All the news for Sunday 15 April 2018
Australia men win sixth consecutive gold in Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast 2018
Hosts Australia won their sixth consecutive Commonwealth Games men's hockey gold medal as they defeated New Zealand 2-0 in the final at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre.
With New Zealand picking up silver, England won bronze as they defeated India 2-1 earlier.
Australia’s win was the perfect end to captain Mark Knowles career. Prior to this event the legendary Kookaburra announced he would retire after Gold Coast 2018 and his team mates ensured he got the perfect send off.
Aaron Kleinschmidt jabbed home a pass just in front of New Zealand goalkeeper Richard Joyce in the 20th minute to set Australia on their way.
The Kookaburras then doubled their lead at a crucial time when Matt Dawson smashed home a penalty corner into the bottom right of New Zealand's goal two minutes before half-time.
The second half saw New Zealand up the pressure but struggled to match their opponents who excelled across the pitch. The stats didn’t lie - Australia had 59% of possession, entered New Zealand’s circle almost twice as many times as their opponents theirs, and had almost twice as many shots at goal.
New Zealand’s Hugo Inglis had an opportunity in the 42nd minute to get his team back in the game but missed, whilst Dylan Wotherspoon, Lachlan Sharp and Trent Mitton all had chances to put the hosts further ahead.
It could have been a fairy-tale end for retiring captain Mark Knowles as Australia were awarded a penalty stroke in the 54th minute. However it wasn’t to be as the Aussie captain flicked high over the bar.
That didn’t detract from an excellent performance by the world's number one team who made history by winning the Commonwealth Games men’s hockey for a record sixth time.
Speaking afterwards, Australia captain Mark Knowles said: "It was a beautiful night, I couldn't have scripted it. The boys did so well and I am so proud. I looked up at the clock a couple of times after the stroke and thought the boys were going to back me up this time and they did. That's what every leader wants to see, their team perform and act like that under pressure in front of an amazing crowd."
He added: "I made a really strong point before the game, the team has earned the right to be here, but they haven't earned the right to win just yet, and now they have."
England's men followed up their women’s bronze medal win earlier in the day as they also defeated Asian champions India.
Sam Ward proved England’s superstar as he scored both goals to take him to the top of the event’s scoring charts with nine goals and retain the bronze medals that England won in Glasgow four years ago.
Ward scored from two penalty corners, his first coming in the seventh minute.
India did not make it easy for England however and drew level in the 27th minute, with Varun Kumar scoring just before half-time from a penalty corner.
England edged possession in this game and were rewarded in the 42nd minute as Ward pounced on a penalty corner rebound to score what proved to be the winning goal and earn his team the bronze medals.
Speaking afterwards, England captain George Pinner said: “It's elation, but a lot of relief. We wanted to be in the final desperately. We were devastated last night, but today we have been focused on the process. All we wanted was a medal. It wasn't our best and we know that."
Gold: Australia 2, New Zealand 0.
Bronze: England 2, India 1.
Mark Knowles ends with gold as New Zealand take women’s bounty
By The Hockey Paper
New Zealand celebrate gold in the women’s final (PIC: www.photosport.nz)
Mark Knowles began the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in style, carrying the Australian flag into the Opening Ceremony.
And Australia’s hockey captain ended it on a high note as he led his country to a sixth straight Commonwealth Games gold medal with a 2-0 win over Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre on Saturday.
The win was the perfect way for Knowles to finish his glittering career, bowing out with four Commonwealth Games gold medals from Melbourne, Delhi, Glasgow and the Gold Coast. The global king with a stick.
“It was a beautiful night, I couldn’t have scripted it. The boys did so well and I am so proud,” said Knowles, whose only blemish was to miss a final quarter penalty stroke.
“I looked up at the clock a couple of times after the stroke and thought the boys were going to back me up this time and they did.
“That’s what every leader wants to see, their team perform and act like that under pressure in front of an amazing crowd.
“I made a really strong point before the game, the team has earned the right to be here, but they haven’t earned the right to win just yet, and now they have.”
Both gold medal games were Trans-Tasman affairs, with the Australian men gaining the ascendancy when Aaron Kleinschmidt scored a clever goal 21 minutes into the contest.
Matthew Dawson doubled the lead soon after, with a driving penalty corner shot making it 2-0 as Australia threatened to pull away from the Black Sticks.
In the second half, retiring captain Mark Knowles had the opportunity to put himself on the scoresheet, but missed a penalty stroke in his final game of international hockey.
It did not matter though, as the Kookaburras ran out comfortable 2-0 winners to earn a sixth straight Commonwealth Games title.
In the men’s bronze medal game, England beat India 2-1 with Sam Ward the star with both goals for his country.
Sam Ward notches another celebration (PIC: Grant Treeby)
Ward has been England’s goal-hungry forward all tournament as the win ended the Commonwealth career of Barry Middleton.
“These players are all evolving as a team and I’m obviously the old man hanging on,” he said.
“These are definitely my last Commonwealth Games, it’ll be tough to put this body through another one of these.”
Earlier in the day, New Zealand’s women beat Australia 4-1 to win their first ever Commonwealth Games hockey gold medal.
Midfielders Stacey Michelsen and Anita McLaren were outstanding, with the two 300-gamers guiding their side to a memorable win.
McLaren said: “We kept the belief in the group, and we did our processes and the simple things really well. Our defence stepped up like we wanted them to and today we actually scored the goals, so full credit to our strikers.”
England claimed the bronze medal with a dominant 6-0 victory over India, with Sophie Bray scoring a hat-trick.
The Hockey Paper
Kookaburras Send Off Knowles With Games Gold Glory
The Kookaburras have given retiring captain Mark Knowles a fairy tale finish and secured their sixth consecutive Commonwealth Games gold medal after a 2-0 win over New Zealand in Saturday’s final at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre.
Second quarter goals from Aaron Kleinschmidt and Matt Dawson secured the victory for Australia, who also made it 33 straight Commonwealth Games wins in the process.
Knowles, playing his 324th and final cap for his country, had a late chance for fairy tale goal when the Kookaburras won a penalty stroke but he put his shot over the bar.
The result also continues Australia’s dominance over the Black Sticks, having won nine games in a row against their Trans-Tasman rivals.
The Kookaburras won the key stats with 59-41 possession, along with 39 circle penetrations to 23.
Australia also denied New Zealand any penalty corners, while winning four of their own, converting one of them.
The hosts earned the first penalty corner of the game but New Zealand launched a few raids, with Hugo Inglis and Hayden Phillips both firing over in the first quarter.
Trent Mitton also flashed a shot wide for Australia, before an improved second period where the Kookaburras struck twice.
In the 21st minute, Flynn Ogilvie drove forward, found Mitton inside the D whose pass was poked over Black Sticks goalkeeper Richard Joyce by Aaron Kleinschmidt in typical goal poacher style.
Tyler Lovell was called in action with a reflex save to deny Dominic Newman, before the Kookaburras added a second when Matt Dawson slid home powerfully from a 27th minute penalty corner.
Australia had further opportunities to extend their lead in the third quarter, with a Tom Wickham half chance, while some Dylan Wotherspoon skill on the baseline almost set up Tom Craig.
Youngster Lachlan Sharp almost sealed the result in the 48th minute when his deflected shot came close to trickling over the line until Nick Ross’ last-gasp intervention.
Trailing 2-0 with six minutes to go, New Zealand replaced goalkeeper Joyce with an outfield player.
New Zealand’s desperation opened up opportunities for Australia and the hosts won a penalty stroke when Sharp’s goalbound shot was blocked by Ross’ leg.
The retiring Knowles stepped up for a fairy tale ending in front of an anticipatory crowd but flicked his stroke over the bar.
Despite the miss, the Kookaburras secured victory and sixth consecutive gold medal.
Australia 2 (Kleinschmidt 21’, Dawson 27’)
New Zealand 0
Hockey Australia media release
Outgoing Knowles Hails Kookaburras Future
Any one of Australia’s 18 players in Saturday’s 2018 Commonwealth Games final could have been named Player of the Match according to outgoing skipper Mark Knowles and he loves that.
The Kookaburras won the Commonwealth Games gold medal on Saturday with a 2-0 win over New Zealand in the decider after goals from Aaron Kleinschmidt and Matt Dawson.
The match marked Knowles’ 324th and final cap for the Kookaburras, ending a significant era for the side, but the veteran said the future was bright for Australia given the even contribution.
“I know in every great team that I’ve played in, one person has never won us big games,” Knowles said.
“The way that team contributed last night, if you asked the 8,000 in the crowd who was our best player, you’d get 18 different answers.
“I love that about this group.”
Knowles also insisted his impending retirement wasn’t used as motivation in the lead-up.
“It’ll be interesting to see what the guys felt but we never mentioned it once,” Knowles said.
“There was probably five seconds pre-match where someone mentioned it but I was really clear to the guys we needed 18 players on the field to do their job.”
The 34-year-old Rockhampton product bows out of the international game having claimed an Olympic gold medal and two bronze medals, along with two World Cups and now four Commonwealth Games gold medals.
“It feels awesome to wake up to have the gold medal I wanted, these guys wanted and that hockey in Australia wanted, it feels really nice,” Knowles said.
“I’m super proud we were able to put in a performance in a final that we’re proud of.”
Knowles also pocketed the match ball from Saturday’s final after a nice gesture from a close mate.
“That’s a nice little moment for me,” Knowles said.
“Jake Whetton, one of my great mates, a Queenslander, found that ball for me.
“That’s a small memento that will stay with me. It’s not often you get those little things right for yourself.”
Hockey Australia media release
Silver finish for New Zealand Men
The New Zealand Men have come away with a silver medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games after being beaten 2-0 by hosts Australia in the final.
As expected, it was a tight battle between the trans-Tasman rivals with a strong second quarter from Australia allowing them to score twice to take a 2-0 advantage into halftime.
Aaron Kleinschmidt scored from open play in the 21st minute before Matt Dawson converted from a penalty corner two minutes from the end of the quarter.
The Kiwis created their share of chances and came close to scoring on several occasions but were shut out by the world number one ranked hosts.
The silver medal adds to the tally for the New Zealand Men having previously won silver in Manchester 2002 and bronze at Delhi 2010.
Head coach Darren Smith said while it was disappointing not to win gold, the performance throughout the competition was impressive.
“Today I didn’t think we were as clinical as we needed to be but Australia were the better team and overall we are quite happy,” he said.
“We put together some good hockey over the past few weeks and played very well especially early in the pool stage.
“We’ve got a relatively fresh group and lot of them are at their first Commonwealth Games so will take away some valuable experience, and for us it’s onwards to bigger things.”
New Zealand 0
Australia 2: (Aaron Kleinschmidt, Matt Dawson)
Halftime: Australia 2-0
Hockey New Zealand Media release
Gold medal proves step too far for hockey men
By Andrew Alderson
The Commonwealth Games men's hockey final proved a step too far for New Zealand as they slumped to a 2-0 loss to Australia.
Silver is still an outstanding return within the context of the tournament.
Coming in, the Black Sticks were ranked ninth in the world, and fourth in this event behind Australia, India and England.
They exceeded expectations.
There was no lack of hunger or courage on their part, but the hosts exemplified why they are ranked No.1 in the world. They maintained a legacy of six consecutive gold medals stretching to the sport's debut at Kuala Lumpur in 1998.
Kiwi hockey fans can absorb the fact New Zealand have enjoyed their most successful Games campaign. The women claimed a pioneering gold earlier in the day, defeating Australia 4-1.
The Australian men swarmed through the midfield like green and gold hornets to dominate through a symphony of position, possession and pace. It was hard to imagine any of them ever missing too many buses.
New Zealand clung to parity in the first quarter, but it was too tough to sustain. Two goals were conceded in the approach to halftime.
The first came in the 21st minute via a delicate Aaron Kleinschmidt feed into the goal mouth.
The second was from a penalty corner in the 28th, as a Matthew Dawson meteor seared into the netting.
From there, Australia maintained an even hand. They kept up their intensity but without any over exertion.
"They handled the ball well at the back and in the midfield," New Zealand coach Darren Smith said.
"They had a bit more surety in the first half. They deserved to win that game and we looked like we were chasing a bit."
New Zealand suffered a penalty stroke in the 55th minute, but Australian captain Mark Knowles could not convert as goal keeper Richard Joyce returned for a late cameo.
The Black Sticks' skills were evident, but less prevalent than Australia's. They struggled to press up against a wall which Donald Trump would be proud of.
At times Hugo Inglis looked like he had the ball on a leash doing slalom; Arun Panchia and Kane Russell were guard dogs patrolling their respective patches; Shea McAleese and Dane Lett consistently put their bodies on the line.
"It took 14 years for me to make a Commonwealth Games final," McAleese said, as he hobbled about on a suspected broken little toe.
"I don't think it has set in on some guys how special it is to make it. Some of these young guys are freakishly skillful - they make me look like a cone in training.
"Unfortunately I don't think we really turned up to play today."
McAleese said they got rid of the ghost of Rio, when they were ousted by Germany in the last moments of their quarterfinal.
"This team has been hammered in the past, and rightly so, by media and the public because we've come to tournaments and haven't fronted well enough.
"The good thing about this tournament is that we fronted on more occasions than not."
Until last night the men's side had secured silver at Manchester in 2002 and bronze at Delhi in 2010.
Prior to the tournament, McAleese summed up New Zealand's record at the Games.
"This is my fourth Games and at the three previous ones we have definitely underachieved."
You could not make that case here.
The New Zealand Herald
Men's Black Sticks can't match women as they fall to Australia in Commonwealth Games
LIAM HYSLOP ON THE GOLD COAST
Australia's Aaron Kleinschmidt, left, celebrates his goal with Flynn Ogilvie as Nick Ross gets stuck between the two of them. GETTY IMAGES
Men's Black Sticks were unable to replicate the heroics of the women's team, going down 2-0 in a final which Australia dominated at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre on Saturday night.
Black Sticks captain Arun Panchia was disappointed, but not dismayed, to lose to Australia in the Commonwealth Games gold medal match.
The men's Black Sticks were unable to replicate the heroics of the women's team, going down 2-0 in a final which Australia dominated at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre on Saturday night.
Panchia said making just their first Commonwealth Games final since 2002 - when they also lost to Australia - was satisfying enough, especially after they failed to medal at Glasgow in 2014.
"It's a bit of mixed emotions. A little bit of disappointment that we couldn't get the win, but to come away with silver is a pretty good feeling," Panchia said.
Australia's Matthew Dawson celebrates scoring his second goal while New Zealand's George Muir watches the ball go in. GETTY IMAGES
"Glasgow was really disappointing to come away with a medal and lose in a shootout. It just shows when we play good hockey we can beat the best sides in the world. Aussie were that little step ahead of us today, but the next time we play them we hope to go one better."
Earlier in the day, the women's Black Sticks had beaten the Hockeyroos 4-1 in their final, before forming a boisterous cheering section for the men's final.
But there wasn't a lot to shout about after second-quarter goals to Aaron Kleinschmidt and Matthew Dawson put the Kookaburras well in control by halftime.
Australia's Aaron Kleinschmidt deflects in his side's first goal on Saturday. GETTY IMAGES
The Australian men's defence never really looked like being breached in the second 30 minutes.
Panchia said they high-pressure final would be a good learning experience for his side.
"I think we were a little bit too passive in the first half and Aussie, once they were able to establish themselves in the first quarter, they started to dominate possession and put a lot of pressure on us.
New Zealand's Dominic Newman and Australia's Lachlan Sharp tussle for possession on Saturday. GETTY IMAGES
"We were hanging on with defence a little, but we weren't creating enough in attack.
"I think if we really want to be critical we need to make sure we can hold the ball in the attacking 50 and create a few more scoring opportunities and get a few more [penalty] corner outcomes, then we'll put ourselves in a position to win those games."
Australia's first goal in the 21st minute came after New Zealand gave possession away deep in their own half. Flynn Ogilvie dribbled towards New Zealand's circle, played in Trent Mitton, who found Aaron Kleinschmidt to deflect in from close range.
Stephen Jenness had a chance to equalise soon after when deflecting a cross, but it was well saved by Australian keeper Tyler Lovell.
From there, it was all Australia until halftime.
New Zealand keeper Richard Joyce saved one penalty corner well, low to his right, but he couldn't keep out the next two minutes before halftime from Matthew Dawson, which deflected in off New Zealand defender Shea McAleese.
The penalty corner had come after New Zealand had again lost possession sloppily in midfield under the now constant pressure of the Australians.
It was always going to be a long way back from there against the No 1 ranked side in the world who have won every Commonwealth Games final since the sport was introduced in 1998.
They never really looked like scoring in the second half as Australia suffocated the Black Sticks with their continued dominance of territory and possession.
New Zealand pulled their goalkeeper with 6.18 remaining. McAleese grabbed the red shirt, but found himself in a whole heap of bother when giving away a penalty stroke for a dangerous slide in the circle with 5.22 remaining.
Retiring Australian captain Mark Knowles was given the honour of taking the stroke, but sent it well over the crossbar.
It mattered little in the end as Australia's opening ceremony flagbearer went out on a high.
Regardless of how the final went, a medal was a good result for New Zealand. It was just their third at six Commonwealth Games tournaments after a silver in Manchester in 2002 and bronze in Delhi in 2010.
Panchia was seeing a lot of positives from the result.
"We're a really young side and we've got a big year. We've got a World Cup in December this year and we're really looking forward to building to it and we'll take a lot of positives out of this whole tournament."
AT A GLANCE
Australia 2 (Aaron Kleinschmidt 21', Matthew Dawson 28') New Zealand 0. HT: 2-0.
Ward at the double to secure second Commonwealth Games bronze
Ward scores against India CWG 2018
England's men made it double bronze at the Commonwealth Games after putting in an excellent display to defeat India in their bronze medal match.
Sam Ward scored both goals to take him to the top of the tournament's goalscoring charts with nine, but it was very much a team performance to secure consecutive bronze Commonwealth medals for England's men.
The Beeston forward scored twice from penalty corners, his first coming in the opening quarter, only for Varun Kumar to equalise before half time from a corner of his own.
But it was Ward who grabbed the winner in the 42nd with a very clever reaction finish after his initial effort was blocked from a corner to secure a third Commonwealth medal in the men's team's history, following bronzes in both 1998 and 2014.
Barry Middleton had the first chance of the game, flashing a reverse stick effort just wide of the post with four minutes on the clock.
But Crutchley's men did not have to wait long for a goal; David Goodfield winning a penalty corner that Ward rasped home low past the goalkeeper's right hand.
England then enjoyed the majority of the possession for the rest of the half, Chris Griffiths the closest to scoring as his 15th minute effort was saved, before India exerted some pressure of their own before Varun calmly stroked the ball home to equalise shortly before the break.
Both teams had good chances in the second half, as a Phil Roper corner almost fell for the waiting Henry Weir before Akashdeep Singh had a very good chance to get on the scoresheet.
Ward then made his opponents pay as he beautifully smacked home a rebound after his initial effort was blocked for his ninth of the tournament, moving him three ahead of his nearest rivals before the gold medal match.
After Ian Sloan's corner flick was blocked India started to exert pressure in search of an equaliser but England's defences weren't to be breached, with Pinner making two good saves while Adam Dixon took a ball to face and a stick in the ribs for his troubles.
Full time saw England's players rightly celebrate their victory as they showed admirable heart to bounce back from a semi final defeat 20 hours earlier.
England 2 (1)
Ward (PC, 7; PC, 42)
India 1 (1)
Varun (PC, 27)
England Starting XI: Gibson (GK), Dixon, Gleghorne, Sanford, Creed, Middleton, Roper (C), Martin, Condon, Ansell, Griffiths
Subs: Pinner (GK), Weir, Willars, Gall, Sloan, Goodfield, Ward
England Hockey Board Media release
Indian men's hockey team lose 1-2 to England in Bronze Medal match of CWG 2018
Manpreet Singh-led Indian team end their CWG 2018 campaign in a disappointing fourth place.
England avenged their 3-4 loss to India in the round robin stage as they beat India 2-1 in the Bronze Medal match at the XXI Commonwealth Games. It was Sam Ward (7’, 43’) who scored in England’s win while Varun Kumar (27’) was the lone goal scorer for India.
Though India had good ball possession in the initial minutes of the first quarter, England were far more dominating with intense attack, making spaces in the striking circle.
First it was the experienced Barry Middleton who took a potential shot on goal in the 4th minute but was slightly off the mark. An Indian infringement gave away the first PC of the match. Though Sam Ward’s attempt was blocked away by India’s first rusher Amit Rohidas, in his second attempt Sam Ward kept it low as he successfully found the right corner of the post taking a 1-0 lead in the 7th minute. A diving PR Sreejesh could do little to stop the fiercely-struck ball.
With good man-to-man marking by England, making successful forays into the striking circle for the Indian forwards was hard to come by. After several attempts, India’s first breakthrough, however, came in the 26th minute when Mandeep Singh and Lalit Upadhyay worked in tandem to win the team’s only PC of the match. A well-thought through variation between Amit Rohidas and Varun Kumar fetched India a much-needed equalizer.
Scores levelled at 1-1, the third quarter was closely fought. While India began on an attacking note with Lalit taking a shot on goal in the 31st minute, Mandeep couldn’t find the right deflection to score. Though India’s attack picked up steam, defensive errors on their part gave away two crucial PCs in the 39th and 42nd minute.
While, Sam Ward’s attempt was brilliantly saved by Sreejesh, England relied on their No.1 drag-flicker yet again in the 43rd minute to take the strike. This time, though first rusher Rohidas successful blocked the drag-flick, but on rebound Ward used a strong back hand shot to once again find the right corner of the post that helped England regain the lead.
Down by a goal, India desperately looked for opportunities to score but England’s defence was relentless, not wanting to repeat what happened in their previous tie when India scored in the last two minutes of the match. Forward Akashdeep Singh took an ambitious shot on goal but missed the mark in the 45th minute.
Seconds later, skipper Manpreet attempted a shot but couldn’t muster a goal. England, meanwhile, won two PCs in the 50th and 54th minute but on both occasions different variations couldn’t help in stretching their lead by two goals.
A video referral by England was upheld in the dying minutes of the match that denied India a PC while their defence stuck together to keep the lead and win the match.
Indian men’s hockey team loses; finishes fourth
Sam Ward two goals helped England defeat India in the bronze medal playoff.
England’s Sam Ward celebrates with his teammates after scoring his second goal in the men’s hockey bronze medal playoff at the Commonwealth Games 2018 in Gold Coast on Saturday.
India’s men’s hockey team lost 1-2 to England in the bronze medal playoff at the 21st Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast on Saturday.
Sam Ward’s penalty corner conversion led to England’s first goal in the sixth minute. But India restored parity 20 minutes later with a successful penalty corner conversion from Varun Kumar.
Ward gave England again the lead in the 43rd minute, employing a reverse-hand drive past P.R. Sreejesh after his initial drag-flick was blocked by runner Amit Rohidas.
Indian hockey teams return empty-handed after losing bronze play-offs
Indian Hockey Team Harry Martin of England (R) vies for the ball with Indias Harmanpreet Singh (L) during their mens field hockey bronze medal match of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre on the Gold Coast on April 14, 2018 , AFP
Indian men's hockey team finished a disappointing fourth at the Commonwealth Games as it struggled to breach a stout England defence to lose the bronze medal match 1-2 on Saturday.
England avenged their 3-4 loss to India in the group stage as Sam Ward (7th minute, 43rd minute) struck twice for the winners while Varun Kumar (27th) was the lone goal scorer for India.
India had won silver medals in the previous two editions, ending runners-up to Australia on both occasion.
India captain Manpreet Singh was naturally very upset with the outcome.
"We came here for a medal, but we didn't achieve that. We played really bad this tournament and I really don't feel like going anywhere tonight. We are so disappointed, we did not expect this will be the result of this tour," Manpreet said.
"We need to improve on many things, such as taking every chance, because every match we had chances in the first two minutes, but we always missed." Coach Sjoerd Marijne was also disappointed.
"In our close matches, we've got to take every opportunity and we don't do it. We give it to them too easily and that's been happening the whole tournament. I hope they (Indian players) don't ever want to experience this any more," he said.
"For me the highlight was the first match against England, the last two minutes and we'd hoped it was also possible now, but that's too bad." Though India had better ball possession in the initial minutes of the first quarter, England were far more dominating with intense attack.
An Indian infringement gave away the first PC of the match. Though Sam Ward's attempt was blocked by India's first rusher Amit Rohidas, in his second attempt Ward kept it low and found the right corner of the goal taking a 1-0 lead in the 7th minute.
A diving PR Sreejesh could do little to stop the fiercely-struck ball.
With good man-to-man marking by England, making successful forays into the striking circle for the Indian forwards was hard to come by.
After several attempts, India's first breakthrough came in the 26th minute when Mandeep Singh and Lalit Upadhyay worked in tandem. A well-thought through variation between Rohidas and Varun fetched India a much-needed equalizer.
Scores levelled at 1-1, the third quarter was closely fought. While India began on an attacking note with Lalit taking a shot on goal in the 31st minute, Mandeep couldn't find the right deflection to score.
Though India's attack picked up steam, defensive errors on their part gave away two crucial PCs in the 39th and 42nd minute. While Ward's attempt was brilliantly saved by Sreejesh, England relied on their number one drag-flicker yet again in the 43rd minute to take the strike.
This time, though first rusher Rohidas successfully blocked the drag-flick, but on rebound Ward used a strong back hand shot to once again find the right corner of the goal that helped England regain the lead.
Down by a goal, India desperately looked for opportunities to score but England's defence was relentless, not wanting to repeat what happened in their previous tie when India scored in the last two minutes of the match.
Forward Akashdeep Singh took an ambitious shot on goal but missed the mark in the 45th minute.
Seconds later, skipper Manpreet attempted a shot but failed to get the goal.
England, meanwhile, won two PCs in the 50th and 54th minute but on both occasions different variations could not help in stretching their lead.
England hammer India 6-0 in women's hockey
Earlier, Indian women's hockey team suffered a humiliating 0-6 defeat in the bronze medal match against England to finish fourth at the Commonwealth Games.
India could convert none of the five penalty corners and their defence line-up cracked under pressure in the final quarter to go out of the tournament on an embarrassing note.
India had beaten England 2-1 in Pool matches but were outclassed on Saturday.
It is now third straight time that Indian women's hockey team will return empty-handed from the Games as the last time it stood on podium was in 2006 when it won a silver.
Sophie Bray stood out with her stellar show as she steered her side to win with her three field goals while Laura Unsworth, Hollie Pearne-Webb and captain Alexandra Danson struck a goal each in England's commendable victory.
Navneet Kaur earned India's first penalty corner in the eighth minute. However, it resulted in causing injury to Vandana Kataria as Gurjit Kaur's furious hit rebounded off England custodian's pads and hit Vandana on her forehead.
The freak injury forced Vandana out of the field. India were given another penalty corner but the England defence was solid.
England captain Danson earned her team's penalty corner three minutes later, but Savita stood like a rock in front of the goalpost, not allowing the ball to pass through.
Both team played a measured game with a mix of attack and defence and the second quarter also looked like going barren but moments before the break, India conceded a penalty corner and Hollie Pearne-Webb put England ahead by beating the Indian goalkeeper with her hit, which went past Savita.
Vandana took the field with bandage on her forehead and immediately made an impact as India got three back-to-back penalty corners.
However, India could convert none as England goalkeeper Madeleine Hinch and defence line foiled all attempts. Indian players lacked variation and co-ordination to pull off the equaliser.
England too got its third PC soon but Hanah Martin could not beat Savita this time. A defense lapse could have cost India but Laura Unsworth hit wide off a diagonal pass.
Just two minutes were left in the third quarter when Bray found the back of the net with a stunning reverse hit from top of the striking circle, doubling the lead for England.
India had no choice but to go all out and succeeded in getting another penalty corner in the first minute of the final quarter but conversion remained an issue.
Bray, though, was yet again bang on target as she consolidated her team's lead. She trapped the ball which came from Hanah Martin's stick and beat three Indian defenders to slam it home.
Laura Unsworth, Bray and Danson then put it beyond India by pumping in three quick goals.
Daily News & Analysis
Big questions for Indian hockey after Gold Coast debacle
ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images
For the first time since 1998, the Indian hockey teams will return home without a medal from the Commonwealth Games. While the women exceeded most expectations barring a meltdown in the final quarter of their bronze medal match against England, the men will have to reflect on what has been a disappointing outing in Gold Coast.
The knockout blues continue
One of the biggest criticisms of the Indian team in recent years has been that they fail to turn up in the business end of competitions, and that trend continued in Gold Coast. In Rio, India beat eventual champions Argentina in the league stages, but lost to Belgium in the quarter-finals. In the World League last year, they lost to Malaysia and Canada once the knockout stages began in the semi-finals.
In Gold Coast, India faced New Zealand and seemed to be caught unawares by the organisation and pace of their opponents, trailing 2-0 early and then falling 3-2.India had scrapped hard against England in the pool stages, coming back to score two goals inside the last two minutes, but in the bronze medal match, they lost 2-1.
India seem to suffer from a mental block when the going gets tough, and could be better served by regular inputs from a sports psychologist, who could help them approach pool matches and those in the knockout the same way.
The midfield conundrum
India's squad for Gold Coast was a bit lopsided in the quality and quantity in midfield. There was always likely to be an over dependence on captain Manpreet Singh -- with the untested Sumit, Vivek Sagar Prasad and Chinglensana Singh supporting him -- and that proved to be the case.
While Manpreet played his heart out, especially in the hard-fought wins over Wales and Malaysia, the mental and physical tiredness of playing six games inside eight games eventually took its toll. Vivek is one for the future, and showed glimpses of his ability during the Games, but India will need to rethink how they approach creating a more versatile midifield in the wake of their Gold Coast debacle. There's ample talent around the rest of the pitch, but they are unlikely to compete regularly with the best sides in the world if they do not have at least three quality players to choose from, those that can balance both attack and defence with the same efficiency.
A question of conversion
India had their share of chances in all the matches they played in Gold Coast, but just didn't cash in enough. Leading 2-1 against Pakistan in the opening game, they had a chance to close the game out but Mandeep Singh went for a narrow-angle shot rather than lay it up for SV Sunil.
In the match that mattered, against New Zealand, India created nine penalty corners, but only converted one. Both their inability to convert PCs and their porous defence -- despite having the services of PR Sreejesh in goal for the first time in a major event in about a year -- were a cause of concern for coach Sjoerd Marijne.
"In the five months [since I took over], we didn't create so many chances as we did now. I am happy about that. We have to keep working on scoring," he said after the New Zealand defeat on Friday. "This is the first time I saw them making more defensive errors. We work really hard on defence. The team is also disappointed that for all the effort we put, we didn't get the result."
Marijne would be the first to admit that while failure could be a relative term, result is an absolute. India have under-performed, and there is no escaping that.
India's medal-less hockey campaign a huge cause of concern in crucial calendar year
The Indian hockey team went home without a medal for the first time in three editions Photo Credit: AP
The Indian men's hockey team returned empty-handed from the Commonwealth Games despite fielding a strong side that was expected to challenge for the gold medal. The CWG 2018 campaign saw a number of issues that have plagued the team in the past come up once again and with many important tournaments lined up this year, Sjoerd Marijne's men need to address the problems quickly.
At its start, 2018 was earmarked as a critical year for the Indian men's hockey team — with a number of prestigious events lined up, right from the Commonwealth Games in April to the Hockey World Cup, the holy grail, in December. Gold Coast was supposed to set the tone for the months to follow but in the last week, hockey fans across the nation have been left frustrated with the display of the Men in Blue, who will return empty-handed from the Commonwealth Games after a couple of silver medals in the last two editions.
Under Sjoerd Marijne's tutelage, the team had ended 2017 on a relatively high note — picking up the gold at the Asia Cup and a third-place finish at the Hockey World League Final. Even after a fifth-place finish at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup last month, where India fielded a relatively youthful side, the Dutchman's mood was an optimistic one. "The performance and reply will come at the Commonwealth Games," he was quoted as saying after the Azlan Shah Cup.
Prior to the CWG, midfielder Manpreet Singh had promised to bring home atleast a medal from the Games while ace drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh had stated that they are the best team that can offer Australia a challenge for the gold. But after a campaign riddled with inconsistency and untimely lapses, the Indian side will certainly need to take a long and hard look at itself if they are to recover from this setback.
The tone was set right from the first game as arch-rivals Pakistan held the Indian side to a 2-2 draw, which was a surprise given the previous results between the two teams. In the next two matches, victories were recorded against Wales (4-3) and Malaysia (2-1), where there were moments of class but what was more conspicuous were the lapses in concentration and the lacklustre attacking displays.
Against England in the last group stage game, the Indians staged a truly incredible comeback as they scored twice in the last two minutes to overturn a one-goal deficit. It seemed the fire was back and the result was just the shot in the arm the team needed ahead of the semifinal against New Zealand. Instead, the problems that have been plaguing the Men in Blue for long, all came to fore over the course of the 60 minutes of the match as they slumped to a 3-2 defeat.
The first was the conversion of chances, especially in penalty corner situations. India had as many as nine short corners in the game but could only hit the back of the net once. Despite missing Rupinder Pal Singh due to injury, the remaining battery of drag-flickers - among the world's best - failed miserably in finding the goal. The forwards missed a number of chances and despite having a total of 32 circle penetrations, as compared to the Black Sticks' 14, India still managed to score less than their opposition.
As in the Rio Olympics two years ago, India failed to peak when it mattered the most, saving its best hockey for the group stages and falling flat in the knockout clashes. The killer instinct, which separates the best from the rest, was missing in the semifinal as a grievous defensive lapse gifted the Kiwis their second goal and despite frantic attempts, the Indians were unable to break down a well-organized defence.
After the defeat to New Zealand, fans were hoping for an improved display in the bronze medal match against England — an opposition they had just gotten the better of. However, it was another erratic display by the Indians, as they failed to take control of the match from the start and struggled to make the most of their chances against a well-drilled side, eventually losing 2-1.
Sardar Singh and Ramandeep Singh, whose exclusions had raised quite a few eyebrows, could certainly have come in handy with their experience, especially in the two medal matches. Instead, the young Indian team — picked mainly on the tenets of fitness, struggled to find its feet when the going got tough and could not find fight its way back when it was needed the most.
With a packed schedule ahead, the next step for the team will be to take the positives from the CWG and prepare for the next challenge. All hope is not lost and bigger challenges await Marijne's men but it can be undeniably said that a fourth-place finish at Commonwealth level is an extremely bitter pill to swallow and the fans have every right to be disappointed.
Times Now News
Stacey Michelsen named closing ceremony flagbearer
By Andrew Alderson
New Zealand's Captain Stacey Michelsen celebrates after winning gold. Photo / Greg Bowker
Hockey women's captain Stacey Michelsen has been named closing ceremony flag bearer for New Zealand at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
"Stacey led the women's team to a historic first gold medal at a major games," chef de mission Rob Waddell said.
"The women's hockey team story has been one of determination and comeback.
"They missed the top spot at both Delhi and Glasgow Commonwealth Games and by continuing to make changes and improvements to finish on top of the podium is absolutely fantastic.
"While the credit goes to the whole team, Stacey's leadership has been critical in their result. She is a world-leading athlete and her personal performance has inspired us all."
Michelsen will lead a team of around 250 members of the New Zealand team into the stadium tonight at 10.30pm NZT.
"To be named the flag bearer for the New Zealand team for the closing ceremony is a huge honour," the gold medallist said.
"Obviously the New Zealand team is made up of so many amazing athletes and to be surrounded by them over the last couple of weeks has been so inspiring and it's such an honour to be the one name to lead the New Zealand team in tonight."
The New Zealand Herald
Hockey captain Stacey Michelsen to carry NZ flag at Comm Games closing ceremony
Stacey Michelsen and her Black Sticks produced one of the outstanding New Zealand results at the Commonwealth Games. ALISHA LOVRICH/PHOTOSPORT
Black Sticks women's captain Stacey Michelsen will be flag bearer for the New Zealand team at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.
Michelsen led the women's hockey team to the gold medal with a 4-1 win over Australia on Saturday and was rewarded with the flag-bearer honour for Sunday's finale on the Gold Coast.
"Stacey led the women's team to a historic first ever gold medal at a major games," New Zealand team chef de mission Rob Waddell said.
"The women's hockey team story has been one of determination and comeback. They missed the top spot at both Delhi and Glasgow Commonwealth Games and by continuing to make changes and improvements to finish her on the Gold Coast on the top of the podium is absolutely fantastic.
"While the credit goes to the whole team, Stacey's leadership has been critical in their result. She is aworld-leading athlete and her personal performance has inspired us all."
Stacey herself was delighted to be named flag bearer. "To be named flag bearer is a huge honour. The New Zealand Team is made up of so many amazing athletes. Being surrounded by them has been inspiring. Our success with the New Zealand women's hockey team was really exciting and I can't wait to have the moment with them and the wider team as I wave the flag tonight."
Michelsen will lead a team of around 250 members of the New Zealand team into the ceremony.
The bulk of the team arrive home to Auckland on Monday evening.
2018 Test Matches USA v CHI (W) presented by Citi - 4th test
USA - CHI 1 - 1
USA wins the 4 test series 2 - 0 with the first and final tests ending in a draw
FIH Match Centre
Exciting Second Half Leaves USWNT Tied with Chile in Final Game of Series
LANCASTER, Pa. – The U.S. Women's National Team completed the final match of their test series against No. 15 Chile with a 1-1 tie, imitating the first game of the series. Following two stunning goal-scoring performances in the second and third games, USA fought hard down to the final minutes of play but could not capitalize in the attacking circle.
Neither team found the back of the net in the first quarter, but USA held the ball in its attacking end for most of the fifteen minutes. Chile's goalkeeper Claudia Schuler proved to be too sharp against the USWNT's shot attempts. Nicole Woods (Beverly, Mass.) came close as she drove down the baseline toward the goal, but Chile's defense shut down the momentum and cleared the ball away. The seconds wound down as USA found a few more opportunities to capitalize on without a positive result.
USA kept pushing to get on the scoreboard as halfway through the second quarter Jill (Witmer) Funk (Lancaster, Pa.) and Stefanie Fee (Virginia Beach, Va.) teamed up to earn USA their first penalty corner of the night. Chile reciprocated with one of their own, however Amanda Magadan's (Randolph, N.J.) performance as flyer took away any chance of a shot for Chile. Both teams' defenses stood strong against the opposing attack in the first half, making the halftime score, 0-0.
Another penalty corner to start the action of the second half was blocked by goalkeeper Schuler, hitting the Chile flyer. USA requested a video referral looking for another penalty corner attempt saying the ball hit the flyer on the shin guards, but the video was inconclusive resulting in Chile possession. Chile continued to bring the heat, keeping USA on the defensive end as the red white and blue was able to handle the pressure, preventing threats from becoming goals while inside the 25-yard line. The score remained a deadlock heading into the fourth quarter.
"We lacked a bit of craft and a bit of fluidity in the end phase where we could've created a few more [opportunities}," said Janneke Schopman, USWNT Head Coach, of the team's performance.
USA was determined to make something happen and came out strong for the fourth quarter. The first goal of the night was scored off a penalty corner earned by Taylor West (Princess Anne, Md.) at the 53rd minute mark. Caitlin Van Sickle (Wilmington, Del.) inserted, hustled to the post and deflected the straight shot from Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) into the goal to make it 1-0. Soon after, Chile earned four back-to-back penalty corners in a row, capitalizing on the last opportunity with a straight shot from Denise Krimerman that tipped off the USA flyer. With one minute to go, Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) was brought face-to-face with Schuler in a penalty stroke situation after Sharkey was tackled from behind on a shot attempt by a Chile defender. Gonzalez's stroke went slightly off angle as the final score stood at 1-1. The four-game series resulted in two ties and two wins for the USWNT.
"Sometimes I say that you have these games and you have to keep doing what you're doing and not necessarily change your game plan, which we didn't,” added Schopman. “Then we did score the one, which was a good corner. Then it's unfortunate that [Chile's goal] was their only danger the entire night. That's great learning for us: why does it happen, why do we allow it to happen in that phase of the game?"
A special noteworthy accomplishment in tonight’s contest was that USWNT athletes Ali Froede (Burke, Va.) and Loren Shealy (Charlotte, N.C.) both played in their 50th international match for Team USA.
(L to R) Loren Shealy, Janneke Schopman, Ali Froede
Also following the completion of the series, Kathleen Sharkey was named ‘Player of the Series’ for her extraordinary effort in each of the games.
(L to R) Bree Gillespie, USA Field Hockey Chair of the Board, and Player of the Series, Kathleen Sharkey
Next, the U.S. Women’s National team will travel to Tucuman, Argentina from June 10-17 for a five-game test series against the host country as their final outside preparation before the Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup in London in July.
USFHA media release
Grand Masters squads named for Celtic Cup series
Rob Haughton in action for Ireland against Scotland.
The Ireland Grand Masters Squads have been announced for the Celtic Cup Tournament in Lille, France (on 20th-22nd April 2018) at the Polo Hockey Club.
The over 60s Squad is strong and captain Keith Jess is in confident mode to retain the trophy, having had the likes of ex full Irish Internationals Robert Haughton and Ian O’Keeffe enhance the team, having moved up from 55’s level.
60’s Billy Pollock is expected to pass the 100 Ireland Master Caps milestone during the weekend.
The over 65s Squad, captained by Raymy Parker, is also getting stronger each year and is determined to challenge for their first trophy win.
Both squads under coaches, Sean Curran and Dwyne Hill, have been training hard, so best of luck to the boys against Scotland, Wales and France, play well!
Ireland Great Grand Masters (Over-65s): Crawford McKee (Chelmsford), Donald Fetherston (Mossley), Paul Tynan (Telford & Wrekin), Paul Moore (NICS), Raymy Parker (Bangor), Bill Sedgewick (Bourneville), John Fleming (Alford & District), Frank Nawn (Raphoe), Tom Carney (Guildford), Paddy Goode (YMCA), Tim Chillingworth (Dublin North), Stuart Switzer (Three Rock Rovers), Brian Chadwick (Dublin North), Graham Chisholm (YMCA), Keith Thomson (Annadale)
Coach: Dwyne Hill
Manager: Peter Chadwick
Physio: Sam Roshdy
Friday, April 20: Ireland v Scotland, 6pm
Saturday, April 21: Ireland v Wales, 11am
Sunday, April 22: Ireland v France, 11am
Ireland Grand Masters (Over-60s): Tim Hogg (Instonians), David Kiernan (Canterbury), Keith Jess (Lisnagarvey), Billy Pollock (Cliftonville), Martyn Cremin (East Grinstead), George Blackwood (Bangor), Henry Brown (Instonians), Andy Matthews (Gerard’s Cross), Sean Curran (Epsom), Roger West (Three Rock Rovers), Eddie O’Malley (Glenanne), Alan Wheeler (Dublin North), Richard Clarke (Pembroke), Ian O’Keeffe (Avoca), Rob Haughton (Three Rock Rovers), Peter Chadwick (YMCA)
Coach: Sean Curran
Manager: Peter Chadwick
Physio: Sam Roshdy
Friday, April 20: Ireland v Scotland, 7.30pm
Saturday, April 21: Ireland v Wales, 9am
Sunday, April 22: Ireland v France, 12.30pm
Plenty action in latest round of Scottish National League 1 matches
Scottish National Division 1 game Kelburne v Western Wildcats -Photo by Duncan Gray
Bromac Kelburne maintained their five point advantage at the top of men`s National League 1 with a 4-1 win over Western Wildcats at Auchenhowie. Jack McKenzie, Josh Cairns, Michael Christie and Craig Morton were on target for the champions, yet it was the Wildcats who opened with a reverse stick shot by Andrew McConnell.
Second placed Grange kept in touch with a hard-fought 3-1 win over neighbours Edinburgh University. A penalty corner strike by Frank Ryan gave Grange a narrow advantage at the interval. Another set piece conversion by Luke Cranney doubled Grange`s tally before Ewan Mackie replied for the students. The result was sealed when Ryan`s penalty corner strike was deflected home by Callum MacKenzie.
Grove Menzieshill consolidated their third place in the table with a 4-2 away win over Clydesdale at Titwood, and in so doing ended the home side`s winning three match sequence.
It looked good for the Titwood side when Danny Cain opened their account in 20 minutes following a quick free hit by Ewan Lindsay. But Albert Rowling replied at a penalty corner five minutes later, he drove home a rebound after Gordon Clarke had saved the initial shot. Just before the interval Cammie Golden put the Taysiders ahead from open play.
In the second half Paddy Lonergan won a penalty after a stick tackle and Chris McFadden converted from the spot to level at 2-2. With the game hanging in the balance Paul Martin scored twice to give the Dundonians the three points.
In the lower reaches Dundee Wanderers and Uddingston did not do themselves any real favours by drawing four each on Tayside. Wanderers will feel the more frustrated outfit, they led 3-1 and then 4-2, only to end up with a share of the points. Strikes by Bobby Ralph, Sean Dowie along with brothers Elliot and Fergus Sandison were only met by a double by Uddingston`s Brad Hughes. But in the closing exchanges goals from Lewis Gardner and Memat ensured that the Lanarkshire side left Dundee with a valuable point.
Inverleith recorded their first win of the season with a 4-3 win over Hillhead at Peffermill. Murray Fotheringham scored twice while the other goals came from Charlie Jack at a penalty corner and Stuart Hatton.
Clydesdale Western v Grove Menzieshill women, April 2018 – Photo by Andy Lovatt
Milne Craig Clydesdale Western made second spot in the women`s National League 1 their own with a well-deserved 2-1 win over rivals Grove Menzieshill. After a goalless first half, there were two goals inside a minute, Grove Menzieshill opened with a penalty corner strike by Emma Tennant. The celebrations were quickly stifled when Emma McGregor levelled for the Glasgow side.
Western had most of the pressure in the second half, Grove Menzieshill keeper Cath Rae made several good saves to keep her goal in-tact, but she was finally beaten by a fierce reverse stick shot by Jen Eadie for the winner.
Fourth placed Wildcats gave bottom side Kelburne a 5-1 defeat at Auchenhowie. Emily Powell, Lucy MacArthur, Heather Aitken, Megal Cox and Alex Stuart were on target for the Wildcats, Neave Halliday got the Paisley side`s consolation.
Watonians moved back into fifth place in the table with a strong 5-2 win over Hillhead.
But perhaps the result of the day came on Tayside where second bottom GHK saw off Dundee Wanderers 4-1. The visitors were three up in only 12 minutes through Georgie Clark, Lyndsey Waddell and Ava Smith.
While Amy Snelle pulled one back for the Taysiders in the second half, the victory was secured with a further strike by Katie Gardner.
Scottish Hockey Union media release