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News for 29 February 2020

All the news for Saturday 29 February 2020

Black Sticks men stun Olympic champions Argentina in Christchurch

New Zealand’s men claimed a dramatic 5-3 FIH Hockey Pro League victory over reigning Olympic champions Argentina at the Nga Puna Wai Hockey Stadium in Christchurch on Friday (28 February). However, it was a different story for the Black Sticks women, who drew 1-1 with Argentina before missing out on the bonus point by losing the subsequent shoot-out. 

The New Zealand versus Argentina men’s match was an out-and-out thriller, with the home favourites earning a second successive FIH Hockey Pro League victory to add to their recent triumph against Spain, which was their first ever outright win since the launch of the competition in January 2019. The result sees the Black Sticks climb up to fifth in the table, with Los Leones in eighth position.

New Zealand established 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 leads thanks to strikes from Sam Lane, Dylan Thomas and Jared Panchia, with the reigning Olympic champions – captained by Pedro Ibarra, who today made his 300th senior international appearance – hitting back on each occasion through Maico Casella and Jose Tolini (2) to leave the scores locked at 3-3 with eleven minutes remaining. Much to the delight of the home fans, the Black Sticks eventually pulled clear when a Cory Bennett penalty corner and an open play effort from Dominic Neuman established an unassailable 5-3 lead, with New Zealand goalkeeper Leon Hayward being named Player of the Match thanks to a string of outstanding saves in sealing the triumph.

"It was nice to get five goals against a quality opponent”, said Black Sticks head coach Darren Smith. “We defended well and were able to contain their dangerous strike forwards. Our strike line was energetic and played with genuine pace as they put together a strong performance".

More information on this match can be found on our live reporting page by clicking here.

Having witnessed their men’s team earn a famous victory over the Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallists, New Zealand’s women knew that a glorious double over the Pan American giants was a distinct possibility. However, despite missing numerous influential players including goalkeeper Belen Succi and attacking stars Carla Rebecchi and Delfina Merino, it was the Argentineans who emerged with the biggest share of the points, climbing up to second in the FIH Hockey Pro League table, one place above New Zealand.

The Black Sticks started well and took the lead early in the second quarter when 19-year-old Hope Ralph scored from open play. However, Ralph’s strike was cancelled out mid-way through the third period by Player of the Match Agustina Albertarrio, who found the target with a deflected effort. With no further goals, a shoot-out was required to determine the destination of the bonus point. It was the visitors who claimed the additional point, with Julieta Jankunas, Victoria Miranda and Priscilla Jardel all on target as Las Leonas emerged 3-1 winners in the one-on-ones, with Sam Charlton the sole scorer for New Zealand.

Speaking after the game, Agustina Albertarrio said: “It was a very difficult match. New Zealand is a really good team. We are happy we won the shoot-out, but we have to see the images of the match to review the things that we did wrong and think about the [next] match.”

More information on this match can be found on our live reporting page by clicking here.

The FIH Hockey Pro League continues on Sunday 1 March when New Zealand’s men and women face Argentina for the second time at Christchurch’s Nga Puna Wai Hockey Stadium. To see the complete match schedule, click here.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on the FIH Hockey Pro League via the event website and through FIH social media channels - Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  

FIH Hockey Pro League 

Friday 28 February 2020 – Nga Puna Wai Hockey Stadium, Christchurch (NZL)

Men’s result: New Zealand 5, Argentina 3 (Match 1 of 2)
Player of the Match: Leon Hayward (GK - NZL)
Umpires: Peter Wright (RSA), Steve Rogers (AUS) & Aleisha Neumann (AUS - video)

Women’s result:New Zealand 1, Argentina 1 – 1-3 After Shoot-Out (Match 1 of 2)
Player of the Match: Agustina Albertarrio (ARG)
Umpires: Junko Wagatsuma (JPN), Aleisha Neumann (AUS) & Peter Wright (RSA - video)


Official FIH Pro League Site

New Zealand beat Olympic champions Argentina in thriller in FIH Pro League

By Michael Pavitt

New Zealand won 5-3 in their men's match in Christchurch ©Getty Images

New Zealand’s men’s team earned a dramatic victory over Olympic champions Argentina at the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Pro League in Christchurch, although their women’s side suffered a shoot-out defeat to the same opponents.

The men’s match saw New Zealand take the lead three times at Nga Puna Wai Hockey Stadium, only to be pegged back on each occasion.

Sam Lane, Dylan Thomas and Jared Panchia had each put the hosts ahead, only for Maico Casella and a brace from Jose Tolini to keep the Olympic champions in contention.

The scores remained level until the final 10 minutes of the contest, when New Zealand took the lead for the fourth time.

A goal from a penalty corner from Cory Bennett saw them edge 4-3 ahead, before a strike from Dominic Newman gave the New Zealand team a crucial cushion five minutes from the end.

Argentina were unable to mount a late fightback as New Zealand sealed a 5-3 victory.

The result gave New Zealand back-to-back wins in the FIH Pro League, following a triumph against Spain earlier this month.

They now lie fifth in the nine-team standings having played seven matches.

Argentina, who have played five ties, occupy eighth place with only one win to their name to date.

Argentina won a shootout in the women's game after a 1-1 draw ©Getty Images

The women’s match featured a clash between the second- and third-placed teams in the standings, with Argentina having an opportunity to leapfrog their hosts.

New Zealand took the lead through Hope Ralph in the second quarter of the match, but a deflected effort from Agustina Albertario levelled the score at 1-1.

A shoot-out was needed to settle the contest, with Julieta Jankunas, Victoria Miranda and Priscilla Jardel all scoring to give Argentina a 3-1 victory.

The result lifts Argentina to second place in the standings after five matches, with New Zealand dropping to third.

The Netherlands lead the standings after four wins and one defeat from their matches.

Argentina and New Zealand will meet again on Sunday (March 1) in Christchurch.

Inside the Games

South African Men produce superb defensive display to hold Germany to a draw

Photo – Marcel Sigg / Run Ride Dive

After the opening two matches of the series ended in heavy defeats for the South African Men, you would have been forgiven for expecting Germany to romp home to a third win at Wits University on Thursday night. You would of course been wrong, as the African Champions showed the heart that is a fabric of the South African sporting culture to hold the Germans to a 1-1 draw.

The Germans started the game well and converted with a soft goal through Christopher Ruhr. Siya Nolutshungu in the South African goal would have been disappointed with the way the defence allowed the goal to be scored. If the opening two games had been a display of attacking effectiveness, this game quickly progressed to a game of defensive discipline. Germany were turning the screw with Martin Haner, Mathias Muller and Martin Zwickler dictating possession.

At the end of the half South Africa had faced five penalty corners and denied all of them. Ryan Julius was fantastic in first wave in the absence of Keenan Horne while Nolutshungu made one of the best saves you will see. Ruhr fed Schiffer who had the task of just tapping in, but the South African keeper made his small frame large and got his trailing leg to the ball. Jethro Eustice, Andrew Hobson and Matt Brown were highly instrumental in keeping the game at just a one goal deficit.

Although South Africa were pleased to only be one goal down at the break, coach Ewing would have been frustrated by the amount of easy ball given away, while the game was being played largely in the South African quarter. The half-time team talk seemed to do wonders as the South Africans came out with a higher intensity and levelled matters after a great counter attacking goal.

Bili Ntuli and Sam Mvimbi combined superbly to create space, Ntuli got himself to the baseline and found Nic Spooner in the middle. The German based midfielder fired a bullet shot that was saved by Appel, but Dayaan Cassiem reacted first to find the back of the board. A wonderful crowd at Wits including schoolboys from Middelburg and Jeppe Boys were delighted by the goal.

The Germans raised the tempo but were forced to try elaborate passes that weren’t connected and when they finally did find the breaks, they were thwarted by either fantastic goalkeeping by Rassie Pieterse and Nolutshungu or superb defending. Gareth Heyns had taken a clear leadership role when Jethro Eustice went off injured and it was clear that he was thriving in the role.

The South Africans faced one last penalty corner and Grambusch finally managed to beat Pieterse, but Matt Brown produced a superb goal-line save to hold onto a wonderful result for the South Africans.

Coach Garreth Ewing was quick to downplay the result and focus his team for the final test on Saturday morning, but the fans in attendance, and those watching online knew that this was another step in the progress made under the head coaches’ tutelage. There are many challenges that SA Hockey players face, but when they produce heart like that they can compete with the best in the world.

SA vs. Germany Summer Series – Test Results

1st Test – SA 2-11 Germany
2nd Test – SA 1-7 Germany
3rd Test – SA 1-1 Germany

SA Hockey Association media release

Tuks player loves winning hockey games

As a midfielder, the Tuks player lives for that moment, to catch the opposition defence off-guard and seeing the ball hit the back of the net.

Tuks hockey player Samkelo Mvimbi. Photo: Supplied

The one guaranteed way to get Tuks’ Samkelo Mvimbi’s adrenaline pumping is to give him a hockey stick and tell him his team’s honour is at stake.

He is sure to take to the challenge. As a midfielder, the Tuks player lives for that moment, to catch the opposition defence off-guard and seeing the ball hit the back of the net.

Mvimbi admits that every time he scores, he gets a rush but he is also quick to point out there is no “I” in team.

“Playing hockey is always about what is best for the team. That is why I will never be obsessed with personal statistics. If the team wins, I win.

“Sometimes it is a bigger thrill setting up that scoring opportunity that changes the outcome of a game.”

It is this tactical savviness and selflessness that led to Mvimbi consistently representing South Africa in each age-group.

Last year he made his big breakthrough when he was selected to the Proteas team that played Namibia.

Since then, he has gone on to play a further seven tests.

Currently, he is in the Proteas squad facing off against Germany. According to Mvimbi, this has changed his perception of the game.

“Playing against Germany for me is taking hockey to a whole new level. We got hammered in the first test. I now realise what it is going to take to be at my best at an international level.”

There is a real chance that Mvimbi might be in the South African squad to the Tokyo Olympics. For the Tuks player, that will be a dream come true.

Mvimbi believes he and Peabo Lembethe, who captained Tuks to glory in the Varsity championship two years ago, will make the Olympics team. He says Lembethe is also a midfielder but not a rival.

“Peabo and I bring something entirely different to the team. Peabo has got an unbelievable work rate and a sense of what is happening on the field.

“He is possibly one of the best distributors and will pass the ball not for its own sake. There is a clear plan with every pass,” Mvimbi explained.

“I aim to do the same but I tend to perhaps be a bit more aggressive. I like to take the game forward, setting up scoring opportunities.”

Mvimbi started playing hockey at Oakhill School in Knysna and it could be said that he fell in love with the game the first time he dribbled past an opponent.

He lists winning the Varsity tournament with Tuks in 2018 as a personal highlight and rightly so. Within the first seven minutes of the final, he outfoxed the Maties defence with a brilliant foot-and-stick work to score a two-point goal that set the tone for the rest of the game Tuks ended up winning 5-0.

If Mvimbi can help Tuks defend the title later this year, it would be mission accomplished as far as he is concerned.

Rekord East

Hard for Oltmans to meet his KPI after brave move?

By Jugjet Singh

Roelant Oltmans

ROELANT Oltmans has made a brave move by dropping established players while including 11 newcomers for his Azlan Shah Cup training squad.

The Dutchman will train 34 players, and his target, as well as KPI, remains the same — a top-two finish at the Azlan Shah Cup on April 11-18.

Australia (World No 2), Canada (10th), Japan (15th), South Korea (16th) and Pakistan (17th) are the teams that Malaysia (11th) must beat to meet Oltmans' KPI.

Although Oltmans said he has not shut the door on the dropped players, it looks like some of them are out of the national outfit for good.

The Saari brothers, Faizal and Fitri, skipper Shukri Mutalib, Nabil Fiqri Noor and Joel van Huizen were not on Oltmans’ list.

Nabil has opted to play in the French league while Joel wants to focus on his new job.

A coach, who did not want to be named, said: “It was a brave move by Oltmans as some of the players had started to take their positions in the national team for granted.

“Some were so cocky and felt nobody could replace their positions that they even took training lightly.

“Now, everybody will be on their toes and every position will be fought for.

“If Oltmans pulls a rabbit out of his hat in Ipoh (Azlan Shah Cup) he will become a hero. But if he fails yet again, the MHC must relook his contract as well,” said the coach.

MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal had said: “Our coaching committee have discussed with Oltmans on his plans for the Azlan Shah Cup as well as the entire season as his contract is until the end of the year.

“If the team do not play in the final, we will re-evaluate Oltmans’ future role in Malaysia.”

By the look of things, Malaysia will find it tough to even finish among the top-four in Ipoh, after Oltmans’ culling of the national team.

New Straits Times

National hockey team skipper Sukri’s cool about being dropped


KUALA LUMPUR: Mohd Sukri Abdul Mutalib is the most senior player in the national team with 337 caps. But the 34-year-old Perak-born player, who has donned national colours for 16 years, is not wanted by national coach Roelant Oltmans.

Sukri, who has been the national team captain since 2015, has accepted the decision.

“I am not annoyed with the Dutch coach for dropping me. He wants to build a new team for the 2024 Olympic Games.

“He needs younger players, so I don’t really fit into his team as I will be 38 in four years. I will be too old to play for the national team,” said the defender, who made his international debut in a Test match against China in Kuala Lumpur in 2003.

Sukri felt Oltmans was doing the right thing by calling up young players as he needs new blood in the team.

“I wish the 34 players who have been called up for training for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup (in Ipoh from April 11-18) all the best.

“I think I have contributed enough for the national team in the last 16 years and it is time to spend time with my family.

“I also need to concentrate on my job as coach of the Bukit Jalil Sports (BJSS) students.

“I am coaching the Form Four, Five and pre-university students for domestic competitions like the Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL).

“My aim is to help produce good quality players, who will go on to play for Malaysia in the future.

“I will continue playing in domestic competitions like the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) and also in the Razak Cup,” said Sukri, who helped Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) bag the treble in the MHL which ended on Feb 22.

Sukri said he had good and bad memories playing for the national team in the last 16 years.

“My best moment was when we qualified for the final for the first time in the Asian Games (in Guangzhou, China) but we lost to Pakistan to win our first silver medal in the Games,” he said.

The other notable outings include a silver in the Asia Cup in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2017 (lost 1-2 to India) and qualification for the World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India, in 2018 by virtue of finishing fourth in the World League semi-finals in London in 2017.

“One of my darkest moments was when we failed to qualify for the Olympics after losing to Japan in the final of the Asian Games in Jakarta,” said Sukri.

Malaysia were leading 5-2 in the final but allowed Japan to come back draw 6-6.

Malaysia lost the penalty shootout 3-1.

The Star of Malaysia

PREVIEWS: Men's Hockey League

Without a win in their last four league matches, Old Georgians head into a double header weekend knowing that two victories will be enough to see them secure a spot in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division play-offs.

The Surrey side’s place in the top four is under threat with Holcombe and Beeston aiming to leapfrog them, but a return to winning ways this weekend could be enough for Old Georgians to clinch a play-off place with matches against East Grinstead on Saturday and Beeston on Sunday.

“It has been good to get together in the week and work to improve our processes,” said Old Georgians’ head coach and director of hockey Mike Hughes. “Surbiton and Hampstead know how to win the big games, and last weekend was tough for us.

“But we’re facing two more tough games this weekend. East Grinstead and Beeston are both perennial play-off teams so the fact that they’re below us in the table doesn’t mean anything.

“They’re fighting for their lives so it will be very tough, but we will prepare for one match at a time.”

Although Old Georgians have England and GB star Sam Ward back from injury, they are without Mark Loughrey (hamstring) while Andy Bull (calf strain) is a doubt for this weekend.

Elsewhere leaders Surbiton host Brooklands MU as they aim to tie up top spot, a Euro Hockey League place in 2020-21 and clinch home advantage going into the play-offs, while second-placed Wimbledon go to Beeston with the aim of holding onto second place and assuring themselves of home advantage in the play-offs.

Hampstead & Westminster could overtake Wimbledon and secure home advantage if they can beat visitors University of Exeter, while Holcombe’s play-off hopes rest on Saturday’s match against bottom of the league Reading.

Reading are staring at relegation, knowing that a loss to Holcombe and victories for Brooklands MU and University of Exeter above them will ensure they finish tenth and go down.

In Division One South title-chasing Sevenoaks have a double-header weekend with matches against Brighton & Hove on Saturday and Team Bath Buccaneers on Sunday.

And in Division One North leaders University of Durham – who are only top of the table on goal difference – go to Olton & West Warwicks, while second-placed Bowdon go to Sheffield Hallam.


League Finals

The top four teams in the EHL Premier Divisions play off to be league champions. Semis - 1st v 4th and 2nd v 3rd. The winning semi-finalists qualify for the final.

The team finishing top of the Division at the end of the regular season take England’s second place in the following season’s Euro Hockey League, the winners of the final are league champions and take England’s top place. If this is the same team then the losers of the final take the second European place.

As requested by teams the semi-finals this season are at home club venues. Men’s semis are on 29 March, Women’s semis are on 4 April in order to ensure Great Britain internationals are available for their clubs.

The finals are on 5 April at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

1200 hrs – Men’s final
1430 hrs – Women’s final

Promotion & Relegation – Premier Division and Division 1 North & Division 1 South

The team finishing 10th in the Premier Division is relegated.

The winners of Division 1 North & Division 1 South play off in a one-off match on 29 March at a neutral venue, Nottingham Hockey Centre. The winners of this match are promoted to the Premier Division.

The losers of this game play against the team finishing 9th in the Premier Division over two matches, home and away, with the winners on the aggregate score earning/retaining a Premier Division place.

5 April – Losers of Division 1 North & Division 1 South play off v 9th Premier Division – Match 1
18 April – 9th Premier Division v Losers of Division 1 North & Division 1 South play off – Match 2


Men’s Hockey League (Sat, 29 February 2020):

Premier Division
Beeston v Wimbledon 14:00
Surbiton v Brooklands MU 14:00
Hampstead & Westminster v Univ of Exeter 15:30
Old Georgians v East Grinstead 18:00
Holcombe v Reading 18:30

Men’s Division One North
Cardiff & Met v Univ of Nottingham 12:30
City of Peterborough v Leeds 13:30
Olton & West Warwicks v Univ of Durham 14:30
Loughborough Students v Univ of Birmingham 16:30
Sheffield Hallam v Bowdon 18:30

Men’s Division One South
Team Bath Buccaneers v Oxford Hawks 12:30
Fareham v Canterbury 13:30
Brighton & Hove v Sevenoaks 14:00
Southgate v Havant 14:30
Oxted v Teddington 18:30

Men’s Conference East
Harleston Magpies v Bromley & Beckenham 14:30
Bedford v St Albans 15:00
Chichester v London Edwardians 15:00
Cambridge City v Old Loughtonians 16:30
Wapping v Spencer 18:00

Men’s Conference West
Khalsa Leamington v Isca 12:30
Cardiff University v Harborne 14:00
Ashmoor v Univ of Exeter 2XI 14:30
Old Cranleighans v Univ of Bristol 14:30
Richmond v Cheltenham 16:00

Men’s Conference North
Didsbury Northern v Alderley Edge 12:30
Deeside Ramblers v Doncaster 13:30
Belper v Lichfield 14:00
Preston v Wakefield 14:00
Timperley v Barford Tigers 16:00

Men’s Hockey League (Sun, 1 March 2020):

Premier Division
Old Georgians v Beeston 14:00

Division One South
Sevenoaks v Team Bath Buccaneers 12:30
Fareham v Southgate 13:30

Men’s Conference East
Bromley & Beckenham v Cambridge City 14:00

Men’s Conference North
Belper v Didsbury Northern 15:00

England Hockey Board Media release

PREVIEWS: Investec Women's Hockey League

The University of Birmingham secured their first league wins for more than four months last weekend, and they could take a big step towards Premier Division survival as they head to rivals Bowdon Hightown in the Investec Women’s Hockey League on Saturday.

Victories over Clifton Robinsons and Loughborough Students helped the University of Birmingham leapfrog Bowdon and move ninth – and they could climb further up the table this weekend if other results go in their favour.

“This is the first of three big games for both teams with the bottom five clubs all fighting and playing each other,” said Phil Gooderham, the University of Birmingham’s head of hockey.

“Getting something out of every game is crucial, we will try to look at things that are controllable and not rely on other results.

“Bowdon are an experienced team and will always play until the last so we are expecting our usual good, tight, exciting game with them. We have developed well since the winter break, we are a very young side and players have now settled more into their new university environment.”

Surbiton – who are assured of top spot, a place in Europe for 2020-21 and home advantage in the play-offs - travel to second-placed Hampstead & Westminster who are hoping for a win to also secure home advantage.

East Grinstead could overtake Hampstead if they can beat Loughborough Students, who are one of seven sides still not safe from relegation.

Holcombe host Clifton Robinsons in a battle of two teams with everything still to play for – both could still scrape into fourth spot and the play-offs, and both are still not safe from the drop.

Buckingham are in the driving seat and currently occupy fourth place, and they will want to remain there with a win over Beeston.

It’s a big weekend for second-placed Swansea in the Investec Women’s Division One North, with matches against leaders Leicester City and fourth-placed Olton & West Warwicks this weekend.

Two wins could see them narrow the gap to Leicester to just two points with three matches remaining.

And at the other end of the table the bottom two do battle with Belper hosting Leeds.

Wimbledon could clinch the Investec Division One South title this weekend if they can win at Canterbury and second-placed Reading lose at Isca.


League Finals

The top four teams in the EHL Premier Divisions play off to be league champions. Semis - 1st v 4th and 2nd v 3rd. The winning semi-finalists qualify for the final.

The team finishing top of the Division at the end of the regular season take England’s second place in the following season’s European Club Championships the winners of the final are league champions and take England’s top place. If this is the same team then the losers of the final take the second European place.

As requested by teams the semi-finals this season are at home club venues. Men’s semis are on 29 March, Women’s semis are on 4 April in order to ensure Great Britain internationals are available for their clubs.

The finals are on 5 April at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

1200 hrs – Men’s final
1430 hrs – Women’s final

Promotion & Relegation – Premier Division and Division 1 North & Division 1 South

The team finishing 10th in the Premier Division is relegated.

The winners of Division 1 North & Division 1 South play off in a one-off match on 29 March at a neutral venue, Nottingham Hockey Centre. The winners of this match are promoted to the Premier Division.

The losers of this game play against the team finishing 9th in the Premier Division over two matches, home and away, with the winners on the aggregate score earning/retaining a Premier Division place.

5 April – Losers of Division 1 North & Division 1 South play off v 9th Premier Division – Match 1
18 April – 9th Premier Division v Losers of Division 1 North & Division 1 South play off – Match 2


Investec Women’s Hockey League (Sat, 29 February 2020):

Investec Premier Division
Buckingham v Beeston 12:00
Hampstead & Westminster v Surbiton 13:30
Holcombe v Clifton Robinsons 13:30
Bowdon Hightown v Univ of Birmingham 13:45
Loughborough Students v East Grinstead 14:00

Investec Division One North
Belper v Leeds 12:00
Swansea v Leicester City 12:00
Olton & West Warwicks v Univ of Durham 12:30
Ben Rhydding v Brooklands-Poynton 13:30
Stourport v Gloucester City 17:00

Investec Division One South
Isca v Reading 12:00
Trojans v Slough 12:00
Harleston Magpies v Sevenoaks 12:30
St Albans v Cambridge City 13:00
Canterbury v Wimbledon 14:00

Investec Conference East
Barnes v Ipswich 12:00
Bedford v Broxbourne 12:30
Southgate v Horsham 12:30
Wimbledon 2XI v Bromley & Beckenham 14:30
Chelmsford v Canterbury 2XI 17:30

Investec Conference North
Sutton Coldfield v Doncaster 12:30
Univ of Nottingham v Alderley Edge 13:00
Fylde v Wakefield 13:30
Cannock v Beeston 2XI 14:00
Timperley v Pendle Forest 18:00

Investec Conference West
Team Bath Buccaneers v Surbiton 2XI 12:00
Cheltenham v Exe 12:30
Oxford University v University of Birmingham 2XI 12:30
Basingstoke v Oxford Hawks 14:00
Clifton Robinsons 2XI v Univ of Bristol 14:00

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Sun, 1 March 2020):

Investec Division One North
Swansea v Olton & West Warwicks 13:30

Investec Division One South
Cambridge City v Canterbury

Investec Conference East
Canterbury 2XI v Barnes 14:30

Investec Conference North
Univ of Nottingham v Pendle Forest 14:00

England Hockey Board Media release

Town and Garvey rematch a potentially defining moment in Irish men’s EYHL

Ross Quirke has been in flying form for Monkstown. Pic: Deryck Vincent

Monkstown and Lisnagarvey face off for the second time in a month in a men’s EY Hockey League battle that could determine whether we have a title chase to savour or not depending on the outcome at the ALD Merrion Fleet Arena.

Garvey won the first showdown 2-1 and a repeat performance would see them eight points clear with a game in hand – against Annadale – with seven games to play. Jonny Bell missed the first meeting due to a calf injury but should be back in the fold.

Town produced some lovely flowing hockey last week against Corinthian a week ago with Davy Carson and Ross Quirke’s line-up in the front line full of style. Find some more of that form and they can do some damage and reignite their pursuit of the Ulster side.

It is similarly make or break at the bottom of the table. Annadale’s young charges are seven points off ninth placed Pembroke who they play on Saturday and a repeat of their 6-2 loss from earlier this month would see the Ulster side slip ever closer to the drop.

Pembroke will be without Kirk Shimmins who is serving the second game of his two-game suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards.

YMCA lost 8-0 to Saturday’s opponents Banbridge at home just a few weeks ago but bounced back in impressive style, pushing Garvey all the way before beating UCD 4-0 with an array of beautiful goals.

As such, it gives a good barometer of their improvement and whether their counter-attack trap can yield more dividends for the likes of Ross Henderson and Grant Glutz.

Bann’s approach could be key to the tie. Against Rovers last week, a timid first half was replaced by a gung-ho attacking game. There was suggestions from some of the Bann players that they need more of a “f**k it attitude” but Eugene Magee reckons it is about finding the happy medium. Drew Carlisle could return after a skiing holiday.

Corinthian and Three Rock shared an eight-goal draw with Peter Caruth deployed in a roving role across the back and down the left to good effect. Rovers are in healthy form, undefeated in the league since November with 14 points out of their last 18 and a win would keep Corinthian at arm’s length in the top four chase.

Since UCD beat Glenanne 2-1, they have lost their last three league games while the Glens ended their four-month wait for an EYHL win when they got the better of Pembroke a week ago.

In Leinster Division One, Clontarf bring their winning streak a short way up the M1 to face Portrane on the Donabate peninsula in the pick of the games, third hosting first.

The Fingal side added to their memorable season last weekend with three goals in the last 10 minutes earning them a 3-2 win at Raphoe.

Chasers Railway Union will fancy the points from their trip to Trinity’s Santry Avenue; Avoca, likewise, will hope perceived wisdom holds when they host Weston as will Rathgar against Bray.

Dublin North against Kilkenny is probably the best bet for fireworks with both sides showing a penchant for goal-fests with Adrian Sweeney netting 14 times while the sixth placed cats have scored 35 goals from 12 games.

Both Munster Senior Cup semi-finals were cancelled on Friday due to the orange weather warning.

Men’s Saturday fixtures

EYHL Division 1: Annadale v Pembroke, Strathearn, 4pm; Banbridge v YMCA, Havelock Park, 2.45pm; Corinthian v Three Rock Rovers, Whitechurch Park, 2pm; Monkstown v Lisnagarvey, Rathdown, 4.15pm; UCD v Glenanne, Belfield, 1pm

Leinster Division 1: Avoca v Weston, Newpark, 1pm; Dublin North v Kilkenny, NSC, 1.15pm; Dublin University v Railway Union, Santry Avenue, 11.30am; Portrane v Clontarf, Donabate LC, 2pm; Rathgar v Bray, The High School, 2.15pm

Munster Senior Cup, semi-finals

Postponed: UCC v Cork Harlequins, Bandon v Cork C of I

The Hook

Loreto the latest side to take up Irish women’s EYHL leadership

UCD’s Edel Nyland started her side’s Thursday night comeback. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Top spot in the women’s EY Hockey League continues to be a hot potato as Loreto returned back above Old Alex and Pegasus in midweek with a big come-from-behind win over Railway Union.

They won 4-2 in the end thanks to three final quarter goals on Thursday night, denying Railway a third win of the campaign. Sara Twomey’s rebound from a corner switch move had given Loreto a 20th minute lead but Jenny Long tied things up by half-time with a deflection from a corner sweep.

And the Park Avenue hosts went in front three minutes into the second half when Lisa McCarthy picked out Martha McCready who beat a player before crossing into the path of Kate Lloyd who touched in.

They carried that lead into the final quarter but another corner goal saw Loreto level, Hannah Matthews reverting the ball to injector Hayley Mulcahy to finish off. Matthews went direct for 3-2 in the 61st minute and, with Railway going without a keeper for the closing minutes, Sarah Torrans added a final hooter corner.

Old Alex had taken the lead in the table last Saturday and looked well set to maintain that advantage on Thursday when a Hannah McDermott double put them two clear of UCD.

But a four-minute spell – between the 52nd and 56th minute – for the students saw them transform a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 win as they found the cutting-edge Miles Warren has been willing from them all season.

McDermott got the only goal of the first half with a cracking touch to Deirdre Duke’s strike and they looked well in control when the forward guided in another from a penalty corner.

UCD, though, were playing their part in a very good contest and the students were on the board via an absolute rocket from Edel Nyland just before the end of the third quarter.

They were level when Sarah Patton’s great run down the line was taken on by Sarah Young who drove at goal and Niamh Carey nipped in to get the final touch. Her twin Michelle then went direct down the middle and struck for 3-2 with 14 minutes left.

A day earlier, Pembroke got back on the winning trail for the first time since November. Like the other midweek games, it featured a comeback as Anna O’Flanagan put Muckross in front but Pembroke turned things around to succeed 3-1.

Leah McGuire equalised with her fourth goal since the turn of the year and Laura Noble made it 2-1 before half-time and they pushed on from there, Claire Foley closing out the results.

Muckross were without recent Irish call-up Ellie McLoughlin due to a concussion return to play protocol with Rachel Barnett deputising. In her first game for 18 months, she saved a stroke and will hope to put in more heroics this weekend. Next on their agenda is a date with UCD at Belfield on Saturday.

At the bottom, 10th placed  Belfast Harlequins host ninth placed Railway Union in a vital match for their respective hopes of avoiding relegation. Quins have been left five points adrift and a loss would leave them with eight points to make up with just six games to go.

Railway have a game to catch-up on due to their indoor exploits and a win at Deramore could potentially get them back in range of the sides above them.

The rest of the games are in Dublin with 2.30pm starts at the peak of the scheduled rain from Storm Jorge which may have an impact with up to 5mm predicted in some parts.

Old Alex host in-form Cork Harlequins; Loreto play another side on a good streak, Catholic Institute, for whom Roisin Upton was named Limerick person of the year this week.

Pembroke are up against Pegasus who are hoping to welcome back Shirley McCay, Niamh McIvor and Charlotte Beggs who all missed last week’s trip to Limerick, only travelling with 12 players.

Roisin Upton was named the Limerick Person of the Year this week. Pic: Adrian Boehm

In Leinster Division One, Monkstown cut Corinthian’s lead to two points with their 11th successive win in the league, conceding just once in the last ten outings.

They beat Trinity 2-0 courtesy of a lovely goal on the half-hour via Sarah Greene and Emily Kealy to set up Sadhbh Hoban-Logan for the first goal and the clincher came with 15 minutes to go. That came via Amy Etherington’s corner slap which diving Rachel Moore dived onto.

Town aim to keep up the pressure when they go to Rathgar on Saturday; Corinthian travel to Mount Temple to face Clontarf aiming to keep their lead intact. Genesis host Avoca and North Kildare meet Naas in the Kildare derby.


EYHL Division 1

Wednesday: Muckross 1 (A O’Flanagan) Pembroke 3 (L McGuire, L Noble, C Foley)

Thursday: Old Alex 2 (H McDermott 2) UCD 3 (E Nyland, N Carey, M Carey); Railway Union 2 (K Lloyd, J Long) Loreto 4 (S Twomey, H Mulcahy, H Matthews, S Torrans)

Saturday: Belfast Harlequins v Railway Union, Deramore Park, 2.30pm; Loreto v Catholic Institute, Beaufort, 1.15pm; Old Alexandra v Cork Harlequins, Milltown, 2.30pm; Pembroke Wanderers v Pegasus, Serpentine Avenue, 2.30pm; UCD v Muckross, Belfield, 2.50pm

Leinster Division 1

Wednesday: Monkstown 2 (S Hoban-Logan, R Moore) Trinity 0

Saturday: Clontarf v Corinthian, Mount Temple, 2pm; Genesis v Avoca, St Raphaela’s, 3pm; North Kildare v Naas, The Maws, 2pm; Rathgar v Monkstown, The High School, 3.45pm

Munster Division 1

Postponed: UCC v Cork C of I; Belvedere v Bandon; Limerick v Waterford

The Hook

Hockey season bullies off with Super League action


Amira Sailors striker Pauline Naise (left) vies for the ball with Redempter Nasambu of USIU during their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League match at City Park Stadium on September 22, 2019. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Daggers are drawn as the 2020 Kenya Hockey Union season gets underway on Saturday at the City Park Stadium in Nairobi.

Action will centre on the second tier Super League men and women with eight matches on cards.

One women’s Premier League match pitting debutants Oranje Leonas against regulars Amira Sailors will be held tomorrow from 5pm.

Nairobi-based Leonas alongside Dutch Flower Group (DFG) Wolverines earned promotion to the top tier after finishing second in Super League last season.

Leonas coach Tom Olal said they will be keen to start the title campaign in the Premier League on the right foot.

Olal observed that his side were a development outfit run by the Union that had grown in leaps and bounds and making it to the Premier League was a bonus and therefore he will not put the players under pressure.

“Our promotion was not by fluke, we earned it. However, worth noting is the fact that we have received support and encouragement from some of the Amira players. And therefore we are buoyed by believe in ourselves ahead of the tie,” said Olal who doubles up as the women’s national team coach.

“If the players can believe in themselves then definitely positive results is what we will be looking forward to. Just like every other team in the league, we will be aiming to win our matches and who knows what will happen?”

Amira coach Thomas Mucheni said their target this season was to qualify for the African Clubs Championship.

Amira finished fifth last season in a competition that saw peerless, Blazers formerly Telkom, retain the title a record-extending 22 times.

“We have signed Strathmore University duo of Dolphine Jimo and Linda Ayodi as we await their release. They are young players who I believe will fit into our system of play. We hope our experience in the league will help us carry the day on Sunday (tomorrow). We want to be consistent this season,” said Mucheni.

It will be a battle royale in the men’s Super League on Saturday when Sikh Union face off with Parklands. The two were relegated from the Premier League last season after finishing in the bottom two spots.

Super League

Saturday: (men’s league unless stated), UoN v JKUAT (women, 12pm), UoN v Daystar University (2pm), Kenyatta University (KU) v Multimedia University-MMU (2pm), Technical University of Kenya (TUK) v Kenya College of Accountancy College-KCAU (4pm), Parklands v Sikh Union (6pm)

Sunday: (women’s league unless stated) Vikings v TUK (9am), Nairobi Chapel v MMU (11am), JKUAT v MMU (men, 1pm)

TUK v KU (men, 3pm)

Premier League:

Sunday: Amira Sailors v Oranje Leonas (5pm)

Daily Nation

Amira take on rookies Oranje in league tie

By Elizabeth Mburugu:

Amira Sailors ladies celebrate their victory against Kenyatta University during Kenya Hockey Union Premier League at City Park on Saturday, Oct 5, 2019. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Amira Sailors will usher debutants Oranje Leonas into the big girls’ club tomorrow when they face off in the opening match of the 2020 Kenya Hockey Union women Premier League season at City Park. 

In what seems to be a low key start to the season, the clash will be the only top tier tie this weekend. Amira, last season’s fifth place finishers will be looking to begin the season on a high against the development side that earned a promotion after finishing second behind Super League champions DFG Wolverines.

Leonas on the other hand will be keen to prove they are no pushovers despite being new to top flight hockey.

Team coach Tom Olal said he is confident his charges will give a good account of themselves.

“We have been training well in readiness for the season and I’m confident my girls will give a good account of themselves. All I want is for them to enjoy the match because I believe they have what it takes to compete in the Premier League,” Olal said.

Amira will bank on the services of utility player and captain Sheila Chenani, attacking midfielder Rachael Ngare and Shalyn Nabifo who were all instrumental in the sides journey to the top.

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In defence, Cecilia Mwanza is expected to lead the way while upcoming Eunice Atieno who joined the club from Sinyolo Girls will be out to prove her worth. 

The Standard Digital

Why hockey star Nyongesa admires Real captain Ramos

By Elizabeth Mburugu

Butali Kenneth Nyongesa reacts for the ball when they played Strathmore in the premier men at City park on 05/03/16. [JENIPHER WACHIE, STANDARD]

Kenneth Nyongesa will go down in history as one of the best hockey defenders and successful captains of his generation.  

Away from hockey, Nyongesa is a professional having pursued a Bachelor of Business Information and Technology (BBIT) at Strathmore and has also studied leadership. He made his international debut for Kenya in 2009.

Standard Sports caught up with the father of two who recently stepped down as champions Butali Warriors captain to talk about his life on and off pitch.


I’m proud of our achievements and credit goes to the passionate and dedicated Butali Warriors players who have worked tirelessly over the years.


First, I congratulate Constant Wakhura for earning the armband. Each one of us will be looking up to him for direction on and off pitch and so he must lead by example through discipline and dedication.


Yes, I believe he is the perfect man for the job. He is a very skilled and intelligent person. He is a leader who is flexible and ready to accept new ideas which is a plus in modern-day hockey.


The six seasons I have captained Butali have been my best, four Premier League titles and two second place finishes are worth celebrating.


Zack Aura is the toughest player I have played against because he was very fast and his hockey skills are unrivaled and could beat any defender.


Hahahaha, in 2009 while playing for Strathmore against Greensharks I was fielded as a striker and instead of scoring I defended.


I’m guided by good planning, discipline and I have also mastered the art of time management so it makes it easy for me to fulfill my work, club and family responsibilities without struggle.


Kenyan hockey has a multitude of problems that can’t be summed up in a few sentences. Even so, the bigger problem is poor management. The current leadership has refused to involve young and vibrant minds, thus to embrace new ideas.


Leadership is the root of all our problems that is why I would make sure that there is sound management at the national governing body.


I would love to go Seychelles


I don’t put price tags on everything and so my best gift was the opportunity to lead my current and former clubs to glory.


Our Team Manager Kamal Sembi.


Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, he is a leader who is always angry for more success.


Roast potatoes and beef.


My wristwatch.


Joseph Hill — and I enjoy reggae music.


I will say hockey is an addiction, I would have played football because it is second on my list.


I take my family out.

The Standard Digital

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