News for 25 March 2013

All the news for Monday 25 March 2013

Black Sticks handed Champions Trophy invite

The New Zealand women's hockey team's world ranking has earned it an invitation to next year's Champions Trophy.

The Black Sticks failed to automatically qualify for the flagship eight-team tournament after a poor showing in last year's edition, which initially relegated them to the second-tier Champions Challenge.

However, they've received one of two invitations from the international federation to compete in Argentina late next year, largely because of their current world ranking of No 3.

World No 7 China were awarded the other spot.

It means the big three tournaments in 2014 - the World Cup (assuming New Zealand qualify), Commonwealth Games and Champions Trophy - are all on the agenda.

The Champions Trophy has reverted to biennial event to fit in the World League.

The Black Sticks' next assignment is a Four Nations tournament at home next month, against Argentina, the United States and Korea, but the big date this year is the third round of the World League in the Netherlands from June 13-23, which doubles as qualifying for next year's World Cup.

New Zealand have been drawn alongside Germany, Belgium and India in group B of the Rotterdam tournament with the Netherlands, Japan, Korea and Chile in group A.

Argentina, China, United States, Italy, England, Australia, South Africa and Spain will contest a matching tournament in London from June 22-30. 


Postponements delay play-off line-up

Simon Mantell in action for Reading in the Euro Hockey League

THE four teams who will contest the Men’s Hockey League championships are still to be decided after weather forced the postponement of two key matches in the Premier Division on Sunday.

Beeston and Surbiton are assured a spot in the play-offs, but there are four teams still in the mix for the remaining two places after East Grinstead’s game with Southgate was called off and Cannock’s game against Canterbury suffered the same fate.

Despite losing to Reading in a tense encounter, Beeston are still 11 points clear at the top and comfortably make the finals.

Simon Mantell (pictured) gave Reading the lead just before the half hour mark but Chris Proctor equalised for Beeston. On 63 minutes, Craig Peel put Reading back in front but there was still plenty of drama to come.

Darren Cheesman and Beeston keeper George Pinner both received yellow cards in the 64th minute, and this forced Beeston to use a kicking back for the remainder of the game.

Reading held on for the three points and although they need to await the outcome of the other two games to be played at a later date, they currently sit in third.

Surbiton have finished second thanks to a 3-2 victory over Brooklands MU who are now relegated. Alex Penney put Surbiton 3-1 up in the 64th minute and the game looked to be done.

But Phil Dutoy pulled one back with two minutes remaining to make for an exciting conclusion to the match. However, Surbiton held on to clinch second spot and Brooklands were consigned to their final defeat of a difficult season.

Hampstead and Westminster and Loughborough Students played out a 2-2 draw to end their season. Neither side were in danger of relegation going into the game but nor could they have crept into play-off contention.

The Conference East was incredibly tight going into the last day of the season with only goal difference separating Wimbledon and Holcome at the top.

And come full time, it was still only goal difference which parted the teams as Wimbledon’s 5-0 win over Cambridge City was enough to take them to the promotion play-offs.

Richard Alexander made sure they signed off in style too as he unleashed a terrific strike in the final minute of the game to wrap up the win. Holcombe did all they could, winning 3-1, but it wasn’t enough.

At the bottom of the table, City of Peterborough lost 4-1 to Richmond and are relegated. Cambridge City will face relegation play-offs.

In the Conference North, Wakefield managed to secure survival by drawing 2-2 with Doncaster who will now go into the relegation play-offs. At the other end of the table Sheffield Hallam and Bowdon both had their games postponed so top spot is still undecided.

It was a winner-takes-all game at the top of the Conference West as Cardiff UWIC and University of Exeter met. Cardiff led the table by a point going into the match and still do after the two teams played out a 0-0 draw.

Men’s Hockey League (March 24 2013):

Men's Premier Division:
Brooklands MU 2, Surbiton 3; Hampstead and Westminster 3, Loughborough Students MHC 2; Reading 2, Beeston 1.

Men's Conference East: Old Loughtonians 1, Holcombe 3; Oxted 1, Bromley and Beckenham 3; Richmond 4, City of Peterborough 1; Teddington 1, Indian Gymkhana 1; Wimbledon 5, Cambridge City 0.

Men's Conference North: Leek 5, Preston 1; Wakefield 2, Doncaster 2.

Men’s Conference West: Bristol Firebrands 0, Cheltenham 1; Fareham 2, Team Bath Buccaneers 4; Guildford 3, University of Birmingham 1; University of Exeter 0, Cardiff & UWIC 0; Whitchurch 1, Havant 2.

England Hockey Board Media release

Grange & Kelburne share the spoils

Grange and Glynhill Hotel Kelburne shared the spoils once again as the top two sides in Men’s Aberdeen Asset Management National League Division 1 played out a 2-2 draw at Peffermill today.

The result means that Grange finished their season on 30 points and currently sit top of the division one point ahead of their Paisley rivals and five points clear of third place Grove Menzieshill.

However, Kelburne have two games in hand against Grove Menzieshill and Western Wildcats, while the Dundonians will have today’s postponed fixture against PSL Team Sport Clysdesdale to play in addition to their match against the defending champions.

In the bottom half of the table, Edinburgh University confirmed their Division 1 status for next season with a 1-1 draw against Inverleith.

The battle to avoid the Division 1/2 play-off spot will go the distance however. AMN Hillhead were 3-1 winners over relegated Watsonians in Edinburgh today and are now only three points behind eighth place AAM Gordonians with one match remaining.

The Aberdonians’ match against Western Wildcats at Auchenhowie was again called off due to adverse weather.

In Men’s Aberdeen Asset Management National League Division 2, Dundee University secured a vital 4-1 home win against Glasgow University to move them six points clear of the drop-zone.

Meanwhile, CALA Edinburgh’s mission to avoid relegation faltered today as they went down 6-0 away to Granite City Wanderers. The Aberdonians moved two places up to seventh following their convincing win.

Only one match survived the winter conditions in Women’s Aberdeen Asset Management National League Division 1, as Grange EL secured a crucial 4-1 win over Giffnock to move four points clear of Western Wildcats.

The five teams in the bottom half of the division are now only separated by seven points, meaning there is all to play for in the battle to escape relegation and the play-off spot.

Waverley Inveresk Trinity produced a shock result in Women’s Aberdeen Asset Management National League Division 2, defeating Granite City Wanderers 3-1 away from home to give themselves at least a fighting chance of avoiding playing in Division 3 next season. For Wanderers, their hopes of reaching second place and the play-off spot look very slim now.

In Women’s Aberdeen Asset Management National League Division 3, Dundee University moved eleven points clear of Aberdeen University in second place after Strathclyde University conceded today’s fixture.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Monkstown crowned Men's Irish Senior Cup Champions

Monkstown ended their 99-year wait for Irish Senior Cup glory, finally breaking their hoodoo in the competition in the most thrilling of finals as Andy Ewington cemented his cult status at the South Dublin club. For the second time this weekend, he netted a silver goal winner, this time putting an end to Pembroke's title hopes with the third goal in the first period of extra time.

Normal time had ended 3-3 in a thrill-a-minute tussle that Monkstown shaded on points and had the chances to put the game to bed. They led 2-0 after Davy Carson's near post touch to Andrew Ward's and Ewington's drag-flick. Alan Sothern, though, tied up matters with a set-piece double, the first from the penalty spot and then directly from a short corner.

Ewington, though, restored the lead with his fifth goal of the weekend in the second half only for Sothern to supply an exquisite finish to a sublime move via Ronan Flannery and George Dagg with ten minutes left.

Town had the better chances down the final stretch, though, especially when they were awarded a penalty stroke. The impeccable Mark Ingram saved from Gareth Watkins, though, while Ward was within inches of turning in a back post chance soon after.

In between times, the post was rattled three times with Ewington cracking the bar, Sothern smacking the post, a feat that Ward also managed.

Into extra-time, the rollercoaster continued with Ward putting his side in front for a fourth time, taking is time to free the ball and flick over Ingram. Just three minutes remained but there was time for Ronan Flannery to level once more, getting a near post touch to Mick O'Connor's hopeful cross.

But Monkstown earned one last series of corners and Ewington made no mistake in devastatingly clinical fashion, whipping past the stick side of the Pembroke goalkeeper on the final hooter. It broke of chain of three final losses in the past six years for Monkstown and they celebrated accordingly.

Gareth Watkins was part of each of those defeats but says his side learned the tough lessons and they helped his side over the finish line.

"What a game; so many highs, so many lows but the lads were absolutely fantastic, they kept their belief and kept going to the end," he said.

"You learn from each final and bank that feeling. Maybe it stood to us when every time Pembroke came back."

Men's Irish Senior Cup final

Monkstown 5 (A Ewington 3, D Carson, A Ward)
Pembroke 4 (A Sothern 3, R Flannery)

Pembroke: M Ingram, R Flannery, K Lynch, K Crawford, M Elliott, K Shimmins, M O'Connor, A Sothern, A Pritchard, D Kane, M Loughrey
Subs: G Dagg, P Conlon, S Furlong, B Grogan, D Molloy

Monkstown: D Fitzgerald, L Cole, N Dee, D Carson, A Ward, G Watkins, D Cole, S Cole, G Shaw, R Sykes, A Ewington
Subs: J Beirne, G Groves, G O'Halloran, R O'Moore, K Good

Umpires: K Bolger, W McCully

Irish Hockey Association media release

Railway Union take Electric Ireland ISC title

Zara Delany's superb second half goal saw Railway Union claim the Electric Ireland Irish Senior Cup for the first time at an icy Belfield in thrilling fashion to see off UCD 3-2.

Hers was the only goal after the interval following an end-to-end first half in which both sides swapped the lead. But Railway dominated the second period with some fine displays in midfield from Emma Smyth along with the tireless Jean McDonnell and Alex Speers up front while defensively, they did not give up a clear chance of note at the back.

Isobel Joyce and Emer Lucey were composed and classy in keeping Irish internationals Anna O'Flanagan, Chloe Watkins and Nikki Evans relatively quiet. They had buzzed early on as the students hit the front inside 90 seconds when Emily Beatty stormed forward and won a penalty corner. Nicola Gray swept it into the danger area and Anna O'Flanagan nicked in for the key deflection over former UCD goalkeeper Grace O'Flanagan.

It took Railway seven minutes to get back on terms as Lucey rocketed home a corner of her own on the back of McDonnell's front-running. Smyth moved Railway ahead in brilliant fashion as she put on the after-burners, running right to left, to get away from two defenders and forging enough room in the circle to fire home a low backhand shot.

But College were level at half-time as they worked the ball into Nikki Evans at the right post. Her shot was half-stopped by Grace O'Flanagan and Caroline Hill followed up to copper-fasten the goal 12 seconds before the half-time hooter. They could not carry that momentum into the second half and, after an initial bout of scrappy ping-pong between the 25s, Railway were the side to put their stamp on the play.

McDonnell and Smyth started making important steals in key positions while Speers' legwork up front was causing all manner of problems. And the Irish captain was the one to create the critical third green and yellow goal when she angled a pass from the left side of the circle perfectly for Delany to pounce.

UCD provided a couple of late scares with Beatty miscuing a shot and Anna O'Flanagan and Evans missing out from close range but Railway were composed and saw out time with few qualms.

Electric Ireland Irish Senior Cup final

Railway Union 3 (E Lucey, E Smyth, Z Delany)
UCD 2 (A O'Flanagan, C Hill)

Railway Union: G O'Flanagan, O Fox, H Jenkinson, I Joyce, E Lucey, K McKenna, E Smyth, K Dillon, A Speers, J McDonnell, K Lloyd
Subs: S Dooley, Z Delany, C Joyce, J O'Halloran, K Clarke

UCD: S Davis, N Gray, N Atcheler, S Greene, L Ewart, J Deacon, K Collins-Smith, C Watkins, A O'Flanagan, E Beatty, N Evans
Subs: K Mullan, C Hill, R O'Reilly

Umpires: A Keogh, C Metchette

Irish Hockey Association media release

TNB edge KLHC in shootout

By Ajitpal Singh

THE Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) match was everything the fans hoped it would be as the two arch-rivals battled it out till the penalty shootout before Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) edged KL Hockey Club (KLHC) 3-2 to clinch the Charity Shield in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

There was little to separate the two teams as the score stood at 3-3 at full-time. The 15-minute extra-time failed to yield a result.

TNB were the deserving winners as the all-local side played entertaining hockey while KLHC failed to convert a single penalty corner out of five chances created in regulation time.

TNB made it count in the shootout by beating goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin three times through Faisal Saari, Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi and Firhan Ashaari while missing just once.

KLHC, last year's double champions, managed two goals through Pakistan duo Wassen Ahmad and Muhd Umar Bhutta.

TNB international goalkeeper S. Kumar was a huge stumbling block for KLHC as he saved three attempts in the shootout.

The Charity Shield also doubled up as a league match, meaning both teams earned a point each.

Faisal Saari was TNB's hero, scoring a brace off penalty corner conversions in the 25th and 62nd minutes while Firhan netted their opening goal after eight minutes.

National striker Chua Boon Huat scored a brace via field attempts for KLHC in the third and 42nd minutes while Umar added the third in the 57th minute.

RESULTS -- Premier Division: Sapura 3 Maybank 5,Nur Insafi Warriors 1 UniKL 2, TNB 3 KLHC 3 (Charity Shield-TNB won 3-2 on penalty shoot-out)

Division One: TNB Thunderbolts 2 UNITEN 0, UiTM 6 SSTMI 1, Ipoh-MBI 2 Sunday 2030 KL 3.

New Straits Times

Tenaga edge double winners for Charity Shield


Getting rough: Tenaga National’s Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi (right) and KLHC’s Mohamad Sukri Abdul Mutalib in action during their MHL Charity Shield match yesterday. — CHAN TAK KONG / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaga Nasional beat Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) 3-2 on penalty strokes to lift the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Charity Shield at pitch two of the National Hockey Stadium, last night.

The match ended 3-3 with KLHC on target by Chua Boon Huat’s field goals (1st and 42nd) and Muhammad Umar Bhuttas field goal in the 57th.

Tenaga replied with goals from Mohd Firhan Ashaari’s field goal (8th) and Faizal Saari from penalty corners (27th and 61st). Both team shared a point in the league standings.

However, Tenaga’s nerves of steel prevailed in the penalty strokes to decide the Charity Shield winner after both teams could not find the winner in the 15 minutes of extra time.

Tenaga’s Faizal, Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi and Firhan converted their strokes for their title although Faiz Helmi’s attempt went out.

Double winners KLHC’s Pakistani players Wassem Ahmad and Bhutta were on target for KLHC but Nabil Fiqri Mohd Nor, Akhtar Ali and skipper Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim missed their strokes.

In another match, Maybank chalked up their second win after beating Sapura 5-3 at pitch two of the National Hockey Stadium.

The bankers started off brightly with goals from Pakistani Muhammad Irfan’s penalty corner in the 19th minute and a Sapura own-goal a minute later.

Sapura’s Khasif Ali converted a hat-trick of penalty corners in the 27th, 29th and 47th minutes to wrestle the lead before Maybank awoke from slumber.

The Tigers replied through Shafqat Rasools (51st), skipper Hairul Nizam Abdul Rani (53rd) and Irfan (59th) all through penalty corners to wrestle the full points.

Maybank coach Wallace Tan credited his side’s win to sheer hard work after winning their opener last Friday.

“Its not easy to play and win back-to-back matches so I have to give credit to the players and we must keep our momentum going,” said Wallace after the match.

“My boys played well and we should have won the match but the umpiring decisions cost us the win,” said a disappointed Beng Hai.

Meanwhile, the MHL technical committee had decided to uphold the Ipoh City Council (MBI) 4-2 loss to UiTM last Friday.

UiTM played with 12 players on the pitch before it was noticed by the match officials in the 63rd minute. The committee however have charged UiTM skipper with a green card which will carry two demerit points according to article 20.1.

The Star of Malaysia

Defending champs KL thump Negri in Bukit Jalil


Out of my way: Kuala Lumpur’s Wan Haziq Hisyamuddin (right) vying for the ball with Negri Sembilan’s Mohd Fakhrul Hafiz Awang during their MHC-MILO-NSC Under-16 match yesterday.

KUALA LUMPUR: Kuala Lumpur handed Negri Sembilan their second defeat in a row after beating them 2-1 in the MHC-MILO-NSC Under-16 hockey championships Group A match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

After losing to Selangor 1-0 yesterday, Negeri were all out to get a win and drew first blood in the 14th minute when Mahathir Rathuwan’s converted his side’s penalty corner.

It was game-on as defending champions KL searched for the equaliser until Fallah Hassan Shahrom Jamil scored from a penalty corner in the 20th minute to even terms at 1-1, before Mohammad Shahifirul Aqmal slotted home the winner eight minutes later.

Negri could have done better if not for their lack of composure in front of goal. And KL coach K. Embaraj rued the missed chances from lack of clinical finishing.

“We just weren’t clinical enough in front of goal. We failed to convert five penalty corners in the match and that can really hurt our game,” said Embaraj.

“But in all fairness, I think they the boys played better today than against Perlis (whom they beat 5-1 on Saturday) but the score-line does not reflect it,” he added.

“The boys need to learn how to move together as a unit and link up play well. Once we are able to master that, we’ll be hard to beat.”

In other Group A matches, Terengganu thumped Perlis 5-0 while Selangor were held to a 1-1 draw by Sabah,

Group B on the other hand will see action today as Pahang take on Malacca while Kelantan and Johor will square off against Perak and Penang respectively.

The Star of Malaysia

Defence Force retains title in TTHB opener

National attacker Shane Legerton, who was on target in last year’s title match, scored the only goal for Defence Force in the club’s 1-0 victory over Petrotrin, to retain the crown as the T&T Hockey Board (TTHB) Opening Day Tournament champion, in the men’s open final, yesterday.

The league-opening competition was staged at St Mary’s College Ground, with Paragon taking the women’s title by the same scoreline. In that encounter, national women’s captain Alanna Lewis fired in another late effort to seal the win.

With goals from Zene Henry and Danielle Thompson, both coming in the second half, Paragon sealed a berth into the final with a last-four victory over Notre Dame.

The men’s winner, Army, stormed into the title match with a 4-0 drubbing of Paragon. Mickell Pierre scored just moments into the start, before Kern Lee doubled up. Nicholas Wren scored a second-half double.

Queen’s Park Cricket Club (QPCC) took third spot courtesy of a brace from Raphael Govia who helped his team to a 2-0 win over Paragon.

In the women’s division, Paragon saw a positive opening to the campaign with a 1-0 victory in the final over Magnolias. National captain Alanna Lewis fired in a late effort to seal the title.

Checkers took third with 2-0 a penalty shoot-out win over Notre Dame. Petal Derry, another national player opened for the Checkers, before an own goal levelled the score, thus forcing the penalty decider.

Second Division league action will commence today with a double-header at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua, beginning with a women’s division clash between Paragon and Police, scheduled for 6.30 pm, followed by a meeting between Notre Dame and Police in the men’s division. The Championship Division will begin in two weeks.

Selected results



• Defence Force 1 (Shane Legerton 14th) v Petrotrin 0

Third-place playoff
• QPCC 2 (Raphael Govia 6th, 20th) v Paragon 0

•Defence Force 4 (Mickell Pierre 1st, Kern Lee 7th, Nicholas Wren 13th, 15th) v Paragon 0
• Petrotrin 1 (Atiba Whittington 10th) v QPCC 0


• Paragon 1 (Alanna Lewis 17th) v Magnolias 0

Third-place playoff
• Checkers 1 (Petal Derry 9th) v Notre Dame 1 (OG) - Checkers won 2-0 on penalty shots

• Magnolias 1 (Gabrielle Permell 6th) v Checkers 0
• Paragon 2 (Zene Henry 13th, Danielle Thompson 14th) v Notre Dame 0

The Trinidad Guardian

Nobbs: We need to develop available talent quickly

Special Correspondent

Be it balancing a plate of thick bread, a little rice and a lone chicken kebab at lunch or adroitly dwelling on hockey’s finer points to a group of Karnataka coaches, Michael Nobbs felt at home at the KSHA Stadium here on Sunday afternoon.

The Indian hockey coach, who is in town as a guest lecturer at a coaches’ seminar organised by Hockey Karnataka, spoke about issues ranging from the need for more goal-keepers to the fifth-place finish at the recent Sultan Azlan Shah tournament in Malaysia.


Goal-keepers and mid-field woes:

We are looking at initiating a goalkeeping camp to look at what we have and develop that area. We just need to do a bit of talent hunting. We need more mid-field links. We need to see what the talent available is and develop it quickly.

Youth brigade’s charge in Malaysia:

There were a number of reasons for taking new players for the tournament. The senior players have had a tough season and soft tissue injuries and staleness had crept in.

The future of our team for Olympics and beyond is our junior players so it (Sultan Azlan Shah tournament) was an opportunity. The juniors found out that the competition at the international level is much tougher than what they saw at Hockey India League. The results were reasonable.

The fifth-place finish:

This tournament showed that video referral in Malaysia needs to be looked at. We saw what happened (the penalty stroke issue in the game against Malaysia).

We were the youngest team there with an average age of 19 and beating Pakistan twice was good.


Sardar Singh & Manpreet Singh:

Sardar’s role is going to change — to become more aggressive and attacking. Not just giving a pass and looking, he gives great passes but we want him to pass, give and go and get. Another aim at the Azlan Shah was to try out Manpreet.

He’s just turned 21 and has 62 international caps and was named in the Azlan Shah XI in centre midfield which is Sardar’s position. So we now have the ability to give Sardar the rest during a game and we won’t lose anything in putting Manpreet there.

Sandeep Singh:

It is up to Sandeep to reinvent himself and he is quite prepared to be at the next camp. He is not in the team but he’s going to fight to comeback. If he comes and proves everyone wrong, we have a better player.

Gurjinder Singh:

Clearly talented, very unfit. He has had a 12 months lay-off. He now has a fitness programme he is working on.

He is clearly a player for the future. We tried him in a few roles at the Azlan Shah, but he did not last very long due to the weather conditions and fitness.

The Hindu

Juniors will be groomed: Michael Nobbs

India’s fifth-place finish at the Sultan Azlan Shah tourney may not impress one. But if coach Michael Nobbs is to be believed, it was indeed a good effort by a team filled with juniors.

From hereon, the plan is to groom youngsters, said Nobbs. And their is good reason to do so.

“The senior players have had a tough season because of which injuries and staleness had crept in. There wasn’t enough time for rest. The Junior World Cup is a priority for us. The juniors are our future for the Olympics and beyond,” said Nobbs.

“The Hockey India (HI) League was an opportunity for players to come up through a system.

Previously, we would not have seen them till the Junior World Cup. It was also to help the transition from the junior to senior team to be more seamless. The results were reasonable and the guys learnt a lot. They got better with matches.”

The thought process behind grooming juniors is to create a talent pool so that their is a steady supply to the senior team whenever the need arises. It will also create competition for places.

Nobbs was quite clear about inclusion of seniors in the squad henceforth. “We need a base of some 20 players and it will be hard for them (seniors) to make the team. But if you want to be in, you have to be better than the ones who are there,” he stated.

Nobbs was happy with the talent at display in Malaysia. With an inexperienced side, the Indians finished fifth and beat Pakistan twice. “We should have been playing for the third place. The video referral system in Malaysia needs to be looked at. We took a young team with a specific purpose and beating Pakistan twice was good,” he said.



Local business house hockey continues to improve

Rashneel Kumar

THE Fiji Hockey Federation business house competition is gaining momentum with the competition getting exciting after each round every week.

With a host of teams from Suva taking part in the annual event, federation development officer Tai Smith is impressed with the standard of games being played at the National Hockey Centre in Laucala.

This was evident in last Thursday's games where defending champions Goodman Fielder was held to a one-all draw by the Chow side.

Chow led by FMF chief executive officer Ram Bajekal was first to score but the Robin Mitchell Jr-skippered Goodman Fielder bounced back in style to cancel the lead.

"Although the Chow attack kept coming through, the tough defence along with some perfect goalkeeping from Goodman Fielder deprived them of more goals," Smith said.

In Pool 2, FMF continued its brilliant form with a 6-0 win over newcomers Oceanic Communications.

MH head Kuna Sabaratnam showed he is equally good on the turf scoring three goals for the FMF side.

Golfer Olaf Allen Jr teamed up with his father Olaf Allen Sr and former national rep George Barratt Sr in the Grid Security team and narrowly went down to Aliz Pacific 2-3.

"Newcomers Celtrock and FBC kept spectators on their toes as the game swung back and forth," Smith said.

"Shalvin Chand of FBC is built like a rugby player but the agility of a hockey player, played outstandingly and never gave up."-

Both teams played to a 1-all draw.

"This year's business house season is truly remarkable as we see all teams displaying some great hockey," Smith said.

"A special mention to the Grid Security Team as apart from being a business house team, they have also involved the family.

"However, I'm still quite in awe of the Celtrock team and I can only commend the managing director Zavir Khan for the wonderful way in which he has got his workers together to give us wonderful games."

Results - Grid 2 Aliz Pacific 3, Celtrock 1 FBC 1, ANZ 0 Team UN 5, Fiji TV 2 WBC 0, Aliz Pacific 0 Westpac 9, FMF 6 Oceanic 0, Goodman Fielder 1 Chow 1

The Fiji Times