (Belfast Harlequins), Anna Richardson (Avoca)

Overview: After a season of relative transition, UCD will be anticipating a major assault on the national titles this summer with Miles Warren hopeful the new players from last season will continue to grow after an extra season of development.

UCD’s Hannah McLoughlin. Pic: Adrian Boehm

There is bags of potential with Lena Tice a clear leader. Ellen Curran, Michelle and Niamh Carey, Katherine Egan, Suzie Kelly, Orla and Sarah Patton, Hannah McLoughlin and Abbie Russell have been added to by the all-action Amy Elliott in midfield while Katie-Jane Marshall is an exciting defensive option from Pembroke.

On the coaching front, Keith Crawford adds to the line-up along with Warren, bringing plenty of knowledge to the table. Expect them to be in the mix for silverware in the new year.

The Hook

New Scottish Premiership – off to a great start!

The Premiership is only a week old and already there is a talking point…is Watsonians shock 4-3 victory over women`s reigning champions Edinburgh University a flash in the pan or a sign of a new force in the land.

However, Coach Keith Smith is not getting carried away with the occasion, after the match he commented.

“I was pleased with our intensity and work rate today – the girls stuck to their task and made life really hard for University. But there is plenty still to improve, but it`s nice to hit the ground running.”

Smith will have little time to soak up his opening victory, this weekend his charges take on a Dundee Wanderers side that finished joint second in last season`s championship.

The Taysiders rattled in eight against GHK in their opening match and have top strikers in the evergreen Vikki Bunce, new recruit Lucy Williamson and Emily Dark, all of whom scored twice last weekend.

So what of Edinburgh University? Coach Sam Judge will have to pick up her batch of youngsters for the visit to Hillhead and put some points on the board.

The other title challengers should also continue their winning ways, Grove at GHK, Wildcats at home to Glasgow University and Clydesdale Western in Aberdeen against newly promoted Merlins Gordonians.

In the men`s competition Grange`s new manager Martin Shepherdson reflected on the turn-over of players since last season`s treble, then after last weekend`s eight goal victory over Kelburne considered that the new line-up has performed fairly well.

Certainly new Aussie import Josh McCrae looks to be sharp in front of goal, last weekend he opened with a low reverse stick shot and followed with a narrow angle shot from the left for a debut double.

On Saturday Shepherdson`s troops take on Watsonians at Peffermill. Perhaps a routine three points in past seasons, but Watsonians have also made a promising start to the campaign with a 4-3 win at Edinburgh University at the same venue. So the champions may have to work hard for the three points on this occasion.

Grove Menzieshill also went on a goal spree against Hillhead, on Saturday they visit Glasgow Green to take on Kelburne. Even with home advantage it is difficult to envisage the Paisley outfit stopping the Menzieshill goal machine with hat-trick hero Jamie Golden in fine form.

Western Wildcats` new coach Vishal Marwaha will look to the home encounter against Hillhead for their first victory of the season.

He said: “We have no new players, we have a relatively young squad so with another year`s experience, we hope the team can take a step forward.

“Our aspirations for the coming season are to finish in the top two and challenge for the title. We have finished three or four over the last few seasons, and as a group we want to improve on that.”

Marwaha may have been a little disappointed only drawing with Clydesdale last weekend, but if the Titwood-based side continue to play with that sort of momentum, not many sides will leave the South side of Glasgow with three points.

Both newly promoted Dundee Wanderers and Uddingston enter the fray this weekend, the Taysiders start with a trip to Titwood to face Clydesdale on Saturday, and then take on the Lanarkshire side in Dundee for their catch-up fixture.

Wanderers will rely virtually on the same team that stormed through the second division with a perfect record, although Rory Taylor has moved to Menzieshill. It will be interesting to see if their win ethic can still stand them in good stead in the top flight.

On Saturday Uddingston, now without their top goal scorer Brad Hughes,will open their account against an Edinburgh University side that lost their opening game to Watsonians.

Students` coach Graham Moodie said: “We fought back from 4-1 down, but we missed a penalty in the last quarter and it cost us. Disappointing start.”

It remains to be seen if Moodie`s young charges can recover sufficiently to break their duck at Bothwell Castle Policies.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

No. 14 Ohio State loses third straight game to No. 8 Iowa

Johnny Amundson

Ohio State freshman midfield Leanne Bough (1) runs the ball down the field during the game against Louisville on Sept. 15. Ohio State lost 2-1. Credit: Rachel Jaycox | For The Lantern

A pair of goals from Iowa forward Leah Zellner extended Ohio State field hockey’s losing streak to three games Friday.

Zellner’s game-winning goal put No. 8 Iowa (6-2, 1-0 Big Ten) up 2-1 over No. 14 Ohio State (4-4, 0-2 Big Ten) with ten minutes left in Iowa City, Iowa.

The sophomore’s two goals during puts her at three for the season, which are tied for fourth-best on the Hawkeyes.

Iowa was the highest-ranked opponent Ohio State has faced this year. The Hawkeyes’ only two losses of the year have come against No. 1 North Carolina and No. 2 Duke.

Zellner put Iowa on the board in the 19th minute after dribbling into the circle to score unassisted.

Buckeye freshman forward Sarah Charley notched her first goal of the year to tie the game at 1-1 just before halftime. The score came on an assist from sophomore forward Tess Maloney.

Zellner knocked home the game winner on a breakaway following a 50th minute Ohio State turnover.

Ohio State tried to ignite its offense in the final five minutes by pulling sophomore goalkeeper Aaliyah Hernandez, but could not overcome the deficit.

The Hawkeyes tripled the Buckeyes shot total 15-5 and Iowa also took five penalty corners to Ohio State’s two. It tied the Buckeyes’ lowest shot total of 2019.

The Buckeyes stay on the road to play Indiana (4-3) Sunday at noon.

The Lantern

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