News for 16 Mayh 2010

All the news for Monday 17 May 2010

India, South Korea declared joint champs


Sharing the glory: India's Arjun Halappa placing the Sultan Azlan Shah trophy on his head as Rajpal Singh (left) and South Korea's Kim Yong-bae (second from right) and Ro Jong-hwan join in the fun yesterday. - Reuters

IPOH: India and South Korea have been declared joint champions for the 19th Sultan Azlan Cup here yesterday after heavy rain caused the final to be abandoned after just 12 minutes of play.

This is the first time ever that a final had to be cancelled due to bad weather and two teams were given the title.

India have won the title four times before and their joint win makes them on par with Australia with five title wins.

For the Koreans, who won in 1996, this is their second title. During the preliminary round, India had defeated the Koreans 3-2.

From the early afternoon, rain had been falling with the fifth-placing play off taking two and a half hours to complete.

The Malaysia-Australia match finished an hour late from the scheduled time but rain started falling again when the two finalists took to the pitch.

Jumping to safety: Malaysia's Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim leaping over a challenge by Australia's Glenn Simpson during their third-place playoff match. - SAIFUL BAHRI / The Star

The game was stopped after 12 minutes and after waiting for an hour, the organisers decided to call off the final and declare both teams champions.

MHF secretary Hashim Mohamed Yusof said that both teams were consulted before the decision was made.

The tournament rules also allow us to declare both teams joint champions after waiting a stipulated 45 minutes, he said.

The Korean and Indian players also had the honour of wining an individual title each.

Sardar Singh was named best player of the tournament while Nam Hyun-woo was the top scorer with nine goals.

Malaysia's S. Kumar picked up the best goalkeeper award while Egypt won the fairplay trophy.


FINAL: India 0 South Korea 0 (Match abandoned after seven minutes due to rain)

THIRD PLACE: Malaysia 3 Australia 5

FIFTH PLACE: Pakistan 1 China 1 (Pakistan win 6-5 on penalties)


Best player of tournament
: Sardar Singh (India)

Top scorer: Nam Hyun-Woo (South Korea) 9 goals

Best goalkeeper: S. Kumar (Malaysia)

Fairplay: Egypt

The Star of Malaysia

Historic end for India, South Korea

DOUBLE WINNERS: India's skipper Rajpal Singh (left) with his Korean counterpart Kim Yong-bae with the Sultan Azlan Shah

KUALA LUMPUR: The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament in Ipoh ended yesterday with finalists India and South Korea crowned joint champions.

The final between the two Asian giants was abandoned after just six minutes due to bad weather. Tournament director, Paul Richards, and the organising committee — with the consent of Sultan Azlan Shah — agreed both finalists should be declared joint champions for the 19th edition of the tournament.

Meanwhile, world champions Australia beat Malaysia 5-3 to finish third while Pakistan finished fifth after edging China 6-5 on penalty strokes since both teams were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation and extratime.

Malaysian team manager, George Koshy felt that lapses in concentration and the soggy pitch disrupted his team's play.

“We did better against Australia in the pool stage as we were playing for points.

“We played an open game. The team's lack of focus and mistakes enabled the Aussies to score.

“Our game was based on fast counterattacks. The soggy pitch affected the players' speed,” he said.


India 0-0 South Korea
(Declared joint champions)
Australia 5-3 Malaysia
Pakistan 1-1 China
(Pakistan won 6-5 on penalties)


TOP GOALSCORER - Nam Hyun-woo (South Korea) – nine goals
BEST GOALKEEPERS - Kumar (Malaysia)



S. Kumar (Malaysia)

Sardar Singh (India), Lee Nam-yeong
(South Korea), Gubraj Singh (India),
Mohamad Imran (Pakistan), Hong
Eun-seong (South Korea)

Arjun Hallapa (India), Baljit singh
(Malaysia), Tengku Ahmad Tajudin

You Hyo-sik (South Korea), Kieran
Govers (Australia)

Malay Mail

Rain stops play at ‘Azlan Shah’ Final

By S.Thyagarajan

India and Korea were declared joint champions in the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament on Sunday. Heavy rain forced the Tournament Committee to come to this unprecedented decision.

This is the first time that the finalists have been declared as joint winner in the tournament being held from 1983.

The cup final was seven minutes old when rain began to pound the turf and flooding the surface. The Tournament Director, Paul Edwards, and the officials conferred for quite a while to consider various options but eventually decided to declare the teams as joint winners.

India was the defending champion in the tournament.

Touching a brilliant patch in the second half after sharing two goals at half-time, Australia claimed the bronze with a 5-3 victory. It was a deserving victory for the fast paced Aussies who overcame a soggy pitch following rain that delayed the start by an hour.

Malaysia did produce an impressive show in the first half, scoring ahead of the Aussies in the early part of the match. But the Aussies, served beautifully by the hard working Matthew Swann, slowly built up pressure and beat off the challenge posed by goal keeper Kumar Subramaniam.

The best goal for the Aussies surfaced when Russel Ford struck a backhander with remarkable power and precision to beat Kumar Subramaniam. This goal gave Australia the 2-1 lead.

Interrupted by rain more than the match between Pakistan and China went in to full distance till a goal by Rasool in the sudden death pace decided the issue. Pakistan finished fifth.

The teams were level,1-1 at the end of the regulation time and tied at 5-5 in the tie breaker forcing the induction of the sudden death period.

The results:

(5-6) Pakistan 6 (Shafqat Rasool.--Tie Breaker--Kashif Ali, Shafaqat Rasool, Zubair Muhammad, Ifran Muhammad, Tauseeq Ahmed- Sudden death: Shafaqat Rasool) beat China 5 (Na Yubo- TB-Liu Yixian, Yang Dong, Ji Mi, Liu Xianting, Sun Tianjun) HT 0-1.

(3-4) Australia 5 ( Matthew Swann, Russel Ford, Kieran Govers, Christopher Cirello, Grant Schubert) beat Malaysia 3 (Hanafi Hafizhafiz, Rahim Mohammad Amin, Tajunddin) HT 1-1.

Final: India- Korea declared as joint champions.

Final placings:1 India and Korea,3 Australia,.4. Malaysia 5.Pakistan 6.China 7. Egypt

Special Awards: Top goal scorer: Nam Hyun Woo (Korea) 9 goals. Player of the tournament:  Sardar Singh (India). Best goal-keeper: Kumar Subramaniam (Malaysia); Fair Play trophy: Egypt.


India, Korea declared joint winners

Final abandoned after heavy rain makes play impossible

S. Thyagarajan

Ipoh: India and Korea were declared joint champions after the cup final was abandoned a little over six minutes after start in the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament on Sunday. India, the defending champion, leads the pool with a tally of 13 points.

Heavy rain forced the Tournament Committee to arrive at this unprecedented decision. This is the first time that the teams have been declared joint winners in this tournament since its inception in 1983.

Even the two earlier matches, which Australia and Pakistan won, were affected by rain.

The rain had abated in the second half of the Australia-Malaysia encounter. But the drizzle began when the Indian and Korean teams lined up for the national anthem. It intensified into a heavy downpour reducing the visibility of the umpires and players. The rain continued for about 30 minutes leaving the pitch inundated.

The Tournament Committee and the TD, Paul Richards, met to take stock of the situation and decided to abandon the final. It was then conveyed to Sultan Azlan Shah, President, Asian Hockey Federation, for his approval.

Stunning show

Unfazed by the reverse of an early goal, Australia produced a stunning performance in the second half to corner the bronze medal against Malaysia.

Caught on difficult and slippery underfoot conditions on account of the wet pitch, the Aussies struggled to contain the enthusiastic and enterprising Malaysian forwards.

The home team scored two brilliant goals through Hanafi and then the equalizer in the second half from Rahim.

But the sparkle of the Malaysians was obliterated by the second half Aussie incandescence. No one contributed to the success to the team as much as Matthew Swann, who also scored the first goal. And appropriately enough, he was named the player of the match.

Russel Ford whacked a splendid goal on the backhand to hoist the lead for Australia. This was followed by Kieran Govers, Christopher Cirello and Grant Schubert. In the final minute Tajuddin netted the third goal for Malaysia.

Pakistan stretched

In a rain-marred match, Pakistan was stretched by China full length up to a sudden death phase when Rasool etched the win to confirm the fifth spot. The teams were 1-1 at regulation time, and dead-locked at the tie-breaker. The verdict was decided in the sudden death strokes. Pakistan won 6-5.

Sultan Azlan Shah, President, AHF, presided and presented the medals.

The results: Final: India and Korea declared joint winner after seven minutes of play.

3-4: Australia 5 (Matthew Swann, Russel Ford, Kieran Govers, Christopher Cirello, Grant Schubert) beat Malaysia 3 (Hanafi Hafizhafiz, Rahim Mohammad Amin, Tajuddin).

(5-6): Pakistan 6 (Shafqat Rasool.— Tie-breaker — Kashif Ali, Shafaqat Rasool, Zubair Muhammad, Ifran Muhammad, Tauseeq Ahmed — Sudden death: Shafaqat Rasool) bt China 5 (Na Yubo — TB — Liu Yixian, Yang Dong, Ji Mi, Liu Xianting, Sun Tianjun).

Final placings: 1. India and Korea, 3. Australia, 4. Malaysia, 5. Pakistan, 6.China, 7. Egypt.

Special awards: Top-scorer: Nam Hyun Woo (Korea) (nine goals); Best goalkeeper: Kumar Subramaniam (Malaysia); Player of the Tournament: Sardar Singh (India). Fair Play Trophy: Egypt .

The Hindu

India, South Korea share Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

IPOH, Malaysia: India and South Korea were named joint champions of the 19th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup yesterday after the final was abandoned because of heavy rain in northern Malaysia.

The decider in Ipoh was only in its 12th minute when the match was suspended because of the heavy downpour and after waiting an hour organisers cancelled the match, declaring both teams, 0-0 at the time, the winner.

Officials say it is the first time in the history of the tournament that a final had to be called off, with both teams also going down as the first joint champions.

For defending champions India it is their fifth Sultan title, matching Australia, while for Asian Champions South Korea it will be their second title after winning the cup before in 1996.

“It is the decision of the organisers and we respect that. Anyway the rain was not about to stop and in the end that may well be the right decision,” said India’s assistant coach Harender Singh.

South Korea’s penalty corner flicker Nam Hyun-Woo was the top scorer overall with nine goals, while India’s Sardar Singh was named player of the tournament.

In the play-off for third place, world champions Australia defeated Malaysia 5-3.

Pakistan clinched fifth place after defeating China 6-5 on penalties after the match ended 1-1 in regulation time.

Gulf Times

India, South Korea declared joint Azlan Shah Cup winners

IPOH (Malaysia): Defending champions India and South Korea were declared joint winners of the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament as the summit clash between the two teams was called off due to rain.

The final match was abandoned after six minutes of play as the heavy showers lashed the turf. India had lost only one match, against Malaysia, en route to final.

This is the first time in the history of the tournament, which began in 1983, that there have been joint winners.

Indian defender Sardar Singh was adjuged the best player of the tournament.

The Indian team management, when called by the FIH Tournament Director Paul Richards, expressed the desire to be given the winners trophy since they had topped the seven team round-robin league with 13 points as well as having beaten the Koreans 3-2 at that stage.

However, it was decided to give the winners cup to both the teams which gave India their fifth title and the Koreans grabbed their second.

India had made six appearances in the final of the tournament and ended on the victorious side on four occasions in 1985, 1991, 1995 and 2009.

They had lost the title clash of the 2008 event to Argentina via golden goal.

The Times of India

Sardar Singh player of the tournament

Haryana Hurricane Sardar Singh earned a huge recognition in his budding hockey career today when he was adjudged the Best Player of the 19th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament. Two others, Arjun Halapa and Gurbaj Singh, were among the Azlan Shah Eleven, selected by seven coaches of the participating teams, hockey consultant Paul Lissek and a representative from the organizing side.

Sardar Singh relished the role of a defender here, keeping the marauding forwards of Australia and Pakistan in check in particular.

Arjun has been pivotal par excellence, and got the knack of producing penalty corners whenever the team needed the most. He excelled in this role, for instance, against Egypt in the second half when India almost struggled to break their citadel. It was fitting his services, which normally go unnoticed, .found a place in the new hall of fame.

Gurbaj has been going steady ever since he made his debut in the last Asian Games. He showed the game changing abilities in almost all the big tournaments, and it was not surprise he is again on top form.

It is in fact double delight for Sardar as he crossed his one hundredth caps when played his third match in the tournament.

The team today was eager to play the final, worked hard to be there. But the heavy rains spoilt the mood.

Sardar Singh’s luck with the Azlan continued this year as well. He was the captain when India started the final spree in 2008. A year before the scored the only goal in the bronze medal match against Korea.

This honour today is therefore all the more a fitting reward for his consistency.

Writers may be aware of the players performance rating this site published after the Delhi World Cup. It is a matter of satisfaction for all of us in that these three players occupied top rungs there also.

Azlan win is just a beginning: Harendra Singh

NEW DELHI: India coach Harendra Singh on Sunday said the victory in the Azlan Shah tournament is a step forward in finding a pool of players before the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games later this year.

India lifted its fifth Azlan Shah trophy when they were declared joint winners along with South Korea as the final was washed out.

Harendra Singh refused to read much into the win saying largely the participating teams were in experiment mode but still drew many positives from the tournament.

"Win is a win. But we must not go gaga over it. This is only a beginning. The competing sides like us were trying new set of players. Had we won after playing the final, it would have been sweeter," Harendra said at Ipoh, Malaysia.

"Yet there are positives. The young players whether it was Mandeep Antil or Vikas Pillay, they have met the expectations and I am sure we are in right direction of finding a good pool of players before the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games," he added.

The coach said most of the competing teams at the Azlan Shah will be up against India in the Asian Games as well so when the Indian players will see the same faces whom they have beaten they would go into the tournament with high confidence.

Harendra said the experimentation should continue for some more time.

"There is a long way to go and this is only first step. This testing of new and young players should go on," he said.

The Times of India

Three Indians in Sultan Azlan Shah XI

IPOH (Malaysia): Midfield trio of Arjun Halappa, Sardar Singh and Gurbaj Singh were included in the Azlan Shah XI which was named after India shared the winners' trophy with Korea on Sunday.

Halappa led the Indian charge creditably in the midfield during the tournament and found good support from the other colleagues, including Gurbaj.

It is due to the consistent performance by the midfielders that the defending champions suffered only one loss -- to Malaysia -- en route to the final of the seven-country tournament.

However, they had to share the trophy with the Koreans when the summit clash was abandoned after just six minutes due to heavy rains.

Sardar was also impressive with the stick and helped defending the Indian citadel a number of time.

Besides the three Indians, the Azlan Shah XI had three players from Malaysia, including goalkeeper Kumar Subramanian, another three from Korea and one each from Australia and Pakistan.

Azlan Shah XI: Kumar Subramanian, Baljit Singh, TA Tajudin (all Malaysians), Sardar Singh, Arjun Halappa, Gurbaj Singh (all Indians), Lee Nam Yeong, Hong Eun Seong, You Hyo Sik (all Koreans), Md Imran (Pakistan) and Kieran Govers (Australia).

The Times of India

Sports Minister Gill congratulates hockey team

NEW DELHI: Sports Minister M S Gill congratulated Indian hockey team for finishing joint winners in the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia and promised more support for the players.

India shared the winners trophy with South Korea as the summit showdown was called off after six minutes of play due to rain.

"Well done India. I congratulate Rajpal and his boys. I can see Indian hockey is on the rise. They will have every support from me," Gill said in his message to the team.

This is India's fifth title in the tournament, which saw joint winners for the first time since its inception in 1983.

The Times of India

Malaysia crash in second half

Jugjet Singh

Hafifihafiz Hanafi (left) and Faizal Saari celebrate Malaysia’s first goal. — Picture by Ikhwan Munir.

MALAYSIA took an early lead, but then crumbled in the second half to lose 5-3 to World No 1 Australia in the fight for bronze in the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh yesterday.

But the India-South Korea final could only be played for seven minutes, as torrential rain stopped play until 10pm, and the organising committee decided to declare both the teams as joint-champions.

This is the first time in the history of the Azlan Shah Cup, incepted in 1983, that a final was rained off and joint-champions declared.

Malaysia took the match to the Australian semi-circle from the first whistle, and there was plenty of action in the first half, with most of it coming from the young national team.

Australia won a total of four penalty corners, all resulting from counter attacks, but bungled them all.

Malaysia failed to win a single penalty corner as the strikers were more intent on taking shots at goal which were stopped by Australian goalkeeper George Bazeley.

However, in the 14th minute, a super effort from 19-year-old Faizal Saari took him to the top of the Australian semi-circle, and he made a deft pass to Hafifihafiz Hanafi who, slammed it into the top of the net for a well-deserved lead.

Australia were only dangerous in the final minutes of the half, and off a goalmouth melee in the 34th minute, Matthew Swann scored the equaliser off a reverse stick attempt.

Australia came out of the dressing room with guns blazing, and in a spate of five minutes had five chances which were stopped by goalkeeper S. Kumar and the post.

But more pressure saw Kumar finally crack in the 43rd minute when Russell Ford sent in a cracker from the the top of the semi-circle.

Australia then went on a goal hunt and found their third in the 50th minute when Kieran Govers scored off a penalty corner.

Malaysia were reduced to defending after that but still the Aussies scored their fourth goal in the 55th minute. This time, Christopher Ciriello scored from their sixth penalty corner.

The fifth goal was by Grant Schubert in the 65th minute but with three seconds to go, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin scored.

RESULTS -- Final: India and South Korea declared joint champions; Third-Fourth: Malaysia 3 Australia 5; Fifth-Sixth: Pakistan 1 China 1 (Pakistan win 6-5 on penalty strokes).

New Straits Times

Combative Malaysians run out of steam against Aussies

IPOH: Malaysia blew hot and cold en route to losing 3-5 to world champions Australia and settling for fourth place in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament here yesterday.

The Malaysians were full of fight in the first half but could not sustain the pace after the break. This was their second loss to the Aussies, who also won their preliminary round match 2-1.

Malaysia got off to a good start when Hafifihafiz Hanafi scored off a quick counter attack in the 14th minute.

But Australia kept up their relentless assault on the Malaysian goalmouth, earning four penalty corners in the first half.

Their pressure paid off when, with just a minute to go before the break, Mathew Swann equalised for Australia.

Australia took the initiative in the second half to take the lead in the 43rd minute through Russell Ford.

Five minutes later, Malaysia drew level when Mohd Amin Rahim scored off the team's first penalty corner.

It was his sixth goal of the tournament.

In the 50th minute, Australia were back in front through Kieran Govers. Then, four minutes later Australia made it 4-2 through Christopher Ciriello.

And when Grant Schubert made it 5-2 in the 65th minute, it was all over for Malaysia, although Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin managed to reduce the deficit in the last minute with a field goal. Earlier, Pakistan finished fifth when they beat China 6-5 on penalty strokes after the two teams were level at 1-1 at the end of regulation and extra time. The game was delayed for over two hours due to a downpour.

Pakistan had whipped China 6-2 in the preliminary rounds.

China took the lead through Na Yubo in the 24th minute but Shafqat Rasool equalised in the 43rd minute to force extra time.

The Star of Malaysia

Kookaburras win bronze at the Azlan Shah Cup

The Kookaburras have finished third at the Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia, defeating Malaysia 5-3 overnight in the bronze medal match.

Australia were awarded a penalty corner as early as the 2nd minute but the Malaysian goalkeeper was up to the task, palming away the attempt by Ian Burcher.

The Kookaburras continued to attack early and in the 10th minute, Mohd Madzli Ikmar made a disastrous pass across the Australian semi circle which was picked up by Trent Mitton.

However despite having time on his side, the shot from Mitton was rushed, denying the Kookaburras their first goal. Malaysia made the Kookaburras pay for their lack of conversion, scoring at the 14 minute mark to go up 1-0.

Despite having four penalty corner attempts in the first half it took until the 34 minute mark for the Kookaburras to score their opening goal thanks to a field goal to Matthew Swann.

The Kookaburras continued their momentum after half time to score the first goal of the second half at the 43 minute mark via a Russell Ford reverse stick shoot.

Mohd Amin Rahim made full use of Malaysia’s first penalty corner in the 48th minute to make it 2-2, but the Kookaburras quickly regained the lead when Kieran Govers scored a well worked penalty corner in the 50th minute.

Two more goals within ten minutes established an unbeatable lead for the Kookaburras, with a goal in the last minute to Malaysia seeing Australia record a 5-3 victory.

Kookaburras 5 Malaysia 3 (1-1 half time)

Goals – Mal Hafifihafiz 14m FG, Aus Swann FG, Aus Ford 43m FG, Mal Amin 48m PC, Aus Govers 50m PC, Aus Ciriello 55m PC, Aus Schubert 65m FG, Mal Tajudin 70m FG

Hockey Australia media release

Australia beat Malaysia 5-3, win bronze in Azlan Shah

IPOH: World champions Australia scored a hard-fought 5-3 victory over Malaysia to win the bronze in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament on Sunday.

Mathew Swann (34th), Russel Ford (43rd), Kieran Govers (50th), Christopher Ciriello (54th) and captain Grant Schubert (65th) scored for Australia while Haffihafiz Hanafi (14th), Amin Mohd Rahim (48th) and Tajudin (70th) found the target for the hosts.

In another classification match, Pakistan finished fifth after pipping China 6-5 in the sudden death tie-breaker after being locked 1-1 till extra time.

Malaysia took the lead in 14th minute when striker Haffihafiz Hanafi pushed past Australian goalkeeper George Bazeley after being put through by Faisal Saari.

The Aussies found the equaliser when birthday boy Mathew Swann tapped in via a reverse flick from a goalmouth melee in the 34th minute to go into the breather 1-1.

Australia accelerated the pace in second half mounting raids led by captain Grant Schubert and Mark Paterson. But the Malaysian defence did well in foiling these attempts.

Russel Ford put Australia ahead in the 43rd minute with a superb backhander from the top of the striking circle leaving Malaysian goalkeeper Kumar Subramaniam a mere spectator.

Malaysia came back to get the equaliser when they earned their first penalty corner after winger Tajudin was obstructed and Amin Mohd Rahim flicked home in the 48th minute.

Australia tightened their grip thereafter scoring two goals in quick succession from penalty corners.

Kieran Govers made it 3-2 slamming in from an indirect variation in the 50th minute while Christopher Ciriello increased the tally four minutes later.

Even though Malaysia tried in vain to reduce the margin, Schubert sealed the victory for Australia scoring their fifth goal in the 65th minute, even though the hosts got a last minute consolation from Tajudin.

The Times of India

Oman champions

Hosts finish fifth, qualify for Asiad

Sports Reporter

Members of Oman team, who became champions in the Asian Games Hockey Qualifiers, celebrate at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.Photo: STAR

Bangladesh ended their Robi Asian Games Hockey Qualifiers campaign on a high beating eventual winners Oman 4-1 in the last match of the tournament at the Maulana Bhasani National Stadium yesterday.

A 41st minute strike from Krishna Kumar gave hosts the lead, only to be cancelled by Basim ten minutes later. But hosts showed some spirited performance as they took the lead again through a penalty corner conversion by Mamunur Rahman Chayan before Kamruzzaman Rana made it 3-1. The finishing touch was provided again by Chayan as he converted another penalty corner with virtually the last shot of the game.

Despite losing, Oman finished top of the qualifying campaign with 11 points followed by Singapore with 10 and Hong Kong at third with 9.

Bangladesh grabbed fifth position ahead of Sri Lanka on better goal difference as both finished on 8 points with wins on the final day.

The match between Bangladesh and Oman saw a much improved performance from the hosts. They played a good attacking game from the beginning, the players looked more in tune with each other as the passing, receiving and the combined attack showed much improvement from the previous games.

The finishing though once again faltered while the conversion of penalty corners showed some improvement.

The Oman team, with the knowledge that they were champions regardless of what happened in that game, sat back from the beginning and since falling behind played catch-up against hosts. Apart from the goal scored, they hardly threatened the Bangladesh defence and should have conceded a bigger margin of Defeat had the hosts' forwards not continued with their dreadful finishing.

As soon as the match ended, both teams started celebrating. Bangladesh were celebrating at having snapped a dreadful run of ties and defeats and also at grabbing the fifth qualification spot for the Asian Games while Oman had a bigger reason to cheer -- they have won the championship, the first international tournament that they have won.

There was another consolation for Bangladesh, as their penalty-corner specialist became the highest-scorer of the tournament with eleven goals. Krishna was adjudged man-of-the-match.

In the first match of the day, Hong Kong thrashed Thailand 5-1 to take third position, thanks to three goals from Arifali and one each from his brother Asghar Ali and Akbar. Tanakoon Jongtavon scored the consolation goal for Thailand who finished bottom of the table with just one point.

In the second match, Sri Lanka shocked Singapore 3-1 that banished Singapore's chances of winning the tournament, thereby handing Oman the title before they took to field against Bangladesh.

The Daily Star

Black Sticks Women draw second test with India

Black Sticks goalkeeper Beth Jurgeleit saves a penalty corner drag flick in the match against India. Photosport

The New Zealand Blacks Sticks drew the second test 2 – 2 against the Indian women side at the Endeavour Trust Twin Turfs in Palmerston North today (Sunday 16.)

Both teams started the match at a very fast pace in contrast to the first test. The Black Sticks made better use of their early opportunities, earning a penalty corner in the fourteenth minute expertly flicked in by Piki Hamahona to give the Black Sticks the early lead.

Both sides managed to penetrate the circle on a number of occasions but were unable to get quality finishing touches on goal. In the closing stages of the first half Rani Rampal converted her fourth goal of the series so far with a two on one counter attack against the New Zealand keeper, and tied the match up one all at half time.

The second half was just as competitive as the first with both teams playing an aggressive style of hockey. India did have the better run of play for the majority of the second half forcing numerous penalty corners but were unable to convert.

The score remained one all until the 67th minute when Anita Punt set up Charlotte Harrison against the run of play to give the Black Sticks the lead with three minutes left.

India went all-out on attack and managed to level the scores up for the second time in the match through a penalty corner variation with Subhadra Pradhan finishing the move off. The Black Sticks had an opportunity to win the match with a penalty corner after the final hooter but the shot was off target, and the match finished two all.

Indian captain Surinder Kaur led the visitors well across the pitch, while Kate Mahon and Beth Jurgeleit were solid in the New Zealand defensive efforts.

Coach Mark Hager said there was a small improvement from their game yesterday (Saturday 15.), but basic skills like trapping let them down and the standard of play in the attacking circle needs to improve over the next three games.

This result retains India’s lead in the series 1-0 with the next match in the five test series to be played in Napier on Wednesday.

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Black Sticks draw second test with India

REVERSE HIT: Black Sticks player Lucy Talbot plays a reverse hit during the second test against India in Palmerston North.Photosport

New Zealand, who lost yesterday's first test 2-3, put on an improved performance in today's second women's hockey test, forcing India to fight back for a 2-2 draw at Palmerston North.

Unlike yersterday, both teams came out to play at a high pace and the Black Sticks made better use of early opportunities.

They took the lead when Piki Hamahona expertly flicked home a from a penalty corner in the 14th minute.

India levelled the scores in the closing stages of the first half when Rani Rampal, who scored a hattrick for India in the first test, beat New Zealand goalkeeper Beth Jurgeleit.

India had the better run of play for the majority of the second half but were unable to convert any of the numerous penalty corners they were awarded.

New Zealand sneaked in front against the run of play in the 67th minute when Anita Punt set up Charlotte Harrison for a goal.

India replied almost immediately with a sharp attack that saw Subhadra Pradhan put the finishing touch to a penalty corner variation.

The Black Sticks had an opportunity to win the match with a penalty corner after the final hooter but the shot was off target.

Indian captain Surinder Kaur led the visitors well across the pitch, while Kate Mahon and Jurgeleit were solid in the New Zealand defensive efforts.

New Zealand coach Mark Hager said there was a small improvement from the first test.

But basic skills such as trapping let his side down and the standard of play in the attacking circle needed to improve over the next three games.

The third test is at Napier on Wednesday.


Black Sticks stutter against India

The visiting Indian women hold the advantage after the first two of five hockey tests against the Black Sticks. India won the opening test in Palmerston North on Saturday and yesterday twice came back from a goal down to finish 2-2. The third test is in Napier on Wednesday.

"It was another inconsistent performance," said coach Mark Hager. "The inability to trap the ball dead cost us with too much turnover ball. We had a hard-talking video session after the first test and there will be some more hard work when we get to Napier.

"We played terribly in the first test. We should have been 3-0 ahead at halftime."

New Zealand's inability to convert penalty corner opportunities cost them dearly.

In the opening test they muffed such chances in the first and last minutes as the visitors held on to win 3-2.

Again yesterday they struggled from set play although their first goal was scored by Piki Hamahona from a corner but other chances went begging.

Hager singled out veteran goalkeeper Beth Jurgeleit as the Black Sticks standout player.

The New Zealand Herald

Indian eves draw 2-2 with New Zealand

NEW DELHI: The Indian women's hockey team Sunday drew 2-2 with New Zealand in their second Test match at the Endeavour Trust Twin Turfs in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

The two teams were locked 1-1 at half time.

For India, Rani Rampal (34th min) and Subhadra Pradhan (69th min) scored from penalty corners, according to information received.

The Black Sticks struck through a penalty corner from Piki Hanahoma (14th min) and a field goal by Charlotte Harrison (67th min).

New Zealand lost the first Test 2-3.

The third Test will be played at Kett Capital Hockey Stadium, Napier, Wednesday.

The Times of India

Las Leonas take game three in "Clash in the Capital" series

Argentina 4, USA 2

WASHINGTON DC - The USA Field Hockey Women's National Team fell to Argentina today, 4-2, in the third game of a five game test series at American University in Washington DC. Kayla Bashore and Maren Ford scored for the USA.

The USA opened the scoring with two quick goals in the first five minutes, but Argentina was able to push forward and score three to close the first half. The second half was a much tighter contest, as Argentina added only one more goal.

"We executed early," said Head Coach Lee Bodimeade. "It was great to get up 2-0, but from that point we needed to recognize Argentina got better, and we didn't respond. That is the difference between the two teams right now."

"We wanted to come out strong," said team vice captain Lauren Crandall. "We let down our intensity and they took some goals, but I'm happy with the way we played in the second half."

Kayla Bashore scored mere moments into the contest, sending a strike through the circle and past Argentina goalkeeper Belen Succi.

"We had good pressure on their backfield," said Bashore. "We were able to get a turnover and I was in the circle. Katie O'Donnell was near the goal and I yelled for her to get out of the way before I shot it. We laughed about it later; I told her if she didn't move she was going to get hit."

Maren Ford scored five minutes later.

"I saw Claire Laubach move into the circle," said Ford, "and I just posted up and made myself a big target. Then I zinged it to the opposite post, knowing Katie Evans was there in case my shot went wide. We've been working on finishing in the circle."

But showing the skill and determination that makes them the number two ranked team in the world, Argentina patiently regained their form. Mariné Russo began the comeback in the 9th minute off a field goal.

Ten minutes later, would then continue its impressive performance in the penalty corner attack with a goal from Rosario Luchetti. Luciana Aymar added a third goal just before the half, which featured a flurry of passing through the circle by the Argentine offense to set up the goal shot.

"Their attack is very dangerous," said Crandall. "They have a lot of options. We do a good job defending the initial shot, but when there's a broken corner or free play, it’s tough. We need to look at that." 

"Essentially, it's an eight-vs-four situation," said goalkeeper Jackie Kintzer. "The offense is always going to have the numbers. We have to buy time until other defenders can get into the circle. Unfortunately, they're scoring some of their goals after the first shot. They're very good in that area. They find whoever's open."

After the halftime break, the USA returned to the field with a renewed attitude and mentality. The contest was much more even, although Luchetti would score another penalty corner goal from Argentina in 58th minute.

"The first half and second halves were almost two different games for us," said Maren Ford. "When the second half started, we said we're mentally tougher than we showed at the end of the first half. We made decisions and we stepped up. Sometimes we paid for that, but we definitely learned a lot overall."

Despite the rash of penalty corner goals, Bodimeade acknowledges that while the USA is steadily improving and adjusting, Argentina is fine-tuning as they prepare for the Women's World Cup in August.

"It's not a major concern for me at this point," said Bodimeade. "We're addressing other issues right now, and the defense will come later. Their penalty corner attack is one of the best in the world already, and they're refining it as they head into the World Cup. I'm comfortable with our defense at this point."

The fourth game of the five-game series is Tuesday, May 18 at 6:00pm.

USFHA media release

Beeston fightback to snatch Men's Cup final victory from Hampstead and Westminster

By Emily Benammar and agencies

Back where it belongs: after spending 12 months with Reading at Sonning Lane the Men's Cup returns to Beeston

Two goals in the final eight minutes saw Beeston lift the Men’s Cup after a 2-1 victory over Hampstead and Westminster.

Jamie Parker cancelled out Andrew Cornick’s goal, which had given Cup Final debutants Hampstead the lead after 51 minutes, before Chris Sneddon broke the London-based clubs hearts to secure his side the win.

Delighted with his side’s performance not only in the final but throughout their season, Beeston captain Stephen Lawrence said: “It wasn’t our best game and Hampstead played well. We kept going until the end and thankfully when the equaliser was allowed it gave us confidence.

“Credit to Jamie he kept playing to the whistle. It was our third final in a row. It’s a great competition and we had a great crowd here today.

“Overall it has been a tough season but looking back it has probably been our most successful.”

Adding to his captain’s sentiments, winning goalscorer Seddon said: “All season we have been up and down with a ‘never say die’ attitude. As soon as we got the equaliser I knew we’d go on and win it. All credit to the lads, our positive attitude got us through.”


The Telegraph

Leicester beat Reading to win Women's Cup title

Champions: Leicester beat Reading 2-1 to lift the trophy at Beeston Photo: PA

A double from Crista Cullen saw Leicester become the 2010 Women’s Cup champions after they beat Reading 2-1 at the weekend.

The result will come as a welcome consolation to Leicester who, having gone unbeaten all season, suffered a 1-0 defeat to Slough in the England Hockey League playoffs a fortnight ago.

For Reading however it is the second upset they have suffered in the competition’s final in as many years having lost to Bowdon Hightown 12 months ago.

Helen Richardson’s goal 13 minutes from time gave the Berkshire side a degree of hope they could play for a draw or win but they struggled to break through a solid Leicester defence which held strong long enough to seal the win.

Delighted with his squad’s performance, Leicester coach Chris Mayer said: “I always believed we could win today. We have such a great group of girls and I’m really pleased for them.

“To go unbeaten in the league was fantastic and the most pleasing thing was to play some great attacking hockey. We bounced back well after the big disappointment of the playoffs.”

The match also marked the end of Jennie Bimson’s 17-year playing career with the Beijing Olympian retiring with immediate effect.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” she said. “It has been a long season – ten months from pre-season to here – but all worth it. I’m sad to be ending my career but it’s great to win today and finish on a high.”

The Telegraph

Pembroke will return to European fare as league champions


Pembroke 4 Lisnagarvey 1:

GREATER SHARPNESS, notably from Alan Sothern, and an aggressive display of goalkeeping from Pembroke’s David Harte gave the Dublin side a tense but deserving Irish Hockey League win over Ulster’s Lisnagarvy at Grange Road yesterday afternoon.

So Pembroke will represent Ireland again in Europe next year as they retain their title.

In a furious spell between the second and 11th minutes three goals went in. Pembroke scored first when striker Sothern delivered from their first short corner, which Lisnagarvey hotly disputed, claiming the ball was lifted into a foot.

But Sothern wasn’t for distracting and dinked the ball past the first runner, Johnny Bell, before driving the ball in from almost point-blank range.

Five minutes later Lisnagarvey had earned their first set-piece and, matching Pembroke’s sharpness, Tim Cockram stepped up with a beautifully placed drag flick low and outside the range of the considerable bulk of Harte.

The goal of the day, perhaps even the season, arrived shortly after Cockram’s equaliser. It came following a sweeping move from the champions’ goal area.

With Lisnagarvey probing in and around the Pembroke circle, Conor Harte plucked a loose ball into his control and instantly triggered a counter-attack up the left. Then followed a series of sweeping passes from Harte to Sothern deep in midfield and out to Alan Giles tearing up the right channel. Giles put the ball across, and all Maurice Elliott had to do was tap it into an open goal. The move from Harte to Elliott took all of five seconds.

The third quarter quietened down, and with a series of sinbinnings and corners the sides remained locked at 2-1. Harte in goal, especially at set-pieces, was majestic and dominant.

Lisnagarvey hit the woodwork, Harte’s helmet and stick but couldn’t close the deal, while Craig Fulton swept up for Pembroke’s fifth corner of the match on 42 minutes, switched to Sothern who flicked low to the goalkeeper’s left for 3-1 going into the final quarter.

By then Pembroke had the match under control. A penalty miss by Sothern following a mêlée around Lisnagarvey goalkeeper Davy Williamson didn’t knock the champions off their stride.

Then as if to make amends for the penalty, Sothern popped up with a clear shot from play as Pembroke caught the Ulster side pressing up hard and in numbers, leaving their defence open.

Sothern duly obliged with a free shot from mid circle for 4-1 and the retention of their IHL title.

Pembroke, league champions, and Glenanne, cup winners, play in Europe next season.

PEMBROKE : D Harte, A Giles (capt), C Fulton, R Gormley, C Harte, M Elliott, P Conlon, A McConnell, A Pritchard, P Good, A Sothern. Rolling subs : A Bruneau, D Molloy, K Treacy, S Furlong, M O’Connor.

LISNAGARVEY : D Williamson, B Waring, J Bell, M Robinson, J Lynch, P MacDonnell, M Raphael, T Cockram, J Gray (capt), S Arbuthnot, M Daniel. Rolling subs : P Martin, G Whitten, S McNiece, S Hunter, G Thompson

Umpires: A Grove, R Johnston.

The Irish Times

No stopping Railway at full steam


Railway Union 4 Cork Harlequins 0

Railway Union celebrate at the final whistle after beating Cork Harlequins to claim the Irish Hockey League title at Grange Road. It is the Dublin side's first national title. - (Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho)Railway Union celebrate at the final whistle after beating Cork Harlequins to claim the Irish Hockey League title at Grange Road. It is the Dublin side's first national title. - (Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho)

RAILWAY UNION’S heartbreak last week when they lost the Irish Senior Cup final on penalties was offset yesterday at Grange Road when they carried off the ESB Irish Hockey League title.

This weekend there were no heroic comebacks required to get them back in the game. The Sandymount side led from start to finish, barely stopping to look back at a doughty but overrun Cork Harlequin side.

The win gives Railway their first national title and a place in Europe next season.

While Cork Harlequins’ spirit kept them defiant until the end, the champions rarely looked like conceding ground.

A spell between the 28th minute and 48th minutes delivered three deserved goals, before a penalty at the tail end of the match capped off a super team performance.

It might have become difficult for Railway had the Harlequins kept up a frustrating but effective defence.

But they were always creating circle penetrations, and when Jean McDonnell took a pass from Nikki Evans at a set-piece her drill from the edge broke the dead lock for 1-0.

McDonnell, Evans, Emma Smyth and Kate Dillon continued to probe, and although Harlequins goalkeeper Amy O’Neill was constantly called into play, it took another well-struck short corner, again from McDonnell, to create some distance.

This time her rising drive took a deflection to end up in the roof of the net.

The third goal came to the deserving Evans, whose work-rate never dipped below full throttle. A pass from the left wing bobbled hard across the face of the goal and looked harmless until Evans reached behind with her reverse stick and somehow managed to deflect the ball past O’Neill.

Even the evergreen former Ireland captain Rachael Kohler couldn’t get much from the Railway defence, and although she used her fine stickwork to manufacture a few corners there was little change from the winners, as Helen Stevenson also played a busy game in the Railway goal.

Harlequins arrived into the fourth quarter needing three goals to take the match to overtime. Again the Dublin side had alternative ideas and continued on the offensive.

The fourth goal came from the penalty spot, Kate Dillon stepping up and putting her stroke high and wide of the O’Neill’s right hand to close the season and league champions.

Railway Union and cup winners Loreto are in Europe next season.

RAILWAY UNION : H Stevenson, H Jenkinson, E Lucey, E Dolan, I Joyce (capt), S Walsh, K Dillon, E Smyth, J McDonnell, N Evans, C Joyce. Rolling subs : S McDonald, K McKenna, E Dillon, R Hutchinson, H de Burgh-Whyte, P O’Dwyer, S Dooley.

CORK HARLEQUINS : A O’Neill, C Sargent (capt), Y O’Byrne, H Chapple, K Bateman, R Kohler, R McSharry, A McGrath, S McCarthy, J Chapple, C O’Connor. Rolling subs : J Morris, C Bergin, J Bourke, E McGrath, L McSweeney, L Mullins, L Daunt.

Umpires: C Metchette G Taylor .

The Irish Times

Top-two target set for national Under-16 team in Mannheim tourney

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian national Under-16 hockey team have been set a target of finishing in the top two of the four-nation tournament in Mannheim, Germany, from May 22-24.

The other teams in the fray are Holland and Belgium.

National Under-16 coach S. Velappan said they had never won the tournament and that their best achievement was a runner-up finish in 2003.

“This time we have a reliable team and we are confident of finishing in the top two,” he said.

“The players have been training for five weeks and have also played some friendly matches in preparation for the tournament.

“We called up 35 players for centralised training and named the final 18 a few days ago.” Malaysia will open their campaign against Holland on May 22 before taking on Germany (May 23) and Belgium (May 24).

He said the national team, who will leave for Germany today, would play two friendly matches with club sides on Wednesday and Thursday to get used to the pitch and the chilly conditions in Germany.

The Star of Malaysia

Tickets still available for EHL Final Four

The grand finale of this year’s European club calendar is rapidly approaching. The coming weekend, Amsterdam H&BC’s world famous Wagener Stadium will host this year’s EHL Final Four tournament, an event which features not only the semi-finals and Final of the Euro Hockey League but also the final stages of the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup for women.

Tickets for the event are selling well, but there is still time to confirm your attendance. Purchasing tickets in advance will save you money and help to avoid possible disappointment at the venue.  If you are planning to attend EHL Final Four, please remember that there is no parking at the venue.  All traffic is instead being directed to Amsterdam RAI, where parking and a shuttle bus to the venue will be available. For information regarding the purchase of parking tickets and entry tickets, please click here.

Euro Hockey League media release

BPSS a point away from winning maiden title

BANDAR Penawar Sports School (BPSS) Thunderbolt slammed the national women's hockey team (MWHA) 3-0 at the Seremban II Hockey Stadium yesterday to take a step closer to lifting their maiden MHF-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League (MJHL) Division One title.

The southern sports school have a maximum 21 points from seven matches and just need one point in their last league match against UniKL at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium on May 21.

Yesterday, Firhan Ashaari gave Thunderbolt the lead off a field goal in the 29th minute while Fitri Saari scored two penalty corner goals in the 39th and 68th minutes.

Thunderbolt coach Wan Roslan Rahman said: "We are the only side that have yet to drop a point in seven matches. But I will only be happy when we beat UniKL."

In another Division One match, BPSS Juniors played to a 1-1 draw against Kelantan at the Bandar Penawar Hockey Stadium to finish fifth and qualify for the knockout stage.

BPSS Juniors and Anderson are tied with 10 points from eight matches but the Johor sports school advanced on better goal difference.

RESULTS -- Division One: BPSS Juniors 1 Kelantan 1; MWHA 0 Thunderbolt 3. Division Two: Matri 4 SMK PP 2.

New Straits Times

Thunderbolt just a point away from winning MJHL Div 1 title


KUALA LUMPUR: Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS)-Thunderbolt beat the national women's team (MWHA) 3-0 at the Seremban II Hockey Stadium yesterday to take a step closer to lifting their first MHF-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League (MJHL) Division One title.

The Johor sports school have a maximum 21 points from seven matches and need just a point from their last match against second-placed UniKL at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium on May 21 to emerge champions.

Debutants UniKL, who have 19 points from six wins and a draw, must beat BPSS-Thunderbolt if they want to lift the title.

In yesterday's match, Mohd Firhan Ashaari put BPSS-Thunderbolt ahead with a field goal in the 29th minute.

Mohd Fitri Saari, the younger brother of national forward Faisal, then added two penalty-corner goals in the 39th and 68th minutes.

BPSS-Thunderbolt coach Wan Roslan Wan Abdul Rahman said that he was satisfied with his team's overall performance in the MJHL.

“We are the only team not to have dropped a single point in seven matches.

“But I will only be happy if we beat UniKL, who have 10 players from the Project 2013 squad, and win our first league title,” he said.

In another Division One match, BPSS Juniors drew 1-1 against MSS Kelantan at the Bandar Penawar Hockey Stadium to finish fifth and qualify for the knockout stage.

BPSS Juniors and Anderson are both tied on 10 points from eight matches but the Johor sports school advance into the knockout stage because of better goal difference.

Mohd Hafiz Seleman put BPSS Juniors ahead in the 14 minute before MSS Kelantan equalised four minutes later through Nur Badruzzaman Mohd.

The top five teams in Division One and top three from Division Two will feature in the knockout stage.

The Star of Malaysia

MEG triumphs

KOVILPATTI: MEG (Bangalore) defeated Indian Overseas Bank (Chennai) 4-2 to win the title in the K.R. Educational Institutions – Lakshmi Ammal Memorial all-India hockey tournament here on Sunday.

Hockey Olympian Dhanraj Pillay gave away the prizes.

The results: Final: MEG 4 (Pruthui Shetty, Keshavam, Rajesh, Ganesh Kumar) bt Indian Overseas Bank 2 (Harmanpreet Singh, Adam Sinclair).

Third place: Canara Bank 2 (Bipin Bopaiah, John Varghese) bt Southern Railway 0 .

The Hindu