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News for 18 February 2019

All the news for Monday 18 February 2019

Women: Netherlands overpower hosts USA while New Zealand claim home win over China

Frederique Matla scored twice as the Netherlands women stormed to a 5-0 away victory against USA on Saturday evening (16 February), while a double from FIH Pro League top scorer Olivia Merry earned New Zealand’s women a 2-0 triumph over visitors China on Sunday (17 February).

The Netherlands (FIH World Ranking:1) travelled to North Carolina’s Wake Forest University in Winston Salem to take on USA (WR:12), a team playing their first FIH Pro League match on home soil and their second in total after their narrow shoot-out defeat against Argentina in Cordoba at the start of February.

The Dutch reigning world champions - complete with newly crowned FIH Player of the Year Eva de Goede and Coach of the Year Alyson Annan - made a stunning start against the team coached by former Netherlands ace Janneke Schopman, dominating the play in the opening two quarters to open up a 5-0 lead by half time. The exceptional Lidewij Welten scored a superb solo goal to put the Dutch ahead in the fifth minute before Laurien Leurink and Frederique Matla both found the target ahead of the quarter-time break. USA’s Laura Hurff failed to take advantage of an excellent chance to reduce the deficit before a terrific backhand strike from Marloes Keetels and a penalty stroke converted by Matla established a lead that would prove to be unassailable.

USA gave an excellent account of themselves in the third period to deny the top ranked team in world hockey any clear-cut chances, although Maria Verschoor came agonisingly close to grabbing a sixth goal at the start of the fourth quarter when she rattled the post. It was the closest that the Netherlands came to adding to their score-line, but with 17 shots compared to two for USA, the Dutch had produced the perfect response to their recent 1-0 away defeat at the hands of Australia and will feel justifiably confident going into their meeting against Argentina in Buenos Aires on 24 February.

“It felt great, 5-0 is a good game”, said Netherlands attacker Frederique Matla, who was named Player of the Match. “We have a few points to look at, no goals [scored] in the second half, so that is something we will look at.”

USA team captain Kat Sharkey, whose team will be heading to Australia for their next FIH Pro League match on 2 March, said: “I think that there were some strong moments for us in this game. I think Holland is obviously number one in the world for a reason. You give them an opportunity and they are going to make the most of it, so I think we can learn from our mistakes and take the next steps moving forward. I think we were able to step up our fight a little bit in the second half and bring the energy, which is a positive that we can take from this game.”

On the other side of the world in Christchurch, New Zealand’s Black Sticks (WR:6) hosted China (WR:10) at the Nga Puna Wai Hockey Stadium. China came into the match on the back of a 4-3 defeat against Australia’s Hockeyroos in Hobart last weekend, while the home favourites were beaten 3-1 by Germany in Christchurch just two days ago.

The teams could not be separated in the opening two quarters of the match, although there was certainly plenty of action at both ends of the field. China failed to convert from two penalty corners in the first quarter and found themselves temporarily reduced to nine players in the second period thanks to disciplinary cards to Xu Wenyu and captain Cui Qiuxia, although the Black Sticks could not take advantage of the situation.

However, a yellow card to China’s Gu Bingfeng early in the third quarter proved costly, with New Zealand making the most of the extra player before competition top scorer Olivia Merry produced a cool finish into the bottom right corner of the China goal.

China desperately searched for an equaliser in the final quarter, with Song Xiaoming going close before the Asian giants replaced their goalkeeper with an outfield player. The tactic would have paid off were it not for two wonderful saves from New Zealand goalkeeper Grace O’Hanlon, with Brooke Neal also making a crucial goal-line clearance.

The result was put beyond all doubt three minutes from full time when Merry scored her second goal of the game from the penalty spot, somehow squeezing her shot between the pads Ye Jiao moments after a penalty corner effort had been illegally stopped on the line by a China defender. It was Merry’s fifth goal of the FIH Pro League, three more than any other player has managed at this early stage of the competition.

“It was a little bit stressful out there tonight, especially when they pulled their goalkeeper”, said New Zealand shot-stopper Grace O’Hanlon, who was named Player of the Match. “We did a really good job in our defence. Next game we want the same again. I think we really take heart from wins like this, they really spur us forward.”

China captain Cui Qiuxia said: “Today we are unlucky. We had more chances but we made a lot of mistakes. I hope that next game we can learn from that.”

The FIH Pro League action continues next weekend with the men’s and women’s teams of Germany and the Netherlands in action against Argentina in Buenos Aires, while China’s women host Great Britain in Changzhou.

FIH Pro League

16 February - WInston-Salem, USA

Result: Women’s Match 12

USA 0, Netherlands 5
Player of the Match: Frederique Matla (NED)

17 February - Christchurch, New Zealand

Result: Women’s Match 13
New Zealand 2, China 0
Player of the Match: Grace O’Hanlon (NZL)


Official FIH Pro League Site

Four Australian Teams Clinch Masters Indoor World Cup Bronze

By Ren Thompson

Four Australian sides claimed bronze medals as the Masters Indoor World Cup wrapped up in Hong Kong on Sunday.

Australia Men’s Over 40 – 2 (3) def. by Hong Kong Men’s Over 40 – 2 (4)

The Over 40s side went down in heartbreaking fashion in the semi-final. Falling to the home side Hong Kong in the shootout 2-2 (4-3). Both teams had their chances to win in regular time but couldn’t score the winning goal. The Australian side will now compete for the Bronze Medal.

BRONZE MEDAL MATCH: Australia Men’s Over 40 - 3 def. England Men’s Over 40 - 2

Australia has won the Bronze Medal defeating England 3-2 in an action packed final. The Aussie side played a great team game to come away with a well-deserved medal from the weekend of games.

Australia Men’s Over 50 - 2 def. by England Men’s Over 50 - 3

Needing to record a big victory to have any chance at the Gold Medal match, the Australian side suffered a tough loss to the English, losing 3-2. It was a valiant effort by the Aussies, but will now compete in the Bronze Medal match against the same England side.

BRONZE MEDAL MATCH: Australia Men’s Over 50 - 5 def. England Men’s Over 50 – 2

Learning from their mistakes in the earlier contest, the Australia side has come out and dominated the English side 5-2 to capture the Bronze Medal. The Over 50s side overwhelmed their opponents and were in complete control, ending the weekend with a medal.

Australia Ladies’ Over 40 – 2 (1) def. by Netherlands Ladies’ Over 40 – 2 (2)

The Australian Ladies Over 40s suffered another tough defeat to the impressive Netherlands side losing in a shootout, 2-2 (2-1), in the qualifying final. The Australian side needed to win to avoid the powerful Germans in the semi-finals, but will now face the top team later in the day.

Australia Ladies’ Over 40 - 1 def. by Germany Ladies’ Over 40 - 10

Knowing they would be for a hard contest, the Australia Over 40s side has suffered a heavy defeat 10-1 at the hands of the Germans. The German side has been the standout of the division and showed why in the one-sided contest. The Aussies will now play the USA in the Bronze Medal match.

BRONZE MEDAL MATCH: Australia Ladies’ Over 40 - 1 def. USA Ladies’ Over 40 – 0

The Aussies have captured their third Bronze Medal of the weekend, defeating the USA 1-0. In an enthralling match-up neither side could wrestle away the ascendency making for a great viewing experience for the neutrals in the crowd. But the Aussies proved too strong down the stretch to capture the victory.

Australia Ladies’ Over 45 - 4 def. Australia Ladies’ Over 50 - 0

In an all-Aussie encounter the Over 45s side proved too strong en route to defeating the Over 50s side, 4-0. In a friendly yet competitive contest, but sides fought hard for the victory. But the Over 45s proved to have the vigor in this one.

Australia Ladies’ Over 45 - 1 def. by Germany Ladies’ Over 50 - 2

The Over 45s side has lost the semi-final against Germany 2-1. The Germans had the majority of the possession and controlled the match, limiting the opportunities for the Aussies. The Australian side will now compete for the Bronze Medal.

BRONZE MEDAL MATCH: Australia Ladies’ Over 45 - 5 def. Canada Ladies’ Over 45 – 0

The Over 45s have defeated the Canadian side, 5-0, to capture the Bronze Medal and end a stellar weekend of hockey. The Aussies overwhelmed their opponents en route to the big margin of victory.

Australia Ladies’ Over 50 – 4 drew with Hong Kong Dragons Ladies’ Over 45 - 4

In the match-up to decide the final placings, the Australia Over 50s side has drew with the Hong Kong Dragons to end the tournament in an equal fifth place. In a fun and high scoring match, both sides put on a show for the crowd to end their weekends of hockey.

Hockey Australia media release

Masters Indoor World Cup Day 2, 3 & 4: USA Women Earn Fourth, Both Men's Teams Claim Sixth

HONG KONG - February 17, 2019 - During the final days of competition at the World Masters Hockey (MWH) Masters Indoor World Cup in Hong Kong, USA fought hard for their crossover placements as they met some experienced international masters teams. The U.S O-40 Men's Masters Team finished sixth after their best game of the tournament, typing Canada 4-4 and falling in the shootout 1-2. The U.S. O-50 Men's Masters Team found themselves in the same placement match-up, narrowly falling to Italy 1-2, to also claim sixth. The U.S. O-40 Women's Masters Team earned the highest USA finish, losing 0-1 to Australia to obtain fourth.

Germany swept all age divisions to be named the MWH Masters Indoor World Cup Champions for the men's O-40 and O-50, and women O-40 and O-45.
Friday, February 15, 2019

U.S. O-40 Men's Masters Team

USA 2 - Canada 3
USA opened the scoring from Barry Payne (Newton, Mass.) but Canada answered to make it 1-1 at halftime. USA regained the lead on a great deflection goal by Pedro Magalhaes (Hendersonville, Texas), with an assist from Shawn Hindy (Moorpark, Calif.). Canada scored twice in a 5 minute span to get ahead, this forced USA to pull their goalkeeper for more opportunities. The red, white and blue had numerous chances to tie the game including three penalty corners int he final 3 minutes, but could not finish. USA goalkeeper David Eddie (Cambridge, Mass.) had a great performance in goal.

USA 0 - Germany 13
Germany is a well experienced team and top of the class in the men's O-40 and this showed in every match. USA fought and pressed well, and continued to fight throughout the game. Lee Swinscoe (Jarrettsville, Md.) made an amazing defensive save on the line and David Sculley (Cambridge, Mass.), Ryan Langford (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Jesse Larson (Crownsville, Md.) ran and defended excellently throughout.

USA 2 - Australia 3
The U.S. O-40 Men's Masters final game of day two was another close contest, with USA narrowly missing on numerous chances. Jamie Rodriquez (Springfield, Mass.) scored first on an assist from Larson. Australia answered with three more but not before USA tallied one back through a penalty corner goal from Hindy. This put USA in the 5th/6th place match against Canada.

U.S. O-50 Men's Masters Team

USA 3 - England 5
On day two, the U.S. O-50 Men's Masters Team traveled to the Shek Kip Mei Sports Centre for their two match-ups. In the first game, they faced England, who had two wins and a loss on the first day. USA captain Roberto Sabella (Key Biscayne, Fla.) opened the scoring in the 7th minute off a beautiful goal assisted from Greg Pereira (Fulton, Md.). England went on to score a penalty corner at the 19th minute mark followed immediately by a brilliant field goal netted by Bob Khosla (Mesa, Ariz.) allowing USA to take a 2-1 lead at the end of the first half. In the second half, England managed a comeback with four goals but Sabella earned one back on a field goal in the 29th minute.

USA 2 - Switzerland 7
After a disappointing hard-fought first game, USA had to battle an experienced and skillful Switzerland team. The Swiss came onto the hard-court surface with a vengeance scoring the first goal in the first minute of the game. At the 13th minute, Switzerland scored on a penalty corner. Switzerland went on to score five more goals and USA added another two on field goals by Pereira (25:00) and Khosla (33:00).

U.S. O-40 Women's Masters Team

USA 2 - Germany 6

USA 0 - Australia 6

Saturday, February 16, 2019

U.S. O-40 Men's Masters Team

USA 4 - Canada 4 (5th/6th)
SO: 1 - 2
The U.S. O-40 Men's Masters Team played their best game of the tournament in the 5th/6th place match-up, typing Canada 4-4 and falling in the shootout 1-2. In a very exciting game with Pan American neighbors, USA played with a kicking back for more than 14 minutes where Swinscoe made some amazing sliding saves, sacrificing his body many times. A field goal from Federico Baudini (Doral, Fla.) and two penalty corner conversions by Pat Cota (Menlo Park, Calif.) made the score 3-3 with 5 minutes to go. Canada took the lead with four minutes to play and USA tied the game just a minute following on a goal by Baudini, assisted by Hindy. USA continued to press until the end but regulation finished 4-4 to force it to a shootout. Hindy scored first, but USA was unable to score after that, giving the victory to Canada.

The O-40 men would like to thank head coach Allan Law for volunteering his time and energy in making it a successful trip. Also, Bob Hindy, team manager, and Anja Hossbach, athletic trainer, for their help. Finally, they would like to thank David Sculley and the Masters Indoor World Cup committee for all the organization and administrative work they committed to in making this an excellent and fun tournament.

U.S. O-50 Men's Masters Team

USA 4 - England55 3
The U.S. O-50 Men's Masters Team played their last two games at the Hong Kong Football Club. The forward line started the game strong with captain Sabella tallying the first field goal in the 13th minute. Just before the end of the half, England scored to tie the match. In the second half, USA netted three more goals by Pereira (23:00), Sabella (26:00) and Khosla (31:00). England went on to score two goals in the second half.

USA 1 - Italy55 2 (5th/6th)
Both teams played a great game battling for the 5th/6th place position in the O-50 men's division. USA started off with a field goal by the talented captain Sabella in the 3rd minute. USA continued to put pressure on Italy but was unable to convert another goal. Italy scored two field goals and USA had many opportunities but the Italy defense kept them from scoring. USA defense worked tirelessly to keep Italy from scoring and goalkeeper Jon O'Haire (Columbus, Ohioo) played another excellent game making some tough saves.

U.S. O-40 Women's Masters Team

USA 6 - Hong Kong 3 (4th/5th)

USA 1 - Netherlands 5 (Semifinal 1)

Sunday, February 17, 2019

USA 0 - Australia 1 (Bronze)

For more information regarding the WMH Masters Indoor World Cup, including the full schedule, results, rosters and more, check out the official event page by clicking here.

USFHA media release

Female Player of the Year 2018: Eva De Goede

The Netherlands superstar has been a long-serving member of the Oranje, winning back-to-back gold medals at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games, plus World Cup gold in 2014 and 2018.

Although she has suffered some breaks from international play through injury, the midfielder has always bounced back and seems to be in even finer form now than she was as an 18-year-old in Beijing.

On her debut, as a 17-year-old, de Goede started her career as an international in the best possible way, scoring one goal and setting up another. It is true to say that she has never descended from that stellar beginning.

“This award is only possible because I have been lucky to be part of an incredible squad over the years. You are only ever as good as your team."
- Eva De Goede

Having amassed more than 200 caps for the Netherlands and scored 25 goals, de Goede captained the side as they won the 2018 Hockey Champions Trophy in China, picking up Player of the Tournament along the way. She is now leading the team as they embark on their FIH Pro League campaign.

De Goede received her award on the eve of the Netherlands’ FIH Pro League encounter with he USA. So far, the world number one side has had mixed fortunes in the new league, winning against New Zealand but suffering a 1-0 loss at the hands of Australia. Losing a match for the first time in nearly a year [the last time was in a test match against Belgium] will serve as a huge incentive for award winners De Goede and Female Coach of the Year Alyson Annan to lead the team back to winning ways.

With her familiar modesty, de Goede’s reaction to being crowned Player of the Year was to shift the attention away from herself and praise her team: “This award is only possible because I have been lucky to be part of an incredible squad over the years. Ever since I have started playing international hockey, the goal for me, was to always try contribute positively towards the team’s success. You are only ever as good as your team. Which makes this award a huge honour and I am very grateful to receive it. Thank you very much.”


FIH site

Kenny & Zalewski Win 2018 Player Of The Year Awards

Ben Somerford

Jodie Kenny and Aran Zalewski have taken out the prestigious 2018 Hockeyroos and Kookaburras Player of the Year awards which were announced at Hockey Australia’s annual awards night in Perth on Sunday evening.

More than 150 people were in attendance for the evening at the Flour Factory following Australia’s FIH Pro League matches against Great Britain in Perth on Saturday.

Jodie Kenny celebrates during the Commonwealth Games

Kenny scooped the pool of the Hockeyroos awards, winning both the Player of the Year and the Top Goal Scorer awards for 2018.

The 31-year-old Queensland defender, who brought up her 200th cap in 2018, won the Player of the Year ahead of goalkeeper Rachael Lynch and midfielder Renee Taylor.

Kenny, who was also recently appointed Hockeyroos co-captain, scored the side’s most goals in 2018 with nine strikes, ahead of Rosie Malone (six) and Brooke Peris (five).

WA’s Zalewski claimed the Kookaburras Player of the Year after a strong year where he also won the Champions Trophy Player of the Tournament and was appointed co-captain following Mark Knowles’ retirement.

Zalewski, who also brought up his 150th cap in 2018, won the Player of the Year ahead of fellow co-captain Eddie Ockenden and defender Matthew Swann.

NSW’s Blake Govers won the Kookaburras’ Top Goal Scorer award for 2018 with 17 strikes, ahead of Trent Mitton (15) and Dylan Wotherspoon (10).

Numerous debutants were recognised on the night, along with athletes achieving milestones in 2018 and those who were part of the Commonwealth Games sides which won gold and silver medals.

Award winners

Hockeyroos Player of the Year
1.         Jodie Kenny
2.         Rachael Lynch
3.         Renee Taylor

Kookaburras Player of the Year
1.         Aran Zalewski
2.         Eddie Ockenden
3.         Matthew Swann

Hockeyroos Top Goal Scorer
1.         Jodie Kenny (9)
2.         Rosie Malone (6)
3.         Brooke Peris (5)

Kookaburras Top Goal Scorer
1.         Blake Govers (17)
2.         Trent Mitton (15)
3.         Dylan Wotherspoon (10)

Hockey Australia media release

Sulette Damons calls time on her South African Career

By Tyrone Barnard

After 198 games for South Africa including three FIH Hockey World Cups, three Commonwealth Games and of course the 2012 Olympic Games, Sulette Damons has decided to call time on her SA Hockey career. In the most recent outing for the Women, Sulette was once again the co-captain as South Africa took on the World Cup, a role she took for the first time against Scotland in 2014.

The sight of Sulette storming down the wing was almost one of the most iconic sights in hockey. Her ability to spring the counter attack consistently meant that if she was on the pitch we were a danger even while defending. Her popularity with the supporters was also incredibly impressive and the time she took for each supporter told more about her as a person than just a player!

I asked Sulette to share how she felt on her retirement:

“I am honoured and privileged to have represented my country for the past 9 years, it was such an amazing feeling wearing the green and gold and singing the national anthem. It is a chapter in my life I will cherish forever. I have made so many friends through this wonderful sport and I call them my second family. Hockey has given me so many opportunities which I am so grateful for today. Thank you to SAHA for the support and for the many opportunities. Thank you to my family and friends for the support, I always appreciated it. I may no longer be wearing the green and gold, but I will always be part of the hockey family and community and backing my girls all the way! I wish SAHA and the team much success going forward. Keep the dream alive ladies, SISONKE!”

When I asked her current and former team mates for comments regarding her career, the response was so big that I had to cut it down to three response.

Firstly Marsha Cox, who captained Sulette for the early part of her career, shared this:

“Her speed and nose for the goal was a definite asset for the team. She had the most fun attitude and a gregarious laugh brought great joy to us off the field and her dance moves were second to none! I wish her all the best for her future endeavours which I have no doubt she will succeed at!”

Second up was Shelley Jones, her national team mate through her entire career:

“Sulla was a legend of the game. Our opponents feared her, and you knew when she touched the ball something magic could happen. She was a great team mate on and off the field! I really enjoyed her personality, she was so fun-loving and really stuck to her values fantastically!”

Lastly national goalkeeper Phumelela Mbande, who Sulla has co-captained since she established herself as SA’s number one:

“I won’t be the only one to tell you how much we will miss Sulla. Not just on the field, but off it as well. Sulla had something about her that without saying much, you just wanted to be better. She was a fantastic leader by example. Her dancing in the changeroom was legendary itself. With Sulla hockey was serious but had to be fun. I’m sad that I won’t get the opportunity of playing with her anymore, but really glad that I got the opportunity to have played with her before!”

From all the South African Hockey Association we wish you the best of luck for your future endeavours Sulla, we know you are going to enjoy whatever you do!

SA Hockey Association media release

Partille make history as Swedish club win Euro club indoors

©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

Sweden’s Partille defied the odds to become the country’s first EuroHockey Indoor Club Cup winner as they stunned home favourites SV Arminen in the final in Vienna.

They had scraped through the group stages on goal difference after their 6-6 draw with AH&BC Amsterdam and 8-2 win over Rot-Weiss Wettingen along with an 8-6 loss to UHC Hamburg.

The Swedes came alive in the semi with a 4-3 win over Dinamo Stroitel with Johan Bjorkman scoring twice in the first half to set up the victory. It set up a surprise final against Arminen who eliminated UHC in a shoot-out.

In the final, Arminen sat deep and looked to counter but Partille stayed disciplined and won a couple of corners – which were well saved by Mateusz Szymczyk – before Simon Melander netted just before half-time for 1-0.

A minute into the second half, the Austrians won their first corner which Patrick Schmidt struck low and hard into the backboard for 1-1. It remained that way until six minutes from the end when Partille made the vital incision to their ultimate glory from a corner with Bjorkman somehow picking a line between two defenders and the goalkeeper to score from a corner.

And the tie was made safe when Karl Hemvik found the net from another set piece with three minutes to go. Arminen went for a powerplay but Karl-Oskar Moberg kept out two big chances to see the Swedish side over the line for a famous victory.

Euro Hockey League media release

Final day defeat for Clydesdale Western in Vienna


Clydesdale Western bowed out of the women`s indoor European Club Trophy in Vienna after going down 8-2 to Lithuanian champions Gintra Strekte Uni in the final relegation pool match.

The result means that newly crowned Scottish champions Dundee Wanderers will play in the third tier Challenge 1 level next year.

It took Gintra only three minutes to get their noses in front, Erlanda Nomeikaite scored from open play. Western were soon level with a strike by captain Francis Lonergan.

The Lithuanians stepped it up into a 3-1 lead through Samanta Jakovleva and a penalty corner conversion by Nomeikaite again.

Although Western`s Bronwyn Sheilds reduced the leeway Gintra reached the break 4-2 ahead through Rimante Gudeliauskyte.

Five minutes into the second half Gintra had moved on to a comfortable 6-2 lead with further strikes from Nomeikaite for her hat-trick and Toma Petrikaite.

Although Nomeikaite had an enforced rest in the sin bin the Lithuanians continued to add to their tally with further goals from Kotryna Kartanovic and Dovile Kukliene.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

ROUND-UP: English Men's Hockey League

Level for much of the game, league leaders Surbiton had to rely on a penalty stroke with eight minutes left to beat East Grinstead 2-1 in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday.

Tijn van Groesen’s third minute field goal was cancelled out by Hayden Beltz two minutes later, and there was no further score until Arjan Drayton Chana converted a penalty stroke in the 62nd minute to put Surbiton ahead.

Elsewhere, the University of Exeter gave their hopes of avoiding the drop a great boost with a 3-2 win over bottom of the table Sevenoaks.

After Ben Francis had put Exeter ahead on 12 minutes the Kent side took a 2-1 lead with Andrew Ross netting twice. Tom Stevenson levelled for the visitors before George Carson gave the Exeter side a crucial three points.

Hampstead and Westminster kept the pressure on league leaders Surbiton with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Reading.

Matt Guise Brown opened five minutes in with Richard Smith and Stephen Kelly adding two more to draw level on points with Surbiton, behind only on goal difference.

Beeston got the better of Holcombe 4-0 thanks to a hat-trick from Mark Gleghorne, Chris Proctor adding the other while Brooklands MU beat Wimbledon 3-2.

Stefan Ray-Hills, Thomas Russell and David Flanagan all scored for Brooklands MU with Chad Conlon scoring a brace for Wimbledon.

Conference East

Old Georgians were in typical ruthless form in the Men’s Conference East, beating Cambridge City 8-2 on Saturday and Richmond 6-0 on Sunday.

Ed Carson scored a hat-trick in Saturday’s away win, with Elliott Messem adding two others. Then on Sunday James Tindall and James Albery scored two each to overcome Richmond.

Brighton & Hove’s Robbert Schenk scored in either half to give his side a 2-1 win over their opponents who sit bottom of the table.

But against third-placed Southgate on Sunday Brighton didn’t have as much luck, falling 1-0 compliments of a 46th minute Joe Sterlini strike.

Nearest challengers to Old Georgians, Oxted secured a 4-1 home win over Teddington with Timothy Guise-Brown notching two goals.

And in another high scoring affair, two goals a piece from Harry Kempe and Aleix Rayner gave Old Loughtonians a 5-2 victory over strugglers Cambridge City.

Elsewhere, City of Peterborough couldn’t bounce back after Saturday’s loss, suffering a 1-0 defeat to visitors Canterbury.

Conference North

Sheffield Hallam beat South Yorkshire rivals Doncaster 2-1, while Preston were 4-3 winners over Leeds in Saturday’s other Conference North action.

Bowdon kept a three-point gap at the top of the table, a 58th minute penalty corner from Simon Egerton lifting them to a 2-1 win over Sheffield Hallam on Sunday.

Second-placed side University of Durham faced a nervy last ten minutes to keep within touching distance of leaders Bowdon.

James Sookias and Finlay Geelan put the North East side 2-0 up within the first half hour. Steven Masterson’s goal on 60 minutes cut the deficit but University of Durham held on for the win.

University of Nottingham claimed the most convincing scoreline, running out 5-0 winners over second from bottom Belper to stay third in the table.

A mid-table clash saw Loughborough Students hand Leeds a second loss of the weekend – Matthew Ramshaw netting twice for Loughborough in a 3-1 away win.

Elsewhere, Doncaster beat Alderley Edge 2-0.

Conference West

The University of Birmingham smashed open the title race in the Conference West with a 4-0 away victory against leaders Olton & West Warwickshire on Saturday.

Goals from Mohamed Samak, Daniel Jowett, Adam Harriman and Tom Poustie meant the Birmingham based side could go top with a win on Sunday. However, they had to settle for a 2-2 draw at Team Bath Buccaneers which left them third.

Oxford Hawks kept their name close to the top, a 5-1 win over hosts University of Bristol sees them only four points from the league summit.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Team Bath Buccaneers ran in four goals with a 4-2 victory to the dismay of Fareham.

In Sunday’s other fixtures, Olton & West Warwicks bounced back after Saturday’s loss with a 4-1 victory over Chichester.

And there were also 2-2 draws in the games between Isca and the University of Bristol as well as Cardiff & Met and Oxford Hawks. However, Havant were 2-1 winners at Fareham to ensure they are level with leaders Olton & West Warwicks.



Men’s Premier Division: Sevenoaks 2, University of Exeter 3; Surbiton 2, East Grinstead 1.

Conference East: Brighton & Hove 2, City of Peterborough 1; Cambridge City 2, Old Georgians 8.

Conference North: Preston 4, Leeds 3; Sheffield Hallam 2, Doncaster 1.

Conference West: Olton & West Warwickshire 0, University of Birmingham 4; Team Bath Buccaneers 4, Fareham 2; University of Bristol 1, Oxford Hawks 5.


Men’s Premier Division: Brooklands Manchester University 3, Wimbledon 2; Hampstead & Westminster 3, Reading 0; Holcombe 0, Beeston 4.

Conference East: Brighton & Hove 0, Southgate 1; City of Peterborough 0, Canterbury 1; Old Georgians 6, Richmond 0; Old Loughtonians 5, Cambridge City 2; Oxted 4, Teddington 1.

Conference North: Alderley Edge 0, Doncaster 2; Leeds 1, Loughborough Students 3; Preston 1, University of Durham 2; Sheffield Hallam 1, Bowdon 2; University of Nottingham 5, Belper 0.

Conference West: Cardiff & Met 2, Oxford Hawks 2; Fareham 1, Havant 2; Isca 2, University of Exeter 2; Olton & West Warwickshire 4, Chichester 1; Team Bath Buccaneers 2, University of Birmingham 2.

England Hockey Board Media release

RSPB to meet MP for title

Defending champions Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) defeated Haryana 8-0 to set up a title clash with Madhya Pradesh in the ninth Hockey India senior women national championship (division A) here on Sunday.

While RSPB beat Haryana convincingly in the first semifinal, Madhya Pradesh eked out a close 2-1 win over Maharashtra in the other last-four game.

In the first semifinal, RSPB scored through Vandana Katariya (6th, 16th, 38th minutes), Anupa Barla (44, 44), Navjot Kaur (18), Deep Grace Ekka (48) and Neha (51) to register the commanding win.

Madhya Pradesh scored the first goal in the 34th minute through Pooja Rani from a a penalty corner before doubling the lead in the 47th minute through Narender Kaur.

Maharashtra tried hard to forge a comeback and reduced the gap with a 53rd-minute strike by H. Lalruatfeli, but it was not enough.

The Hindu

UniKL consolidate MHL lead

By Jugjet Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) are two matches away from winning the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) following a 6-1 win over NurInsafi on Sunday.

UniKL will take on Maybank on Wednesday, followed by TNB Thunderbolts two days later in Bangi.

They are unlikely to face problems in collecting six points from the matches.

On Sunday, Izwan Firdaus (eighth), Martijn Havenga (28th), Razie Rahim (41st, 51st) and Faridzul Afiq (44th, 60th) scored for UniKL while NurInsafi replied through Nur Rahul Hrsikesa (31st).

"It is good that we managed to score two goals off penalty corners (Razie Rahim) and there was discipline in the team today to carve a cool win," said UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj.

RESULTS: NurInsafi 1 UniKL 6, TNB Thunderbolts 4 UiTM 0 (Match called off at half-time due to rain), Maybank 2 Tenaga Nasional 7.


WEDNESDAY: Terengganu HT v UiTM (Batu Buruk Stadium), NurInsafi v TNB Thunderbolts (USM Stadium), Maybank v UniKL (Tengku Abdullah Stadium).

* matches at 5pm

New Straits Times

UniKL outplay Nur Insafi to inch closer to title

KUALA LUMPUR: Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) are just unstoppable in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

They turned on the heat in the last two quarters to outplay Nur Insafi 6-1 at the USM pitch in Penang yesterday to take a step closer to the Premier Division league title.

Last year’s overall champions UniKL have 28 points from 10 matches with two more matches remaining to play against Maybank on Wednesday and TNB Thunderbolt on Friday.

National defender Muhd Razie Abdul Rahim (41st, 51st) and forward Faridzul Afiq Mohd (44th, 60th) were the toast for UniKL, scoring two goals each.

Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin (eighth) and Martijn Havenga (28th) delivered the other goals for UniKL.

Kedah-based Nur Insafi replied through Nur Rahul Hrsikesa Thaitchana Muruthi in the 31st minute.

UniKL coach A. Arulselvaraj said they started off well by not giving space to Nur Insafi in the first two quarters.

“Tactically we did well as the midfielders and forwards picked up the loose ball. I’m happy that we made full use of our chances and also scored three penalty corner goals,” said Arul.

In Bangi, national forward Norsyafiq Sumantri scored a brace to steer Tenaga Nasional to a 7-2 trouncing of Maybank at the Tengku Abdullah Hockey Stadium.

With the win, Tenaga have 27 points from 11 matches and with just one remaining match to play against Terengganu on Friday.

The Star of Malaysia

Matador receive recognition

By Jugjet Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: The who's who of Malaysian hockey turned up for the jersey launch of the Matador Hockey Club in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.

The club, formed four years ago, also received RM99,000 in sponsorship.

The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) were represented by George Koshy, while coaches Paul Lissek and Terry Walsh were also at the function. Both spoke on how to manage the club to a higher level.

The club is run by Olympians Sarjit Singh and Maninderjit Singh, as well as former national goalkeeper M. Nadarajan and former Junior World Cup coach Balbir Singh.

Helmed by businessman Sarwan Singh, the club has more than 40 players between the ages of seven to 17. They also organise activities for veteran players.

“Sponsors are a vital ingredient to any sports body and we cannot thank them enough for their valuable support.

“We intend to repay them by producing players good enough to play for the state and Malaysia.

“The kids here are provided an avenue to do physical training which keeps then away from social ills,” said Sarwan.

For the last two years, the Matador youth team have played in at least four in-house tournaments as well as competitions in Australia.

Those who handed their sponsorship to Matador were MAZ International School (RM35,000), MyGo (RM25,000), MAC Security Consultant (RM15,000), Johor Sikhs Sports Club (RM12,000) and Selangor Sikh Association (RM12,000).

Former internationals S. Selvaraju and Kelvinder Singh also attended the event.

New Straits Times

Hockey development programme for kids kicks off, club gets RM99k sponsorship

By Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: If there is a will, there is a way. No sport can sustain itself in a competitive world without a proper development programme.

Things are set to change for hockey as the Matador Hockey Club have come with a development programme that provide kids an opportunity to pick up and improve their skills and abilities.

The Matador Hockey Club was initiated two years ago by a group of individuals who wanted to give back to the sport that made them who they are today.

Led by enterprising businessman Sarwan Singh, the club have in their ranks the likes of Olympians Sarjit Singh, Maninderjit Singh, former internationals Balbir Singh, M. Nadarajah and Baljit Singh Charun.

Renowned German coach Paul Lissek is the consultant of this unique programme.

A total of 44 youngsters benefit from weekly goalkeepers and kids hockey programmes.

More that 70 training sessions, totalling more than 200 hours of hockey in a year, will be conducted.

Finances have not been easy and the 40-odd members contribute RM100 monthly to coffers of the club, to fund activities such as weekly coaching clinics and in-house competitions.

The club also managed to receive a sponsorship of RM99,000 during the launch of Matador Hockey Club jerseys on Sunday (Feb 17).

Leading the contributions were MAZ International School who contributed RM35,000; E-Hailing company, MyGO, sponsored RM25,000; MAC Security Consultant (RM15,000), Johor Sikhs Sports Club (RM12,000) and Selangor Sikh Association (RM12,000).

Matador Hockey Club president Sarwan Singh said sponsors are a vital ingredient to any sports body and they cannot thank them enough for their valuable support.

"We intend to repay their faith and confidence in the club by producing players that will be key players in the near future in teams, be it at state and national levels.

"We started the programme four years ago and we hope to enter a team in the Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) by next year," said Sarwan.

Matador Club is featuring in Division Three of the KL Hockey Association League and also in domestics tournaments.

Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) deputy president George Koshy praised Matador Hockey Club for initiating the development programme.

"It will spur more juniors to take up hockey and I also hope to see more clubs to follow in the footsteps of Matador Hockey Club.

"We (MHC) will organise more domestic tournaments for juniors," he said at the launch.

The Star of Malaysia

Irish Mens EYHL Weekend Round Up

YMCA created a piece of club history as they landed their first win of the EY Hockey League, picking off a strong 4-1 win over Cookstown, importantly jumping off the bottom of the table.

It was a fine comeback from an opening day 7-1 defeat to the same opposition with the third period proving critical.Grant Glutz and Greg Allen shared the spoils in the first half but YM took control after half-time when Ben Campbell scored twice either side of a Ross Henderson goal for a 4-1 lead they never relinquished.

It lifted them above Cookstown on goal difference as well as Cork C of I who lost 5-0 to Glenanne. The Glens’ win was enough to see them move top of the table as they ran riot in the second half after just Cedric Jakobi’s goal separated the teams at the interval.They moved above Banbridge on goal difference after the Co Down side drew 1-1 at Three Rock Rovers.

Jamie Wright got a sublime touch to David Rae’s slap to put Bann 1-0 up but Rovers levelled before half-time via Mark English.Huge saves from Bruce McCandless and Luke Roleston in the third quarter ensured a share of the spoils.

Lisnagarvey were the big movers as they recorded two 3-2 wins over Dublin opposition, seeing off Pembroke on Saturday and Monkstown on Sunday.Both times, Andy Williamson started the scoring. On Saturday, Troy Chambers added to his opening goal before Stephen Sweetnam halved the lead in the second half. But a Daniel Nelson goal put Garvey clear, rendering Keith O’Hare’s corner goal a consolation.

A day later, they held off Monkstown. Williamson got the only goal of the first half before Mark McNellis and Matthew Nelson stretched the lead to 3-0. Guy Sarratt and Davy Carson reduced the gap in the last 10 minutes.

Monkstown had swept aside Annadale in the second half of their Saturday tie, Sarratt and Andy Ward both getting two goals each with Ross Quirke closing out a 5-0 win.

EY Hockey League: Annadale 0 Monkstown 5 (G Sarratt 2, A Ward 2, R Quirke); Glenanne 5 (C Jakobi, S Boucher, R Shaw, N Byrne, J Brennan) Cork C of I 0; Pembroke 2 (S Sweetnam, K O’Hare) Lisnagarvey 3 (A Williamson, T Chambers, D Nelson); Three Rock Rovers 1 (M English) Banbridge 1 (J Wright); YMCA 4 (B Campbell 2, G Glutz, R Henderson) Cookstown 1 (G Allen)

EYHL Division 2
Pool A:
Bandon 3 (A Smith, C Sweetnam, I Sweetnam) Bangor 1 (C Barnes); UCD 2 (P Lynch 2) Railway Union 2 (A Colton, M McKenzie)
Pool B: Corinthian 4 (I Stewart, J Greaney, J Roberts, D Howard) Kilkeel 2 (D Finlay, E Agnew); UCC 0 Instonians 4 (B Palmer, M Watt, W Robinson, S Kelso)

Extended match reports

Glenanne 5 (C Jakobi, S Boucher, R Shaw, N Byrne, J Brennan) Cork C of I 0
Glenanne returned to the top of the men’s EYHL with a strong win over Cork C of I, a side they have usually had troubles from in recent times. In a low key first quarter, Alex Burns had C of I’s best chance while a Glenanne corner saw the injection go off course.The Glens went in front from a corner won by Jason Rogan with Cedric Jakobi scoring down the glove side. The German’s next effort was well saved by Billy Lynch before C of I had a couple of good chances toward the end of the half with Jonny Bruton and Philip Brownlow central to things.

The hosts, though, stepped up a gear in the second half and extended their lead when Jakobi switched a corner to Shannon Boucher to drag home.

Bruton went close to getting one back with Iain Walker saving brilliantly but Glenanne were soon out of sight when the Shaw brothers exchanged passes with Richie ending up sweeping over Lynch. Neil Byrne reacted quickest to score the fourth when other stalled, waiting for a free for a foot. Joe Brennan then completed the win from the penalty spot.

YMCA 4 (B Campbell 2, G Glutz, R Henderson) Cookstown 1 (G Allen)
YMCA recorded their first ever win in the EYHL to move off the bottom of the table for the first time, continuing Cookstown’s rough week with a third defeat in eight days. It was a complete turnaround from the opening day of the season when the Co Tyrone side won 7-1 at Steelweld Park, their only win of the campaign thus far. Cookstown started the stronger, seeing one corner charged down by Sam Hyland and another finding the net but disallowed for a high stick.But YM have one of the league’s top scorers in Grant Glutz and he nailed a penalty corner just before quarter-fime for 1-0.

Cookstown replied during a good spell to win a stroke which Greg Allen converted. YM went down to nine players during one spell in the first half as they were under the pump but they survived to the break.And the Y burst out of the blocks in the second half with skipper Ben Campbell and Ross Henderson’s first goal for the club transforming the game into a 3-1 lead within six minutes of the restart. A Campbell drag-flick made it 4-1 by the end of the third quarter and they held that advantage through to the finish two places.Reacting to the win, coach Jason Klinkradt hailed his side’s efforts on Instagram, saying: “Small margins in sport. Great to get a win. Shows all the cold nights of running, all the hard yards that have been done. Well done to the lads.”

Three Rock Rovers 1 (M English) Banbridge 1 (J Wright)
Three Rock Rovers and Banbridge shared the spoils at Grange Road in a lively tussle between two of the league’s top teams. Both goalkeepers shone in a lively opening in front of a good crowd while Josh Moffett’s corner running charged down a couple of Luke Madeley drags.The deadlock was broken when David Rae produced a beautiful jink to evade a tackle and then slammed a powerful ball into the circle which Jamie Wright got the perfect touch to, lifting over Jamie Carr in the Rovers’ goal.

Rovers equalised quickly when Jody Hosking stole the ball wide on the left, creating a three-on-one. He slipped to Mark English who flicked over Luke Roleston at close quarters – 1-1 at half-time.

The tempo cranked up in the second half with Carr saving Peter Brown’s rising shot with his shoulder before Bruce McCandless produced one of the stops of the season. Rovers eliminated the goalkeeper to leave Ross Canning with a clear chance – he smashed full throttle at goal from eight yards but McCandless stopped it in what he later described as “operation eyes shut”.

Roleston made a brilliant stop with the inside of his boot to deny Ben Walker as Rovers looked well in control. Drew Carlisle blocked Harry Morris’s reverse over but Bann fought had the best chance to win it in the endgame after David Kane served a yellow card sin-binning. Eugene Magee, though, did not fully catch his drag-flick and Madeley cleared off the line.
“Decent point, happy enough,” Banbridge coach Mark Tumilty said afterwards. “They are going to be there or thereabouts in the playoffs and if you offered me seven points out of nine from the last week, I would have taken it.”

He was delighted to get Philip Brown back into action after a lengthy injury delay while 15-year-old Eddie Rowe also showed up well.

“It’s a huge step up from last year. We struggled last year with our back four without Kyle [Marshall], Matthew [Bell] and Jake Rowe as well as Phil. We are now getting comfortable with our back four which is the platform we like to play with. The likes of Alex Tinney, Zach McClelland and David Rae in the last few weeks are really making progress.”

Niall Denham: “It’s a big step up since getting back outdoors. We probably left a few goals out there and were a little bit soft in the middle which would get us more outcomes in the final third.

“We still have 30 points to play which would get us up to 43 and hopefully get us in the shake-up. It’s been very busy with an awful lot of miles in the legs. It was better today; Wednesday we looked very fatigued against Pembroke so we will have a light week [of training] ahead of us.

Pembroke 2 (S Sweetnam, K O’Hare) Lisnagarvey 3 (A Williamson, T Chambers, D Nelson)
Lisnagarvey closed the gap to Pembroke in third place with a 3-2 away win at Serpentine Avenue. Andrew Williamson put the Ulster side in front 23 minutes into the tie and were in a commanding position at half-time when Troy Chambers finished off at penalty corner time.Pembroke got back into the game nine minutes into the second half when Stephen Sweetnam scored from play but they were two behind once again with 10 minutes left when Daniel Nelson got on the board.

Pembroke replied quickly via Keith O’Hare’s penalty corner strike but they could not summon another famous comeback. The results saw Garvey move up to 16 points on Saturday evening, two behind Pembroke with a game in hand.

Annadale 0 Monkstown 5 (G Sarratt 2, A Ward 2, R Quirke)
Monkstown overcame a sluggish first half to run up a big win over Annadale, moving level with the Ulster side on 12 points with a game in hand overnight on Saturday.The first half was very even between the sides but the first goal proved crucial as Dale had their chances but fell behind to Guy Sarratt’s drag-flick with the big break closing in. In the third quarter, Town made a break for it with Andrew Ward scoring twice from play either side of Sarratt’s second goal as confidence and momentum grew. Ross Quirke completed the scoring in the closing quarter.

Lisnagarvey 3 (A Williamson, M McNellis, M Nelson) Monkstown 2 (G Sarratt, D Carson)
Lisnagarvey recorded their second 3-2 win of the weekend to move into third place in the table, jumping above Pembroke in the table. Andy Williamson was the lead off scorer for the second week running when he netted a penalty corner in the first half.They were well on top in the first half, winning five corners, while Town struggled but they improved markedly in the second half to be well in the tie. But two goals in quick succession in the 56th and 58th minute from Mark McNellis and Matthew Nelson soon took the game away from the Dubliners. Guy Sarratt pulled one back from a penalty corner – his third of the weekend – with Davy Carson getting another on the board with time running out.

EYHL Division 2 round-up

Corinthian became the first side to make it through to the last four of EYHL Division 2 as they produced an excellent second quarter performance to beat Kilkeel.The Mourne men did take a fourth minute lead when David Finlay was on the mark but Ian Stewart replied with his 28th goal of the season in all competitions for 1-1 at the end of the first quarter. Quickfire goals from Josh Greaney, Johnny Roberts and Davy Howard, though, soon developed a 4-1 lead.

Eddie Agnew got one back with two minutes to go but the reds already had what they needed to go through. Instonians will likely follow them following a 4-0 win over UCC away from home with goals from Ben Palmer, Mikie Watt, William Robinson and Stephen Kelso.

They need just a losing bonus point from either of their two remaining games in the group to go through.

Pool A is much tighter with four points covering the top three sides. Bandon got their first win of the group to close the gap significantly, seeing off Bangor 3-1.
Ali Smith put them on the board from a penalty corner rebound in the first quarter. Both Clinton and Ivor Sweetnam followed up in the second period to build a 3-0 half-time lead and while the prolific Chris Barnes got one back for Bangor in the third stage the hosts defended well for a big result.

In Dublin, UCD fought back from 2-0 down to draw with Railway Union in the group for the second time, maintaining their place at the head of the table.

Michael McKenzie and Andrew Colton’s corner goal gave the Railway men a 2-0 lead at the early mini-break. Peter Lynch got one back before half-time and he levelled it up in the second half with his second of the day and 2-2 was how it remained in an end-to-end final quarter.

It leaves UCD on 12 points, Railway on 10 and Bandon on eight. Bandon face both of their rivals in the closing two rounds of the competition.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Irish Women's EYHL Weekend Round Up

Railway Union jumped up three places in the women’s EY Hockey League with a huge 5-1 away win over Belfast Harlequins as Zara Delany netted a hat trick.

The result continues their superb form, winning 11 points from their last five games in addition outdoors to landing the National Indoor Trophy recently.

They bossed their tie at Quins throughout and could have scored more but for the fine work of Marianne Fox. She kept it tight in the first half when Cecelia Joyce’s goal was cancelled out by Claire Weir.

But Railway did not look back when Delany scored her first from the spot in the 45th minute, quickly followed by a Kate Lloyd goal. Delany added another couple in the closing minutes and even missed a stroke against an unpadded goalkeeper.

They go ahead of Belfast Quins and Cork Harlequins, too, on goal difference despite the Munster side’s 3-0 win at Old Alex. Rebecca Barry smashed in the first before Michelle Barry and Caoimhe Perdue made the game safe in the second half in a dominant performance. It was their fourth win out of five on the road this season.

The top two also won. Pegasus were made to work all the way by Pembroke but first half goals from Shirley McCay and Michelle Harvey sent them on their way to a 2-0 win.

Loreto ran up a 6-0 success against Muckross in Donnybrook to maintain their single point lead over Pegs.

Elsewhere, Ards retained Ireland’s place in the third tier of European indoor hockey when they beat Welsh side Whitchurch 3-2 and Slovenia’s Toplice 5-2. It means Railway will play in the EuroHockey Indoor Challenge I in 2020.

In EYHL Division 2, Catholic Institute and Monkstown moved within touching distance of the playoff places with healthy Saturday wins in Pool B. Roisin Upton scored twice as Insta made it five wins from five, beating Lurgan 3-0 in Ulster.

It means they need just one draw from their last three games to advance. Monkstown beat NUIG 4-0 to stay in hot pursuit of the Limerick side. Should they win their meeting with Dungannon on March 9, it means both sides will be through in any case.In Pool A, Queen’s moved eight points clear thanks to their 4-1 win over UCC with Emily McStea scoring twice.

EY Hockey League - day 10 results: Belfast Harlequins 1 (C Weir) Railway Union 5 (Z Delany 3, C Joyce, K Lloyd); Muckross 0 Loreto 6 (H Matthews 2, S O’Brien, N Daly, A Meeke, M Jennings); Old Alexandra 0 Cork Harlequins 3 (R Barry, M Barry, C Perdue); Pegasus 2 (S McCay, M Harvey) Pembroke 0

EYHL Division 2, Pool A: Queens University 4 (E McStea 2, E Getty, C Whiteside) UCC 1 (C Dring)
Pool B: Lurgan 0 Catholic Institute 3 (R Upton 2, L Foley); NUIG 0 Monkstown 4 (A Naughton 2, R Carrigan, A Etherington)

Extended EYHL reports

Belfast Harlequins 1 (C Weir) Railway Union 5 (Z Delany 3, C Joyce, K Lloyd)
Belfast Harlequins' chances of making the EY Hockey League play-offs nosedived as Railway's received a boost after the Dublin side comprehensively outplayed theirs hosts with a 5-1 win at Deramore, with Zara Delany claiming a hat-trick.Indeed, the scoreline flattered Davy Frazer's side, who could have been beaten by a bigger margin had it not been for the heroics of home keeper Marianne Fox and some wayward finishing from the visitors.Railway could have been out of sight in the first quarter after carving out six clear cut chances in the opening 12 minutes.Irish international Sarah Hawkshaw (twice) and Delany both shot wide early on and Kate McKenna and Kate Lloyd were both denied by Fox, who then made a great save from Kate Lloyd.The Dublin side broke the deadlock in the 24th minute when Cecilia Joyce scored from a penalty corner before Claire Weir equalised on the half-hour against the run of play. Delany made it 2-1 from the penalty spot in the 45th minute and Lloyd added a third with 11 minutes left when she scored from a rebound after Hawkshaw's initial shot had been saved.Delany completed her hat-trick with two more goals in the last three minutes to complete an emphatic victory, twice scoring into an empty net after Quins had withdrawn Fox to have an extra outfield player.The biggest cheer of the day from the home fans came when, with Railway leading 4-1, Quins' kicking back Rachel Johnston brilliantly saved Delany's penalty stroke with her stick.The pair sportingly shared a high-five and a giggle immediately after the incident before Delany had the last laugh when she completed her treble.

Muckross 0 Loreto 6 (H Matthews 2, S O’Brien, N Daly, A Meeke, M Jennings)
Loreto ran up a strong 6-0 win over Muckross to maintain their place at the top of the women’s EY Hockey League table. They had the majority of the play in the first quarter but Ellie McLoughlin kept things scoreless with key saves from a pair of penalty corners.From their third set-piece, they broke the deadlock with Hannah Matthews – in the injector’s position where she netted a last minute winner a week earlier – making no mistake from a switch move. It became two in the 24th minute when a shot well saved by McLoughlin was caught on the rebound by Siofra O’Brien and sent high into the net.

Two became three seven minutes into the second half from a scrappy corner breakdown, Nicci Daly firing a rising shot into the goal from the left of the D. Matthews got her second from a penalty stroke and Loreto added an extra gloss to the scoreline in the last five minutes. Ali Meeke slotted one from a corner and she then assisted by flicking into the circle for Mia Jennings to deflect in mid-air to send in the sixth.

Old Alexandra 0 Cork Harlequins 3 (R Barry, M Barry, C Perdue)
Cork Harlequins continued their excellent away form with a fourth win from five road trips, lifting tem up fifth place in the women’s EYHL table.They had already threatened a couple of times before Olivia Roycroft’s cross from the left found Rebecca Barry who applied a rocket of a finish in the eighth minute for 1-0.

Quins went on to win seven first half penalty corners but, like last week against Loreto, could not make them count with Michelle Barry’s shot onto the post the pick of their efforts. Rebecca Evans’ number one running was a feature of the Alex defensive effort while Pam Smithwick produced some incredible reaction saves.

The second did eventually come from corner number eight when Cliodhna Sargent picked out Michelle Barry who trapped and lifted into the goal.

Alex got more into the tie after that with Aine Connery at the heart of things but they did not unduly threaten Becky Maye’s goal other than Hannah McDermott tipped wide.

And Quins put the game to bed from yet another set piece as Yvonne O’Byrne slid the ball to the left of goal for Caoimhe Perdue to tap in. Freya McDermott hit the post from a late Alex corner but Quins had their fifth win of the campaign with a little to spare.

Pegasus 2 (S McCay, M Harvey) Pembroke 0
Pegasus bounced back from their defeat to UCD with a solid 2-0 win over a dangerous Pembroke to keep the pressure on Loreto at the head of the table. Shirley McCay opened the scoring just three minutes into the game from a straight shot from a penalty corner, a lead which was augmented just before half-time by Michelle Harvey.It remained that way through a scoreless second half as Pegs landed their eighth win of the campaign, sitting second one point behind Loreto.

EYHL Division 2 round-up

Catholic Institute moved within touching distance of the playoff stages of the women’s EY Hockey League Division 2 as they swept to a 3-0 win at Lurgan.

Roisin Upton was the inspiration, scoring twice with her first coming from a 17th minute penalty corner drag-flick. Laura Foley added the second with 10 minutes to go following great work from Anna Horan.

Upton then completed the win from a penalty stroke, making it five wins from five and putting 14 points clear of Dungannon. The Ulster side can just about catch them if they win four out of four games and Insta lose their last three.

Monkstown are close, too, following their strong 4-0 win over NUIG in Dangan. Rosie Carrigan and Ailish Naughton scored within a few minutes of each other before Naughton made it 3-0 before half-time. Amy Etherington’s goal three minutes from time completed the win.

Should Town beat Dungannon on March 9, the playoff places from this group will be confirmed.

In Pool A, Queen’s extended their lead at the head of the table to eight points with a 4-1 win over UCC at Malone. Emily McStea got them one up at half-time before Erin Getty’s battling gave them extra breathing room at three quarter time, 2-0.

A further McStea goal and one from Claire Whiteside was countered by a Christina Dring effort in the final quarter. Corinthian meet Trinity on February 27 in a crucial tie in this group.
EYHL Division 2, Pool A: Queens University 4 (E McStea 2, E Getty, C Whiteside) UCC 1 (C Dring)Pool B: Lurgan 0 Catholic Institute 3 (R Upton 2, L Foley); NUIG 0 Monkstown 4 (A Naughton 2, R Carrigan, A Etherington)

Irish Hockey Association media release

Analysis: Poor state of hockey affairs in Pakistan remain unaddressed

Kashif Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: The election of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan as the Prime Minister of Pakistan in July last year brought with it hope of positive change.

A former national cricket captain being at the helm also fueled expectations that the country’s ailing sports scene will finally go through a revamp.

Hockey, Pakistan’s national game, was also expected to get the attention it deserved due to glorious past of the national side in the sport.

However, the new government has not proven itself much different from their predecessors and rivals Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N).
Article continues after ad

The national hockey side had to withdraw from participation in the FIH Pro Hockey League — an opportunity to win direct qualification to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics — citing financial constraints in the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF).

PM Khan, who is also the patron of the PHF, however, took no notice after the team’s withdrawal and the national hockey body’s financial and managerial issues were not addressed readily.

Khan and the governments silence over the matter has cast doubt over their intent to revive the national game from a state of doldrums.

During the PML-N tenure, in 2015, the previous federation led by Akhtar Rasool stepped down, apparently because of intervention of the government. Rasool was later replaced by Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, who is a close relative of PML-N veteran Ahsan Iqbal.

It is alleged that Iqbal, who was then a federal minister, convinced the PML-N government to get rid of the Rasool-led federation, which was then facing allegations of mismanagement, corruption.

Rasool’s resignation was followed by Khokhar’s election, a formality by the PHF congress. In May last year, Khokhar along with secretary Shahbaz Ahmed Senior were re-elected unopposed.

The election did not bring much change and the Green Shirts continued their poor form facing humiliating defeats in various tournaments. A defeat against Japan and a draw against Oman were the highlights of the on-going poor run.

The national junior side also faced shameful defeats in Canada last year, where it conceded over 20 goals while scoring only one.

The national team also failed to make a mark in last year’s World Cup, Commonwealth Games, Champions Trophy and the Asia Cup..

Pakistan, a country, which boasts three Olympic gold medals, four World Cups, three Asia Cup titles, eight Asian Games gold medals along with several other honours, seeks special attention from the federal government.

“There is a need to look into the affairs of PHF,” a Pakistan Sports Board official said.

“If the national team is yielding poor performances then action should be taken against the PHF officials and if there is any funding issue, then it is the responsibility of the government to help the federation.

“Keeping mum over the issue is great injustice with the national game.”

Several Olympians namely Manzoor Hussain Junior, Khalid Bashir, Rasheed Junior and Khawaja Junaid have raised their voice against the incumbent PHF and have requested the federal government to look into the matter.

Last year, after the national side’s disastrous show in the Asian Games, Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh also called for PM Khan’s intervention. Sheikh also requested the prime minister to carry out “complete postmortem” of the PHF.

No action was taken.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Hockey Association president Zahir Shah has also called for complete audit of the PHF. He alleged the PHF did not present the true picture of it’s expenditure before the senate standing committee meeting recently.

Shah claimed the incumbent federation received over Rs500 million from the provincial and federal governments, while it also received huge amounts from sponsors and also collects rent against the Hockey Club Karachi.

Shah alleged the PHF accounts saw a transaction of over Rs800 million but the IPC committee was told that federation received only Rs542 million.

Shah also demanded a probe into the letters which the PHF has issued during the last four years for issuing visas of various countries.

Shahbaz and Khokhar, while talking to Dawn, said the federation has been making every effort to bring improvement in performance of the national team.

They said that they shared the required information with the committee and that the PHF is open for accountability.

“Besides routine audit, a special audit by auditor general of Pakistan was also conducted, which is near completion, so we are open, we did nothing wrong and take every possible step to bring improvement,” Khokhar told Dawn denying allegations of any wrongdoing during his tenure.


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