News for 22 October 2011

All the news for Saturday 22 October 2011


Cuba stuns USA at Pan American Games

Day 2: Pan American Games – Guadalajara, Mexico.


Canada's Ken Pereira in full flow against Trinidad & Tobago. (Photo: FIH / Yan Huckendubler)


The U.S. suffered a shock defeat against Cuba, a team 25 places beneath them in the FIH World Rankings on Day 1 action at the Pan American Games. In other action, Canada, Chile and Argentina were the big winners. Full details of the matches can be found below.

Pool A: Canada crushes Trinidad & Tobago 7-2
Day 1 of the Men’s Pan American Games Hockey Competition began with Canada and Trinidad and Tobago. Prior to the match, Jagdesh Gill of Canada was honored for his first international cap. Just one minute into the match, Trinidad and Tobago’s Christopher Scipio sent a strike to give Trinidad and Tobago the early lead. This lead did not last long as Canada’s Matthew Guest scored right off the restart. Thus, the score was tied 1-1 just a few minutes into the match.

Canada took the first penalty corner of the match nearly 25 minutes into action and Scott Tupper converted to put Canada ahead 2-1. Canada’s Iain Smythe made the score 3-1 just three minutes later. Trinidad and Tobago continued to pressure, but Canada went ahead 4-1 off another Smythe goal. Trinidad and Tobago did not let up and off their first penalty corner of the match Kwandwane Browne scored to pull within two of Canada at halftime.

The second half started with a quick goal by Guest to make the score 5-2. Canada continued to have the offensive edge for much of the second half. In the 46th minute, Smith made the score 6-2.  Trinidad and Tobago’s keeper Karlos Stephen saved a few penalty corner shots by Canada. Canada kept up their offensive pressure and went ahead 7-2 over Trinidad and Tobago off a field goal by Philip Wright in the 62nd minute.

Pool A: Barbados thrashed 9-1 by rampant Chile
Chile and Barbados played in the second men’s match. Prior to the match, Chile’s keeper Mathias Anwandter was honored for his 100th cap. Chile got off to a quick 1-0 lead off a penalty corner goal by Jan Richter in the 3rd minute. Chile continued its offensive pressure and increased the lead off a Martin Rodriguez field goal. Chile went ahead 4-0 over Barbados off two more penalty corner goals by Richter in the 13th and 22nd minutes. Despite being down four, Barbados did not let up and earned a series of penalty corners at the end of the first half. Chile’s defence held strong and Barbados could not capitalize and the score remained 4-0 in Chile’s favour at the break.

Barbados continued to play defence well in the second half, and kept Chile from converting. Five minutes into the half, Barbados’ Jemar Small received a yellow card. In the 43rd minute, Barbados got on the scoreboard from a field goal by Captain Aaron Forde, however Chile hit straight back and made it 5-1 off another penalty corner goal by Richter. Soon after, Chile’s Captain Esteban Krainz converted a penalty stroke to give Chile a five-goal lead. Chile’s Sven Richter made the score 7-1 in the 53rd minute. For much of the rest of the second half, Barbados played strong defense to keep Chile from scoring further. Krainz converted another penalty in the 67th minute to make the score 8-1. Chile persisted and went ahead 9-1 a minute later thanks to an Alexis Berczely goal, completing the scoring.

Pool B: Awesome Argentina hit eight past hosts Mexico
In the third match,  Argentina played host Mexico. Argentina took quick 1-0 lead off a field goal by Matías Paredes. Argentina controlled possession and pressured on attack. Mexico played strong and kept Argentina from significantly entering their attacking circle. The fans erupted whenever Mexico touched the ball. Mexico got a penalty corner with 10 minutes remaining in the first half, but could not convert. Mexico had few offensive opportunities, but its defence held strong, giving Argentina headaches. Eventually, Argentina’s persistence paid off and they went ahead by two off a field goal by Lucas Cammareri. Argentina continued its  pressure, but Mexico held off a few penalty corners. Yet, with les than one minute remaining in the first half, Argentina’s Ignacio Bergner penalty corner goal put Argentina ahead of Mexico 3-0 at the half.

Argentina continued to dominate possession in the second half; but again Mexico was tough on defense. Mexico had a few penalty corner opportunities but could not convert. Argentina went up 4-0  off another penalty corner goal by Bergner in the 48th minute. Argentina quickly increased their lead to 7-0 over Mexico with three goals in three minutes from goals by Bergner, Lucas Vila, and another by Paredes. The Argentina lead increased to 8-0 off a Juan Lopez goal. With Mexico unable to get on the scoreboard, the final score was 8-0 to Argentina.

Pool B: Cuba stun USA 4-2
The final match of the day saw a fascinating contest between USA and Cuba. Cuba began the match well and had more possession, but the U.S. defence held strong. Cuba made its breakthrough midway through the first half thanks to a penalty stroke from Heriberto Gomez. Cuba continued to look very dangerous in attack for the remainder of the half, but that did not stop USA from pulling themselves level when Will Holt slammed home a last-gasp penalty corner to tie the score at the break.

USA came out fighting at the start of the second half and established a 2-1 lead when Holt converted a second penalty corner. Their lead was cancelled out in the 49th minute when Cuba’s Gomez Sardut fired home before  Yoandy White put the Cubans ahead four minutes later with a well taken field goal. Cuba was on the rise, and produced the killer blow in the 56th minute when Yuri Perez netted a penalty corner to make the score 4-2. It proved to be a enough for a stunning victory for a team ranked 45th in the FIH World Rankings, defeating an opponent which currently sits 25 places above them.

The results for the tournament thus far can be found below. All official tournament information including results, tables, match sheets, reports and photos can be found on the website of the Pan American Hockey Federation by clicking the following link: http://www.panamhockey.org/en/competitions

Results
Wednesday 19th October 2011

09:00     Women's Group A Game 1          Argentina v Trinidad & Tobago 11-0 (6-0)
11:00     Women's Group A Game 2          Canada v Barbados 10-0 (6-0)    
14:00     Women's Group B Game 3          United States v Mexico 5-0 (3-0)
16:00     Women's Group B Game 4          Chile v Cuba 6-0 (3-0)

Thursday 20th October 2011
09:00     Men’s Group A Game 1          Canada v Trinidad & Tobago  7-2 (4-2)
11:00     Men's Group A Game 2          Chile v Barbados 9-1 (4-0)
14:00     Men's Group B Game 3          Argentina v Mexico 8-0 (3-0)
16:00     Men's Group B Game 4          USA v Cuba 2-4 (1-1)

Fixtures
Friday 21st October 2011

09:00     Women's Group B Game 5          Mexico v Cuba
11:00     Women's Group B Game 6          Chile v USA    
14:00     Women's Group A Game 7          Trinidan & Tobago v Barbados
16:00     Women's Group A Game 8          Canada v Argentina

All times are local (GMT -5)

FIH site



Canada gives top-ranked Argentina a run for their money

In match two of the Pan Am Games, Team Canada Women fall 3 - 7 to Argentina



2011 Pan American Games : Canada vs. Argentina. Photo:Yan Huckendubler

Despite losing to Argentina (3-7), Canada had a very strong game against the World Champions, ranked #1 in the world and overwhelmingly favorites to win these Pan American Games.

The Canadian women started very focused on the task at hand and surprised the Argentineans with an early goal by Thea CULLEY in the 6th minute! They maintained their pressure and had a chance to increase their tally, but the shot went wide. Midway through the first half, Argentina, led by a Lucian AYMAR as dominant as ever, suddenly switched gear and scored four goals in quick succession, pushing the score to1-4.

Canada however did not slow down and replied with two superb goals of their own, first by Hannah HAUGHN in the 30th minute, then by Kate GILLIS, slotting in goal a fantastic reverse shot from a difficult angle. Half-time was reached on the close score of 3-4, much to the pleasure of the large crowd that was kept well entertained during this match.

Argentina scored 3 more goals in second half, but Canada never stopped fighting in defense and trying to mount swift counter-attacks when they got the ball. They were well backed by Azelia LIU, who had a superb match in the Canadian goal on her 100th International Cap. The Canadians also showed excellent resilience when they played short, on two yellow cards, never losing their form or their nerves.

Canada played today one of their most accomplished matches in a long time, against a team of superstars used to roll-over easily over most teams. The Canadian women’s team showed today, to the rest of the field and may be to themselves, that they can run with the best!

"We competed really, really well," says Head Coach Louis Mendonca.  "Overall, I'm very happy.  We are definitely a very different team than we were about 4 months ago.  The girls came to compete, they're quite keen - and I think the tournament has just begun for us.  Our next game is against Trinidad & Tobago.  They are quite the opponent, but we'll be prepared." 

Field Hockey Canada media release



Canada make Argentina work hard for Pan-Am hockey win

GUADALAJARA, Mexico - World hockey champions Argentina were given a run for their money by Canada, the second best team in the women's Pan-American Games tournament based on performance, before winning 7-3 on Friday.

It was a match of two halves in which Canada stunned the Las Leonas (the lionesses) with a sixth-minute opening goal from Thea Culley.

Argentina then scored four goals in 10 minutes but Canada hit back twice through Hannah Lynn Haughn and defender Katherine Gillis in fine attacking plays at the end of the half to hold the favourites to a narrow 4-3 lead at the interval.

Having adjusted defensive issues, captain Luciana Aymar's team scored three more goals in the second half for a comfortable victory that might have been by a greater margin but for some brave goalkeeping from Azelia Liu.

Argentina's coach Carlos Retegui gave the Canadians full credit for their three goals and smiled about the fact that they were all from field plays with none from short corners.

"We had set ourselves the target of not conceding from corners," he told reporters.

"But, well, (the ball) did go in in plays. I think we need to be a bit more alert with 50-50 balls in the area.

Retegui said the ball could have fallen to either team in those tight goalmouth situations and all Argentina's rivals were going to play them that way with fast counter-attacks.

"Lots of teams are going to play us like that, get into the area and they're going to knock it in... we must do a bit more zonal marking to be able to intercept those crosses," he added.

TAKING CHANCES

"The goals (conceded) were merit of the rival team who came into the area, created goal chances and were good at taking them.

"We need to correct those mistakes but I think the team did good things with the ball," Retegui said after his team had mostly kept Canada on the back foot.

Argentina, who had crushed Trinidad & Tobago 11-0 in their first match, equalised through Soledad Garcia.

Then Aymar, the world's top-ranked player, scored two trademark goals following brilliant dribbling runs that have earned her comparisons from her compatriots with soccer ace Diego Maradona.

Garcia made it 4-1 in the 25th minute before Canada's two fine breakaway goals in the last five minutes of the first half.

Argentina then pulled away with two goals from short corners by specialist Noel Barrionuevo after 41 and 53 minutes and a final strike from Carla Rebecchi at the end of a move that Retegui called brilliant.

"The seventh goal deserves to be framed... It was a combination of three - Lu (Aymar), Sole (Garcia) and Rebecchi - that will stick in the mind. The team played very well at times," Retegui said.

"We're turning our minds to Barbados on Sunday and then the semi-final which surely be with Chile. The United States beat Chile (in Pool B) so they are our most likely opponents," he added, confident of taking the points against the Barbadians.

Argentina are looking to win the single Olympic berth on offer at the tournament.

The Star of Malaysia



USA grabs 2-1 victory over Chile

Ashley Meunier


Photo: Yuchen Nie


GUADALAJARA, Mexico - Shannon Taylor (Midlothian, VA) and Caroline Nichols (Virginia Beach, VA) lifted the USA Women’s National Team to a 2-1 victory over the No. 16 world ranked Chilean Team this afternoon. Team USA continues their winning streak heading into the third and final match of pool play on Sunday.

The pace of play was back and forth early on, as both teams fought for control of the ball in the midfield. The first half ended as an even, scoreless matchup.

“We are the two highest ranked teams in the pool and we expected a tough match,” said Bodimeade. “We knew we would get few opportunities against Chile. After the first goal, we pushed hard to get the second and fortunately for us it paid off.”

Team USA came out looking more alive in the second half and set a high tempo for Chile to match. Katie O’Donnell (Blue Bell, PA) used her speed and skills to assist in getting USA on the boards first. O’Donnell made her way to the circle and fed the ball to Taylor. With the Chilean keeper coming out high, Taylor cleverly placed the ball in an open cage.

Fired up from the first goal, O’Donnell applied offensive pressure and was the culprit in earning a penalty stroke in USA’s favor. Nichols was called to step up and she did, securing USA’s second and final goal of the match.

“Chile gave us a run for our money,” said Nichols. “They are a tough side and we had to bring our “A” game today to beat them.”

Chile snuck one past keeper Jackie Kintzer (Robesonia, Pa) on a penalty corner, making USA a little uneasy heading into the final ten minutes of play. However, two goals proved enough and USA advances on to the final round of pool play on Sunday with a 2-0 record. 

“It’s very exciting to be up 2-0 in the tournament and going into our third match,” said Taylor. “Every game is a stepping stone and we are hoping to add another win to the list on Sunday.”

USA will face Cuba on Sunday, October 23. Cuba has a 1-1 record in the tournament with a win against Mexico and a loss against Chile. If successful against Cuba, USA will advance as the No. 1 team from Pool A and will face the No. 2 ranked team from Pool B in the semi-finals.

Team USA is right on track to achieving their goal of a podium finish and Olympic qualification.

USFHA media release



T&T hockey women go down to Barbados, 4-2

Rachael Thompson-King


T&T women’s hockey team suffered its second straight loss at the Pan American Games when the Calypso Stickwomen went under to Barbados in Guadalajara, Mexico, yesterday. On Wednesday, the local unit was crushed by top team Argentina, 11-0 in its opening match at the Pan American Hockey Stadium. It was an uphill battle from the start as T&T trailed 2-0 after only 15 minutes of play. Scoring the opening goal was Cher King with er teammate Dionne Clarke returning eight minutes later to put Barbados up 2-0, to the demise of the T&T team. Kristin Thompson pulled one back though in the 17th minute to reduce T&T’s deficit, 2-1 with some 18 minutes left in the first half. The score remained the same as the halfway mark drew closer but T&T could not withstand the pressure from the Barbadians and conceded another goal, three minutes before the half. Charlia Warner (32nd) was the scorer.

It took T&T only two minutes into the second half, to get its second goal thanks to Arielle Ramchand-Du Quesnay (37th). Neither team could find an opening as play continued in the second session with the scores stayed 3-2 in favour of Barbados. Barbadian Maria Sealy found a way through T&T defence and was able to give her team breathing room when she netted her team’s fourth item in the 61st, sealing the win.

The Trinidad Guardian



Kookaburras goal fest at the Lanco International Super Series

The fans were promised more goals and exciting play at the Lanco International Super Series and that is exactly what they got tonight, with the Kookaburras putting on an exhibition to defeat New Zealand 7-1 tonight in Perth.

Following on from last night’s 3-2 win over Pakistan, the Kookaburras made the most of the all new rules and the chance to be on TV (matches broadcast via ABC) to show off their skill and reconfirm exactly why they are the number 1 team in the world.

The Kookaburras’ first goal in the game came within the first two minutes, testament to the intensity applied by the home side to gaining the upper hand.  It was all Kookaburras in the first half, dominating possession and keeping the Kiwis busy in defence.

The scoreboard was running hot as the Kookaburras’ tight possession and excellent passing saw Glenn Turner, Jason Wilson and  Des Abbott all claim excellent goals, heading the break 4-0 up over the kiwis.

Australia continued to apply pressure straight out from the half-time break, rewarded with a penalty corner to Des Abbott in the 28th minute.  New Zealand earned themselves their solitary goal in the 25th minute but were quickly overshadowed by another Kookaburras goal, this time to Glenn Simpson, putting any chance of a victory well out of reach of the visitors.

The Kookaburras celebrated their emphatic victory with a lap of the pitch, thanking the excellent and vocal crowd here at the Perth Hockey Stadium for their support.

Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth said that game demonstrated exactly what the sport had hoped to achieve by creating the tournament with new rules.

“That was a magnificent performance compared to yesterday and perhaps we were still trying to find our feet. We want to play expansively and take enough risks to get goals and there was some spectacular play and people didn’t enjoy that I don’t know what they would want.

Tonight’s game showed the potential of what you can do with this game and more space (on the field) and the right attitude. The players enjoy playing in front of a crowd and at home and they like being on TV,” said Charlesworth.

Kookaburras 7 def New Zealand 1
Goal scorers: AUS Simon Orchard FG 2m, Glenn Turner FG 12m, Jason Wilson PC 14m PC 27m, Des Abbott FG 15m FG 28m NZ Blair Hilton FG 25m AUS Des Abbott, AUS Glenn Simpson FG 26m

Hockey Australia media release



Hockeyroos advance to Lanco International Super Series final

The Hockeyroos will face India in the final of the Lanco International Super Series after defeating Malaysia and drawing with India during their double header tonight at day 2 of the newly created tournament.

With all new rules created to make the game faster and more exciting, the Hockeyroos were the more attacking side in both games, but faced two opponents who’s strategy was to sit back and look for counter attacks.

In the first game Malaysia controlled the play early in the match.  Although the Hockeyroos struggled in some areas of their game the continued to attack, but unfortunately many of their shots on goal were off target, handing valuable possession to their opponent in the shortened version of the game.

With the threat of a scoreless first half looming, Fiona Boyce was awarded a Penalty Shootout with 10 seconds on the clock, with captain Madonna Blyth successfully navigating past Malaysian keeper and giving the Hockeyroos the lead before the break.

They continued to attack in the second half but could only manage one more goal which went to exciting teenager Kellie White, claiming a great goal off a reverse stick shot in the 25th minute.   As the clock wound down, neither team gave an inch, nor did they trouble the scorers again.

In the second game It was a tough grind for both teams, Australia’s Ashleigh Nelson opening the scoring in the 10th minute after three successive penalty corners were awarded and the third their most successful.  In this the Hockeyroos second game of the evening, the team was warmed up and keen to claim an emphatic victory.  India looked threatening on many occasions, but the Australians contained them well to head into the half-time break with their lead, 1-0.

India hit their strides in the second half, attacking through accurate long-reaching passes to their solitary back.  Australia’s defenders were never far away and were quick to shut down the final efforts by the Indians.

Both teams worked furiously in attack as the clock wound down, the Indians making every possible effort to score.  Soundarya Yendala levelled the scores, rewarding India for their consistent attacking efforts, off a penalty corner.

The teams finished this match drawn with one goal a piece, they will meet again on Saturday afternoon for the chance to face off one more time before they play in the final on Sunday.

Coach Adam Commens said he was frustrated the Hockeyroos did not get more reward for their attacking style of play.

“I think in this form of the game its easy for teams to get everyone behind the ball and defend, and you only need to hang on for 30 minutes and the pressure is on the more attacking side to score and they can go onto the counter. If you have 70 minutes in a match you can wear them down and as they get more tired you can capital. I think you will find in a couple of those matches today teams will hang on in the first half and the second half is where you work on top of them. I have no doubt we are a higher quality side than India, we beat them 6-0 recently so its disappointing you don’t win but it was our second game of the day, the girls played at a high energy, we tried to make the play where as the other teams sat back and defended,” said Commens.

Two games still remain in day two of the Lanco International Super Series – the Kookaburras will face New Zealand and Pakistan and India will square off.

Game 1
Women’s Malaysia 0 def by Australia 2

Goal scorers: Madonna Blyth PS 15m, Kellie White FG 26m

Game 2
Women’s Australia 1 drew India 1

Goal scorers: AUS Ashleigh Nelson PC 10m, IND soundarya Yendala PC 25m

Hockey Australia media release



Top world ranked Australians give harsh lesson to young Black Sticks

World and Commonwealth champions Australia gave the young Black Sticks Men a harsh lesson in how to play the innovative nine-a-side hockey in a 7-1 defeat in the second round of the inaugural Lanco International Super Nine Series in Perth last night. It was a disappointing performance from the Black Sticks after their excellent 6-3 win over India the previous day as the Australians demonstrated how to play the new form of hockey with their crisp passing and clinical finishing. For New Zealand, there were some encouraging performances from Blair Hilton, Kane Russell and Shay Neal.

The Australians threw its trademark high tempo game at the Black Sticks and never gave the seventh-ranked New Zealand side a chance to settle into the match. Australia’s Simon Orchard opened the scoring when he drove into the circle and fired a low shot into the corner of the net in only the second minute. Both sides competed hard for ascendancy but once Glenn Turner added Australia’s second in the twelfth minute and Australia followed up with two corner goals inside a minute just before the interval, the game was effectively killed off as a contest. Jason Wilson added the third at a well-worked penalty corner in the 14th minute and then Des Abbott touched in Simon Orchard’s clever reverse-stick shot less than thirty seconds later.

In the 23rd minute, Des Abbott grabbed his second and Australia’s fifth before Wellington’s Blair Hilton gained New Zealand’s consolation goal in the 25th minute when he received Andy Hayward’s clever pass and rifled an unstoppable shot low into the corner of the net. With New Zealand pushing hard to reduce the deficit, Australia exploited the space to add two further goals through Glenn Simpson and Jason Wilson, his second, to complete the demolition of the Black Sticks.

This new competition, a fast-paced, action-packed nine-a-side variation of the traditional game, which could be seen almost as hockey’s version of 20/20 cricket, played to packed audiences in Perth again last night.

In the other game played on Friday evening, Pakistan drew 1-1 with India. After two matches, Australia heads the table with six points, New Zealand is second with three and India and Pakistan have one point. Tomorrow (Saturday), the Black Sticks plays eighth ranked Pakistan at 12.30pm (Perth time) needing either a win or a draw to earn a place in Sunday’s final. The final pool match pitches the unbeaten Australians against India.

RESULTS
Full time: 7-1
(Aus win)
Half time: 4-0 (Aus lead)
NZ goal scorers: Blair Hilton

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Our Men and Women win the heart with heart-warming draws

K Arumugam


Indian men and women staged remarkable comebacks, and scored their equalizer late in the second half to win their respective matches against much stronger rivals here in Perth in the second day of the Lanco International Super Series Hockey 9s.

Ravi Pal Singh helped India to draw against Pakistan 1-1 in the much-hyped Pak match whereas Soundarya silenced the home crowd with her aerial goal for the same scoreline.

Waseem Ahmed trapped a rebound off goalie Bharat Chetric to gently push the ball , but faster than Chetri’s attempt to fall to his right and save it. The ball glided past. The Indian equalizer did not take much time, came within 50 seconds.

Rajpal sent a straight pass to Rai Pal who was standing at the top of circle, he turned a bit and hit hard the ball with his reverse hand even as he was falling on the top circle line, The ball was hit so hard it did not give otherwise inform goalie Imran Shah any leeway, except to look at the goal haplessly.

India need not have waited 11 minutes in to the game for its game, had only Danish Mujtaba’s first minute forehand shot – which deserved a goal – entered the cage, but alert Imran took it on the pads. Shortly later, Yuvraj had a god send opportunity to move the board early in the game, even as the ball rolled close to goalmouth in indulged in dribbling and lost the control of the ball which moved and crossed the baseline,

Youngsters Yuvraj and Mujta are not the ones who came close to scoring, but experienced Sunil and Tushar are also the culprits especially the latter. After Sunil’s powerful shot was blocked by Imran Shah, Tushar got the rebound and hit hard but only on the side netting. This is the best shot that did not go to the goal, indeed.

If Chetri was at his best in the first half, his counterpart in the Indian team PR Sreejesh came even better. He made manipulating Waseem, a hero with his superb goal earlier, turn otherwise for his team. He took the hard-earned stroke, took it from the 25-yardline in the one-to-one face off with Sreejesh, but the latter surprised him with a fast interception, cleared hard, the ball rolled past opposite goalmouth and crossed the semicircle line.

On the other hand, in the second of the four matches played on the second day, Indian girls put up a heartwarming show to steal a point from the hosts, who in the first half seemed over-whelming.

After Religh tapped in a melee, the transformed Indian girls in the second half, traumatized their famed rivals with a superb goal that would have made any forward proud. Its Vandana Katariya who did all the spade work for the Hyderabad’s Soundarya to capitalize. Vandana sent a reverse shot fro top of circle line, which rose, and Sondarya too raised her stick above shoulder to gently direct the ball into the right corner of the netting. It was a dramatic goal. Otherwise, its almost Aussies who dominated every department of the game.

The crowd today was almost double, making it a happening day here; strictly speaking its women who stole the show silently though men’s will be talked about for long.

Stick2Hockey.com



Sub-continental rivals give fans a reason to smile

Navneet Singh


Even before the ball got rolling, a sizeable crowd had gathered at the Perth Hockey Stadium to the witness the contest between India and Pakistan.

The second day of the Lanco SuperSeries nine-a-side tournament saw fans from the sub-continent set up base opposite the main pavilion. The two camps were visible from all sides as fans consistently waved their countries flags.

Outpour of support

Tarunpreet Singh, one of the more vociferous Indian fans, said there was nothing better than supporting India. “We are here in Perth but our heart still beats for our country of birth,” he said. Tarunpreet came to Perth from Punjab in 1995. He added, “If India are not playing, we support the Australian team.”

Given that the crowd had started to cheer the sides much before the match started, the players didn’t disappoint their fans. Both teams put up an improved performance in the fast-paced match, and it was Pakistan who drew first blood. The lead was short-lived as India bounced back to level the score 1-1.

The intensity with which the players operated in the second half, indicated that the first 15 minutes of play hadn't drained them. Though both teams conducted frequent raids in the second half, the scoreline didn't move beyond 1-1.

Pakistan had a golden chance to go one-up in the closing stages, but the chance went abegging. However, the fans went home satisfied. “It was a good match,” said an Indian fan.

Women draw

Earlier, the Indian women team played out a 1-1 draw against the formidable Australians. In another second round match, Australia beat Malaysia 2-0 to lead the points table.

The Australian men was also impressive in the second round, scoring a thumping 7-1 win over New Zealand to add three points to their kitty.

India’s results

Men: Drew with Pakistan 1-1

Women: Drew with Australia 1-1

Hindustan Times



India, Pakistan play out thrilling draw



KEEN TUSSLE: India's S.V. Sunil (left) vies for the ball with Abdul Hasam Khan of Pakistan in the Super Series hockey tournament in Perth on Friday. the match ended in a draw. AFP

Soundarya's goal helps Indian women share honours with Australia

Pakistan and India played out a thrilling 1-1 draw in the men's draw of the International Super Series hockey, here on Friday in a game full of chances for both sides.

In a thrilling showcase of the potential of the new format, the rivals played at a frenetic pace. India dominated for the most part, but Pakistan missed a golden opportunity to seal the win as the respective goalkeepers produced a host of superb saves.

With three minutes to go and India down a man after a green card offence, Pakistan won a penalty face-off, but Indian custodian Bharat Chetri blocked the shot.

India dominated the first half and attacked constantly. Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Shah had to make two brilliant saves to deny the Indians the lead in the first 10 minutes.

Pakistan takes lead

Pakistan took the lead on one of its rare forward sorties, Waseem Ahmed giving it the upper hand in the 12th minute from a tight angle.

However, it lasted less than 60 seconds with Ravi Pal equalising with a diving reverse stick shot.

Meanwhile, Australia men made it two wins from as many matches by thrashing New Zealand 7-1.

Meanwhile, the Indian women's team got its act together after being on the back foot in the first-half to force a 1-1 draw against Australia. Star forward Ashleigh Nelson put Australia ahead in the 10th minute before her Indian counterpart Y. Soundarya cancelled it out just five minutes before the hooter. Vandana Kataria tore through the Australian defence to enter the top of the circle and quickly push the ball to Soundarya, who was waiting at the far corner of the goal-cage.

Satisfaction

India, which lost its last match 0-5 to the hosts last Saturday, can derive a lot of satisfaction in the end result even though they did not inspire much confidence in the first-half. In fact, the Indians were lucky to concede just a solitary goal in the first-half, during which Australia mounted several attacks on the visiting team's goal.

The Australians just could not get the finishing right and were also denied by the Indian goalkeeper Yogita Bali's brilliance under the bar. Australia earned six penalty corners in the first-half, indicative of its dominance during that period of play.

India replaced an injured Jasjeet Kaur Handa with Soundarya midway through the first-half, but even that did not have much impact on an attacking Australia. However, India managed to avoid defeat through Soundarya's strike after an improved performance in the second-half.

The results: Men: Pakistan 1 (Waseem Ahmed 12) drew with India 1 (Ravi Pal 13). Women: Australia 1 (Ashleigh Nelson 10) drew with India 1 (Y. Soundarya 65).

The Hindu



India draw with Pakistan in Hockey 9s

PERTH: India produced a much improved show after their opening match loss as they played out a 1-1 draw against arch-rivals Pakistan in a thrilling league match of the Lanco International Super Series Hockey 9s on Friday.

India, who had lost to New Zealand 3-6 in their opening match, were the more dominant side of the two for most part of the fast-paced match but they were also lucky not to have lost the match as Pakistan wasted a penalty stroke.

Substitute goalkeeper P R Sreejesh, who replaced his captain Bharat Chetri in the second half, saved the stroke taken by Waseem Ahmad a couple of minutes before the final hooter.

Sreejesh came out early and made a neat clearance to the relief of the tense Indian camp.

It was Pakistan who scored first in the 12th minute through veteran Waseem Ahmad as he gently pushed the ball home from close range.

But Pakistan's lead lasted less than a minute as India's Ravi Pal scored the equaliser with a diving reverse stick shot with Manjit Kullu and V Raghnath playing big role in serving the ball upfront.

The goal was Pal's second in the tournament. In the second half, India had chances to take the lead but Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Shah spoilt the chances got by Sunil and Tushar Kandkar.

In the final moments of the match, India got another chance when Yuvraj Walmiki tapped a loose ball on the top of the circle but he failed to get it past the goalie.

Pakistan came out strongly in spells but barring captain Sohail Abbasi, others were rusty in their attack.

In the dying moments, Pakistan got a couple of moves that threatened the Indian defence and it took Gurbaj Singh, Manjit Kullu and Sardar Singh put extra effort to see that the scoreline remained unchanged.

India coach Michael Nobbs seemed a relived man at the end of the match as he expressed satisfaction over his wards performance.

"We did a good job. We had the better of exchanges and had more penetration than Pakistan," he said.

"I would have been happier had we won it," he added. Hailing Sreejesh, who stopped the penalty stroke, Nobbs said, "We are good at one to one situation as we showed during the Champions Trophy. It is good that we again proved it again here."

The Times of India



Modest Ravi Pal refuses to take credit for draw against Pakistan

PERTH: A modest Ravi Pal on Friday refused to take credit for ensuring India draw Pakistan 1-1 by scoring the equaliser in a thrilling league match of the Lanco International Super Series Hockey 9s.

"It's OK I scored. In fact, I tried it clicked, nothing more than that. I would have been happy had we defeated them, for we had many chances to go up and end that way," said the 28-year-old who struck back for India with a stunner within a minute after Pakistan had taken the lead.

Ravi Pal has been in fine touch here with quick reflexes and hawkish eye for gaps. He also scored in India's 3-6 defeat against New Zealand in the opening match.

He traditionally plays at midfield and sets up forwards for goals.

Asked on his transformation from being the pivot to striker, he said he was doing the job the coach has assigned him to.

"My job is to do what the coach asks me to. What is important is to follow what the coach says. This tournament is for scoring goals. He trained all of us for scoring, so am doing what he has asked me to do," he said.

"We have to play the Olympic Qualifiers in the 11 vs 11 format. If the coach feels I should also be striker there, what is big deal, I will happy to do that," he added.

Ravi Pal hails from Sansarpur which has produced many Olympians in the past. Rajinder Singh Jr had reposed faith in him and drafted into the national side in 2005.

He was above 25 when made his international debut and many had doubted his future prospects. He proved his critics wrong and gained the confidence of all the coaches who trained India in the last five years.

Ravi Pal, who has scored only three goals in the 52 international matches he had figured in before coming here, plays for Bharat Petroleum in the domestic circuit.

The Times of India



Pakistan, India thriller ends in draw


Sardar Singh of India dives to contest the ball with Mohammad Tousiq Jr. of Pakistan in Perth.—AFP

PERTH: Arch-rivals Pakistan and India fought out a thrilling 1-1 draw in the men’s contest of the International Super Series in Perth on Friday in a game full of chances for both sides.

It was the most entertaining match so far of the innovative nine-a-side tournament, which also includes a number of other trial rules such as 15-minute halves and wider goals.

In a thrilling showcase of the potential of the new format, the rivals played at a frenetic pace.

India dominated for the most part but Pakistan missed a golden opportunity to seal the win as the respective goalkeepers produced a host of superb saves.

With three minutes to go and India down a man after a green card offence, Pakistan won a penalty face-off, but Indian custodian Bharat Chetri blocked the shot.

India were thrashed 6-3 by New Zealand on Thursday, but dominated the first half and attacked constantly.

Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Shah had to make two brilliant saves to deny the Indians the lead in the first 10 minutes.

But it was Pakistan who took the lead on one of their rare forward sorties, Waseem Ahmed giving them the lead in the 12th minute from a tight angle.

However, it lasted less than 60 seconds with Ravi Pal equalising with a diving reverse stick shot.

The Indian women, 3-1 winners over Malaysia on Thursday, also produced a very encouraging performance, drawing 1-1 with the host nation to earn their place in Sunday’s final.

Australia, once the dominant force in women’s hockey, led 1-0 after 10 minutes, but Soundarya Yendala levelled in the 25th minute, brilliantly deflecting in a high shot from Vandana Katariya.

The Indians could easily have snatched the win as they attacked repeatedly in the dying stages against an Australian team a player down for the last two minutes, but they couldn’t find the back of the net.

The Australian women earlier in the evening beat Malaysia 2-0, and will play the Indians in Sunday’s final regardless of results in the final round robin matches on Saturday.

The Australian men made it two wins from as many matches by thrashing neighbours New Zealand 7-1.

Results:
Men’s:

Australia 7     New Zealand 1
Pakistan 1     India 1

Women’s:
Australia 2     Malaysia 0
Australia 1     India 1

Dawn



Women's hockey team draws with Australia in Lanco International

PERTH: The Indian women's hockey team got its act together after being on the backfoot in the first half to force a 1-1 draw against hosts Australia in the Lanco International Super Series on Friday.

Star forward Ashleigh Nelson put Australia ahead in the 10th minute before her Indian counterpart Soundarya Yandala cancelled it out just five minutes before the hooter went off.

It was Vandana Kataria who tore through the Australian defence to enter the top of the circle and quickly push the ball to Yandala, who was waiting at the far corner of the goal cage.

Indian girls, who lost the last match 0-5 last Saturday to the hosts, can derive a lot of satisfaction in the end result even though they did not inspire much confidence in the first half.

In fact, the Indians were lucky to concede just a solitary goal in the first half, during which Australia mounted several attacks on the visiting team's goal.

The Australians just could not get the finishing right and were also denied by Indian goalkeeper Yogita Bali's brilliance under the bar.

Australia earned as many as six penalty corners in the first half, indicative of their dominance during that period of play.

India replaced an injured Jasjeet Kaur Handa with Yadala Soundarya midway through the first half but even that did not have much impact on an attacking Australia.

However, the visitors managed to avoid defeat through Yadala's strike after an improved performance in the second half.

"We committed lot of silly mistakes in the first half which we eliminated in the second session. That did a world of good for us, we drew against the world's best team," said a visibly happy coach C R Kumar.

On conceding too many penalty corners in the first half, Kumar said the team was always confident about saving goals from penalty corners.

"In a way it's good that we conceded only penalty corners. Because we are sure we are good at penalty corner defence, and we just did that," he said.

The Times of India



The abridged edition

Uthra G Chaturvedi


Depending on how you look, it can either be the corruption of a centuries-old sport or a brave new venture into the unknown, hoping to make it more accessible and fun. Either way, Hockey 9’s is an idea whose time has come.

India’s national sport — though there is no constitutional provision for the same — has gradually receded to the fringes of national consciousness. It makes no news routinely, and the only news is bad news. Rare victories, like the recent Asian Champions Trophy, see celebrations go overboard, triggering hype all over again about the “rebirth of Indian hockey”.

In the midst of all this, the game has moved on, and Indian team is reduced to evoking nostalgia for the days of dribbling wizardry. India’s presence in the international federation is zilch. For a country that makes news for its off-field misdemeanors, India’s constructive contribution to the development of hockey has been non-existent.

Hockey 9’s, in itself, is not something terribly radical. India experimented with bringing in the glitz and glamour and tweaking the rules during the Premier Hockey League with relative success, but it met a premature death. Hockey 9’s, which has less number of players on the field, making the game faster and more open, is more interesting. It puts emphasis on fitness and stamina, demands more control over the game from players and forces them to think out of the box to gain advantage.

There has been a lot of talk on how the modified rules for Hockey 9’s will benefit teams from the subcontinent. Given the traditional strength of India and Pakistan has been their skill set, there are expectations that less players on field, wider goalposts and more tolerance for fouls will mean more space to execute their moves. I agree only partially.

For one, it’s no longer the absolute truth that subcontinental players are more skilful than the rest. The best players — whether it is Teun de Nooijer in Holland, Santi Freixa in Spain, Jamie Dwyer in Australia or the Mueller brothers in Germany — are all more skilful, and a delight to watch. On the upside, we have many more players with similar skills as a team, which means more players to run circles around the opposition.

Second, more open spaces mean more and harder running, which requires more stamina. Fitness has always been valued in the West but not here. It’s only now that Indian and Pakistan teams have started taking fitness drills seriously and treating their bodies with more respect. It will still take time to match up to the rest. Upside: scope for Indians and Pakistanis to work their magic and showcase their dribbling to get out of tricky situations — like it is expected to do.

Third and most important, with the new format putting the onus of thinking their way out of trouble on players, it has become imperative for both players and coaches to get out of the spoon-feeding mindset. For long, the biggest hurdle for Indian hockey teams has been the chopping and changing of coaching styles, leaving players confused. This was mainly because players have never been expected to give their own inputs to a game, they have seldom been sought out for solutions or to think and execute an alternative plan. India coach Michael Nobbs has started a process that forces players to speak out and give suggestions. This will will test that effort.

The Europeans and Australians, meanwhile, have open sessions where players and coaches exchange ideas. Ric Charlesworth often breaks his Australian team into two and puts them in a game situation with no instruction except to win — forcing the players to work out their own strategies.

Any reference to hockey evokes images of eight Olympic golds and the wiry frame of Dhyanchand, barefoot, hair slicked back and controlling the ball with a stick, past a multitude of players. Hockey 9’s is an attempt to break that image and produce a more flashy icon, something that can grab the nano-second attention span of the youth today.

Indian Express



Racing fight-back to hold German champions Alster

Euro Hockey League Round 1.2 Brasschaat – Day 1



Jeroen Hertzberger scored four in Rotterdam's 11-1 win over Rotweiss Wettingen (Photo: FIH / Euro Hockey League / Frank Uijlenbroek)

CA Montrouge, Reading HC and H.C. Rotterdam were all winners on the opening day of Euro Hockey League’s Round 1.2 event, which is taking place in Antwerp at the home of KHC Dragons. However, the most memorable game of Day 1 came in the evening match between Racing Club Bruxelles and German champions Der Club an der Alster, with the Belgian international striker Tom Boon scoring five times to help his team secure a dramatic 5-5 draw against the champions of Germany. Brief summaries of the matches can be found below.

MONTROUGE HANG ON FOR VICTORY OVER IRISH CHAMPIONS BANBRIDGE
CA Montrouge have given themselves a fantastic chance of reaching their first ever KO16 tournament by defeating Irish champions Banbridge in the opening game of Round 1.2 Brasschaat. The champions of France defeated their opponents 4-3 in a pulsating Pool F clash which started 30 minutes late due to a frozen pitch. Joris Harou scored what proved to be the winning goal early in the third period, giving Montrouge a crucial victory in a Pool which also contains Germany’s UHC Hamburg, Euro Hockey League champions in 2008 and 2010.   A draw or a win for Montrouge in Saturday’s match against UHC will be enough to confirm their place at Easter’s KO16 event. 

COOKSTOWN CRUSHED BY RAMPANT READING
England’s Reading HC scored goals in all four quarters AS thrash Ireland’s Cookstown 5-0 in the opening game of Pool A. The 2003 European champions were in scintillating form against the Euro hockey League debutants, with Richard Mantell scoring two trademark penalty corners before striker Andy Watts helped himself to a second half hat-trick. The win means that Reading are within touching distance of reaching the KO16 round for a fifth consecutive season, while Cookstown are now left with the mighty task of defeating Amsterdam H&BC to keep alive any chance of reaching the second phase. Reading were worthy winners of this contest, and will be aiming to reproduce their form when they face Amsterdam H&BC on Sunday.

WEUSTHOF AND HERTZBERGER STAR AS ROTTERDAM ROUT ROTWEISS WETTINGEN

H.C. Rotterdam made a glorious return to the Euro Hockey League by destroying Swiss champions HC Rotweiss Wettingen 11-1 in the third game of the day. Dutch international Roderick Weusthof marked his EHL debut with four goals in this Pool E clash, while fellow Netherlands star Jeroen Hertzberger also netted four times in the rout. Hertzberger has now bagged 23 goals in the Euro Hockey League, putting him level with compatriot Ronald Brouwer (HC Bloemendaal) in the all time EHL scoring chart.  Rotweiss Wettingen will need to re-group ahead of Saturday’s meeting with host club KHC Dragons, with Rotterdam facing Dragons on Sunday.

FIVE STAR BOON RESCUES RACING FROM DEFEAT AGAINST ALSTER

A big crowd witnessed one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the Euro Hockey League as Belgium’s Racing Club de Bruxelles claimed a stunning draw against Der Club an der Alster. The evening match was a sensational contest, as Philipp (3) and Jonathan (1) Froschle helped the champions of Germany establish a 5-2 lead against the Racing Rats, who appeared to be a beaten side early in the fourth quarter. However, a tactical masterstroke from coach Jean-Philippe Brule resulted in a sensational turnaround that will live long in the memory of everyone who saw it. Brule decided to go for broke, and replaced his goalkeeper with a kicking back, and the effect was simply staggering. Tom Boon – who had already scored twice in the game – netted three goals in quick succession to drag his team level, before Brule replaced the kicking back with the goal-keeper to ensure that the points were shared.

Full reports and video highlights of the matches can be found at www.ehlhockey.tv, the official website of the Euro Hockey League.

Saturday’s schedule has been adjusted due to predictions of cold overnight temperatures in Belgium. The new start-times can be found below. 

11.15 hrs   Pool F        UHC Hamburg v CA Montrouge
13.30 hrs   Pool A       Cookstown HC v Amsterdam H&BC
15.45 hrs   Pool E       HC Rotweiss Wettingen v KHC Dragons
18.15 hrs    Pool D      Der Club an der Alster v Club de Campo Madrid

Euro Hockey League media release



KLHC, TNB final

Defending champions KL Hockey Club will take on Tenaga Nasional Berhad in the TNB Cup final this Sunday at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

While KLHC defeated Maybank 5-2 for an overall aggregate win of 11-3, TNB edged Sapura 4-3 in the second leg for a 9-6 aggregate win. Sapura and Maybank will square off against each other in the match to decide 3rd placing.

The two semis matches were played simultaneously due to heavy rain. And while the weather eased off, the rain continued to pour for the duration of the matches.

Sapura needed to win the second leg by three clear goals but never looked like a team capable of pulling the rug beneath the young and skilful TNB side who punished their opponents with clinical finishing.

Sapura were the early aggressors with Azreen Rizal making inroads into the TNB defence with some good individual play. And Sapura were awarded a penalty corner in the 12th minute for their efforts.

The attempt by S. Kuhan was easily saved by TNB keeper S. Kumar. And TNB hit back right away as Faisal Saari and Firhan Ashaari combined well to stretch the Sapura defence manned by Megat Azrafiq Megat Termizi.

In the 16th minute TNB were awarded their first penalty corner and the drag flick by Mohd Amin Rahim hit Megat on the foot. Umpire Ravinderpal Singh signalled for a stroke, despite protest from Megat. Amin made no mistake from the spot to give TNB a 1-0 lead for the night and 6-3 overall.

Sapura pulled a goal back in the 38th minute through Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin but TNB hit back the very next minute through Mohd Firhan Ashaari.

And Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi made the task all the more impossible for Sapura, netting TNB's third in the 50th minute for an aggregate lead of 8-4. Though Azreen Rizal Nasir scored from a penalty corner set piece in the 64th minute, it was a little too late for Sapura.

All hell broke loose in the 66th minute when Mohd Sallehin Abdul Ghani made a dangerous tackle on Joel Samuel van Huizen and players from both sides squared up against each other.

Sallehin was red carded after much deliberation and will now miss the final on Sunday.

But TNB still manage to score their fourth through Faiz Helmi in the 68th minute. Though Azreen got another in stoppage time, TNB were already through.

Maybank shocked the defending champions when they opened scoring through Mohd Zulhairi Hashim who converted a penalty corner in the 8th minute. It took KLHC a while to get going but they found the equaliser in the 24th minute through Ismail Abu.

Goals by Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin ( 37th minute), Mohd Shahrun Nabil (38th minute) and Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim (53rd minute) gave KLHC a 4-1 lead before Mohd Muhsin Hamsani pulled a goal back for the Tigers in the 54th minute. But Mohd Syamim Mohd Yusof put the isue beyond doubt in the 62nd minute.

Official MHL site



Epic final on the cards



It cannot get any better then this. Both the teams have the creme of the crop with regards to national players and of late have been fighting tooth and nail for honours in Malaysian hockey.

So when KL Hockey Club squares off with Tenaga Nasional Berhad for the TNB Cup at the National Hockey Stadium, fans can expect a battle royale as both the teams are out for bragging rights.

KLHC have been virtually untouchable this season, winning all games with relative ease, sweeping aside the challenges posed by all opponents, TNB included, as they wrapped up the League tite in style, not dropping a single point enroute. And the winning run has continued through the knockout stage, leaving them just a win away to equal the record of the all conquering Yayasan Neeri Sembilan side of 1996.

And TNB, who lost the Charity Shield opening match 2-1 to KLHC, will no doubt double their efforts as they try to wrest the coveted trophy from the noses of KLHC.

Such is the determination of KLHC that their skipper Azlan Misron who will undergo his wedding ceremony later today found time off to attend the pre match press conference at the Kilat Club in Bangsar, and tagging along him was his bride.

"It is an important day of my life but my duty towards the team is equally important. We are all looking forward to the final and have only one aim, that is to win," said Azlan.

"Records and statistics do not matter as we are hungry for the title. That is the beauty of KLHC, we are never satisfied and want to keep winning. I guess the motivation is to do one better then the last time.

"The players do not need to be reminded of what is expected from them and once on the pitch they go about carrying out their responsibilities, complementing each other and working hard for one another."

KLHC though the favourites have their feet firmly on the ground> and team manager George Koshy paid tribute to their opponents, singing their praises.

"TNB have the best defence and a fantastic strikeforce that will one day be the best in the country. In these two departments they have the advantage as their defenders are experienced and keeper Kumar is the best in Asia," said Koshy.

"The trio of Firhan, Amir and Faisal are remarkable and some of the goals they have scored of late are just phenomenal. So we need to pay special attention to them lest be punished.

"But in retrospect we have the best midfield and they will be they key in the final. It will be tough and I am optimistic we have what it requires to win the final."

TNB will miss the services of Mohd Sallehin Ghani who was red carded in the semis against Sapura for a bad tackle on Joel Samuel van Huizen. Though TNB filed an appeal with RM300 as the fee, it was rejected by the Technical Committee and he will have to serve the one match suspension.

As such TNB will have to reshuffle its backline with Mohd Amin Rahim playing in the middle of defence and skipper Mohd Madzli Ikmar playing just infront og him. S. Bubalan is expected to replace Sallehin in the starting line-up.

"His absence will no doubt affect us but this is something we hope to overcome by moving some players around. No doubt that KLHC hold the upperhand but we will play the game of our life to upset them> said TNB coach Lailin Abu Hassan.

"Though we lost in the season opener, it will be a different ball game this time around as we have worked on improving our chinks in defence and are ready to surprise them."

For skipper Madzli, playing second fiddle to KLHC is not something that he aims to do when the final whistle is blown.

"We have to play smart and be wary of the quick counters that KLHC are well known for. They have several players that can inflict damage on us if left unchecked," said Madzli.

Official MHL site



KLHC, TNB to clash in final

By Jugjet Singh



TNB’s Jiwa Mohan (left) is tackled by Sapura’s Muhammad Firhan Ashaari in their TNB Cup match at the National Hockey Stadium yesterday. — Picture by Supian Ahmad

KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and Tenaga Nasional will battle for the Malaysia Hockey League TNB Cup at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil tomorrow.

KLHC, who held a 6-1 cushion going into the second leg of the semifinals, beat Maybank 5-2 for an aggregate 11-3 win.

In the other semi-final, Tenaga Nasional beat Sapura 4-3 for an 9-6 aggregate win. But they lost defender Sallehin Ghani to a red card in the 65th minute and he will sit out the final as well.

Sallehin’s rough tackle on Sapura’s Joel Samuel van Huizen in the 66th minute saw the youngster being stretchered out, and it ended the Tenaga player’s MHL season prematurely.

Sapura started off well by attacking from the whistle, but a 16th minute tackle by their skipper S. Kuhan at the top of the semi-circle gave away a penalty corner.

The corner was converted into a penalty stroke when the ball hit postman Megat Azrafiq on the foot, and national player Amin Rahim cooly slotted in the ball with a low push to beat goalkeeper Khairul Nizam.

In the other match, Maybank started off well by taking the lead off Zulhairi Hashim in the eighth minute, but KLHC replied in the 24th minute off an Ismail Abu field attempt.

But right after the restart, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (37th), Shahrun Nabil (38th), Razie Rahim (53rd), Syamim Yusof (62nd) doused any hope that the Tigers had.

The Maybank second goal was scored by Muhsin Hamsani (54th).

“With a five-goal lead, it was a question of Maybank opening up their match to score, and they gave us a tough fight in the first half. However, the two quick goals in the second half gave us the break.

“There was no way that we were going to lose this tie, and now we only have one day’s rest before playing for the Cup,” said KLHC manager George Koshy.

New Straits Times



KLHC and Tenaga set up final showdown

By S. RAMAGURU


KUALA LUMPUR: Defending champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and Tenaga Nasional went through the motions before confirming their showdown for the overall title of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

KLHC sealed their berth with a 5-2 win over Maybank in the semi-final second-leg match at the National Hockey Stadium yesterday for an 11-3 aggregate triumph.

Tenaga, whose game was delayed by two hours due to a downpour, edged Sapura 4-3 for a 9-6 aggregate win.

Tomorrow’s showdown will be a repeat of their 2009 final, which Tenaga won.

In the KLHC-Maybank match, it was the Tigers who shocked the defending champions when they opened the scoring through a Mohd Zulhairi Hashim penalty corner conversion in the eighth minute.

It took KLHC a while to get going and it wasn’t until the 24th minute that they found the equaliser through Ismail Abu.

Second-half goals by Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (37th), Mohd Shahrun Nabil (38th) and Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim (53rd) gave KLHC a comfortable 4-1 lead before Mohd Muhsin Hamsani pulled one back for the Tigers in the 54th minute.

But KLHC’s Mohd Syamim Mohd Yusof put the issue beyond doubt in the 62nd minute.

The other semi-final was more closely fought.

Tenaga scored through Mohd Amin Rahim (16th), Mohd Firhan Ashaari (39th), Mohd Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi (50th) and Faiz Helmy (68th) while Sapura replied through Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin (38th) and Azreen Rizal Nasir (64th and 70th).

The Star of Malaysia



Men's England Hockey League Preview


Southgate's Dan Shingles celebrates the winning goal during their Premier Division match at Southgate HC, 16th October 2011.

Cannock are still going strong at the top of the Men's EHL Premier Division while in Conference North, Sheffield Hallam Civica still have a 100% record.  It's all change at the top of Conference East while it's University of Birmingham in the sights of the chasing pack in Conference West.

Remember, you can follow all of the results on Twitter (@EnglandHockey and @SnowdonSports) and in our end of the day round-up on the website. To follow specific league topics on Twitter, use the following hashtags.

#ehlmprem - Men's England Hockey League Premier Division
#ehlmnorth - Men's England Hockey League Conference North
#ehlmeast - Men's England Hockey League Conference East
#ehlmwest - Men's England Hockey League Conference West

Men’s England Hockey League Premier Division
League leaders Cannock secured a valuable point in a tricky away tie at East Grinstead last weekend thanks to Robert Smith’s early strike.  Although GB international Glenn Kirkham equalised in the second half, Cannock were able to end a run of seven consecutive defeats by East Grinstead, thanks largely to the efforts of the outstanding James Fair in goal.  In fact, it could have been even better for the Staffordshire side had they taken any of their chances in the last ten minutes of the match.  This week’s assignment sees Cannock travel to Nottingham on Sunday where they face a Beeston side high in confidence.  The Bees returned from a successful Euro Hockey League trip a fortnight ago to record back to back victories over the students of Loughborough and Exeter last weekend.  Those results catapulted Beeston into third place, just a point behind Reading, who are missing this week on Euro Hockey League duty in Belgium.  If Beeston secure at least a point from that match, they will leapfrog Reading, while the same is true for Hampstead and Westminster, who concluded a miserable weekend for Loughborough Students last week when the Londoners comprehensively beat them 4-0.  Hampstead and Westminster play host to East Grinstead this weekend.  The Grinners are situated in fifth spot but have played a game less than the rest of the league, and two fewer than Reading. That match also takes place on Sunday, as does Bowdon’s home game with Southgate.  The Premier Division newcomers Southgate pulled off an excellent 1-0 win over Surbiton last weekend - Dan Shingles, pictured below, the scorer - and will be desperate to keep the momentum going in the North West.

Before all of that though, two Men’s EHL Premier Division ties take place on Saturday.  In the battle of the students, Loughborough Students take on University of Exeter in the midlands.  It will be a fascinating contest with both teams coming off the back of heavy defeats last week.  Loughborough Students will certainly be looking over their shoulders in knowledge that should they lose to Exeter, and Bowdon beat Southgate on Sunday, they could go to the bottom of the league.

Saturday’s teatime crunch pairs Surbiton and East Grinstead.  Both will have been frustrated by last weekend’s results and locked as they are on seven points each, straddling the crucial top five playoff line, we could be in for a real cracker at Sugden Lane.

Men’s England Hockey League Conference North
Sheffield Hallam Civica remain the only side in the entire Men’s England Hockey League to have a 100% record.  An 8-2 victory away at Preston last weekend also makes them the top scoring men’s side in the EHL, although they will likely face a tougher test at home to University of Durham on Saturday.  Durham got back on track with a 3-1 win over Belper last weekend.  Two more penalty corner goals for Daniel Coultas helped them to victory and pushed the set piece specialist into equal third in the Conference’s top scorers list, with all six of his goals coming from corners.  University of Durham sit third, five points behind Sheffield but just two off second placed Brooklands MU, who travel to fourth place Leek on Saturday.  Brooklands MU came out on top in an incredible ‘best of 11’ contest with Deeside Ramblers last weekend.  And they could not have left it any later with Kieran Mulholland’s winner coming in the very last minute to break Ramblers’ hearts.  The defeat left Ramblers languishing in ninth place, without a win.  Deeside Ramblers host Preston this weekend.  Despite their defeats, Ramblers are not on the bottom.  That dubious honour goes to Barford Tigers.  Their one draw and four defeats in the opening five weeks of season has left them with an inferior goal difference to Deeside Ramblers.  The Tigers travel to Derbyshire this Saturday to face a Belper side sitting fifth after last weekend’s defeat in Durham.  Barford Tigers’ conquerors last weekend were Olton & West Warwicks, who this week travel to Doncaster.  The two sit level on six points each but just three points behind Leek in fourth.

Men’s England Hockey League Conference East
David Mathews was the hero for Canterbury last weekend as his five goals sent the Kent side to the top of EHL Conference East.  The five strike haul included a penalty stroke, two penalty corners and two from open play as Mathews led Canterbury to a 6-3 away win at Indian Gymkhana, for whom the result meant a drop to third place.  This Saturday, in a mouth watering top of the table clash, the leaders host second place Holcombe, who surprisingly lost 5-2 at home to Oxted last week.  Indian Gymkhana will have more than one eye on that clash before they play 24 hours later away to City of Peterborough.  Peterborough may sit sixth in the table but with seven points they are just two points behind Holcombe and Indian Gym.  Last weekend was good for the Cambridgeshire side as Gareth Andrew’s hat-trick helped them to a 4-2 away win at Teddington.  Andrew now sits two goals behind Canterbury’s Mathews in the top scorers chart with eight goals.  At the bottom of the table, Bromley and Beckenham, who drew 2-2 with Harleston Magpies last weekend, go to Oxted while the Magpies are at Old Loughtonians.  Last weekend, fourth placed Wimbledon had the opportunity to temporarily go top last Saturday ahead of their rivals’ Sunday fixtures but they lost 2-1 at home to Old Loughts with Beijing Olympic captain Ben Hawes scoring for Wimbledon.  They are at home again this week where they will look to get back to winning ways and maintain the pressure on the top three against Teddington, for whom former GB international Calum Giles scored a hat-trick against Peterborough.

Men’s England Hockey League Conference West
University of Birmingham were the winners last weekend as they retained top place thanks to a 2-1 win over Cardiff & UWIC.  Sam Hiscock’s double sealed all three points for the students, who are two points clear of Havant and Team Bath Buccaneers in second and third.  This weekend Birmingham are on their travels again as they head to Whitchurch.  This time last week Whitchurch were rubbing their hands at the prospect of leaping to the top of the table had results gone their way, but it didn’t work out as they lost 2-0 at Guildford while University of Birmingham won.  As a result, Whitchurch go into the match against the students in sixth place, albeit in what is a still a very tight mid-table.  It’s second versus fourth in the south coast clash as Havant welcome Fareham, whose journey to their neighbours is just ten miles.  After climbing to third place, Team Bath Buccaneers take on Cardiff & UWIC in Bath.  Defeats for Birmingham and Havant and victory for Team Bath Buccs might seem a long shot but it would be enough to put Bath top so there’s plenty of incentive to build on last week’s 3-2 win at Lichfield in which Bath came back from 2-0 down.  There’s a basement battle in Men’s EHL Conference West as Lichfield take on Bournville.  Bournville fell to a fifth consecutive defeat last weekend, losing 5-1 at home to Havant.  And in the final match in Conference West, Cheltenham and Guildford meet in Gloucestershire.  The two sit line astern in eighth and seventh respectively but are separated by three points after Guildford beat Whitchurch while Cheltenham lost 3-2 at Fareham.

England Hockey Board Media release



Investec Women's Hockey League Preview


Leicester's Vanessa Hawkins (L) gets away from Slough's Natalie Bell during their Investec Women's Premier Division match at Slough HC, 15th October 2011.

With Investec Women’s Cup action on Sunday, all 20 matches in the Investec Women’s Hockey League take place on Saturday.

Remember, you can follow all of the results on Twitter (@EnglandHockey and @SnowdonSports) and in our end of the day round-up on the website. To follow specific league topics on Twitter, use the following hashtags.

#investechockey - general hashtag for the Investec Women's Hockey League
#ehlwprem - Investec Women's Premier Division
#ehlwnorth - Investec Women's Conference North
#ehlweast - Investec Women's Conference East
#ehlwwest - Investec Women's Conference West

Investec Women’s Premier Division
There are a number of mouth watering ties in the Investec Women’s Premier Division this weekend.  Chief among those are the clash in the West Midlands between Olton & West Warwicks and Canterbury, second and fourth respectively, and the University of Birmingham’s match with Leicester.  The students are the second highest scoring side in the division, behind Olton, and will fancy their chances against a Leicester side whose recent recovery slowed last weekend in a 1-1 draw at Slough (pictured below).

For Olton, Emma Mccabe and Denise Marston-Smith still lead the scoring charts; Mccabe’s hat-trick in a 3-1 win at Sutton Coldfield last weekend took her to eight goals in five matches.

Investec Women’s Premier Division leaders Reading are still one of only two sides across the entire league with a 100% record after Scotland and Great Britain forward Laura Bartlett’s double helped them to victory over Bowdon Hightown last weekend.  The champions are at home to Sutton Coldfield in the late afternoon match.

Still rooted to the bottom of the table are Cannock, whose lack of goals is starting to become a concern.  Three goals in five matches does not bode well for their trip to Cheshire where they will play Bowdon Hightown.

In the first match of the day, at 11:30am, Clifton welcome Slough to Bristol.  The south west side went down 2-1 at Canterbury last weekend; GB Olympic hopeful Georgie Twigg had opened the scoring for her side but Canterbury roared back to take the points.

Investec Women’s Conference North
We told you to watch out for goals in Investec Women’s Conference North last weekend and the results did not disappoint.  With 27 goals in five games, including the Conference’s top two, University of Durham and Wakefield Bradford.  Durham’s students were two up inside six minutes on their way to a 5-3 win at Springfields while Wakefield Bradford left it very late to take all three points from their match at home to Beeston.  3-2 down with three minutes remaining, Gwen Smith and Cat Horn struck in the 67th and 68th minutes to seal the points that keep the Yorkshire side level on points with University of Durham.  Interestingly, in the top scoring Conference, Wakefield Bradford have scored just nine times in their opening five matches yet have achieved three wins and two draws.  Their scoring record is inferior to the sides sitting third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh in Investec Conference North.  This week, they travel to Springfields, who sit ninth in the table after last weekend’s defeat.  University of Durham, for whom Harriet Moore is top scorer in the Conference, are at home to Brooklands Poynton, who sit mid-table after a 3-1 win over Loughborough Students LHC; a result that included two penalty strokes, successfully converted by Helen Armishaw.  Loughborough travel to lowly Northampton Saints on Saturday while Saints’ conquerors of last weekend – Doncaster - are at Whitley Bay and Tynemouth. Doncaster and Beeston both sit just one point behind the league leaders and will be hoping for victories to propel them up the table.  Beeston are at home to Liverpool Sefton, another side that has struggled for goals this season.

Investec Women’s Conference East
One of this season’s new Surbiton signings Chloe Strong scored twice last weekend in a 5-0 win at Horsham, a result that propelled them to the top of Investec Women’s Conference East, ahead of St Albans on goal difference.  This week, the Surrey side is at home to third place Ipswich, who themselves will have an eye on climbing the table. Ipswich slipped after last weekend’s home defeat to Sevenoaks and will be keen to get back on track.  St Albans, who could go top if Surbiton slip up, are at home to bottom of the Conference Horsham. Chelmsford and Maidstone have won just one match apiece so far this season and are separated by two points.  Should Chelmsford pick up all three points from their home game against the Kent side, they will leapfrog them in the table.

Oxford Hawks are the top scoring side in Investec Women’s Conference East with Tacita Haines and Beth Warne two of the Conference’s top five goal scorers.  This week sees a battle of the birds as the Hawks take flight to Harleston Magpies, who picked up a 1-0 home win over Old Loughtonians last weekend.  And following that defeat, Old Loughts are in Kent to play Sevenoaks, who sit mid-table following last week’s victory at Ipswich.

Investec Women’s Conference West
It was business as usual in the Investec Women’s Conference West last weekend with Buckingham continuing on their winning ways.  Five wins in five keeps them top of the Conference following last weekend’s 4-0 win over Staines, who are rooted to the bottom of the table with just one point.  The table toppers might find things a little tougher this weekend though as they travel to Barnes Hounslow Ealing.  The Londoners have started well enough, with three wins and two defeats from their opening stint, although they will be keen for a positive reaction after last week’s defeat to Swansea.  Isca’s 0-0 draw with Gloucester City last weekend means they have lost ground on Buckingham but have the chance to catch up if they can win at home to Swansea.  The Welsh side leads the chasing pack behind Isca, the first of three clubs separated by a single point. Barnes HE and Exe are the other two with Exe travelling to Gloucester City hoping their nearest rivals slip up in their matches against the top two.  With the top four all in action against each other it’s also an interesting weekend at the bottom.  Seventh placed Firebrands were one of last weekend’s big winners, coming away from Bath with a 4-2 win, and they host ninth place Trojans, who are yet to record a victory this season. And Staines, the other side yet to win in Investec Women’s Conference West, are at home to Team bath Buccaneers, a match that perhaps represents Staines’ best opportunity so far to kick start their season.

Investec Women’s Cup – Round Two
Round two of the Investec Women’s Cup takes place on Sunday with 16 ties set to take place around the country.  Pick of the bunch is the all Investec Women’s Premier Division clash between Sutton Coldfield and Bowdon Hightown.  Four other Premier Division sides are in Investec Women’s Cup action; Olton & West Warwicks travel to Beeston, while Cannock are at home to Doncaster.  The University of Birmingham are at Firebrands while Clifton travel to Somerset to play Taunton Vale.

England Hockey Board Media release



No. 10 UNH tops No. 13 Maine

Roundup: No. 1 ODU clinches top spot in CAA tournament


New Hampshire has now improved to 14-3 on the season, including a 4-0 record in American East play. New Hampshire Athletics


DURHAM, N.H. -- Senior forward Whitney Frates scored two goals to propel New Hampshire to Friday afternoon's 3-0 victory against Maine in America East action.

UNH improved to 14-3 overall, 7-1 at home and 4-0 in America East with its 11th consecutive conference victory and fourth win against a nationally-ranked team this season. The Wildcats sit atop the America East standings as the lone remaining unbeaten team and will capture their second consecutive league regular-season title with an Albany loss Saturday at Boston University or by defeating Albany on Oct. 29.

Maine leads the nation in offense (5.13 goals per game) and is now 14-3, 2-2.

No. 1 Old Dominion 7, James Madison 1
NORFOLK, Va. -- Old Dominion exploded for a season-high seven goals and the top-ranked Lady Monarchs routed James Madison, 7-1, to clinch the top-seed in the upcoming Colonial Athletic Association Tournament.

The Lady Monarch win coupled with a Hofstra loss Friday against Northeastern means ODU will host the CAA Tournament in Norfolk November 3-6.

Senior Rebecca Condie and junior Maartje van Rijswijk each netted a pair of goals and senior Stephanie Kratzer dished out a career-high three assists as Old Dominion improved to 16-1 overall and 6-0 in CAA action.

No. 6 Syracuse 3, No. 12 Boston College 2 OT
NEWTON, Mass. -- Leonie Geyer’s goal in overtime lifted Syracuse to a 3-2 victory at Boston College on Friday night. The Orange, which trailed 2-1 with 4:59 left in regulation, received a goal from Kelsey Millman to force overtime. Syracuse will travel to Storrs, Conn. for a matchup with No. 4 Connecticut on Sunday at noon with the chance to clinch a share of the Big East regular season title.

Geyer’s goal, her 10th of the season, resulted when she dribbled through the Boston College defense before depositing the ball under the top of the cage.

Syracuse held a 17-7 shot advantage against the Eagles, while only generating six penalty corners on the night.

No. 7 Michigan 2, Michigan State 0
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan had a pair of second-half goals and held Michigan State without a shot in a 2-0 road win on Friday afternoon at Ralph Young Field. Michigan now improves to 4-1 in Big Ten play with one conference game remaining and wins its sixth contest in a row.

Michigan, which had 10 shots apiece in each half, had most of the possession in the first 35 minutes, but the game was scoreless at the break. Michigan State's Molly Cassidy had six saves in the first period, keeping the Maize and Blue off the scoreboard.

Haley Jones picked up her sixth win of the season in net, as she did not face a shot. Cassidy ended the game with nine saves.

No. 9 Stanford 5, UC Davis 0
STANFORD, Calif.- No. 9 Stanford posted its third consecutive win and fourth shutout of the year on Friday night, routing UC Davis 5-0 at the Varsity Turf to close out conference play with an undefeated record.

Playing its only match of the week, Stanford (13-2, 6-0 NorPac) completed a season sweep of UC Davis (3-10, 1-3 NorPac), after also defeating the Aggies 3-1 back on Sept. 25.

The Cardinal received goals from five different players, and thoroughly dominated the game with a commanding advantage 21-2 shot edge, including a 12-0 cushion throughout the final 35 minutes.

Becky Dru opened the scoring with her team-leading 13th goal in the 11th minute, scoring unassisted following a penalty corner. Dru has now scored 13 goals in each of her first three seasons, giving her 39 for her career.

NCAA



Irish Hockey Announce Re Introduction of Irish U21 Teams (Men & Women)

On Wednesday evening Irish Hockey held the first of four IHA Branch Open Forums and Launched HookedforLife, the IHA's long term player development model, in Railway Union where over 60 of the Leinster community were in attendance.

During the evening High Performance Director, Dave Passmore, announced Irish Hockey's decision to re-introduce the Irish U21 National team, commenting We are delighted with the reintroduction of these teams as it fills a gap that has clearly been missing within our player development pathway, and indeed our elite coach development over the past few years. The programs and budgets will require careful management but with the desire on the ground to bring back these teams I have no doubt we can achieve and overcome these aspects

Ireland last had an U21's team in 2004 when both teams were relegated in Europe to the second tier. However, the decision to reintroduce the teams has come about as a result of a detailed review of the player pathway model which was completed as part of the Long Term Player Development model HookedforLife led by Passmore. IHA branches had an opportunity to feed into this review with the support of an online survey. Players and parents were also consulted highlighting the support for the reintroduction of these squads.

The process for selection for the U21 National Squad will take place through the interpros held at Easter and a short preparation period will include the boys team competing in the Senior's Men's interpros. Both teams will also compete in the U21 Celtic Cup before their European Junior Nations events in Lisbon (Women) and Bratislava (men) 18-22 July. Passmore was quick to add that the programs in 2012 would be focused around a short but intense period of preparation in June and early July.

Irish Hockey Association media release