News for 07 June 2013

All the news for Friday 7 June 2013


Paton brothers give SA hockey men thrilling victory over Malaysia

JONATHAN COOK in Potchefstroom



SA midfielder Clint Panther on attack with Taylor Dart in support.

Missed chances in the first half cost the South Africa men’s hockey team dearly as Malaysia scored 30 seconds from half-time (35th minute) through a clinical finish by Marhan Jalil to take a 1-0 lead into the second half at the University of North West Hockey Centre in Potchefstroom Thursday, but goals in the 59th minute by Wade Paton and the winner 17 seconds from the end (70th minute) by his younger brother Taine Paton earned SA a thrilling victory in the first of the four-Test series.

SA deserved the win as they won six penalty corner to two against and got in more goal shots from field play, but on another day the spoils could have gone Malaysia’s way. Both goalkeepers were superb, with Rassie Pieterse in particular keeping his side in the game at key moments.

The pulsating encounter makes the second and third Test matches both at 3 pm on Saturday and Sunday at the same venue, an enticing prospect.

After early Malaysian possession, Julian Hykes won a turnover 30 metres out and fed Craig Haley, the SA striker getting in a backhand shot that keeper Rozlan Jamaluddin  parried away.

Then in the right-hand corner, attacking halfback  Lance Louw took a self-pass free-hit and slipped the ball to striker Miguel da Graca, who won a penalty corner – Jonty Robinson injected the set-piece, Tim Drummond trapped the ball and captain Austin Smith’s low drag-flick whistled past the near post.

Two minutes later, in the seventh, Clint Panther layed off a great square pass to Jonty Robinson who had time, but fired his shot past the far post. At the other end Malaysia’s first foray into the strike zone was cleared by defender Francois Pretorius.

The pace settled somewhat and Malaysia made another inroad into the danger zone before a midfield tussle for possession ensued over the next 15 minutes.

Into the second quarter, two superb moments of individual flair by Hykes led to another Robinson pressure shot that the keeper blocked successfully before SA stopper Pieterse cut off the danger at the opposite end.

The tide began to turn a little as Malaysia found their feet leading towards half-time but SA debutant Taylor Dart made a confident start, while striker Pierre de Voux was only thwarted by a superb tackle before Abdul Sukri made an electrifying burst down the left wing that SA did well to stop.

With 30 seconds left Pieterse blocked Nabil Fitri’s shot from close but it was desperate for SA after all their good work as Jalil buried the rebound into the backboard for 1-0 at half-time.

SA started the second half same as the first and Da Graca’s lunging effort was followed by a vociferous appeal for a goal before SA’s second PC saw the ball slipped left to Wade Paton but keeper Jamaluddin had its measure.

SA continued to stretch the Malaysians to breaking point and Da Graca twice came agonisingly close before Pretorius suffered the same fate, while Hykes appealed in vain for a PC after another great ball by Panther. Malaysia hit back when Izwan Firrdavs and Azami Adabi combined superbly only for Pieterse to save and Smith to clear as the high pace of the game took on new meaning.

Midway through the second half Faizal Saari and then Sukri fired Malaysia’s first two PC’s at Pieterse who saved brilliantly with glove and then stick while postman Jethro Eustice also did a superb job.

Da Graca again came within a whisker as Jamaluddin got in the way before SA won their fourth PC with 11 minutes left on the clock (59th) and this time Wade Paton on the slip-pass left was not to be denied (1-1).

SA came straight back and the on-fire Hykes duped the Malaysian defence with pace and ball control to win his team’s fifth PC, which led to a sixth – but Smith’s drag-flick off the top of the castle again whistled past the post, this time with height.

With three minutes left (67th) Malaysia won their second PC but SA first-wave defender Jonty Robinson got out of the starting blocks fast enough to deflect the rocket shot away from danger. SA broke out of defence and Taine Paton nailed the winner with 17 seconds to full-time for South Africa’s memorable 2-1 victory.

The second Test is at 3 pm Saturday with the third Test at 3 pm Sunday, both at UNW, while the fourth and final Test is at 7 pm at Randburg on Tuesday.

SA Hockey Association media release



Belgium earn third victory over England


Ollie Willars in action for England NOW Pensions

In the third and final match of the series Belgium recorded their biggest victory of the week as they put five goals past England with no reply. In a repeat of the first two fixtures, the Red Lions went into the break three goals to the good, and to reinforce recent form they were able to convert twice more before full time to make it 5-0 and cement their series whitewash.

Speaking after the game a disappointed, but nevertheless confident England Captain Barry Middleton summed up his side’s trip to Belgium. “It’s been a tough few days, but a good learning curve for all the guys out here. We’ve played great hockey in patches but going forward we need to play consistently well for 70 minutes. It’s been great to get together as a squad properly for the first time and test ourselves against a side like Belgium, but we now need to take that forward and start winning.”

Reading’s James Bailey made his international debut in Enlgand’s goal, subbing on at half time for Beeston and England’s number one keeper, George Pinner. Pinner’s club teammate, Harry Martin, rejoined the squad after completing university exams, while Loughborough Student’s Andy Bull watched this one from the sidelines.

In similar style to the first two matches England held their own for much of the game, but ultimately were punished for some indecisiveness and poor play against a Belgian side who looked very sharp and took their chances well.

The first three goals came from England turning the ball over in their own defensive third, which allowed Belgium to attack in numbers. Tom Boon was the first to benefit inside five minutes to make it 1-0 to the home side.

On the 23rd minute, Captain Barry Middleton was unlucky to deflect the ball into his own goal past a helpless Pinner as he attempted to stop a crossed ball coming into the danger area from Boon.

At 2-0 the game was still very much in England’s reach, but another turnover in a dangerous area allowed Belgium’s Van Doren through to register his first goal of the series and take the score to 3-0 at half time.

Across the 70 minutes Belgium were awarded six penalty corners to England’s four. The Red Lions converted two out of their six attempts and defended well to keep England’s efforts at bay. Both penalty corner conversions for the home side came in the second half with Dekeyser registering his second goal of the series in the 42nd minute with a low flick to Bailey’s left. Hampstead & Westminster’s Dan Fox got half a stick to it, but it wasn’t enough to stop it. Then, in the final two minutes Tom Boon finished the game off as he’d started with his second goal of the match, this time a with a powerful flick high to Bailey’s left.

Adding his thoughts following the 5-0 defeat, England Assistant Coach David Ralph said, “Ironically of the three games this was the closest, however our defensive and attacking circle play was poor and we need to improve on that going forward. There has definitely been an overall improvement across the three games, but we have to concentrate on scoring goals and defending better over a 70 minute period.”

BELGIUM 5 (3)
Tom Boon 5, 68 (FG, PC)                                                                    
23 (OG)                                                           
Arthur Van Doren 31 (FG)                                                                     
Jerome Dekeyser 42 (PC)                                                                    

ENGLAND 0 (0)

Belgium v England Squad
Started

George Pinner – Beeston – Goalkeeper
Henry Weir – Loughborough Students – Defender
Oliver Willars – Beeston – Defender
Michael Hoare – Beeston – Defender
Adam Dixon – Beeston – Midfielder/Defender
Ashley Jackson – East Grinstead – Midfielder
Nick Catlin – Reading – Midfielder/Forward
Tom Carson – Reading – Forward
Barry Middleton – Holcombe – Midfielder
Darren Cheesman – Reading – Forward
Mark Gleghorne – East Grinstead – Forward

Substitutes used
James Bailey – Reading – Goalkeeper
Dan Fox – Hampstead & Westminster – Defender
Simon Mantell – Reading – Forward
Ben Arnold – Beeston - Forward
Harry Martin – Beeston – Midfielder
Phil Roper – Sheffield Hallam – Forward
Dan Shingles – Southgate – Midfielder

Did not play
Andy Bull – Loughborough Students – Defender
David Condon – Loughborough Students – Midfielder

England Hockey Board Media release



Black Sticks fall to Spain

New Zealand's men's hockey team have lost the opening game on the European tour against Spain in Madrid.

World No 6 Spain beat the Black Sticks 4-1, the only New Zealand goal coming from North Harbour defender Cory Bennett from a penalty corner rebound late in the game.

"We created six to eight quality chances - we probably had double the opportunities of Spain - but we just couldn't find the back of the net and weren't good enough defensively," coach Colin Batch said.

Spain scored twice in the first half, then two more in quick order early in the second spell.

New Zealand, who are ranked seventh and preparing for their World League 3 tournament in Rotterdam starting next weekend, play the Spanish again tomorrow night.

One bit of good news is that Northland midfielder Shay Neal is over a back injury and got some game time.

The New Zealand Herald



Burras go down to Germany U21 in European Tour

Dylan Wotherspoon scores late consolation for Australia


The Burras suffered a 4-1 defeat at the hands of their German U21 counterparts on Thursday in the second match of their seven game European tour. The tour is a vital component of the team’s preparation for the Junior World Cup in India later in the year.

Following an even first period, Australia found themselves 1-0 down at half time but were undone by the fast counter-attacking of the Germans after the break. The hosts, whose U21 team won the 2009 Junior World Cup, struck in the 40th, 51st and 60th minutes before Queenslander Dylan Wotherspoon fired home the Burras’ consolation in the final minute.

The Burras created a number of opportunities to score, most notably from four penalty corners, but they were unable to capitalise.

The two sides meet again at 02:30am on Saturday, 6:30pm Friday in Germany.

Match 2: Burras 1-4 Germany U21

Burras team v Germany U21
(Listed in alphabetical order by surname)

Started

Ed Chittleborough (GK) (SA); Daniel Beale (QLD); Robert Bell (QLD); Matthew Dawson (NSW); Tyler Cowley (VIC); Cameron Joyce (SA); Luke Noblett (NSW); Matthew Pembroke (QLD); Kane Posselt (QLD); Jayshaan Randhawa (VIC); Dylan Wotherspoon (QLD)

Substitutes
Andrew Butturini (GK) (QLD); Justin Douglas (QLD); Matthew Lim (WA); Casey Hammond (VIC); Jeremy Hayward (NT); Aaron Kershaw (NSW)

Did Not Play
Simon Borger (QLD); Will Gilmour (VIC); Blake Govers (NSW)

Hockey Australia media release



Aymar named in Argentina side for London

Luciana’s Leonas aiming for World Cup qualification



2012 Olympic Games (women), London (Photo: Grant Treeby)

Emanuel Roggero, the new head coach of Las Leonas, has today announced the list of players who will represent Argentina in the Investec Hockey World League Semi-Finals, which take place in London from 22 to 30 June. The team is currently undergoing its final preparations at the National High Performance Training Center.

Seven times FIH Player of the Year Luciana Aymar has been named in a strong team which also contains fellow London 2012 Olympic Silver medallists Rosario Luchetti, Noel Barrionuevo and Carla Rebecchi. It should also be highlighted that goalkeeper Laura Aladro, who has not competed in an international tournament since 2011, has also been selected.

In London, Argentina will compete in Pool A, where they will face China, Italy and USA. Pool B consists of Australia, England, Spain and South Africa.

Las Leonas will make their tournament debut on Saturday 22 June against USA, before facing China on Sunday 23rd and Italy on Tuesday 25th.

Argentina women’s team
Investec Hockey World League Semi Finals


Luciana Aymar
Laura Aladro
Noel Barrionuevo
Martina Cavallero
Silvina D´Elía
María Jose Fernández
Giselle Juárez
Rosario Luchetti
Gabriela Ludueña
Sofía Maccari
Florencia Mutio
Carla Rebecchi
Macarena Rodríguez
Rocío Sánchez Moccia
Mariela Scarone
Daniela Sruoga
Josefina Sruoga
Florencia Habif

Technical Staff
Coach: Emanuel Roggero
Assistant: María Paz Ferrari
Assistant: Jorge Lombi
Trainer: Rodrigo Buich
Assistant Trainer: Manuel Ferro
GK Coach – Video Operator: Pablo Altube

Source Material: Confederación Argentina de Hockey (CAH) Media Release

FIH site



Dragflicker of hope

Rutvick Mehta



From being an underdog to Indian team vice-captain, Raghunath has come a long way. Getty Images

Most sportspersons would tell you that any sport – even if it is one of the most physical – eventually has a lot to do with the mind. India’s dragflick specialist, VR Raghunath, is no exception.

Despite being part of the illustrious list of hockey players from Coorg in Karnataka, Raghunath has had his fair share of struggles early on in his career, failing to find a regular place in the senior national team. That was until Michael Nobbs took him under his wings. Raghunath then became part of the 2012 London Olympics, and is now the vice-captain of the team.

So how did it all change for 24-year-old?  “I wasn’t mentally confident about myself before. Nobbs worked on my mental strength and brought my inner game out,” Raghunath told dna before the squad departed to The Netherlands for the FIH Men’s World League Round 3 (semifinals) starting on June 13.

“Thus, I’ve also been given a leadership role to support Sardar (Singh). I’m enjoying the responsibility and hope to motivate the juniors that come in.”

Talking of juniors, India fielded a young side for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup earlier this year, and the team going for the World League also has a lot of young faces like Mandeep Singh and Manpreet Singh. Raghunath believes that the current crop of youngsters is the best India ever had.

“It’s a transformation period after the 2012 London Olympics. And because of the Hockey India League, we’re getting a lot of good talent. I think our present junior team is one of the best we’ve had over the past few years,” he said.

Raghunath is equally elated with the comeback of ace dragflicker Sandeep Singh. “Sandeep is one of the most experienced players and he knows how to play in high-intensity games. So it’s great that we can rotate our three dragflickers and have at least two penalty corner specialists on the field at a time,” he added.

Raghunath hopes the team rises to the occasion during this key tournament, which is a qualification for the FIH Men’s World Cup in 2014.

“We had a good three-week camp in Bangalore, so our preparation has been great. I prefer to take it one match at a time, and going all out in that. We hope to start well and if we do, I’m sure we can end it well,” he said.

Daily News & Analysis



Punjab, Manipur enter HI Senior Men National's quarters

PUNE: Punjab overwhelmed Delhi 9-2, while Manipur ousted Andhra Pradesh 4-2 in their league matches respectively to enter the quarterfinals of the third Hockey India Senior Men National Championship 2013, on Thursday.

Former India forward Deepak Thakur slammed five goals (7, 42, 60, 61, 65 mins), while Vikramjit Singh scored thrice off penalty corners (24th, 27th, 64th mins) to help Punjab thrash Delhi and top the pool A with four wins out of four matches.

In another game, Jharkhand scraped past Odisha 3-2 to top the pool E.

Another win will guarantee a quarterfinal spot to Jharkhand, who still have a match in hand against Himachal Pradesh.

In another league match of the pool E, Comptroller and Auditor General registered a 2-1 win over Himachal Pradesh.

In pool C, Hockey Karnataka scored a 8-1 win over Hockey Bihar with Karnataka players converted four penalty corners into goals.

Karnataka will take on Services Sports Control Board in a crucial match on Friday to decide the quarterfinalists from the pool.

In a crucial pool G match, Manipur overcame Andhra Pradesh 4-2 to make it to the last eight stage.

Manipur ended their campaign winning three out of three matches in the league stage. In the same pool, Hockey Uttarakhand scored a 5-3 win over Hockey Kerala.

The Times of India



Gujarat hockey hits a low

Shweta Singh


AHMEDABAD: It is a well known fact that Gujarat has failed to find a mark in sports at the national level. Only a handful of cricketers are keeping the state's flag flying high. But, recently, Gujarat's hockey team reached a new low when it was annihilated by Punjab by 30 goals in the league match of Pool A in the 3rd Senior Men National Hockey Championship played in Balewadi. The defending champs hammered goal after goal in Gujarat's net and the goalie was left stranded seeing balls passing by him minute after minute.

Punjab's forward Vikramjit Singh was the tormentor-in-chief as he pumped in as many as seven goals followed by Simranjit Singh (6), Inderjeet Singh (5), Sarvanjit Singh (4), Ravi Pal (3) and Jarnail Singh (3), while Vikas Sharma and Sandeep Singh chipped one goal each.

In the hind sight, to see state team lose so badly does brings shame but not to forget that the country's national sport is not given any importance in Gujarat with not only lack of infrastructure or proper coaching is a problem but also the fact that there is hardly any talented player also hurts Gujarat's chance of making a descent team in the national-level tournament where their opponents will be ruthless like Punjab were and much more talented squad.

The Times of India



Former women's hockey captain alleges harassment

NEW DELHI: Former India women's hockey team captain Rekha Bhide on Thursday shot off a letter to the Sports Minister Jitendra Singh, complaining of harassment and defamation by Hockey India (HI) for refusing to tow to its secretary general, Narinder Batra's line of thought.

"I am writing to you to bring to your kind attention the immense, unjust harassment that I am being subjected to by some officials of HI," Bhide wrote in the letter.

"Being a former international player and an Olympian, I had given my view regarding HI's decision to send a foreigner as the manager with the Senior Men's National team for London Olympics. I had also put forth certain suggestions regarding team manager, physio etc. for the national women's team.

"But since I was not towing Secretary General, Hockey India Dr. Narinder Batra's line, I am being singled out, harassed and defamed; so much for the democratic manner of HI's functioning," Bhide, a recipient of Arjuna Award and Maharashtra State Award Shiv Chhatrapati Award added.

Hockey India secretary General Narinder Batra, however, denied that she was being harrassed and said she was removed from the post after a three-member inquiry panel found her guilty.

Bhide, who also marked a copy of the letter to VK Malhotra and Randhir Singh, alleged that unconstitutional meeting was held to remove her as the President of the Hockey Maharashtra and vice-president of HI.

"I have served my country as an administrator where I was elected as the president of Women's Hockey Association of Maharashtra (WHAM), president of Hockey Maharashtra, an elected vice-president of HI and also as a national team selector.

"...an unconstitutional meeting was held to remove me as the president of the Hockey Maharashtra and to make an individual who is their associate as the president," she said.

"All this transpired without my knowledge and when I was out of the country on hockey assignment," Bhide added.

The former skipper insisted that it had enough reasons to believe that Batra was behind her ouster as she brought his irregularities to HI's notice.

Stating that Batra was using his political clout to harass her, Bhide urged the Sports Minister for a meeting with her and some international players.

"Can one individual tamper and change the constitution of a so-called national federation? How can an individual who has been in government service for more than 30 years and has international exposure as a sportsperson even think of being against any religion?," she asked.

"It seems Dr. Batra is using his political clout to continuously harass and defame me."

Batra, meanwhile, clarified his stand, saying Bhide was removed from her top posts after a three-member inquiry committee found her guilty on account of discrimination on religious grounds.

"There was an inquiry which happened on complains of one of the umpires of Pune who alleged discrimination on grounds of religion.

"HI had undertaken that it will not tolerate such discriminations as per its commitment to the world body. When the complain was brought to our notice, we formed a three-member committee to go into the matter and report back to the working board of HI," he said.

"The complainant as well as the witnesses were given an opportunity to present their case but she did not appear before the committee and instead gave a written submission.

"The committee found her guilty on the account of discrimination on religious grounds and recommended her removal from the post of vice-president of HI and President of Hockey Maharashtra," explained Batra.

Batra said that Bhide would get another chance to present her case on June 11 in Delhi.

"She has been given another opportunity to present her case on June 11 in Delhi and the working board of HI will take a final decision, which will be binding," Batra said.

The Times of India



While BCCI dithers, Hockey India acts

Hockey body restricts players' interaction with agents, firms during tournaments.

Chandra Shekhar Luthra


Even as the Indian cricket board is contemplating move to rein in the different companies and agents, involved in players’ management, Hockey India has shown the way by banning all interaction between the two parties during the course of any tournament.

dna has learnt that an emergency provision was inserted by the HI in the already existing players’ code of conduct after the recent spot-fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League. The diktat prohibits players meeting any agent while a domestic or international tournament is on.

Another important provision which also has been incorporated is “making it mandatory for all players to provide their mobile numbers to the tournament organisers”.

“This is basically to check any wrong doing during matches. Hockey has no anti-corruption unit like cricket, but by providing mobile numbers of all players to any investigating agency or police department, if asked for, could always play as deterrent,” HI secretary general NK Batra said on Wednesday.

“The chances of spot-fixing in hockey are minimal as we have a rolling substitution pattern. A player gets to play less than 10-minute time at a stretch. However, we thought that it’s important to put deterrents in place at the right time. But we still want to bring in a clause that will enable police to check the mobile phones of the players,” added Batra.

The BCCI, on the other hand, has been talking of registering agents with the board for the last few years. But no concrete steps have been taken so far. In an emergency governing body meeting held in Chennai recently, this matter was again discussed and accepted.

BCCI believes that by accrediting players’ agents will help it distinguish between genuine agents and others. This was necessitated after S Sreesanth’s friend Jiju Janardhan was frequently seen in Rajasthan Royals’ team hotel during the course of tournament. Janardhan, it has now been revealed after police interrogation, had been allegedly telling the betting mafia that he was Sreesanth’s agent.

The first real test for both the men’s and women’s hockey teams will be during the upcoming FIH World League Round 3 in Rotterdam, Holland, to be held from June 13-23.

Daily News & Analysis



Malacca in last four

HOSTS Malacca did a double when they qualified for the semi-finals of the boys' and girls' Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSM) Under-18 tournament yesterday.

The Malacca girls beat Penang 1-0 in the last eight, and will play Selangor, who beat Terengganu 4-1, in the last four today.

As for the Malacca boys, they also beat Penang by a 2-1 score.

RESULTS -- (All quarter-finals): Boys Under-18: Terengganu 4 Negri Sembilan 1, Selangor 6 Sabah 3, Malacca 2 Penang 1, Kuala Lumpur 4 Perak 2.

Under-12: Terengganu 4 Kuala Lumpur 1, Kelantan 4 Selangor 3, Malacca 2 Sarawak 3, Perak 3 Negri Sembilan 0.

Girls' Under-18: Terengganu 1 Selangor 4, Penang 0, Malacca 1, Johor 0 Perak 1, Sarawak 2 Negri Sembilan 0.

Under-12: Kuala Lumpur 5 Sarawak 1, Sabah 2 Negri Sembilan 1, Terengganu 1 Selangor 2, Perak 1 Malacca 0.

TODAY (Semi-finals) -- Boys' Under-18: Terenggau v Selangor, Malacca v Kuala Lumpur.

Under-12: Terengganu v Kelantan, Sarawak v Perak.

Girls' Under-18: Selangor v Malacca, Perak v Sarawak.

Under-12: Kuala Lumpur v Sabah, Selangor v Perak.

New Straits Times



Terengganu and Selangor storm into the last eight

By PERCY D’CRUZ



Intense: Penang’s Jamil Johari Ghazali (left) tussles for the ball with Malacca’s Mohd Faid Farhad Mohd Shah during their MSSM quarter-final match at the Bukit Serindit Hockey Stadium in Malacca yesterday. - A. MALEX YAHAYA/The Star

MALACCA: Favourites Terengganu and Selangor made light work of their opponents in the boys’ Under-18 quarter-finals of the National Schools (MSSM) hockey championships at the Bukit Serendit Hockey Stadium.

Terengganu were in an attacking mood yesterday and easily outplayed Negri Sembilan 4-1 while Selangor had to come back from 2-1 down to overcome gritty Sabah 6-3 in the quarter-final yesterday.

Terengganu scored two goals in three minutes for a 2-0 lead through Nik Mohd Aiman Nik Rozemi (1st minute) and Khairul Helmy Mohd Napi (4th minute). Afifi Azaly Mustaffa made it 3-0 two minutes before the break.

Khairul completed his brace in the 39th minute while Negeri Sembilan’s consolation came through Muhd Ha­zim Mohd Nor in the 55th minute.

Sabah stunned Selangor with two goals through Shield Silverius (14th) and Cornelius Madius (24th) before Mohd Hafif Elkan Rerasa reduced the deficit in the 32nd minute.

Selangor came back after the break revitalised and struck three times in a six-minute spell from the 39th minute, with Muhammad Haikal Zamri netting a brace and Ahmad Sarif Sulisdianto getting the other off a penalty corner set piece.

With a 4-2 lead, Selangor were cruising. Haikal blasted a further two goals in the 58th and 68th minutes before Sabah got their third through Cornelius. But it was all over long before that.

In another quarter-final match, 2002 champions and hosts Malacca edged Penang 2-1.

The islanders drew first blood in the 18th minute through Mohd Ra­himi Iskandar Baharom before Ma­lacca equalised through Muhd Ashraf Zuhry Mahat. Muhd Firdaus Omar turned hero for Malacca with a 41st minute penalty stroke conversion.

The Star of Malaysia