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News for 24 November 2019

All the news for Sunday 24 November 2019

2019 Men's Central America Hockey 5s Development Tournament - Finals

23 Nov 2019     GUA v PAN (3rd/4th)     3 - 1
23 Nov 2019     CRC v PUR (Final)     2 - 2 (0 - 2 SO)

FIH Match Centre

2019 Women's Central America Hockey 5s Development Tournament - Finals

23 Nov 2019     GUA v CRC (Final)     1 - 1 (2 - 1 SO)

FIH Match Centre

Tokyo 2020 Olympic hockey tournaments: pools confirmed

Lausanne, Switzerland: The final participation in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 of all qualified teams has been approved by their respective National Olympic Committees. Consequently, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has now confirmed the Tokyo 2020 pools as follows:

Pool A: Australia, Argentina, India, Spain, New Zealand, Japan
Pool B: Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Canada, South Africa

Pool A:Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, India, South Africa
Pool B: Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Spain, China, Japan

To determine the composition of the pools, the same process has been applied as for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 (see Appendix 2).

With all participating teams being ranked among the top 16 teams of the current FIH World Rankings, fans can expect thrilling hockey encounters in Tokyo next year!

The 2016 Men’s Gold medallists, Argentina (WR:4), will face Australia (WR:1), India (WR:5), Spain (WR:8), New Zealand (WR:9) and hosts Japan (WR:15).

The Women’s Gold medallists in Rio, Great Britain (WR:5), will play against the Netherlands (WR:1), Germany (WR:4), Ireland (WR:8), India (WR:9) and South Africa (WR:16).

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic hockey tournaments will be staged in the brand-new Oi Hockey Stadium from 25 July to 7 August next year. The match schedule will be announced at a later stage.


FIH site

Indian hockey teams handed tough Tokyo 2020 assignment

The men’s and the women’s teams have been drawn alongside reigning Olympic champions Argentina and Great Britain respectively.

The Indian women's team has been paired alongside reigning Olympic champions Great Britain and the world champions, the Netherlands. Image courtesy: Hockey India

India's hockey teams will have to overcome the toughest of opposition if they are to succeed at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

The teams discovered their fate after the International Hockey Federation announced the pools for the hockey tournament at the 2020 Olympic Games.

The Indian men’s team was drawn alongside reigning Olympic champions Argentina, while the women’s team was pooled with Great Britain - winners of the women’s hockey tournament at Rio 2016.

A Tough Assignment

While defending champions Argentina will be the Indian men’s team’s marquee competition in Pool A, they will also have to contend with the three-time World champions Australia, EuroHockey Championship runners-up Spain, Commonwealth Games silver-medallists New Zealand, and host nation Japan.

The Indian women's team has been paired alongside reigning Olympic champions Great Britain and the world champions, the Netherlands. Image courtesy: Hockey India

Apart from reigning Olympic champions Great Britain, the Indian women’s team were drawn in a pool that also consists of both the FIH Women’s World Cup champions the Netherlands and runners-up Ireland. Athens 2004 women’s hockey gold medallists Germany and South Africa round-up Pool A.

The top four teams from each pool will qualify for the quarterfinals, with the winners making it to the semis and then the gold medal match. The hockey tournament will commence on July 25 and the final will be played on August 7.

All matches will be played at the brand new Oi Hockey Stadium in Tokyo.

Here are the complete pools:


Pool A: Australia, Argentina, India, Spain, New Zealand, Japan
Pool B: Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Canada, South Africa


Pool A: Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, India, South Africa
Pool B: Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Spain, China, Japan

Olympic Channel

India men and women's hockey teams clubbed with defending champions and world no 1 teams in Pool A

Tokyo Olympics 2020: India men and womens hockey teams clubbed with defending champions and world no 1 teams in Pool A

New Delhi: India have been clubbed along with defending champions Argentina and world number one side Australia in Pool A of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics men's hockey competition.

Indian team celebrates after scoring a goal against New Zealand in the final of the Olympic Test event in Tokyo. Hockey India

The other teams in India's pool are Spain, New Zealand and hosts Japan. The Pool B is made up of Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Canada and South Africa in the groupings announced by world governing body FIH on Saturday.

India, ranked fifth in the world, had qualified for the Tokyo Olympics after beating Russia 11-3 on aggregate in the qualifiers held in Bhubaneswar earlier this month.

The women's team has also been placed in Pool A along with defending champions Great Britain and world number one side the Netherlands. The other teams in Pool A are Germany, Ireland and South Africa.

The Pool B is made up of Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Spain, China and hosts Japan.

Ranked ninth in the world, the Indian women's team had qualified for the Tokyo Olympics after beating United States 6-5 on aggregate in the qualifiers held in Bhubaneswar earlier this month.

"To determine the composition of the pools, the same process has been applied as for the Olympic Games Rio 2016. With all participating teams being ranked among the top 16 teams of the current FIH World Rankings, fans can expect thrilling hockey encounters in Tokyo next year," the FIH said in a release.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic hockey tournaments will be staged in the brand-new Oi Hockey Stadium from 25 July to 7 August. The match schedule will be announced later.


TOKYO 2020: Indian men in wide open pool

s2h team

India’s men’s team will have to contend with the FIH World No. 1 Australia and defending champions Argentina in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Spain, New Zealand and Japan are India’s other rivals in Pool A of the 12-nation tournament.

India’s women’s team find themselves grouped with World No.1 and reigning World Cup champions The Netherlands and defending Olympic champions Great Britain in Pool A. Germany, Ireland and South Africa are the other teams in the pool.

The composition of the pools for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, going by the rankings formula, wasn’t much of an issue.

What would have provided a last-minute twist was the participation or otherwise of South Africa who twice before were not allowed to go to the Games by their Olympic body.

Happily it wasn’t the case this time around. South African teams from either gender will feature in Tokyo after the FIH was able to confirm approval of all teams by their respective National Olympic Committees on Saturday.

The pools, based on highest rankings that drew the Nos. 1, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 15 teams in Pool A. Nos. 2, 3, 6, 7, 10 and 11 went to Pool B.

The pools, therefore, panned out as follows.

Pool A: Australia (World Ranking: No. 1), Argentina (4), India (5), Spain (8), New Zealand (9) and Japan (15).
Pool B: Belgium (2), Netherlands (3), Germany (6), Great Britain (7), Canada (10), South Africa (11).

Pool A:Netherlands (WR: No. 1), Germany (4), Great Britain (5), Ireland (8), India (9), South Africa (16).
Pool B: Australia (2), Argentina (3), New Zealand (6), Spain (7), China (10), Japan (14).

All teams belong to the top 16 bracket determined by FIH World Rankings which promises an intriguing taut tournament.

Queerly, both the men’s and women’s tournament show a convergence of European teams in one pool while the opposite pool has just one European team – Spain.

In the men’s Pool B, there’s a bunch-up of European heavy weights. World Champions Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Great Britain will provide potentially classic contests in the quest to make the quarterfinals by finishing in the top four.

Canada and South Africa, presumably, will be left to spring an upset or two to find a foot in the door and progress to the last-eight stage.

In the women’s Pool B, Spain is the lone European representative with Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, China and Japan.

The men’s pool A is perhaps the most intriguing. Australia, one expects would be highly fancied to not only make the quarterfinals but finish pool toppers.

But with competition being cut-throat in recent times, the other three quarterfinal spots would be up in the air with defending champions’ Argentina’s indifferent form in recent times giving the other four in the pool – India, Spain, New Zealand and Japan – a more than even chance of taking points off the South Americans.

Hosts and Asian champions Japan will be charged up to put their best foot forward at home, even if a drop in funding (owing to pessimism of a podium finish) may have undermined their chances.

In the Pool B, silver medalists at Rio 2016 and reigning World champions Belgium are red-hot property having clinched their spot by emerging European champions in their own backyard.

But the Netherlands, beaten in a shootout in the World Cup final last year in Bhubaneswar by the Red Lions, are perennial contenders for a medal and with Germany and Great Britain for company appear to be a cut above Canada and South Africa.

The quarterfinals will be played between pool toppers versus the fourth best in the opposite pool, the second best playing the third placed in the other pool.

The Dutch, runners-up at Rio and current World champions should rule the roost in the women’s Pool A. Germany and defending champions Great Britain must fancy their chances of progressing with the last spot likely to go one of Ireland or India.

In Pool B, Argentina chasing the elusive gold and Australia start odds-on-favourites for quarterfinal berths. The remaining two places could result in a scramble involving New Zealand, Spain, China and hosts Japan.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic hockey tournaments will be staged in the brand-new Oi Hockey Stadium from 25 July to 7 August next year. The match schedule will be announced at a later stage.


Ireland to face GB and Dutch in Pool A

Ireland and the Netherlands met in the 2018 World Cup final in London

Ireland's women will face defending Olympic champions Great Britain and World Cup winners the Netherlands in the pool stages at Tokyo 2020.

The other teams in Pool A are Germany, India and South Africa.

Ireland, who will be playing in the Olympics for the first time, face a rematch of the 2018 World Cup final when they were defeated 6-0 by the Dutch.

The top four teams in each pool will make the Olympic quarter-finals.

Germany are fourth in the world, one place ahead of Great Britain who beat the Netherlands in a penalty shootout to take the gold medal in Rio.

India, beaten twice by Ireland in last year's World Cup, are ranked 9th and African champions South Africa are the lowest ranked nation competing in the Games at 16th.

Meanwhile Great Britain's men find themselves in Pool B with world champions Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Canada and South Africa.

Northern Irish duo Ian Sloan and David Ames were in the GB side that qualified for the Olympics by beating Malaysia in their play-off earlier this month.

The International Hockey Federation was able to make the announcement after all the qualified teams were approved by their respective National Olympic Committees with the composition of the pools made up according to the world rankings at the end of the qualification process.

The match schedule is expected to be announced in December.

BBC Sport

Indonesia's absence an 'early Christmas gift' for Dharmaraj's team

By Jugjet Singh

NATIONAL women’s indoor hockey coach K. Dharmaraj has described Indonesia’s mysterious absence from the Philippines Sea Games as an “early Christmas gift from Santa Claus”.

Though delighted to see Indonesia missing the Games when he received the groupings yesterday, he is just as perplexed by the sudden twist of events.

After all, Indonesia were silver medallists in the men and women's events when the sport made its debut in the 2017 KL Games.

Indonesia had been expected to be a huge threat again in this year’s edition in Laguna, Subic Bay.

“There is no news at all as to why Indonesia will not be fielding teams in indoor hockey despite them doing well two years ago. I’ve been preparing my team to face them in our quest to make the final in this year’s Games,” said Dharmaraj, who added that it was akin to receiving an early gift from Santa Claus himself.

“I know Indonesia went to Prague (Czech Republic) for 16 days to train and play. They were dead serious about beating us (again) and dethroning Thailand as the women’s champions.”

Curious about Indonesia’s absence, Dharmaraj tried to get some answers on his own.

“I contacted some Indonesian indoor hockey officials, but they did not answer my calls or messages. This has only deepened the mystery... they are my good friends,” said Dharmaraj.

It looks like even the Malaysian men’s team will benefit from Indonesia’s absence.

With Indonesia out of the way, Malaysia expect to breeze their way to defending the gold as they should have no problems defeating Thailand, Singapore, Philippines and Myanmar.

With the latest twist, the national women’s team expect to meet Thailand in the final as Cambodia, Singapore and Philippines should be no match for them.

Having been summoned by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) two months ago and told in no uncertain terms to make sure the team improved on the bronze at the Philippines Sea Games, Dharmaraj can now heave a huge sigh of relieve as silver is as good as guaranteed.

“I had drawn up plans for both Indonesia and Thailand, but it looks like we should play the Thais for gold in the Philippines,” he said.

The national indoor hockey players will leave for the Philippines on Dec 1. Their campaign begins on on Dec 4.

New Straits Times

Multi-million price tags again driving hockey World Cup to Bhubaneswar

The Hockey Insider

India had hosted the 2018 Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar. Image: Hockey India

The costly price tag for bringing the second successive men’s hockey World Cup to India has left little options for the organisers but to take the premier event back to Odisha’s capital, Bhubaneswar.

India became the first country to earn the right to host back-to-back World Cups earlier this month when the International Hockey Federation (FIH) – headed by former Hockey India chief Narinder Batra – decided in favour of the Indian national association’s bid.

Breaking the news of India’s bid, Firstpost.com had highlighted the flutter it had caused among other candidate cities. The bonanza offered by India was something the FIH was not accustomed to receiving and the exercise to select the host nation became a formality thereafter.

Hockey India had pledged a guarantee of 3.5 million Swiss Francs to clinch the improbable deal. Never before in the last five-decades had the global body sanctioned back-to-back global events to same country. Not even the dominant Netherlands and Australia – sharing global supremacy in the past three decades – thought of putting in bids for successive World Cups.

Despite some other states expressing interest in putting in bids for the World Cup, they were lagging far behind the quick decision making by the Odisha government, which obviously eased the pressure on Hockey India. The Hockey Insider has learnt that the backing for Bhubaneswar was available to Hockey India even before the title encounter of the 2018 World Cup got underway.

This was the same time when the international officials first got hint of India joining the bidding fray. Seeking event organisation knowledge from the World Cup organisers in Bhubaneswar, the foreign delegates were surprised that India refused to share information and said another Indian bid was being considered.

Having made a huge commitment, something the international hockey community was not familiar with, Hockey India can be excused for taking the beaten path to Bhubaneswar. That the Odisha government was willing to underwrite a major share of the expenses and also step in as promoters and sponsors of the tournament was a bonanza that boosted Hockey India’s confidence.

It was during Batra’s reign at the helm of Hockey India that the national body had marketed the concept of a city/state paying a guarantee fee to earn the right to stage an international event. That trend began with Chhattisgarh's capital, Raipur, hosting the 2015 World League Finals. Subsequently, Bhubaneswar and Lucknow also signed away crores of rupees to secure hosting rights for the senior and junior World Cups.

Over the past four years, Bhubaneswar has acquired a pivotal position in global hockey, what with the administrators deciding to put the state’s name on the Indian team uniforms for a hefty price and also taking up title sponsorship of the last World Cup.

Now, Odisha’s capital is bracing to corner the glory of being the global hockey community’s preferred venue for successive 16-nation World Cups for men. This expensive price tag, and the pressure of a challenging economic scenario, made Bhubaneswar the front-runner from the word go.

Bhubaneswar: India's Hardik Singh (in blue) and Netherlands' Robbert Kemperman vie for the ball during their quarterfinal match, at the Men's Hockey World Cup 2018, in Bhubaneswar, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (India lost 2-1. (PTI Photo/Ashok Bhaumik) (PTI12_13_2018_000200B)

The fee being paid for bringing the 2023 World Cup to India mandates that the host city/state will be the one loosening the purse strings. A strong argument was made by hockey officials of Uttar Pradesh, who insisted that Lucknow could again prove to be an ideal venue.

“Dribble Centre” is the label already acquired by Bhubaneswar In international hockey circles. The manner in which the whole city became part of the festive 2018 World Cup made a member of the champion Belgium squad tell The Hockey Insider that it would be a very tough act to follow.

Not many countries were keen to enter into a comparison, not even The Netherlands, that boasts of an obsessive hockey community that has the commercial sponsors supporting hockey events. After all, the Netherlands, arguably the best hockey destination in Europe, had only staged a joint men and women’s World Cup at The Hague in 2014.

India’s massive financial guarantee caused a reduction of bidders to just three nations. World Cup holders Belgium and Malaysia were the only two other bidders still in the fray, both hoping the FIH would prefer a change of venue from India. Financially, they came nowhere near the Indian bid – and that was all which mattered in the end when India were allocated the 2023 World Cup.

The cost of the World Cup is making sure that the prestigious event stays in Bhubaneswar. The FIH, obviously, is too smug at this juncture to ponder over future World Cups being able to match the guaranteed amount of 3.5 million Swiss Francs.


Upcoming Junior USMNT vs. Canada Test Series Live Streamed

MOORPARK, Calif. – Tomorrow the Junior U.S. Men’s National Training Squad will start their first training camp following the squad announcement in October. This training camp will take place from November 24 to 28 in Moorpark, Calif. and will also feature a USA vs. Canada test series, and all matches will be live streamed.

The USA vs. Canada test series will feature a younger and older squad from Canada for eight friendly matches during the training camp. The USMNT staff will select the competing roster each day of the games based on athletes’ performance at the training camp. Teams will be fielded from athletes in the U-16/U-18 and U-21 divisions.

The live stream, which will be provided by the Field Hockey Federation, will sit on the Junior USMNT vs. Canada Event Page that can be found by clicking here. This event is open to the public and admission is free.

Sunday, November 24

1:00 p.m.        U-18 USA vs. Canada
3:00 p.m.        U-21 USA vs. Canada

Monday, November 25

1:00 p.m.        U-16 USA vs. Canada
3:00 p.m.        U-21 USA vs. Canada

Wednesday, November 27

1:00 p.m.        U-18 USA vs. Canada
3:00 p.m.        U-21 USA vs. Canada

Thursday, November 28

7:00 a.m.        U-16 USA vs. Canada
8:30 a.m.     U-21 USA vs. Canada

*All times in Pacific time zone

A special thank you goes to the U.S. Men’s Field Hockey Booster Club who will be hosting a Thanksgiving meal for both teams on Tuesday, November 26. This meal will be for all athletes, coaches, staff and parents of the five teams.

For more information regarding the Junior USMNT vs. Canada series including the schedule, results, rosters and more, check out the official event page by clicking here.

USFHA media release

SA men’s hockey stars leave Ashton kids in awe

Players such as Jethro Eustice, Dan Sibbald, Gowan Jones and Clinton Panther gave the young players a taste of what skills would be required to play at the highest level while having a fun time on the turf.

Learning from the best in a coaching clinic by the SA men's hockey team.

Last weekend Ashton International College got behind South African men’s hockey by hosting a coaching clinic on their very own FIH approved Astro turf.

The South African men’s team recently qualified for the 2020 Olympics to take place in Tokyo and the clinic was in aid of raising funds for the players who will be attending high performance camps in the months leading up to the Olympics.

The clinic, which was run by Durban-based members of the SA men’s squad, was well supported by local hockey players from numerous schools within KZN.

Players such as Jethro Eustice, Dan Sibbald, Gowan Jones and Clinton Panther gave the young players a taste of what skills would be required to play at the highest level while having a fun time on the turf.

The weather although rainy did not affect the quality of the clinic as this gave the SA men and the players the opportunity to make use of the school’s Legacy indoor hockey court.

This gave the players the opportunity to learn various outdoor as well as indoor hockey skills.

On top of this, the players also had the opportunity to learn from the SA indoor men’s team who in conjunction with the clinic had a training session ahead of their international series against Switzerland.

The clinic was a resounding success as Ashton International College managed to raise a total of R38 000 for the SA men.

The school thanked the organisers, including teacher Claire Black and heads of sport Craig Currin and Gary Schneider for affording the opportunity to the Dolphin Coast community.

North Coast Courier

ROUND-UP: Investec English Women's Hockey League

East Grinstead goalscorer Sophie Bray tackles Beeston’s Ruby Apoola. Credit Peter Smith

Surbiton’s dominance continued in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday as they secured their tenth consecutive victory – a 3-1 win at bottom of the table Bowdon Hightown.

Emily Atkinson got the league leaders off to a good start when she found the net in the 15th minute from a penalty corner.

Hannah Martin doubled their advantage in the 53rd minute before Sian French hit back for Bowdon a minute later to make it 2-1.

Hannah Martin netted her second of the day in the 60th minute to seal all three points.

In-form East Grinstead picked up another three points as they won 2-1 at home against Beeston.

Tess Howard opened the scoring in the 15th minute from free play before Sian Emslie levelled for the Beeston with 11 minutes remaining.

Sophie Bray hit the winner in the 64th minute when she found the net from open play.

Elsewhere Loughborough Students picked up their fourth win of the campaign as they won 2-1 at home against Buckingham.

Sophie Byrne and Victoria McCabe were both on the scoresheet for the home side while Natasha James hit the only goal for Buckingham.

Clifton Robinsons secured three points as they ran out 1-0 victors at the University of Birmingham.

Claire Thomas scored the only goal of the game when she found the net from a penalty stroke in the 30th minute.

Investec Division 1 North

Leicester City moved top of the Investec Division One North table as they won 2-1 at home against Stourport.

Rachel Mack gave the home side the lead in the tenth minute from a penalty corner before Bethan Merriman hit back for Stourport five minutes before half time.

Martina Nistico found the winner for Leicester in the 57th minute.

Swansea lost their place at the top of the table as they slumped to a 3-2 defeat at home against Ben Rhydding.

Rachel Doherty, Laura Choma and Freya Bellamy were the goal scorers for the away side while Carys Gordon netted a brace for Swansea it was in vain as Swansea couldn’t find another goal.

Elsewhere, Gloucester City versus Brooklands-Poynton ended 1-1, Olton & West Warwicks won 4-2 at home against Belper and the University of Durham won 1-0 at home against Leeds.

Investec Division 1 South

Wimbledon maintained their 100% record with a 5-2 win at Slough in the Investec Division One South on Saturday afternoon.

Fiona Semple netted a hat-trick for the away side while Rosie Pickersgill and Eliza Brett bagged one apiece as Wimbledon secured all three points for the eighth game in succession.

Megan Hughes and Juliette Inverdale were on the scoresheet for Slough.

Harleston Magpies produced a solid performance at Isca, winning 3-0.

Charlotte Harrison and Lucy Whiting gave the away side a 2-0 lead at half time before Lara Taylor sealed the points with a goal from open play in the 59th minute.

Elsewhere Reading won 2-1 at Canterbury, Sevenoaks won 4-2 at St Albans and Cambridge City were 2-1 victors at Trojans.

Investec Conference North

The University of Nottingham maintained their two-point advantage at the top of the Investec Conference North table as they won 6-0 at bottom of the table Beeston 2s on Saturday.

Jordan Homann netted a hat-trick and Ella Bromley, Jessica Hill and Sophie Jefferson netted one each as the away side claimed all three points for the eighth time this season.

Elsewhere, Sutton Coldfield ensured they maintained the pressure on the University of Nottingham after winning 5-2 at home against Timperley.

Emma McCabe bagged four goals for the home side while Susan Wood scored the fifth. Beth Crowther and Vicky Lomas were the scorers for Timperley.

Investec Conference East

Bedford closed the gap at the top of the Investec Conference West table to four points as they won 3-0 at home against bottom of the table Ipswich.

Beth Noble gave the home side the lead from a penalty corner before two goals in seven minutes from Eleanor Priston and Kelly Bingham saw the home side claim all three points.

Southgate also closed the gap on the top two as they won 2-0 at home against former leaders Wimbledon 2s.

Emily Meredith and Katie Hopkisson were the goal scorers for the home team.

Investec Conference West

Oxford Hawks won 3-2 at home against Surbiton 2s in the Investec Conference West on Saturday to close the gap at the top of the table to three points.

Emily Smith gave the home side the lead in the third minute before Hannah Denison levelled up the affair four minutes later.

Alice Klugman gave Surbiton the lead in the 46th minute before goals from Caro Harris and Samantha Jacobs secured all three points for Oxford Hawks.

Elsewhere, Oxford University ensured the gap at the top of the table was closed to only one point as they won 2-1 at home against Cheltenham.

Yasemin Zurke and Ellie Harrison scored the goals for the home side while Charlotte Roberts found the net for Cheltenham.

England Hockey Board Media release

Edinburgh Lightning strikes back in Scottish Academy Series day two

Both Edinburgh Lightning sides struck back from their opening day defeats in the Academy Series to clock up day 2 victories over Dundee Devils. In the boys’ contest it ended 2-1 while in the girls’ match the game ended 4-1.

Girls’ Academy Series | Edinburgh Lightning 4-1 Dundee Devils

Day two of the girls’ Academy Series saw Edinburgh Lightning take a 4-1 victory over Dundee Devils in Uddingston. The win made up for their defeat against Glasgow Thunder on day one and has the Edinburgh side in charge on goal difference with Glasgow Thunder and Dundee Devils still to play.

It was goalless at the end of the first quarter and the contest was even for long spells in the contest.

Four minutes into the second quarter it was Edinburgh Lightning took the lead. Neve Wood struck with an excellent finish when she volleyed the ball into the net to make it 1-0.

A couple of minutes later Lightning doubled their advantage when they went 2-0 ahead. The ball bounced around the Devils’ D and Holly Shepherd applied the finish.

As half time approached Lightning went 3-0 up and it was Nina Constable who converted a penalty corner strike to give her side a solid lead.

Then, just on the half time hooter, Dundee Devils pulled one back when Lucy Smith pounced on a bouncing ball in the Lightning D to pull it back to 3-1.

Six minutes into the second half it went to 4-1 with another close range finish as both sides battled for the ball in the Devils’ D.

There were no further goals in the contest but some good chances were denied by the goalkeepers, most notably when Smith drove into the Lightning D for the Devils but her effort was well saved.

Photo by David McCarthy

Boys’ Academy Series | Edinburgh Lightning 2-1 Dundee Devils

Edinburgh Lightning put the disappointment of their day 1 shootout defeat to Glasgow Thunder behind them with a late winner to beat Dundee Devils 2-1 on day 2 of the Boys’ Academy Series.

It was a close competitive match from the outset with both teams looking to impress, there wasn’t much between the sides.

It was the Devils who broke the deadlock in the second quarter when they went 1-0 ahead through Ali Douglas.

Edinburgh Lightning equalised before half time when Keir Robb ran through on goal, rounded the goalkeeper, and slotted the ball home on the reverse.

The third quarter had a number of good opportunities for goals; Cameron Ede came close for Lightning but his effort whistled just wide of the post.

Lightning struck for a dramatic end to the contest; it went to 2-1 for Edinburgh Lightning with just a few minutes remaining when Jake Inglis scored. Robb played a lovely ball across the goal and Inglis was there to finish off.

Lightning held on for the win and their Academy Series sees them finish on three points, showing good development over the two games.

Dundee Devils face Glasgow Thunder tomorrow in the final day of play in the Boys’ Academy Series.

Edinburgh Lightning Squad

Day 1

Boys’ Academy Series: Glasgow Thunder 3-3 (3-0) Edinburgh Lightning
Girls’ Academy Series: Glasgow Thunder 2-1 Edinburgh Lightning

Day 2

Boys’ Academy Series: Edinburgh Lightning 2-1 Dundee Devils
Girls’ Academy Series: Edinburgh Lightning 4-1 Dundee Devils

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Blazers seal record-extending 22nd title


Kenyatta University's Gloria Juma (left) vies for the ball with Blazers' Rachel Ousa during their Kenya Hockey Union Women Premier League match at City Park Stadium on November 17, 2019 Blazers won 2-1. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Blazers (formerly Telkom) on Saturday sealed a record-extending 22nd Kenya Hockey Union women’s Premier League crown with a match to spare.

The team achieved the feat after a 4-0 drubbing of United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) Spartans in a league match at the City Park Stadium, Nairobi.

The win took the unbeaten champions’ points tally to 35 points from 13 matches, nine ahead of second placed Spartans, who came into the match needing to win to keep their title ambitions alive.

A brace from Elinah Chebet and a goal each from Terry Masibo and Audrey Omaido sealed the emphatic win for Blazers.

The final whistle drew wild celebrations from the players and stand-in coach Ruth Mbulo admitted this victory was sweeter than their previous successes due to their financial struggles.

“It has not been easy since Telkom pulled out of sponsoring the team and the players have had to endure off the pitch problems but it has only served to make us stronger,” Mbulo said on Saturday.

Their attention now switches to the defence of their Africa Cup of Club Championship title which bullies off in Ismailia, Egypt on December 1 and Mbulo believes they will be ready.

“The league success will only serve to motivate us as we go in search of an eleventh continental crown in Egypt,” the tactician added.

Blazers came into the match needing only a point to retain their title and were handed a perfect start by striker Omaido who fired home a sweeping move.

They doubled their lead just before halftime as Chebet’s backhand shot beat Spartans keeper Noivelle Owino at her near post.

The game was over as a contest two minutes later as Chebet got her second of the match after a lovely lay-off from Omaido. Spartans offered little in attack, missing the services of pacy attacker Rhoda Kuira. Evergreen Masibo put the icing on the cake as she sounded the boards with a sweetly taken shot via Flavia Mutiva’s penalty corner four minutes to the end.

Spartans coach Willis Okeyo conceded defeat, noting that his charges were second best.

“I think we gave them (Balzers) a good run this season and my players should be proud of their performances, but Blazers have an edge over us due to their experience,” Okeyo said.

In the men’s Premier League, Robinson Omutevete grabbed the winner as hosts Western Jaguar saw off Sailors 3-2 at the Kakamega High School.

Daily Nation

Police, Magnolias eye more indoor glory

by Nigel Simon

Defence Force’s Mickel Pierre goes past Police’s Solomon Eccles during their recent T&T Hockey Board Indoor Championship Men’s Open Division match at the Woodbrook Youth Facility, Woodbrook. Eccles was on target for Police as they beat Malvern 8-1 in the Magnolia Hockey Club Indoor Tournament on Friday night. ANTHONY HARRIS

Re­cent­ly-crowned na­tion­al in­door hock­ey cham­pi­ons Po­lice and Shandy Carib Mag­no­lias moved to with­in one win each of se­cur­ing yet more suc­cess on Fri­day night.

This af­ter both clubs won their re­spec­tive semi­fi­nals on the penul­ti­mate night of com­pe­ti­tion in the Mag­no­lia Hock­ey Club In­door Hock­ey Tour­na­ment at the Wood­brook Youth Fa­cil­i­ty.

In the men’s Open Di­vi­sion semi­fi­nals, Po­lice got two goals each from na­tion­al team duo Solomon Ec­cles (7th & 16th) and Akim Tou­s­saint (9th & 30th) in their 8-1 spank­ing of Malvern.

The trio of Jor­dan Reynos, Wayne Leg­erton and Justin Be­har­ry added one each for the law­men, while Daniel By­er net­ted Malvern’s con­so­la­tion item.

Last night in the fi­nal, Po­lice were due to meet de­throned na­tion­al cham­pi­ons Queen’s Park Crick­et Club, who out­played pre­vi­ous­ly un­beat­en De­fence Force 3-1 in the oth­er se­mi on Fri­day.

The trio of Mar­cus Pas­cal, Shawn Lee Quay and ex-na­tion­al cap­tain Dar­ren Cowie were all on tar­get for the Parkites, be­fore Isa­iah Scott got the 30th-minute item for De­fence Force, who had topped their round-robin pool with three wins from as many match­es.

Bri­an­na Govia was, mean­while, the hero­ine for Mag­no­lias as she net­ted four goals in their 6-2 maul­ing of Ven­tures in their women’s Open Di­vi­sion semi­fi­nal.

Olton sis­ters Elise and Amie chipped in with one goal each for Mag­no­lias while Ariel Cowie and Emer­ald Piper were on tar­get for Ven­tures in the first and eighth min­utes re­spec­tive­ly.

In the cham­pi­onship match, Mag­no­lias were to meet Paragon, who edged past Malvern 4-3 in the oth­er semi­fi­nal Fri­day.

Gabrielle Thomp­son led the way for Paragon with two goals (16th & 24th) af­ter team-mates Zene Hen­ry (4th) and Lisa Smith (8th) net­ted to can­cel out Krizia Layne’s hat-trick for Malvern in the first, tenth and 24th min­utes.

Fri­day’s Re­sults:

Open Women semi­fi­nals:

MAG­NO­LIAS 6 (Bri­an­na Govia 2nd, 7th, 11th, 26th, Elise Olton 20th, Amie Olton 27th) v VEN­TURES 2 (Ariel Cowie 1st, Emer­ald Piper 8th)

PARAGON 4 (Zene Hen­ry 4th, Lisa Smith 8th, Gabrielle Thomp­son 16th, 24th) v MALVERN 3 (Krizia Layne 1st, 10th, 24th)

Open Men semi­fi­nals:

PO­LICE I 8 (Solomon Ec­cles 7th, 16th, Akim Tou­s­saint 9th, 30th, Jor­dan Reynos 5th, Wayne Leg­erton 23rd, Justin Be­har­ry 26th, Dwain Quan Chan 28th) v MALVERN 1 (Daniel By­er 8th)

QPCC 3 (Mar­cus Pas­cal 5th, Shawn Lee Quay 13th, Dar­ren Cowie 25th) v DE­FENCE FORCE 1 (Isa­iah Scott 30th)

3d place play­offs:


FA­TI­MA 5 (Lucy Lee 14th, 15th, Alan Young 6th, Wayne Nieves 9th, Col­in Young 24th) v SHAPE 2 (John Her­nan­dez 3rd, Chris Low Quan 19th)

Open Women:

MALVERN 4 (Krizia Layne 13th, 22nd, Tonya-Marie James 1st, An­drea Jack­son 27th) v VEN­TURES 2 (Aman­da George 18th, Ariel Cowie 26th)

Open Men:

MALVERN 3 (Tyrese Ben­jamin 11th, Christo­pher Lazar 22nd, Kristien Em­manuel 23rd) v DE­FENCE FORCE 2 (Mikel Pierre 26th, Isa­iah Scott 28th)

The Trinidad Guardian

A four-goal explosion from Erin Matson sends UNC field hockey to NCAA title game

The Tar Heels' sophomore forward is now second in single-season history with 31 goals.

BY Chapel Fowler

Sophomore forward Erin Matson (1) dodges past Boston College player as she dribbles the ball towards the goal in the NCAA Final Four game against BC at Kentner Stadium on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019. UNC won 6-3, with four goals scored by Matson. Angelina Katsanis

WINSTON-SALEM — Erin Matson has perfected the art of namedropping. Her Friday news conference, after North Carolina beat Boston College to advance to the NCAA championship, said as much.

Asked about her offensive success against the Eagles, the forward credited the teammates that assisted her. Asked about how she’s expanded her game as a sophomore, she brought up Robbert Schenk, the team’s newest assistant coach.

Even in describing the previous regular-season game she missed against Boston College — she was in India with the U.S. National Team — Matson shouted out Chris Fry, the performance analyst who promptly uploaded the game film so she could watch the win from a good 8,000 miles away.

Case in point: if you stumbled into the interview room having not watched UNC’s 6-3 win, you’d be hard pressed to discern Matson’s masterful performance.

She scored four goals on six shots — including two crucial ones in the second period — to tie an NCAA record for a semifinal and send the 22-0 Tar Heels to Sunday’s title game against Princeton.

Matson also moved into second place on UNC’s single-season goal list; her 31 in 2019 are second only to Cindy Werley’s 36 in 1997. And, by virtue of doing it in just 19 games, Matson now sits atop the NCAA’s goals per game leaderboard (1.63).

“Insane,” senior Megan DuVernois said of her teammate. “Just insanely good. There’s some things where I'm like, ‘How do you even do that?’”

The sophomore scored in a variety of ways at Kentner Stadium: off a penalty corner set-up in the 19th minute; on a heads-up tip-in that involved a last-second body contortion in the 26th; and on two late-game strikes to the left and right post in the 38th and 56th, respectively.

The one similarity among her goals? The decisiveness that set them up. UNC’s offense remained in constant motion on all six of its scores, making long runs toward the goal and passing with precision in tight quarters. Two of Matson’s goals came off simple crosses. All of the team’s goals were assisted.

“I think a big thing this year has been working on those connections, moving off each other in the circle, giving the first pass we see,” the sophomore forward said. “Not making anything too fancy.”

In a game that head coach Karen Shelton said she “never felt comfortable” in, Matson was an anchor in more ways than one. Marissa Creatore, a redshirt senior who had a goal and assist of her own Friday, has watched her teammate flourish as a leader over the last two seasons.

It’s in the little things, she said. How Matson carries herself. Her increased comfort in being vocal. The fact that she sent the team a “really great” good luck text message before the three late regular-season games she missed.

“Even as a sophomore you see everyone — seniors, freshmen — looking up to her on the field and now off the field,” Creatore said. “It’s incredible to see her competitive spirit inspiring everyone around her.”

UNC, winners of an unfathomable 45 straight games, will go for its eighth NCAA title on Sunday. If the team returns to Chapel Hill with the trophy, Matson, their offensive star, will undoubtedly be a huge part of it.

Not that she’d tell you that.

The Daily Tar Heel

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