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News for 06 December 2019

All the news for Friday 6 December 2019

2019 Test matches ARG vs GER (W) = 3rd Test
Buenos Aires (ARG)

5 Dec 2019     ARG v GER     1 - 0

FIH Match Centre

2019 Indoor Test matches RSA v IRL (W) - 2nd Test
Durban (RSA)

5 Dec 2019     RSA v IRL     2 - 1

FIH Match Centre

SPAR South Africa eyes are smiling in Irish opener

At the end of the SPAR Indoor Test Series between South Africa and Ireland, the hosts will have played 29 indoor hockey test matches in the year, incredibly this test match was the first in 29 years for the visitors. Incredibly that meant that all but three of ladies would not have been alive when that team competed. As a result, all 12 players that featured in the opening test match made their international debuts.

So, with a wealth of international indoor inexperience but tons of good old Irish gumption, the Irish arrived to play a team amid a sensational program of indoor hockey. That programme has seen the SPAR South African ladies go undefeated for 14 consecutive tests including matches against Switzerland and Czech Republic. It was all set up for a historic first test between the two hockey loving nations.

The South Africans started like the team more used to indoor hockey and quickly dominated the early proceedings with some quick interchanges that underlined their attacking approach to the game. Unfortunately for all their domination the hosts were unable to delight the audience with a goal in the opening ten minutes but limited the visitors to a few counter attacks that the likes of Jess O’Connor and Kara Botes dealt with effectively.

Although the Irish got a little bit more ball in the second quarter with Orla Fox looking particularly impressive, the South Africans continued to dictate the pace of the game with Jamie Southgate proving to be a menace for the Irish. As the game was petering towards a deadlocked half time score, despite the best efforts of Cindy Hack and Edith Molikoe, it was Robyn Johnson who popped up to put the hosts 1-0 up. Kara Botes won the ball on defence in her own D, switched it to Amy Greaves who played an inch perfect long ball to Cindy Hack who squared for Johnson after a lung bursting run from the goal scorer to gain the lead.

Ireland had an early chance in the second half for Kate McKenna but Cheree Greyvenstein blocked the shot before the South Africans doubled their lead within 60 seconds. Amy Greaves and Cindy Hack combined in the middle of the park before a sublime ball from the skipper sent Greaves one on one with Millie Regan and she made no mistake in her 66th test match.

Ireland, to their credit, held firm though and although their chances were limited, they were never out of the contest through some impressive defensive work with the likes of Niamh Small and Sophie Barnwell impressing. Barnwell won the Irish a penalty corner in the 35th minute of the game and they Orla Fox finished superbly to score the first Irish indoor goal in 29 years.

Although Ireland sensed the opportunity for an upset, the South Africans management of the final five minutes of the game will be particularly pleasing to Lennie Botha and his coaching team. The team held possession, controlled the pace and limited the Irish to a few desperate breaks while creating a few opportunities themselves to kill off the game. At the end, as the Irish would say, it was great craic and sets up the remainder of the series outstandingly well.

SPAR Test Series

Durban – Danville Park Girls High School
First Test - Wednesday 4 December – South Africa 2-1 Ireland
Second Test – Thursday 5 December – 18:00

Cape Town – Bellville Velodrome
Third Test – Saturday 7 December – 19:00
Fourth Test – Sunday 8 December – 19:00
Fifth Test – Tuesday 10 December – 09:30
Sixth Test – Tuesday 10 December – 19:00

SA Hockey Association media release

Fox creates history as Irish women return to indoor action

The Irish women’s indoor side

Orla Fox created a little piece of history as the first Irish indoor international goalscorer since 1990 when she netted from a penalty corner in Durban on Wednesday evening.

It came during a 2-1 defeat to South Africa in game one, Fox’s goal coming five minutes from the end after Robyn Johnson and Amy Greaves had given the hosts a strong lead.

Game two on Thursday evening finished on the same scoreline, with Edith Molikoe opening the scoring before Orla Patton equalised in the second quarter. Kara-Lee Botes, however, won the tie with four minutes to go for South Africa.

Fox captained the side for the first two tests and she says it is “a massive privilege” to be involved with the revamped side who are looking forward to the European championships in January.

“It is a really exciting time for Irish indoor hockey, even though the games are in South Africa there’s a lot of support from home too which is great to see so many people following the squads progress!

“The standard here is really high; the South Africans started with a really high tempo and capitalised on their experience together as a group. But I think we grew into the game and definitely matched them towards the end.

As for her historic goal, she added: “It’s lovely to have it but we still have another 5 games to go so hopefully there’s plenty of more goals coming from this squad as we prepare for the Europeans in January!”

The trip now moves from Durban to Cape Town and the Belleville Velodrome where four more matches will be played against the South Africans. A big crowd is anticipated as the event dovetails with the Pro Series Indoor nationals.

For coach Dave Passmore, he is enthusiastic about how much his side has learned in a short time,

“It has been great how the girls have come together and enjoy time with each other as that morale has allowed us to cover an incredible amount in the four training sessions we had before our first match.

“Although I was delighted at how competitive we were for long periods of the first match, we are on a steep learning curve and South Africa will undoubtably up their game now.

“It’s always easier to play a team you know than one you don’t.  As a management team we will aim to challenge the players with varying tactics and introducing playing strategies that will best equip us for the Europeans next month.”

The tour is a self-funded one with significant support from SPAR and PSI.

** All the matches in Cape Town are being streamed LIVE on the following website: https://digitv.co.za/#/

December 4: South Africa 2 (R Johnson, A Greaves) Ireland 1
(O Fox)

December 5: South Africa 2 (E Molikoe, K-L Botes) Ireland 1
(O Patton)

December 7: South Africa vs Ireland, 5pm, Cape Town

December 8: South Africa vs Ireland, 5pm, Cape Town

December 10: South Africa vs Ireland, 8.20am, Cape Town

December 10: South Africa vs Ireland, 7pm, Cape Town

The Hook

Ireland step up preparations for European Indoor Championships

Passmore’s squad beaten 2-1 in South Africa in first game of a six-match series

Mary Hannigan

Orla Fox: Railway Union player was on target as Ireland returned to the indoor hockey arena against South Africa in Durban. South Africa won 2-1. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

As part of their preparations for January’s European Indoor Championships in Bratislava, where they will take on Slovakia, Slovenia, Portugal, Spain, Denmark and Finland in the third division of the competition, the Irish indoor side are in South Africa this week for a six-match series in Durban and Cape Town.

Wednesday’s game against their hosts, which ended in a 2-1 defeat, was the first indoor international played by Ireland since 1990. The squad was assembled following trials in Abbotstown in October.

The trip to South Africa has been partly subsidised by Spar, sponsors of South African indoor hockey, the 14-strong squad coached by Dave Passmore.

Among the 14 players are six from Hockey League clubs, Orla Fox and Kate McKenna (both Railway Union), Sophie Barnwell (Muckross), Naomi Carroll (Catholic Institute), Orla Patton (UCD) and Niamh Small (Loreto), hence this weekend’s reduced programme of matches, with Queens’ Erin Getty, Tori Hastings and Jessica McMaster, Ards’ Caroline Adams and Amy Benson, Chloe Brown (East Grinstead), Roisin O’Brien (Glenanne) and Millie Regan (East Grinstead) completing the panel.

It was Fox who got Ireland’s goal on Wednesday in a creditable display against a side playing their 29th indoor international of the year. The team play two more matches in Durban before moving on to Cape Town where they will play another three.

Back home the pick of the three surviving Hockey League games is the meeting in Belfast of the top two in the table, Pegasus and Pembroke Wanderers, the Dublin side leading the defending champions on goal difference.

Cork Harlequins, still looking for their first win of the campaign, host fourth-placed Old Alexandra while Muckross, who beat Harlequins last weekend for their first victory of the season, are at home to UCD.

Hockey League: Saturday: Pegasus v Pembroke Wanderers, Queens, 2.30; Cork Harlequins v Old Alexandra, Harlequins Park, 1.05; Muckross v UCD, Muckross Park, 3.15.

The Irish Times

The Luck of the Irish almost enough, but SPAR South Africa win tight tussle

The second test of the SPAR Indoor test series between SPAR South Africa and the visiting Irish took place tonight at Danville Park Girls School in Durban North. The hosts had triumphed 2-1 in a tight battle on the opening night and were looking to take a 2-0 lead before the series heads to the Pro Series Indoor Nationals in Cape Town.

David Passmore, who has created an extremely competitive side considering the lack of international action, gave International debuts to Chloe Brown and Amy Benson after they sat out the opener while Niamh Small and Naomi Carroll sat this one out. For coach Lennie Botha he would probably have been looking for a little bit more clinical play from the South Africans in front of goal.

Jessica McMaster thought she had her first international goal early in the game when she put the ball past Cheree Greyvenstein, but the whistle had rightfully already gone for a lift in the build-up. They then relied on a bit of superb Irish luck and skill to deny Robyn Johnson a goal as Chloe Brown made a wonderful goal line clearance. The way she plucked the ball out of its route to goal was almost as unbelievable as the magic acts on America’s Got Talent. And not long after that Ireland really should have been ahead. Amy Benson made a wonderful run up the wing before laying off a superb ball that McMaster fired just wide.

The miss would come back to haunt them as less than 60 seconds later Edith Modikoe finished with a deft slide past Millie Regan after wonderful work from Eloise Walters. Regan did however keep the score at 1-0 with a good save from an SA penalty corner to wrap up a tense first quarter.

If the first quarter was the starter the second was merely the pallet cleanser. The game was being played tentatively in the middle of the park and both teams were struggling to but sustained periods of possession together. The biggest chances fell to the South Africans with Robyn Johnson, Cindy Hack and Kara Botes all were denied by different levels of sensational goalkeeping by Regan. Ireland will be disappointed that they didn’t take advantage of their sole penalty corner in the quarter.

The second half raised the level of hockey and the intensity and Ireland looked to be establishing a foothold in the game. Ironically it was after their own sustained period of possession that South Africa created the first chance of the half winning a penalty corner through Molikoe. Much to the frustration of Botha this one and the next were not converted and the Irish started to believe they could level. It came fantastically from Orla Patton. Caroline Adams subbed on, received the ball and found Patton open. Pattons first shot was saved by Greyvenstein but with nobody cleaning up the scraps she reacted first to the rebound to earn her first international goal.

The last ten minutes saw SPAR South Africa lay siege to the Irish defence. They worked a fantastic opportunity for Jess O’Connor in her 94th test, but her shot was agonisingly wide, before Robyn Johnson was given a half chance but couldn’t control it sufficiently. The Irish defence was standing tall but Kara Botes stood up to be counted and fired home a wonderful PC to give SA a 2-1 lead. Botes once again showing she can be relied on in the big moments for South Africa.

Cindy Hack was denied late on before Ireland broke with a 3-on-2, but were met with the traditional bus is full save from Jess O’Connor to deny them a chance and seal the victory and a 2-0 series lead for the hosts.

The series now heads to Cape Town where the third test will be played on Saturday and will be televised on Digitv.co.za.

SPAR Test Series

Durban – Danville Park Girls High School
First Test - Wednesday 4 December – South Africa 2-1 Ireland
Second Test – Thursday 5 December – South Africa 2-1 Ireland

Cape Town – Bellville Velodrome
Third Test – Saturday 7 December – 19:00
Fourth Test – Sunday 8 December – 19:00
Fifth Test – Tuesday 10 December – 09:30
Sixth Test – Tuesday 10 December – 19:00

SA Hockey Association media release

Return of Ireland indoor squads a boost for the sport

Men’s squad heading to Santander in January for the Euro Indoor Championships

Johnny Watterson

It’s an exciting time for Irish indoor hockey with the re-establishment of the men’s and women’s senior national teams after a 30-plus year hiatus.

The men’s squad travel to Santander in Spain in mid January for the Euro Indoor Championships III.

The team has fallen back a bit since it played in the last tournament at home in Loughlinstown Leisure Centre in Dublin in 1987. It seems like a long time to have been beating the drum, which, for the millionth time, sharpens up the bigger outdoor version, generates closer skills and gives players confidence in confined space and under pressure with the ball.

Now the indoor and outdoor national teams are separate which, given the commitments to qualifying for World Cups and Olympic Games, is the correct pathway. Few players could commit to both versions.

Back in 1987 the players were largely, if not all, derived from the national outdoor squad, then ranked at 12 or 13 in the world (official rankings did not exist). But the indoor squad was very much an add-on.

There is also a view that indoor should be respected and consideration given to a short winter season of its own, an idea practised in European countries and more realistic these days.

Playing cricket in the summer was the historic reason the outdoor hockey didn’t run into the summer time. That is no longer a valid reason.

Ireland are in a group with hosts Spain, Scotland, Slovenia and Wales with only a top spot earning promotion to the second tier. There are no scheduled EY Irish Hockey League fixtures this weekend.

Ireland men’s indoor hockey squad: R Canning (Three Rock Rovers); M English (Three Rock Rovers); N Glassey (Crefelder THC - Germany); J Jackson - captain (Team Bath Buccaneers - England); J Lynch - vice captain (Monkstown); H Morris (Three Rock Rovers); S O’Keeffe - GK (Railway Union); B Parsons (Railway Union; R Rixon Fuller (Glenanne); C Robson (Crefelder THC - Germany); M Robson (Crefelder THC - Germany); S West - GK (Team Bath Buccaneers - England).

The Irish Times

SEA Games 2019 (Men) - Day 2
Laguna (PHI)

5 Dec 2019     MAS v MYA (RR)     6 - 0 (6 - 0)
5 Dec 2019     THA v PHI (RR)     5 - 0 (5 - 0)

Pool Standings

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Thailand 2 2 0 0 9 1 8 6
2 Malaysia 1 1 0 0 6 0 6 3
3 Singapore 1 1 0 0 4 1 3 3
4 Philippines 2 0 0 2 1 9 -8 0
5 Myanmar 2 0 0 2 1 10 -9 0

FIH Match Centre

SEA Games 2019 (Women) - Day 2
Laguna (PHI)

5 Dec 2019     MAS v SGP (RR)     3 - 0 (2 - 0)
5 Dec 2019     THA v PHI (RR)     5 - 0 (3 - 0)

Pool Standings

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Malaysia 2 2 0 0 18 0 18 6
2 Thailand 2 2 0 0 11 1 10 6
3 Singapore 2 0 1 1 3 6 -3 1
4 Cambodia 2 0 1 1 4 9 -5 1
5 Philippines 2 0 0 2 0 20 -20 0

FIH Match Centre

3 Nations Invitational Tournament - Canberra (AUS) - Day 4
 Under 21 Women's Outdoor

6 Dec 2019 18:00     NZL v AUS (RR)     1 - 3

Pool Standings

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 India 2 1 1 0 3 1 2 4
2 Australia 3 1 1 1 5 5 0 4
3 New Zealand 3 1 0 2 4 6 -2 3

FIH Match Centre

Gagandeep helps India hold Australia 1-1

The Indian players congratulate Gagandeep Kaur (right) after she scored the equaliser. Photo: Hockey India

The Indian junior women’s hockey team rallied to hold hosts Australia to a 1-1 draw in their second match of the Three-Nation tournament. The home side took the lead through a field goal by Schonell Courtney in the 25th minute but India found the equaliser when Gagandeep Kaur converted a penalty stroke in the 52nd minute.

The Indian strikers stuck to their plans and earned a penalty corner in the 10th minute. However, the Australian defence stood tall and thwarted India.
In the second quarter, the Indian defence blocked out a few shots but Courtney found the back of the net in the 25th minute to put Australia ahead.

India turned the tables on the hosts in the fourth quarter. They earned a penalty corner early on, but the Australians managed to block the shot. However, India were awarded a penalty stroke in the 52nd minute and Gagandeep Kaur did not make any mistake.

The Tribune

Men's Junior AHF Cup 2019 - Day 1
Muscat (OMA)

5 Dec 2019     THA v IRI (Pool A)         1 - 1
5 Dec 2019     SRI v UZB (Pool A)         2 - 2
5 Dec 2019     OMA v HKG (Pool B)     7 - 0

FIH Match Centre

David Harte in the running for Olympic athletes commission

David Harte is in the running for the IOC Athletes Commission. Picture: Adrian Boehm

David Harte has been confirmed by the IOC as one of 30 athletes who will be seeking election onto the IOC Athletes’ Commission next summer.

Four athletes will be elected at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by Olympians onto the commission that was established in 1981 as an official body that serves as a link between athletes and the IOC, with a focus on ensuring that the athletes’ viewpoint is at the heart of the Olympic Movement decisions.

The goalkeeper represented Ireland in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and has been recognised as one of the world’s best goalkeepers, winning the accolade of FIH World Goalkeeper of the Year on two occasions.

The Kinsale man has been a member of the Olympic Federation of Ireland Athletes’ Commission since 2017 and is currently the Secretary of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) Athletes’ Commission.

Harte is an advocate of equality and fair play in sport. Learning about the confirmation of his inclusion on the panel of candidates seeking election next summer, he said: “I am very proud and pleased to be Ireland’s candidate for election for the IOC Athletes’ Commission.

“I really believe in the mission of the IOC Athletes’ Commission in placing athletes at the heart of the Olympic Movement, and I would relish the opportunity to further implement this.

“As hockey team captain at Rio 2016 and World Cup 2018, honesty, trustworthiness and mutual respect were key to my leadership, and these are values which I will base my campaign on in the coming months.

“To have an opportunity to be the link between athletes globally and the IOC is something that really excites me and motivates me to be elected. I am not a fan of being a ‘hurler on the ditch’ and like to be proactive about being a voice for athletes.

“I believe strongly in providing equal opportunities for all athletes to support a successful Olympic campaign regardless of their background. My three main priorities in my campaign will be gender equality, athlete transition and focusing on the areas of anti-doping and the prevention of manipulation in sport.”

President of the Olympic Federation of Ireland Sarah Keane supported Harte’s campaign: “We are delighted to have such a strong Irish candidate running for election to the IOC Athletes’ Commission.

“David is an advocate for clean and fair sport, and throughout his sporting career has demonstrated great leadership and dedication. The athletes are the heart of the Olympic Movement, and it is important that their voices are heard.”

Peter Sherrard, CEO of the Olympic Federation of Ireland added: “David’s approachability and sense of justice for all is a valuable attribute and will benefit athletes worldwide should he get elected. As a current member of the OFI Athletes’ Commission, David had been part of a committee that in a short time has generated a wave of change in Irish sport, through activation programmes and athlete engagement, and he brings a wealth of experience to the table. We wish him the best of luck with his campaign.”

The Executive Board of the IOC approved David Harte’s candidature at their board meeting on December 5, and his campaign will run from now until the Olympic Games next summer. Athletes will have the opportunity to vote between the 14 July and the 4 August 2020.

** You can follow David Harte’s campaign on the following social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

The Hook

Celebrating the people behind the scenes

(C) FIH / Getty Images

They are the team behind the team, the ones that get things done. Quietly, efficiently and without ever stepping in the limelight, thousands of people play their part in making sure that our sport appears in its very best light.

On 5 December, FIH is joining the United Nations and many other organisations in celebrating International Volunteer Day.

In highlighting the work of the men, women and young adults who willingly give up hours of their time across all aspects of the sport, we are also reminding ourselves to stop and thank people on a regular basis.

It is also worth considering all the many roles within hockey that are filled by volunteers. The most visible are the umpires and tournament officials who leave their families and take time off work to make sure that international events are run smoothly and efficiently. From the tournament director and umpire manager through to the umpires and technical officials - the third team are all volunteers.

Many of the roles around an international team are also filled by volunteers. Quite often the team manager and medical staff attached to a team will be taking leave from their day jobs to ensure the welfare of the players at important tournaments and competitions.

At an event itself the venue will be teeming with volunteer staff. People showing the fans to their seats, people checking tickets, people filling ice-buckets, people organising the half-time entertainment, people clearing up the stadium when all the excitement has died down, even the people encased in the costumes of the mascots – all volunteers.

It is the same within our own national and international bodies. There are people working at every level of the game, as volunteers, to make sure that the pitch is ready, the teams are catered for and the action can begin. Within national associations, continental federations and at the FIH, people take on roles – treasurer, secretary, board member, committee chair – on a voluntary basis.

From the volunteer who greets you as you enter a hockey stadium to the person who manages the umpiring appointments on the world stage – every single person is playing their part within our wide-spread hockey community.

This year, FIH is asking everyone in the hockey community to recognise the work of the volunteers.  We fully support the UN statement about International Volunteer Day, particularly as the message of inclusivity resonates so concretely with hockey’s position as a sport that embraces inclusivity and equality: “Volunteering provides opportunities for people, particularly those often excluded, to concretely impact their own lives and play a constructive role in their communities by volunteering their time and skills. Through volunteerism, communities around the world often experience strengthened solidarity and inclusion.”

FIH President, Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra, says: "Within our hockey family, there are thousands of volunteers who readily give up their time and offer their expertise and professionalism so that our sport can flourish. International Volunteer Day recognises their immense efforts but I urge all of us to remember the volunteers every time a hockey event takes place. Without this vast army of people, the exciting, dramatic and entertaining hockey events around the world simply could not happen. FIH salutes each and everyone of you."

FIH invites everyone to join the passion of becoming a member of the global hockey community! Interested? Please contact your hockey National Association by clicking here.


FIH site

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