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News for 24 February 2020

All the news for Monday 24 February 2020

Test matches RSA v GER (M) - 2nd Test
Wits, Johannesburg (RSA)

22 Feb 2020     RSA v GER.  2 - 11
23 Feb 2020     RSA v GER   1 - 7
27 Feb 2020 17:00     RSA v GER
29 Feb 2020 11:00     RSA v GER

Live stream and replays on ShoottSA facebook page

FIH Match Centre

Pair of Shutouts Highlights Day 2 for U-16 and U-21 USWNT

Images Taken by Dawn Bent, Myda Clark and Jen Szukics

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - A wet and windy afternoon welcomed the U.S. U-16 and U-21 Women's National Teams on the second day of their test series against Canada. Despite the contrast in weather from their first outing, both squads performed well on offense while holding Canada's U-16 and U-21 teams scoreless at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.

U-16 USWNT 7 - 0 U-16 Canada

After Canada had been faster out of the gates on Friday, USA wanted to make sure they flipped the script in game two. They did just that as USA flew out on the front foot and found themselves up three goals in the first eight minutes. Olivia Bent-Cole (Philadelphia, Pa.) opened the scoring on a penalty corner strike that beat Canada's goalkeeper low stick side. Ava Moore (Southampton, N.J.) repeated the trick with a clean strike of her own on USA's next penalty corner before Melea Weber (Macungie, Pa.) extended her goal scoring streak by firing a forehand shot high into the roof of the net.

In the second quarter USA tacked on two more to go into the half 5-0. Some good defensive transition work resulted in a turnover in the Canada circle and Lina Neilson (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) was on hand to apply the finishing touch in the 17th minute. Bent-Cole then added a field goal for her second of the day as some good pressing work on the right hand side resulted in a counter attack where she was able to finish emphatically.

Canada roared back in the second half, and as the tempo increased from both teams, each goalkeeper needed to be on high alert. The quality of play was high as Canada and USA created chances, but none of them were good enough to get past the final line of defense. It wouldn’t be until the closing moments of the match that USA would break through once more. Maggie Kondrath (Downingtown, Pa.) used some deft skill close to goal to score from a tight angle with six minutes to play. Natalie Machiran (Ellicott City, Md.) applied the finishing touch to a series of well connected passes in the 55th to see the USA finish 7-0.

“We definitely improved from the first quarter to the last and we had a lot better communication and passing as the game went on,” said Josie Hollamon (Delmar, Del.).

“The game went well and there were definitely improvements from game one two two, but there is still a lot to work on," added Moore. "In game three we will aim to keep working as a team and focus on our main development points for the series."

U-21 USWNT 3 - 0 U-21 Canada

As the second game got underway both goalkeepers were called into action early and often. Madison Kahn (Ocean City, N.J.) in the USA goal proved equal to the task in keeping Canada at bay. The opening frame remained scoreless, but the ensuing 15 minutes proved to be the difference maker thanks to two goals by USA. First, Meg Rogers (San Diego, Calif.) fired a hard backhand from the left side of the circle after Allison Smith (Wilmington, Del.) accelerated the game with some strong running through the midfield. Riley Donnelly (Doylestown, Pa.) then closed out the half with a penalty corner drag flick which found the backboard, beating the Canada goalkeeper down the right hand side.

After the break Alia Marshall (Rehoboth Beach, Del.) cut inside from the left and carried aggressively to the circle before passing off to MaryKate Neff (Villanova, Pa.) who applied the finishing one-touch to get the ball under the advancing pressure. Gianna Glatz (Medford, N.J.) who replaced Kahn in goal for USA, had to be on her toes in the closing stages but was able to keep Canada out with a series of saves including a sharp diving stick save from a penalty corner routine.

“We were really focused today on trying to play fast and simple while also adding creativity to the game," said Neff. "Tactically, we tried to vary our formations, press and outlet in order to inject some variability into the game. We had a slow start but during halftime we were able to address some key focal points that we collectively thought needed to improve and started to apply them to the game, such as pressing structure, adding numbers to the attack, smarter decision-making on the ball and transferring the ball more efficiently through our attacking 25 and midfield."

“We had a slow start, although we made adjustments throughout the game which helped us to create some attacking opportunities in order to get some balls to the back of the net," commented Greer Gill (Virginia Beach, Va.). "Also, credit to our defense for shutting Canada out and we are looking forward to continue to improve as we head into our final game of the series."

The U.S. U-16 and U-21 Women's National Teams will wrap up their respective series against Canada on Sunday afternoon at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center.

Sunday, February 23     U-16 USWNT vs. U-16 Canada     1:00 p.m. PT
                                        U-21 USWNT vs. U-21 Canada     3:00 p.m. PT

USFHA media release

Wanderers take Indoor Euros gold in Porto

Vicky Bunce scored both Dundee Wanderer's goals


Gold, five straight victories and promotion to Europe`s second tier – not a bad haul for Dundee Wanderers in the final day at the women`s EuroHockey Indoor Club Challenge 1 in Porto.

Wanderers` final clash with Irish side Railway Union saw the Taysiders dominate proceedings and come away with a comfortable 2-0 to finish top of the promotion pool.

Wanderers had all the early pressure and had chances to go ahead. A missed penalty corner was followed by open play chances for both Emily Dark and Vikki Bunce, both blocked by the Irish keeper.

In the second quarter it was much the same, two penalty corner shots by Dark were blocked while at the other end. Iona Colquhoun had to save Railway Union`s only set piece.

Wanderers finally took a deserved lead with three minutes to go to half-time, a long ball by Becky Ward found Bunce in space and the former Scotland player fired the ball into the net from a very narrow angle.

Two further penalty corner chances came and went, the first was deflected clear while at the other Bunce`s flick was blocked by the Irish keeper.

The Taysiders doubled their tally four minutes into the second half, they were awarded their seventh penalty corner, but this time Bunce`s powerful flick flew past the keeper.

The Scots played out the final quarter with little difficulty, the Irish were never in any danger of mounting a revival.   A late chance to add to the total fell to Dark but her effort was easily mopped up by the Irish keeper.

In the final analysis Railway Union were the other side promoted by finishing a point ahead of Swansea.

Unfortunately Emily Dark fell out of tournament top goal scorer award  after not finding the net in Wanderers` final match, Swansea`s Livvy Hoskins finished one ahead on 14, although Vikki Bunce was third on nine.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Railway do enough to land silver and promotion to Trophy level for 2021

Railway Union with their silver medals.

Railway lost the battle but ultimately won the war with silver and promotion secured to Euro Trophy level next year, as a losing bonus point against Dundee earned them second place in Porto.

That point, for a loss of two goals or less proved crucial, to end on eight points, ahead of third placed Swansea on seven who beat Georgian side Kutaisi 4-1 in the final game of the tournament.

In a fast, competitive first quarter Dundee won an early corner but failed to capitalise. Kate McKenna and Emma Smyth set up some good attacks but the quarter finished 0-0.

Dundee upped the ante in the second quarter, winning three corners to Railway’s one, but neither team were able to take advantage.

However, the tactically and technically astute Dundee made their dominance count when they scored from the baseline just before half time through former Scottish international Vikki Bunce.

In a physical third quarter, Railway conceded three corners with Dundee scoring the third to go two goals ahead, Bunce again on the mark.

Railway entered the final quarter knowing that maintaining the two-goal deficit would secure the silver medal and promotion.

In a very tactical and disciplined defensive display, the final score remained 0-2 and Railway were silver medalists.

As National Indoor Trophy champions, it means they will be the side to avail of their elevated status in 2021.

It concludes an upbeat winter series for Irish indoor teams, following medals for the two national teams on their return to European action after a couple of decades away while Three Rock recorded a highest finish for an Irish men’s club since 1995.

Women’s EuroHockey Indoor Club Challenge I

Dundee Wanderers 2 (Vikki Bunce 2) Railway Union 0.

Final Placings: 1. Dundee Wanderers 15pts 2. Railway Union 8 pts 3. Swansea 7 pts 4. Kutaisi 2 pts

The Hook

ROUND-UP: England Men's Hockey League

The University of Exeter took a step closer to survival with a 3-2 victory at Brooklands MU in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday.

Sam Hooper and Duncan Scott (2) found themselves on the scoresheet for the Devon side, while Thomas Russell and Eddie Way netted for Brooklands.

However, Sunday saw the University of Exeter lose 2-1 at Beeston with Chris Proctor netting from a penalty corner in the final seconds to secure all three points for the home side.

On Saturday Holcombe produced a good performance to win 4-3 at Beeston.

Nicholas Bandurak, Robert Field and Harry Trusler (2) scored the winning goals for the away side. Toby Stanley, Henry Croft and Adam Dixon were the three scorers for Beeston.

Hampstead & Westminster were in good form as they won 5-0 at home against Reading.

Matt Guise Brown netted a hat-trick and one apiece for Jonny Gooch and Sam French was enough to secure three points.

Then on Sunday Hampstead & Westminster secured a 3-1 victory at Old Georgians to remain one point off second place.

Old Georgians did however secure a point away at Surbiton on Saturday with a 3-3 draw making it only the second time this season that the league leaders have dropped points.

Surbiton did return to winning ways on Sunday, picking up a 5-0 victory at East Grinstead.

Luke Taylor, Arjan Drayton Chana, Alan Forsyth, James Royce and Rob Farrington all found the net for the away side.

Elsewhere, Wimbledon picked up three points with a 7-2 victory at East Grinstead on Saturday before making it two wins in two days after winning 3-1 at Reading on Sunday.

Dominic Bowden, Ben Arnold and Ben Francis scored the goals for Wimbledon on Sunday, while Andrew Oxburgh netted for Reading.

Brooklands MU versus Holcombe ended 1-1 at full time on Sunday with Peter Flanagan scoring for the home side and Mark Gleghorne netting for Holcombe.

Division One South

Leaders Oxted beat promotion rivals Havant on Saturday, but then dropped points with a loss at Canterbury on Sunday in Division One South.

Chris Webster (2) and Jordan Turnbull scored their goals in a 3-1 win over Havant while Charlie Stubbings netted for the visitors.

Then on Sunday Canterbury produced an excellent display to win 3-2 at home against Oxted.

Craig Boyne netted a hat-trick for the hosts while Nick Giles and Mark Galloway were on the scoresheet for Oxted.

Elsewhere on Sunday Southgate won 4-3 at Brighton & Hove, Oxford Hawks won 4-3 at home against Teddington, Team Bath Buccaneers secured a 1-0 victory at Havant and Sevenoaks won 7-1 at Fareham.

On Saturday, Southgate versus Teddington ended 1-1 at full time and Team Bath Buccaneers won 5-1 at home against Fareham.

Division One North

The University of Durham remain top of the Men’s Division One North table on goal difference after securing a 4-2 victory at the University of Birmingham on Sunday.

Max Van Laak, Phillip Jansen, James Sookias and Elliot Dowley all found the net for the away side. Adam Harriman and Thomas Thorne were the goalscorers for Birmingham.

Elsewhere on Sunday, second-placed Bowdon won 4-3 at home against third-placed Cardiff & Met, Sheffield Hallam won 1-0 at Leeds, Loughborough Students secured a 7-1 victory at home against Olton & West Warwicks, and City of Peterborough won 2-0 at the University of Nottingham.

On Saturday, Olton & West Warwicks picked up three points with a 6-3 win at home against City of Peterborough, and Bowdon won 4-3 at the University of Birmingham.

Conference North

Deeside Ramblers secured four points over their two games this weekend in the Men’s Conference North to top the table by three points.

On Saturday Ramblers secured a 5-3 victory at Preston.

Rashad Al-Fazari, Joe Wright, James Pratt, Chris Barber and Andrew Hayton all found the back of the net for the away side, while Matthew Shawcross and David Greenough scored for Preston.

On Sunday, bottom of the table Wakefield took a point from a 3-3 draw with Deeside. Chris Barber, Rashad Al-Fazari and Ali Ghazanfar scored for the league leaders, while Sam Shute (2) and Ben Davis found the goal for Wakefield.

Conference West

Old Cranleighans remain top of the Men’s Conference East table after picking up a 5-3 victory at Cheltenham on Sunday.

Charlie Lamb and William Marshall both netted a brace Matt Murphy scored the fifth as the away side secured their 11th victory of the campaign.

Luke Cole (2) and Richard Owen scored for Cheltenham but they weren’t able to forge a late comeback in to the game.

Elsewhere, Richmond closed the gap at the top of the table to two points after securing two wins in two days over the weekend.

Richmond won 6-1 at Cheltenham on Saturday and 5-3 at Cardiff University of Sunday.

Conference East

Wapping remain top of the Men’s Conference East after securing a 2-1 victory at home against Bromley and Beckenham on Sunday.

George Cairns and Oliver Bull both netted for the league leaders after Chris Harden gave the away side the lead in the fifth minute from open play.

Cambridge City remain in touching distance of the leaders after a 5-4 victory at home against Harleston Magpies on Sunday.

Euan Gilmore, Gareth Andrew (2), and Fergus McNab (2) netted for Cambridge while Thomas Ridley, Oakley Elsom, Tom Dunnett and Ben Gowing scored for Magpies.


Men’s Hockey League (Sat, 22 February 2020):

Premier Division: Beeston 3, Holcombe 4; Hampstead & Westminster 5, Reading 0; Surbiton 3, Old Georgians 3; Brooklands MU 2, Univ of Exeter 3; Wimbledon 7, East Grinstead 2.

Division One South: Oxted 3, Havant 1; Southgate 1, Teddington 1; Team Bath Buccaneers 5, Fareham 1.

Division One North: Olton & West Warwicks 6, City of Peterborough 3; Univ of Birmingham 3, Bowdon 4.

Conference North: Barford Tigers 3, Alderley Edge 0; Didsbury Northern 3, Doncaster 3; Preston 2, Deeside Ramblers 5; Timperley 4, Belper 0.

Conference West: Cardiff University 5, Ashmoor 3; Cheltenham 1, Richmond 6; Isca 1, Harborne 0.

Conference East: Bedford 2, Cambridge City 5; Bromley & Beckenham 3, Harleston Magpies 1; Chichester 4, Old Loughtonians 5; London Edwardians 4, St Albans 2.

Men’s Hockey League (Sun, 23 February 2020):

Premier Division: East Grinstead 0, Surbiton 5; Old Georgians 1, Hampstead & Westminster 3; Reading 1, Wimbledon 3; Brooklands MU 1, Holcombe 1; Beeston 2, Univ of Exeter 1.

Division One South: Brighton & Hove 3, Southgate 4; Canterbury 3, Oxted 2; Oxford Hawks 4, Teddington 3; Havant 0, Team Bath Buccaneers 1; Sevenoaks 7, Fareham 1.

Division One North: Bowdon 4, Cardiff & Met 3; Leeds 0, Sheffield Hallam 1; Loughborough Students 7, Olton & West Warwicks 1; Univ of Birmingham 2, Univ of Durham 4; Univ of Nottingham 0, City of Peterborough 2.

Conference North: Alderley Edge 2, Timperley 4; Barford Tigers 3, Lichfield 1; Didsbury Northern 1, Preston 0; Doncaster 4, Belper 2; Wakefield 3, Deeside Ramblers 3.

Conference West: Isca 3, Ashmoor 3; Cardiff University 3, Richmond 5; Cheltenham 3, Old Cranleighans 5; Harborne 3, Univ of Bristol 4; Khalsa Leamington 4, Univ of Exeter 0.

Conference East: Cambridge City 5, Harleston magpies 4; Chichester 4, Bedford 2; Old Loughtonians 4, Spencer 2; Wapping 2, Bromley & Beckenham 1.

England Hockey Board Media release

ROUND-UP: Investec England Women's Hockey League

Becky Manton celebrates scoring for Univ of Birmingham against Loughborough Students. Credit Andrew Smith

The University of Birmingham boosted their bid to avoid relegation from the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division, taking a maximum six points from a double header weekend to climb off the bottom of the table.

Saturday saw them secure a 2-1 victory at Clifton Robinsons.

Amelia Andrew and Phillipa Stewart were the scorers for the away side, while Amy Burton scored the only goal for Robinsons.

The University of Birmingham produced another good performance on Sunday, this time securing a 3-1 win at home against Loughborough Students.

Phillipa Stewart and Rebecca Manton (2) were the goalscorers for the home side, while Lottie Summers scored a late consolation for Loughborough Students.

Loughborough Students were however victorious on Saturday, as they picked up a 1-0 win at home against Beeston.

Leaders Surbiton also made it two wins from two games over the weekend as they picked up a 5-2 victory at Buckingham on Saturday, thereby ensuring they will finish top of the table at the end of the regular season.

Erica Sanders (2), Susie Catlin, Holly Payne and Hannah Martin were the scorers for the league leaders with Natasha James and Lottie Porter on target for Buckingham.

On Sunday Surbiton picked up another three points with a 2-1 win at home against Holcombe.

Lorna Jane Cruickshank gave the away side the lead in the first minute before Jenna Woolven and Alice Sharp both netted for Surbiton to secure the victory.

Buckingham did however pick up three points on Sunday as they won 3-2 at Clifton Robinsons.

Abbie Brant, Natasha James and Lottie Porter all scored on apiece for the away side.

Hampstead and Westminster picked up three points on Saturday, winning 4-1 at Holcombe.

Hayley Turner, Fran Tew, Lauren Turner and Fleur Horner scored the four goals for the away side.

Sunday saw East Grinstead pick up three points with a 2-1 victory at home against Hampstead and Westminster.

Jo Leigh gave the away side the lead in the eighth minute from a penalty corner before Sophie Bray netted a brace to secure the three points and take her tally to 18 for the season.

Beeston picked up three points on Sunday after securing a 3-2 victory at home against Bowdon.

Kim Leiper, Alice Huddlestone, and Rosy Stephens scored the three goals for Beeston.

Beth Alexander and Sian French found themselves on the scoresheet for Bowdon.

Investec Division 1 North

Leicester City extended their lead at the top of the Investec Division One North table after winning 2-0 at home against Belper on Saturday.

Rachel Mack gave the league leaders the lead with a goal from open play in the 20th minute before Olive Hepi sealed the points 11 minutes from time.

The University of Durham closed the gap on second place Swansea after a 4-0 victory at home against Brooklands-Poynton.

Helena Youmans netted a brace and Ellie Rawnsley and Rosie Lewis scored one apiece to seal all three points for the home side.

Elsewhere, Olton and West Warwicks versus Gloucester City ended 2-2 at full time.

Investec Division 1 South

Wimbledon made it 14 wins from 14 league matches as they cruised to a 5-0 victory at home against Harleston Magpies in the Investec Division One South on Saturday.

Kate Maxey, Anna Toman (2), Fiona Semple, and Olivia Chilton all found themselves on the scoresheet for the league leaders.

Trojans secured a vital three points in their fight against relation as they secured a 2-0 victory at bottom of the table St Albans.

Amy Sheehan gave the away side the lead with a goal from open play after 10 minutes before Martha Taylor sealed all three points early in the second half.

Elsewhere, Reading won 4-2 at Cambridge City, Sevenoaks won 4-1 at home against Isca and Slough versus Canterbury ended 1-1 at full time.

Investec Conference East

Leaders Wimbledon 2s produced an excellent performance on Saturday in the Investec Conference East, winning 5-0 at Canterbury.

Natalie Wray, Polly Inglis, Tamsyn Naylor (2) and Melissa Addy all found themselves on the score sheet for the away side.

Elsewhere, Barnes won 3-2 at home against Bedford to leapfrog them into second place.

Aleesa Ferguson (2) and Triona Doyle were the goalscorers for Barnes, while Charlotte Drummond and Ellie Scott both netted for Bedford.

Investec Conference North

The University of Nottingham remain top of the Investec Conference West after securing their 13th consecutive victory with a 2-0 win at Wakefield on Saturday.

Robyn Bentley and Lily Wolstenholme were the goalscorers for the away side.

Elsewhere, Sutton Coldfield remain second in the table after picking up a 1-0 win at Beeston 2s.

Vicky Woolford scored the only goal of the game when she found the net from a penalty corner in the 13th minute.

Investec Conference West

Surbiton 2s continued their dominance in the Investec Conference West after picking up a 3-1 victory at Basingstoke on Saturday.

Francesca Rowley and Pippi Spawforth (2) both found the net for the away side; Roxanne O’Dea was the goal scorer for Basingstoke.

Elsewhere, Oxford Hawks remain second on goal difference after winning 2-1 at home against the University of Birmingham 2XI.

Claire Werlinger netted a brace for the home side to secure all three points, while Sophie Hammerschmidt scored the only goal of the game for the University of Birmingham.


Investec Women’s Hockey League (Sat 22 February 2020):

Investec Premier Division: Holcombe 1, Hampstead & Westminster 4; Buckingham 2, Surbiton 5; Clifton Robinsons 1, University of Birmingham 2; Loughborough Students 1, Beeston 0.

Investec Division One North: Leicester City 2, Belper 0; Olton & West Warwicks 2, Gloucester City 2; Univ of Durham 4, Brooklands-Poynton 0.

Investec Division One South: Cambridge City 2, Reading 4; Sevenoaks 4, Isca 1; Slough 1, Canterbury 1; St Albans 0 Trojans 2; Wimbledon 5, Harleston Magpies 0.

Investec Conference East: Barnes 3, Bedford 2; Bromley & Beckenham 5, Southgate 2; Canterbury 0, Wimbledon 5; Horsham 3, Broxbourne 1; Ipswich 0, Chelmsford 2.

Investec Conference North: Beeston 0, Sutton Coldfield 1; Cannock 2, Doncaster 2; Pendle Forest 1, Alderley Edge 3; Timperley 1, Fylde 4; Wakefield 0, Univ of Nottingham 2.

Investec Conference West: Basingstoke 1, Surbiton 3; Exe 1, Clifton Robinsons 3; Oxford Hawks 2, Univ of Birmingham 1; Team Bath Buccaneers 0, Cheltenham 3; Univ of Bristol 0, Oxford University 1.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Sun 23 February 2020):

Investec Premier Division: Beeston 3, Bowdon Hightown 2; Surbiton 2, Holcombe 1; Clifton Robinsons 2, Buckingham 3; Univ of Birmingham 3, Loughborough Students 1; East Grinstead 2, Hampstead & Westminster 1.

England Hockey Board Media release

Glens and YM’s big wins move them clear of Irish relegation playoff spot

Glenanne and YM recorded crucial wins; Three Rock picked up four points from their weekend while Monkstown close the gap to five to Lisnagarvey.

Men’s EY Hockey League – day 11 round-up


Glenanne 3 (S Brownlow, B Venter, S Ronan) Pembroke Wanderers 2 (A Sothern 2)

Glenanne picked up their first win since early October with a 3-2 success at St Andrew’s in a match preceded by a minute’s silence in honour of Ken Treacy, a stalwart of Pembroke’s golden generation of the 2000s.

Stephen Brownlow opened the scoring with a low drag-flick and it was 2-0 at half-time following a lovely interchange between Jonny McCormack and Brad Venter ended with the latter blasting a rising shot into the top right corner.

Another classy move down the right wing between McCormack, Gary Shaw and Brownlow ended with Stu Ronan flicking home amid the scattered Pembroke defence for 3-0 early in the second half.

Alan Sothern got one back with a brilliant first time backhand volley, keeping his eye on the ball after a few flailing sticks missed out on a bouncing ball. Sothern then added a drag-flick to cut the gap to 3-2 with 25 minutes still to play.

After that, it got scrappy with a series of cards shown but no further goals as Glenanne move three points above Pembroke who drop to ninth place.

YMCA 4 (R Henderson 2, G Glutz, E Prehn) UCD 0

YMCA’s stunning second half show saw them leap out of ninth place above Pembroke as Ross Henderson grabbed a double for the Ballinteer outfit. The first half was scoreless with the teams exchanging penalty corners but the goals started to flow in the second half with Henderson providing an immaculate finish for 1-0.

Posting up, he had the strength to win a 50-50 and hold off the tackle before rasping a backhand into the top corner.

Grant Glutz’s reverse on the run made it two and they were flying high when Henderson got on the end of some great build-up play from Sam Hyland who profited from the perfect trap in the press

Eric Prehn then defied gravity to score his first of the season from close to the baseline for the fourth, the style of which he has gone viral with in the past.

That came amid a brilliant spell of three goals in the space of seven minutes, giving them plenty of breathing room for the last 10 minutes.

Monkstown 5 (D Carson 2, R Nichols, G Cole, A Fogarty) Corinthian 1 (C Adair)

Monkstown came back from a goal down to beat Corinthian 5-1 at the ALD Merrion Fleet Arena, cutting Lisnagarvey’s lead at the top back to five points, albeit with a game extra played.

Calum Adair netted for the reds in the first minute when Peter Caruth took a quick free which the teenager controlled before hitting home into the backboard. Town were level in the ninth minute thanks to a Rory Nichols drag-flick.

And it was 2-1 before the end of the first quarter with some pretty impressive skills and touches from Davy Carson put him in position to lob the ball over Charlie Henderson. The second quarter remained scoreless before Town ran riot in the second half. Ross Quirke was fed by Karl Lynch whose quick pass was lifted over a stick by Geoff Cole and then hit into the backboard.

Andrew Fogarty made it 4-1 in the 51st minute with a lovely spin and turn in front of goal and the scoring was complete with five minutes left when Keith Kenning took the ball down impressively and passed to Gareth Watkins. A lovely run down the right ended with a pass to a diving Quirke who crossed for Carson to finish with a clever touch.

Three Rock Rovers 2 (J Kyriakides, M Darling) Banbridge 2 (Philip Brown, Peter Brown)

Two wildly contrasting halves of hockey ended up with a probably deserved share of the spoils with both sides leaving Grange Road with a few regrets.

Just days after announcing his international retirement, Bann’s Eugene Magee said his side need to find the happy medium between structure and throwing caution to the wind after a timid first half saw them on the back foot.

“It is about that balance; we perhaps lacked the latter in the first half but gained a bit in the second half and had our chances to win the game but it wasn’t be.”

Three Rock coach Elun Hack agreed to an extant: “Each team won one half and a draw is a fair reflection. Frustrating because the first half we were good at executing our game plan; we have identified areas we need to improve and the first half we were very good and difficult to break down.

“The second half we deviated from the game plan and paid the price. Banbridge are obviously a quality outfit so to go 2-0 up was a big positive but the draw is disappointing.”

Three Rock bossed the first half with Bann keeping out a couple of corners before James Kyriakides put the hosts on the board from a heavily deflected shot after Mitch Darling’s driving run spread the defence.

Darling then made it 2-0 with a solo second, taking a free quickly, going parallel to the circle before unleashing a backhand to the bottom corner.

Bann created next to nothing in that half but, with a much more aggressive press in the second half, they came to the party in a big way in the second half. Philip Brown slammed in a corner in the 39th minute from their first shot in earnest.

His chance to repeat the trick three minutes later was charged down brilliantly by Ben Walker, something which became a feature as the half went on with David Kane and Harry Morris also shutting out corners with the full face of their sticks.

The equaliser was not long in coming, though, as an overload down the right saw the ball worked into the centre to Peter Brown – who is enjoying life this term in the forward line – and he wriggled this way and that to evade Jody Hosking’s tackle and squeezed in a shot.

Bann were rampant and the third quarter time break was a relief for Rovers who steadied and they almost nicked in front when Walker deflected, first time, a long overhead just wide. Banbridge had a couple of corners but the defence was rigid and it stayed at 2-2.

Sunday: UCD 1 (G Sarratt) Three Rock Rovers 2 (R Canning, M Darling)

Three Rock Rovers came from a goal down to beat UCD and develop a four point gap between the sides in the chase for EY Champions Trophy places. The students went in front thanks to a Guy Sarratt drag-flick in the 25th minute but the lead only lasted a short while as Ross Canning got a running deflection from an excellent cross by David Kane.

That left it at 1-1 at half-time while the third quarter was largely spent swapping cards. Mitch Darling then cracked home his second of the weekend from the top of the circle to make it 2-1 with five minutes to go.

UCD had a couple of corners to make a difference but Ben Walker’s running number one and Conor Quinn in goal combined to keep them out. Conor Empey impressed for the students in an effective attacking role but Jody Hosking and James Kyriakides were solid in defensive roles for Rovers. It was UCD’s third successive defeat as they struggle to regain the momentum from the first half of the season.

The Hook

Old Alex take over the top as Insta end 110-year wait for win over Pegasus

For a third week running, there is a different club on top of the women’s EY Irish Hockey League which continues to throw up dramatic twists and turns.

Women’s EYHL – day 11 match reports

Old Alex 2 (J Deacon, M O’Donnell) Muckross 0

Old Alex became the third different leader of the women’s EY Hockey League in 2020 as they made it 16 points out of the last 18 available, putting them ahead of Pegasus on goal difference.

Alex were on top in the early stages, winning a couple of corners as Nikki Evans, Orna Bools and Deirdre Duke offered a threat while Emile Ryan Doyle and Audrey O’Flynn impressed at the back.

Jeamie Deacon put them in front from a third corner, Millie O’Donnell’s disguised pass finding the touch for 1-0. Muckross came more into in the third quarter with a rocket shot from Anna O’Flanagan blocked at Pam Smithwick at point blank range.

She also dealt with Sarah McAuley’s disguised shot before O’Donnell got the crucial second goal with less than four minutes to go with a cool finish. It came from a mistrapped corner which she took on, spinning around the first runner and slapped in.

Smithwick kept her clean sheet with a fine stop from Jessica McGirr to maintain the 2-0 lead.

Catholic Institute 4 (C O’Shea, L Foley, R Upton, N Carroll) Pegasus 2 (E Armstrong, T Doherty)

Catholic Institute continued their super run of form to beat the league leaders Pegasus for the first time in the club’s 110-year history, adding to their excellent run of seven points from the last nine available.

Both sides were down personnel with Shirley McCay sustaining a couple of broken toes last week – though she is due to return soon – while youth internationals Niamh McIvor, Charlotte Beggs (both Pegasus) and Sarah Fitzgerald (Insta) rested after their weeks’ exertions. Indeed, the Ulster side used just 12 players for the tie.

Christine O’Shea put the Limerick side 1-0 up in the 12th minute but Ella Armstrong replied soon after for the Ulster side; it remained 1-1 through to half time despite non-stop pressure from the hosts.

But they went back in front a minute into the second half when Laura Foley forced home from a barrage of shots, Megan Todd saving twice before the ball the forward’s way. Roisin Upton made it 3-1 five minutes later for an imposing advantage and the win was made safe from the moment of the day.

Naomi Carroll got on the end of some quick passing to lift the ball out of a few tackles with some neat 3D skills and then clipped home with an upright reverse-stick shot. Taite Doherty pulled one back with five minutes left but Insta had their win.

Cork Harlequins 2 (M Barry, E O’Leary) Belfast Harlequins 1 (J Watt)

Cork won the battle of the Harlequins to make it four wins from their last five games, moving them level with fifth placed Pembroke having been in the relegation playoff spot before this recent run.

They trailed early on to a Jenna Watt goal, deflecting in from Lizzie Colvin’s push across goal and it might have been worse in the second quarter but they survived the concession of a penalty stroke which Watt was unable to convert.

Belfast were the side in the ascendancy, playing some strong hockey while Cork looked dangerous on the counter and they got level from that route. Belfast had a couple of corners only for the hosts to race out of defence to set up Michelle Barry to whip home the equaliser in the 40th minute at the second attempt after her first effort was blocked.

And in a dramatic last six minutes, Barry was shown a yellow card but her side managed to get the winner from a penalty corner courtesy of Emily O’Leary, a confident slap from the second phase from the right of the circle.

UCD 1 (S Young) Loreto 1 (H Matthews)

UCD and Loreto shared the spoils to leave them in fourth and third place, respectively, after their high octane draw at Belfield. Sarah Young put the students in front in the 22nd minute of a fairly tight first half with few chances.

But Loreto were back on terms on the half hour when Hannah Matthews slotted a penalty stroke – after an initial penalty corner – and while the students had the best of the second half openings, the Beaufort side’s corner defence held firm to keep the game level.

Loreto coach Paul Fitzpatrick said of the result: “UCD is always tough, young and fit and it can be hard to play at the tempo and stay mentally in tune and I thought we played a good game as did UCD. I felt if we got corners, we would convert because our corners have been good recently.

His UCD counterpart Miles Warren added: “It was a very good game and I thought we played some phenomenal hockey, moved the ball well and created so many chances. They defended extremely well but we still won our corners and had our shots but couldn’t put it away. It was probably the best we have played this season based on the quality of opposition we were playing against.

“We had them pinned back in that last quarter and we couldn’t much more than that; we just need the ball to go in the net.”

They are back in action on Thursday night against Old Alex as games come thick and fast before the Irish senior women go into camp again.

“In this three weeks, we are going to play six EYHL matches so this period is really doing to define the season, starting with Thursday against Alex who are now top. They are a team who are growing and a high quality outfit now.”

The Hook

Inspired Insta end 110-year wait to claim Pegasus scalp

By Stephen Findlater

An inspired Catholic Institute secured a first win over Pegasus in their 110-year history on Saturday.

The Limerick side belied their rank just outside the relegation playoff spot to win 4-2 with something to spare.

They largely controlled the game but only had a Christine O’Shea 12th-minute effort to show for their hard work and that was quicly cancelled out by Ella Armstrong’s strike.

However, a golden period after half-time saw Dave Passmore’s side race clear with Laura Foley pouncing on a loose ball after three waves of shots to make it 2-1.

Roisín Upton nailed a penalty corner before Naomi Carroll finished in stunning fashion — first wriggling out of a congested spot before unleashing an upright reverse-stick volley finish.

Pegasus missed the influence of Shirley McCay — out for a few weeks with a broken toe — but this was, nonetheless, a historic moment for Insta in their maiden season in the EY Hockey League.

It also put four points of daylight between them and ninth place Railway Union — who were in European indoor action over the weekend — in the battle to avoid a rele gation play-off.

The win saw Pegs knocked off top spot in the division with Old Alex — 2-0 winners over Muckross — leading the table now for the first time.

Cork Harlequins are enjoying a purple patch of their own with their fourth win in five outings transforming their fortunes from a relegation tussle to a play-off pursuit. They fought back from a goal down at half-time to defeat their Belfast namesakes 2-1 with Michelle Barry and Emily O’Leary finding the net. It lifts them to a share of fifth.

In the men’s Irish Hockey Trophy, Waterford kept their title retention hopes alive courtesy of an Isaac Johnson hat-trick while man-of-the-match Alistair Shute rolled back the years between the posts. They beat UCC 3-0 at the Mardyke in their quarter-final, overturning a 4-2 home defeat to the same opposition just a couple of weeks ago. Next up for Waterford is a home date with Belfast Harlequins.

David Harte, meanwhile, added yet another trophy to his incredible haul as his annual winter stint with UNIKL concluded with a treble as they secured the Malaysia Hockey League TNB Cup on Saturday. It follows their Charity Shield win in January and the League Cup won a week earlier. Harte, in tandem with former Irish assistant coach Arul Anthoni, has now won five titles from his three campaigns in Malaysia.

The eight-week competition attracts a number of high-profile imports from around the globe with financial incentives for the elite performing teams during the European off season. Harte returns to the Netherlands now for the restart of the Hoofdklasse campaign with SV Kampong on Sunday.

The Irish Examiner

Champions with a royal touch

By Jugjet Singh

UniKL players celebrate after winning the TNB Cup on Saturday.

WITH a sporting King as your guiding light, even the sky is not the limit for Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL).

It all started when the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah (then known as Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah), the chancellor of UniKL, launched the hockey club, which debuted in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) in 2009.

Eleven years on, UniKL have become the undisputed champions by winning the Charity Shield, the league and the TNB Cup under coach Arul Selvaraj and consultant Datuk Mirnawan Nawawi.

And a teary-eyed Arul said: “Credit goes to the management of UniKL, especially their chief executive officer Professor Datuk Dr Mazliham Su’ud and club president Datuk Amir Azhar Ibrahim for turning this team into champions.”

Amir was with UniKL back then as well, and from a wide-eyed novice, who was never ashamed to ask and learn, he is now the backbone of the club.

Arul will return to coach his academy in Dublin soon but will keep a keen eye on his players from abroad.

“I will give them a training schedule to follow and will monitor their progress.

“UniKL players who are selected for national duty will have their programmes, while those who are not will have a specific programme to follow.

“When I see them again next year, I want them to be as fit as I left them,” he added.

UniKL defeated Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) 2-1 in Saturday’s TNB Cup final in Bukit Jalil.

New Straits Times

Stick to experience


Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin came back after a serious injury in the opening game of the MHL

KUALA LUMPUR: The seniors still have much to contribute to the Malaysian national cause.

For Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) coach Arul Selvaraj, his charges - Tengku Ahmad Tajudin Tengku Ahmad Jalil, 33, Mohd Sukri Abd Mutalib, 34, Mohd Marhan Jalil, 30, and Mohd Razie Abd Rahim, 32 - are still the best players in the country and should very much be in contention for places in the national squad.

National hockey coach Roelant Oltmans is expected to announce his centralised squad for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup by this week and some are predicting that some senior players might not make the cut.

Arul said the seniors are still the cream of the crop in the country.

“The gap between them and the next generation is too big, ” said the coach, who is based in Ireland.

“Even the gap in quality between the now-retired S. Kumar and the other keepers is too big. In Europe and Australia, it’s different because the difference between the seniors and juniors are close, you can build a team with them.

“If you drop these four players, there is no team. Sorry to say, the standard is still low. Who is the next generation coming through? Is our Under-21 team strong enough? Based on the Thunderbolts’ performance in the league, I don’t think so.”

Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (pic) was undoubtedly the hero in the final as he scored the match winning goals and showed great drive and energy throughout the match.

“Tengku, despite an injury, still came back. After the game, he said thank you for having me, and I said no, no, I have been trying to get you for the last number of years. Finally, I feel successful by getting him to play for us. He is still an asset.”

That aside, Arul said for UniKL, believing in their principles and being patient have been the keys to bagging the historic treble.

After bamboozling teams in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) by going unbeaten, UniKL were made to fight to win the coveted TNB Cup.

They first had to fend off a stern fight from Maybank to win 2-1 in the semi-final. In the final, even though they had the lion’s share of possession, they had to fight back in the fourth quarter to trump last year’s champions Terengganu 2-1. Earlier during the season, they also beat Terengganu 3-2 to win the Charity Shield.

“In the fourth quarter, we had to get into higher gear, we were 1-0 down with 15 minutes to go. I believe in 18 players and I don’t rely on one player. The whole nation saw that they (Terengganu) were pushing the ball forward to only one player.

“I told my boys to keep to the structure because we are a better team. Just be disciplined and patient.

“But also, I said we needed more fire. I told some of the individuals that I wanted to take them out in the fourth quarter, some even vital players. I said you are not playing if there is no fire. They heeded the call.”

Having made their debut in the MHL in 2011, this is the first time UniKL have won a treble and Arul said it would not have happened without the management’s support.

“I have to thank the team’s management. The team are here because of them. This victory is dedicated to everyone in the set-up.”

The Star of Malaysia

KHU release league fixtures


Telkom's Elinah Chebet (left) vies for the ball with Pauline Ayieko USIU-A during their Kenya Hockey Union women's Premier League match at City Park Stadium in Nairobi on June 8, 2019. Telkom won 2-1. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

DFG Wolverines will start new life in the women’s premier league with a tie against regulars Sliders Hockey Club on Saturday at City Park Stadium in Nairobi in the newly released 2020 Kenya Hockey Union fixtures.

DGF Wolverines and Oranje Leonas earned their places in the top tier after finishing in the top two positions in Super League last season while Kenyatta University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) were relegated.

Leonas will parade against Amira Sailors on Sunday at City Park Stadium.

Blazers, formerly Telkom, start their title defence against United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) on April 8.

The men’s premier league welcomes Parkroad Badgers and Mombasa Sports Club from the Super League while Sikh Union and Parklands Sports Club were axed.

Champions Butali Sugar Warriors start their title campaign against Parkroad Badgers on April 4 while last year’s runners-up Wazalendo take on USIU-A on Sunday.

Daily Nation

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