News for 24 June 2013

All the news for Monday 24 June 2013


Belgium crowned Rotterdam World League champions

Nine-round shootout win against Australia gives Belgians title


Belgium ended up at the top of the table in Rotterdam (Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

Belgium – Australia 3-2 (0-1 halftime) (7-6 shootout)


The final between Australia and Belgium at the Rabobank Hockey World League tournament in Rotterdam lived up to expectations as Belgium claimed the first-ever title at the event in a dramatic nine-round shootout victory.

There was no shortage of drama in the game as Belgium came back from a one-goal deficit to take a 2-1 lead only to see it erased in the last minute by a Russell Ford strike. The shootout was no less dramatic as it took an amazing nine rounds to settle things. It was only when Chris Ciriello shot wide on the final Australian chance that the game was decided and Belgium could celebrate its first-ever title at a top-level FIH event.

It was a battle throughout the 70 minutes with neither team giving the other much breathing space. Australia’s Christopher Ciriello broke the stalemate doing what he does best – firing in drag flicks. Ciriello put all his might into the flick on a diving effort that hit the far corner of the goal and lifted Australia to a 1-0 lead 21 minutes into the game.

It was a lot of back-and-forth with the Aussies showing a little more strength as the game wore on. But Tom Boon sparked Belgium to life when he got his stick on the ball with a well-timed deflection that sent the ball top shelf for the equalizing goal in the 49th minute.

Sebastien Dockier was left unchecked at point blank range in front of the Australia net and it cost the World #2 team dearly as he was fed a centering pass that he easily popped in to give the Belgians the 2-1 lead with 11 minutes to go in the game with 11 minutes to go in the game.

Russell Ford struck with exactly 60 seconds left on the clock deflecting the ball up and over Belgian goaltender Vincent Vanash to tie the game at two and send the game to a deciding shootout.

The game was a rematch of a preliminary round meeting between the two teams, which Belgium won, 3-1. Ultimately, that win gave Belgian the easier road to the final game as the top seed out of their preliminary round.

The win gives the ninth-ranked Belgians their first-ever victory at a top-tier FIH event, a true feather in the cap for the country, which has shot up the FIH World Ranking and enjoyed massive success in the last few years. It is also a major momentum builder for the Belgians for the EuroHockey Championship, which they will host.

FIH site



Mega Hertzberger pair powers Netherlands to WL third place

New Zealand face nervous wait over World Cup fate

Stephen Findlater


(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

3rd-4th place playoff

New Zealand – Netherlands 1-4 (half-time: 1-1)


Jeroen Hertzberger’s double helped the Netherlands land third place from the World League semi-final in Rotterdam, leaving New Zealand having to wait and see whether they will be confirmed as a 2014 World Cup qualifier.

It was primarily down to a controlled second half performance to see off the Blacksticks who had taken the game to the hosts in the early phases. Against the run of play, New Zealand hit the front as Phil Burrows burst through down the right channel and picked out the narrowest of gaps by Pirmin Blaak’s left boot, taking a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute.

That advantage, though, lasted just five minutes as Rogier Hofman’s excellent baseline run opened the door and he fired across for Jeroen Hertzberger to touch in his tenth goal of the tournament. It remained locked at 1-1 until the break as Billy Bakker’s rising shot was brilliantly saved by Hamish McGregor just a couple of seconds before the interval.

But the Dutch took control in the second period as Hertzberger netted his second of the game with a powerful drag-flick soon in the 39th minute. Valentin Verga’s left wing cross-shot from a tight angle then deceived all before him with defender Stephen Jenness getting a slight touch to redirect the ball into the goal.

From there, New Zealand battled hard with a couple of near misses in the closing quarter but the Dutch rounded off proceedings in the closing minutes when Jelle Galema swept home after Hofman again created the chance down the right.

FIH site



Oliva produces star turn to help Spain claim World League fifth

India drop into sixth place after shoot-out loss

Stephen Findlater


(Photo: Grant Treeby)


Fifth-sixth playoff

Spain – India  2-2 (half-time: 1-2), Spain win 4-2 on penalties


Spain claimed a vital penalties win over India to land fifth place in Rotterdam, helping their chance of potentially claiming a lucky losers berth at the 2014 World Cup.

Roc Oliva netted the crucial final penalty after Quico Cortes had saved brilliantly from Mandeep Singh before Akashdeep Singh miscontrolled his charge. Those two misses combined to allow Spain take full advantage and win the shoot-out. The Spaniards hit the front in the second minute when Roc Oliva got on the end of Alex Casasayas simple pass for a tap-in as a flowing move eliminated the Indian defence one by one. But the game was turned on its head when the Asian side netted twice in a minute.

First off, VR Raghunath whipped in a pass to the right post where Shivendra Singh got a great touch to ramp the ball high into the goal. And soon after Sandeep Singh ripped in a powerful cross from the right wing which Mandeep Singh controlled at the back post and flicked home for 2-1. From there, the game got tetchy and aggressive with numerous stoppages while Quico Cortes and PR Sreejesh made good saves to keep the tie close at the break. The second half was equally tense but Spain were shading proceedings, winning four corners, none of which were converted.

They got their equaliser in the 56th minute when Davd Alegre powered his way into the circle and unleashed a powerful backhand shot that deceived the impressive PR Sreejesh. Both sides had their chances to win it in normal time, most notably when Mandeep turned home a cross from Dharamvir Singh. It was initially awarded but the video review showed it his foot, ruling out the goal two minutes from the end, meaning penalties were required.

FIH site



Kookaburras lose sudden death shoot-out

Thrilling match ends 2-2 before shoot-out defeat to Belgium


In a dramatic final at the World League in Rotterdam, the Kookaburras came out on the wrong side of an enthralling 2-2 draw and a sudden death shoot out against Belgium. 

For much of the match the Kookaburras battered the Belgian defence but despite goals from Chris Ciriello and Russell Ford, a textbook goalkeeping performance by Belgium’s Vincent Vanasch and the faintest of saves from his replacement Jeremy Gucassoff in the shoot-out denied the Australian men victory.

Head Coach Ric Charlesworth admitted afterwards his side had enough chances to win the game but said they had achieved two of three of their pre-tournament ambitions. “It’s a disappointing way to lose but we can only blame ourselves,” he said. “We had the chances but we didn’t take them; we even had chances to win it in the shoot-out. We had six penalty corners to their one but the goalkeeper made a lot of good saves and we put one past our own goalkeeper, too.

“We had three aims coming here: to qualify for the World Cup, to qualify for World League round four [in January] and to play well and win the main game. We didn’t lose today, it was a draw, but we didn’t play well enough and that’s our fault.”

Going into the game, the Kookaburras were keen to avenge their opening match defeat to Belgium but were without Kieran Govers, ruled out injured after sustaining a hamstring injury in the final minutes of Australia’s semi-final win over the Netherlands.

After a bright start, Chris Ciriello’s superb low flick from a 21st minute penalty corner gave Australia a deserved lead although Belgium thought they might have had an equaliser when the ball ended up in the Australian goal five minutes later. However, after successfully appealing to the video umpire, the Kookaburras overturned the goal, the ball deemed dangerous as it was lifted into Kiel Brown in the build-up.

The Kookaburras took a 1-0 lead into half time but it could have been three had it not been for an acrobatic stick save from Vanasch to deny Ciriello a second and quick block to thwart Tim Deavin with the Australian baring down on goal.

Matt Swann looked to have done everything necessary to extend the Australian lead four minutes after the restart but he too could only watch as Vanasch somehow turned his close range shot wide after good build-up play from Ciriello and Matt Gohdes.

Good defensive work from Glenn Simpson denied Thomas Briels before another outstanding piece of goalkeeping kept out Ciriello’s next corner effort. And it was a save that was to prove crucial for Belgium, who equalised a minute later through Tom Boon’s deflected shot. Up until the goal the Belgians had looked a little shaky but Boon’s strike galvanised the Europeans, who tested the reflexes of Andrew Charter from a penalty corner with the goalkeeper tipping the ball against the crossbar.

Charter then saved from Cedric Charlier but could do nothing to stop Sebastien Dockier from giving Belgium a 2-1 lead as he swept home at the back post with a little over ten minutes remaining. The goal set up a tense grandstand finish as the Kookaburras went in search of a dramatic equaliser. A penalty corner won on appeal did not quite go to plan but just as it looked as though time was running out, Russell Ford’s run behind the Belgian defence was timed perfectly to connect with a long pass and deflected home for 2-2.

With the sides level, the final went to a shoot-out. Matt Swann, Simon Orchard, Trent Mitton and Chris Ciriello all saw their shots find the target with only Matt Gohdes having his saved but at 4-4 after five shots each the shoot-out went to sudden death.

Sudden death began with some controversy as goalkeeper Andrew Charter cleaned out the Belgian Loick Luypaert, who had to leave the pitch injured. With the umpires awarding a retake, Charter stepped up to deny Florent van Aubel, but Swann then saw his shot saved. Orchard and Mitton and their Belgian counterparts all scored before Simon Gougnard scored for Belgium. Ciriello, who had been one of Australia’s stand out players in the match, needed to score to keep the Kookaburras in contention but as he let off his shot, replacement goalkeeper Jeremy Gucassoff got the faintest of touches on the ball to send it trickling wide and secure victory for Belgium. 

Despite the defeat, second place at the World League guarantees the Kookaburras their participation in the 2014 World Cup in The Hague and a place at the fourth and final round of the World League competition, set to take place in India in January.

And, depending on how Germany fare in the corresponding World League third round competition in Malaysia next week, the Kookaburras could return to the top of the world rankings. Anything less than a top two position for Germany will see the Kookaburra renamed as the world’s best team.

World League Final, Rotterdam

KOOKABURRAS 2 (1)

Chris Ciriello 21 (PC)
Russell Ford 70 (F)

BELGIUM 2* (0)
Tom Boon 49 (F)
Sebastien Dockier 59 (F)

*Belgium win 7-6 after a sudden death shoot-out

Hockey Australia media release



Black Sticks Men settle for fourth in Rotterdam


Photo: www.photosport.co.nz

The Black Sticks Men have finished fourth at the World League Semi-Final in Rotterdam after being defeated 4-1 by Netherlands in tonight’s bronze medal playoff.

Phil Burrows netted a goal early and the score was level at halftime, but the Black Sticks were outmuscled in the second half with the Dutch capitalising on a high percentage of possession.

The result means the Black Sticks Men will need to wait until the conclusion of the other World League Semi-Final being played in Malaysia next week to find out whether they will progress to the World League Final in India in January.

The top three sides from each World League Semi-Final progress to the World League Final along with the hosts (India), and the final spot goes to the fourth placed team with the highest FIH World Ranking.

Head coach Colin Batch said it was a disappointing way to finish a tournament that has on the whole shown many positives for his youthful side.

“I think tiredness set in during the second half. We fell behind and never got back into the game which wasn’t good enough,” Batch said.

“We played very well throughout the pool stage and against Spain in the quarter-finals so we have mixed feelings at the moment. We’ve got to develop further as a group but we continue to evolve our program and have made huge steps forward.”

The contest was the epitome of hard running hockey with both sides playing strongly on defence while also creating chances up front.

The Black Sticks opened the scoring against the run of play in the 13th minute with veteran striker Burrows going on a solo run before cracking a shot past the goalkeeper from a tight angle.

Netherlands responded five minutes later thanks to a deflection by Jeroen Hertzberger to draw the game level, with the score-line remaining static going into halftime.

The Dutch took control in the second half though, with Hertzberger recording his second goal of the night before Valentin Verga and Jalle Gallema both scored to put the game out of New Zealand’s reach.

After missing out on a coveted top three placing at the World League Semi-Final, the Black Sticks Men’s next chance to qualify directly for the 2014 Hockey World Cup is by winning the Oceania Cup in Taranaki in October and progressing as one of five Continental Champions.

If they don’t win the Oceania Cup, world rankings could still come into play and see them through depending on which countries automatically qualify as Continental Champions or finish in the top three at the World League Semi-Final.

RESULT:

Black Sticks 1: (Phil Burrows)
Netherlands 4: (Jeroen Hertzberger x2, Valentin Verga, Jelle Gallema)
Halftime: 1-1

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Netherlands down Black Sticks with ease

MATT RICHENS


The Black Sticks men's hockey team will have a nervous wait to see if they progress to the World League Final tournament in India next January.

A 4-1 loss to the Netherlands in Rotterdam overnight in the third-place playoff of the convoluted format's Semi-Final tournament means they must await the result of the other semi-final - in Malaysia next week - to learn of their fate.

The top three sides from each tournament progress to join India, who qualify as hosts, leaving one spot for the highest ranked fourth placed team. By that calculation, New Zealand still have a strong chance as they are currently ranked sixth in the world.

But should any of the top three ranked teams in Malaysia - Germany (1), England (4) or Pakistan (5) - finish fourth, they would progress as New Zealand missed their own chance in Rotterdam.

Against the run of play, veteran Phil Burrows opened the scoring in the 13th minute for the Black Sticks and the sides were level at 1-1 at the break.

The Dutch took control in the second half, however. Jeroen Hertzberger scored his second before Valentin Verga and Jalle Gallema both scored to put the game out of New Zealand's reach.

Black Sticks coach Colin Batch said it was a disappointing way to finish a tournament which also had many positives for his young side.

"I think tiredness set in during the second half. We fell behind and never got back into the game which wasn't good enough," he said.

"We played very well throughout the pool stage and against Spain in the quarter-finals so we have mixed feelings at the moment. We've got to develop further as a group but we continue to evolve our program and have made huge steps forward."

The playoff was also a chance for New Zealand to automatically qualify for next year's World Cup, also in the Netherlands.

Their next chance to do that is the Oceania Cup in Taranaki this October which they must now win to progress as one of five continental champions. Should the Black Sticks fail to win the tournament, they may also qualify as a result of their ranking.

Stuff



Black Sticks miss World Cup spot

By David Leggat



Phil Burrows. Photo / Brett Phibbs

New Zealand conceded three second half goals to lose 4-1 to hosts the Netherlands in their playoff for third and fourth at the World League tournament in Rotterdam.

The world No 3 Dutch dominated territory and possession for much of the match, however the Black Sticks, who had taken an unexpected lead in the 12th minute, had their best period in the last third of the game, creating chances and troubling the Dutch defence.

The outcome means New Zealand, who drew their pool game with the Dutch 3-3 earlier in the tournament, have missed a chance to qualify for the World Cup next June in The Hague - the same outcome suffered by the women's Black Sticks a day earlier.

They too now play the Oceania qualifying tournament in Taranaki in October, where victory will get them to the cup.

Veteran attacker Phil Burrows put New Zealand ahead after a fine pass from midfielder Arun Panchia gave him space and time to pick his spot. He drilled his shot inside the near post past goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak.

However the lead lasted only five minutes before Jeroen Hertzberger scored from close range after strong leadup work from Rogier Hoffman.

Hertzberger added his second, and 11th for the tournament with a low strike past outstanding New Zealand keeper Hamish McGregor from the first Dutch penalty corner four minutes after the interval.

Valentin Verga increased the Dutch lead with a reverse stick shot from the left, which took a slight deflection past McGregor and Jelle Galema ended the scoring after Seve van Ass set him up with a driving run into the circle from the right.

However New Zealand ended the match well, Shay Neal, Stephen Jenness and Panchia all having chances.

Fourth place gets New Zealand to the World League final in Delhi early next year. It mirrors with women's result, which puts them in their final in Argentina in December.

Earlier, Ireland came from 4-0 down to beat France 6-4 for seventh place; Spain took fifth after drawing 2-2 with India, then winning the penalty shootout.

World No 2 Australia were playing surprise finalists the ninth-ranked Belgium in the final later in the day.

The New Zealand Herald



India lose to Spain on penalties, finish sixth in FIH league

ROTTERDAM: The Indian hockey team finished sixth at the FIH World League after losing a tense play-off match on penalties to higher-ranked Spain on Sunday.

Mandeep Singh and Akashdeep Singh were guilty of missing penalty shots in the shootout as India lost 2-4 after the two teams ended 2-2 in the regulation time.

Roc Oliva netted the crucial final penalty after Quico Cortes brilliantly thwarted Mandeep's effort before Akashdeep mishit his charge.

Those two misses combined to allow Spain take full advantage and win the shootout.

The Spaniards hit the front in the second minute when Oliva got on the end of Alex Casasayas simple pass for a tap-in as a flowing move eliminated the Indian defence one by one.

But the game was turned on its head when India netted twice within a minute. First, VR Raghunath whipped in a pass to the right post where Shivendra Singh got a great touch to ramp the ball high into the goal.

And soon after Sandeep Singh ripped in a powerful cross from the right wing which Mandeep controlled at the back post and flicked home for a 2-1 lead.

From there on, the game got aggressive with numerous stoppages while Quico Cortes and PR Sreejesh made good saves just before the break.

The second half was equally tense but Spain dominated proceedings, winning four corners. However, they could convert none.

Spain got equaliser in the 56th minute when Davd Alegre powered his way into the circle and unleashed a powerful backhand shot that deceived the impressive PR Sreejesh.

Both sides had their chances to win it in normal time, most notably when Mandeep turned home a cross from Dharamvir Singh. It was initially awarded but the video review showed it hit his foot, ruling out the goal two minutes from the end and leading to penalty shootout.

The Times of India



India need to compete against top teams regularly: Oltmans

NEW DELHI: If Indian hockey team is to improve, it must be exposed to some tough competition against top teams of the world on regular basis, Hockey India's high performance director Roelant Oltmans has suggested.

India finished sixth in the eight-team FIH World League RD 3 after losing to Spain. The India team could win only one match against the lower-ranked France while played draws against Ireland and New Zealand apart from losing to Australia, The Netherlands and Spain.

"India was playing against the best teams in this tournament. It was never going to be easy. Australia is second in world ranking while the Netherlands is 4th. Spain (7th) is 4 places above India in ranking. India do not get chances to play against top teams regularly.

"There is not much competitions against teams like Australia, The Netherlands or Germany. We must play against these teams on regular basis to bridge the gap in performance," Oltmans said.

"India played good hockey in some matches but they were not consistent. I won't say that their performance was bad but yes, there are some areas where improvement is needed and we will have to work harder," said the former Dutch coach.

Oltmans also warned that it will be tough for India to qualify for World Cup to be held next year.

"The qualification system for the World Cup is really tough. Now India has to win Asia cup in August to secure a place in WC," he said.

Oltmans backed defenders, who are facing criticism for their lacklustre performance in the tournament.

"Defending is a team effort. You cant blame four or five players for lapses in defense. It's a collective failure. Our defence was weak and we have to work hard on it," he added.

When asked whether the draw in the opening match against Ireland hurt India's chances, he replied in a negative.

"I don't think so. It is true that we wanted to begin with a win but if we would have defeated Ireland in the opener, we had to face Australia in the quarter final. So you cant figure out just one match," he said.

When asked about Indian women's teams performance, he said that team was lacking experience to play at this level.

"Women team was young and did not have experienced players like Rani, Jaspreet or Yogita. They were playing against teams like Germany, New Zealand which are number 5 and 3 in world ranking," he said.

"It would have been unfair to expect win from the young Indian women team against top teams. They played well against teams like Chile and Belgium who are equal with them in terms of ranking," said Oltmans.

The Times of India



Italy stuns USA; Argentina survives another scare

Last minute strikes sink Americans and Chinese


USA was all over Italy for most of the game, but in the end the Italians had the last laugh (Photo: Stanislas Brochier)

POOL A

China – Argentina 2-3 (0-2 halftime)


Argentina took over sole possession of first place of Group A at the Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final tournament after earning a last-minute 3-2 win against China. Carla Rebecchi had two goals in the win, including the last-minute gasp that lifted Argentina to their second straight close-call victory.

Argentina looked to be in control early in the game, owning a 2-0 lead at the break after Rosario Luchetti went to the low corner on a penalty corner 12 minutes into action. Rebecchi followed up with the 2-0 goal in the 27th minute to give Argentina breathing space at the half.

China mounted its comeback seven minutes into the second half when Hongxia Li fired in a field goal to get China on the board and cut the lead in half. The goal woke up both sides as the pace dramatically increased. Mengyu Wang scored the equalizer going to the lower corner to make it a 2-2 affair with nine minutes left. It looked like the teams would split the points and end in a draw, until Rebecchi scooped up a ball bouncing around in front of the Chinese net and slammed it home for the last-minute 3-2 win.

Argentina now has six points in two games. China and Italy are deadlocked with three points in their two outings. Bring up the rear is USA with no points for their efforts.

United States – Italy 1-2 (1-1 halftime)

Both Italy and the United States were looking for their first point at the Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final tournament in London and in the end Italy stole the three points right out from under the Americans with a last-minute strike in a 2-1 decision.

The win was the first upset of the tournament as the U.S. came in ranked 10th in the FIH World Ranking and the Italians are the lowest ranked entry at 17th.

Italy’s chances were few and far between, but they made their opportunities count. They scored the game-winner with 24 seconds left in the game when their initial penalty corner chance was stopped, but the ball continued to careen through the D until Stefina Tosco popped it in from beside the post.

The U.S. had a strong start to the game, but took nearly 20 minutes to be rewarded for their efforts when Michelle Kasold ended the frustration. The U.S. continued to dominate the action, but the next goal went to the Italians as Macarena Ronsisvalli found herself on a breakaway and took the shot from the top of the D that evened the game at one.

After continuing to dominate the action the U.S. was finally handed a golden opportunity to take the lead when Caroline Nichols lined up to take a penalty stroke. But Italian goaltender Martina Chirico came up with the huge save, making the initial stop with her leg pad and batting the ball away just before it was about the cross the line.

Both teams will have their hands full on Tuesday. The Italians will meet World #2 Argentina, while the Americans have seventh-ranked China on tap.

FIH site



A neutral day for Group B with two draws

England and Aussies finish 1-1; South Africa and Spain end 2-2



It was a even duel between England and Australia (Photo: Stanislas Brochier)

POOL B

South Africa – Spain 2-2 (0-1 halftime)


South Africa and Spain earned their first points of the Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final and kept the Group B standings in relative disarray finishing in a 2-2 draw in Sunday’s late game.

South Africa was clearly the superior team as their strong physical play dwarfed the Spanish through much of the game. Unfortunately for the South Africans the score was much closer than their play would indicate as they had problems converting their chances into anything that could show on the scoreboard.

The lack of South African conversion opened the door for Spain to take the surprising 1-0 lead when Carlota Penchame marched the ball into the D and went for the far corner to score with four minutes to go in the first half. Spain nearly held a 2-0 lead at the break, but after a video referral the late goal was disallowed giving South Africa a bit of a break before the break.

South Africa finally found the back of the goal in the 50th minute when Tarryn Bright scored a textbook penalty corner goal on a flick to end the South African’s offensive frustrations. South Africa sparked to life after the goal and peppered the Spanish net forcing the goaltender to put in overtime to keep the game even.

Pietee Cotzee gave South Africa their first lead of the game with nine minutes left when the world record holder for goal scoring converted a penalty stroke. But the relief was short lived as less than a minute later Spain’s Maria Romagosa erased the lead with a rifle of a shot and put the teams back in a deadlock at 2-2.

Group B is now an interesting mix of results with all four teams having tied their games today. At the top of the pack are Australia and England with four points and training behind are South Africa and Spain with one point each. The entire tournament takes a day off tomorrow before the last day of round robin action on Tuesday.

Australia – England 1-1 (0-1 halftime)

In a meeting of the unbeaten teams in Group B at the Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final, both host England and Australia can still hold their heads high without a loss after duking it out in a 1-1 draw.

It was a fair final result for both sides as it was a nose-to-nose battle in the extremely evenly-matched meeting. Australia held the slight edge in possession and most of other statistical categories on paper, but England played with a bit more flair, including an incredible second-half save by goaltender Maddie Hinch in the opening half that will surely be making the highlight reels for some time to come.

England took the lead with 10 minutes left in the first half when Hollie Webb was in perfect position to shoot in a long rebound after a penalty corner flick. It would be the only offense from either team for nearly 50 minutes in the back-and-forth duel.

Australia pulled even in the 60th minute when Jodie Schulz scored on a penalty corner chance taking advantage of a slight ebb in the English attack.

Australia put some pressure on the English net towards the end of the game, but Hunch and defense stood their ground and hung on for the 1-1 draw.

England and Australia are still atop the standings in the group, although the Hockeyroos have the slight edge with a better goal difference.

FIH site



Day 2 results from Investec World Hockey League



USA 1 (1)
Michelle Kasold, 22, FG

Italy 2 (1)
Macarena Ronsisvalli, 28, FG
Stefania Tosco, 70, PC

Day two of the Investec World League Semi-Finals began with pool A’s Italy beating the United States 2-1. Italy, the lowest ranked team of the tournament, will be very pleased as they picked up their first three points of the tournament.

The first half saw the USA begin with the same confidence and control as they showed against Argentina. Katelyn Falgowksi, celebrating her 150th cap, kept the Italians under pressure in defence and was at the centre of the attacks. In the 22nd minute Michelle Kasold, assisted by Jill Witmer, scored the first goal of the match. Just 6 minutes after this Macarena Ronsisvalli scored the equalizer making the half time result 1-1.

When the USA won a penalty flick in the 60th minute, it looked as though the side would take the lead but Caroline Nicholls’ shot was saved by the Italian goalkeeper, Martina Chirico, to keep the score level. The final result seemed to be heading for a draw, until Italy won a penalty corner in the last minute of the game. Stefania Tosco utilised this opportunity, scoring to give Italy a precious 2-1 win over the USA.



China 2 (0)
Hongxia Li, 42, FG
Mengyu Wang, 61, PC

Argentina 3 (2)
Rosario Luchetti, 12, PC
Carla Rebecchi, 27, 69, FG, FG

In an evenly matched game, China looked to have come back from being 2-0 down to earn a draw, only for Argentina to score the winning goal in the 69th minute.

Argentina began the first half strongly, enjoying most of the possession and attacking with pace down both flanks. This early pressure was rewarded in the 12th minute when Luciana Aymer dispossessed China’s Li Hongxia in the circle winning a penalty corner, which was duly converted by Rosario Luchetti, whose straight strike was deflected off the keeper’s pads into the top of the net. Argentina extended their lead to 2-0 in the 27th minute when Carla Rebecchi found herself in space at the top of the circle and fired home to take a comfortable lead into the break.

China started the second half the better of the two teams and pulled a goal back in the 42nd minute when Hongxia Li’s shot found the backboard beating Maria Mutio at the far post. Argentina came back strongly, and it was against the run of play when China’s Hongxia Li won a penalty corner in the 61st minute. Mengyu Wang stepped up to equalise with a drag flick to the bottom left to find the Argentina goal. With nine minutes left, and China down to nine players, a brilliant piece of individual skill from Rocio Sanchez Moccia saw them seal a 3-2 victory.  After a driving run into the circle along the left goal line she set up Carla Rebecchi who found the China goal from short range, to take the three points.

South Africa 2 (0)
Tarryn Bright 50, PC
Pietie Coetzee 62, PS

Spain 2 (1)
Carlota Petchame 31, FG
Maria Romagosa 63, FG

Spain earned themselves a draw in the final game of day two, and could even have stolen a victory in the final moments against rivals South Africa. South Africa will be disappointed not to have made more of the numerous chances they created.

South Africa’s Shelley Russell posed a danger to Spain throughout the match with fluid attacking play. The Spanish defence held firm under the continued pressure and their counter-attacking play brought them reward in the 31st minute, with Illse Davids coolly slotting home.

South Africa equalized when more good attacking play from Russell won a penalty corner, which was converted by Tarryn Bright, and then took the lead through a Pietie Coetzee penalty stroke in the 62nd minute. But again Spain’s counter-attacking brought them an equalizer, this time through Maria Romagosa to give both teams their first point of the competition.

England Hockey Board Media release



Australia snatch draw in tight Ashes Clash


Holly Webb

England’s second day at the Investec World Hockey League finished with a 1-1 draw as the home side shared the points with rivals Australia. England’s youngsters impressed again and it was Hollie Webb who gave the hosts the lead with her first international goal after 25 minutes. However, Australia’s Jodie Schulz pulled one back for the Hockeyroos late in the second half as a closely fought game was played out for a draw.

Leicester’s Nicola White, who was back on the bench today after missing yesterday’s match, earned her 50th cap for England alongside Slough’s Ashleigh Ball.

England Head Coach Jason Lee spoke after the game about his team’s performance. “They’re a young team and we found ourselves defending for large periods of the second half today as Australia pushed for an equalizer. Inevitably with the younger players, we did start to physically struggle in the latter stages, however I thought we defended defiantly. Although it’s not the style of play I want the girls to play in, I was really impressed that we managed to keep Australia at bay and take a point from the game.”

Australia were the brighter of the two sides in the opening minutes, attacking promisingly and full of confidence after their 5 – 0 win over Spain yesterday.  After just three minutes they were awarded their first penalty corner of the match. 2012 FIH young player of the year Anna Flanagan stepped up at the top of the circle but Slough’s Ashleigh Ball was out quickly and closed down the Hockeyroo’s number nine.

With strong home support, England soon started to settle into the game with Holcombe’s Laura Unsworth and Reading’s Susie Townsend linking up well in the middle of the pitch. Some strong play from Townsend down the left hand side found Bristol Firebrand’s Lily Owsley who weaved her way into the South African circle and won England their second penalty corner of the match.  Reading’s Kate Walsh saw her initial strike blocked by Casey Eastham but Beeston’s Hollie Webb was quick to pounce on the loose ball and fired home low to the keeper’s left to give England a 1 – 0 lead after 25 minutes.

England continued to press in the closing minutes of the first half and Reading’s Alex Danson nearly doubled England’s lead, dancing through the Australian defence and shooting just wide of the left hand post. The score remained at 1 – 0 going into the break.

England looked to continue where they had left off at the start of the second half. Positive build up play down the right hand side between Reading team mates Sam Quek and Townsend resulted in the ball finding Leicester’s Hannah Macleod at the back left hand post. She cleverly deflected the ball goalwards and forced a brilliant reaction stick save from Rachael Lynch.

With Australia pushing for an equaliser, they picked up the tempo and won a series of penalty corners in quick succession. Holcombe’s Maddie Hinch was called into action stretching to deflect the ball away with her left foot after a powerful Australian strike. However in the 60th minute Hinch was finally beaten, as Jodie Schulz converted a fierce drag flick, high into the left hand corner to bring the score level at 1- 1.

A tense final few minutes saw Australia request the video umpire and have their referral upheld as they were awarded another penalty corner. Hinch wasn’t going to be beaten twice by Schulz though and dived low to her right, preventing a last minute Australian winner and leaving the final score standing at 1 – 1.   

After her fine goalkeeping performance, Maddie Hinch spoke after the game. “We defended really well as a unit, which made my job a lot easier and I think it was a fair result in the end. Australia are a good attacking side and we’ll settle for a draw.”

England’s final group game is against Spain on Tuesday 25 June at 20:00 where they will be hoping to keep up their unbeaten run. Tickets are available on the gate.

Australia 1 (0)
Jodie Schulz, 60, PC

England 1 (1)
Hollie Webb, 25, PC

England Hockey Board Media release



Hockeyroos hit back against England

Rocket-propelled Schulz flick earns Australia well-deserved 1-1 draw


Following their comprehensive victory over Spain 24 hours earlier, the Hockeyroos came from behind to share the spoils with hosts England at the Investec World League tournament in London. It was a match in which the Hockeyroos improved throughout and a result that keeps Australia top of Pool B, ahead of a crucial quarter final on Thursday, which will go a long way to determining qualification for the 2014 World Cup.

Trailing at half time to a goal by England’s Hollie Webb, Jodie Schulz’s second half rocket of a penalty corner earned the Hockeyroos a deserved equaliser with ten minutes remaining. And it could have been even better had Schulz not seen another effort in the final minute of the match well saved by the English goalkeeper.

Head coach Adam Commens said afterwards, “I thought it was a game we started really well. We created a number of chances and were unlucky not to be ahead. England defended defiantly and tried to counter attack us; we need to learn how to play against that.

"Ultimately, it was our ability to execute our penalty corners and the goal scoring opportunities we had that made the difference between winning and losing today.

“We got better and better as the match went on and we’re still top of the pool, which means our destiny is in our own hands. A good performance against South Africa [in the final pool match] should give us a good draw for the quarter-finals.”

Captain Madonna Blyth added, “They defended very well. We were a little disappointed to go down one nil because we had so much of the possession and opportunities in the first half. I thought it was a pretty close game and a fair result; we were pretty happy to get it back to a draw and had a late chance to win the match so we had our opportunities but we just couldn’t put it away.”

Despite enjoying the best of the early possession and winning a penalty corner, Australia found themselves behind at half time through Webb’s well struck shot from a 25th minute corner.

Three minutes after the restart Hockeyroos’ goalkeeper Rachael Lynch pulled off an outstanding save to maintain the one goal deficit as she acrobatically hooked the ball away from underneath the crossbar just as Hannah Macleod looked certain to double England’s lead. The save was to prove important.

Australia’s equaliser, when it came, was all about the power and pinpoint accuracy of Schulz’s flick as she fired a shot across Maddie Hinch’s goal and inside the opposite post. It was the goal that the Hockeyroos deserved and sparked a highly entertaining final ten minutes with both sides going for the victory. The Hockeyroos came closest to snatching all three points; first, Georgia Nanscawen’s bravery saw her connect with a cross from right but she was denied at point blank range by the goalkeeper, Hinch; and a well-judged decision to use the video referral two minutes from the end handed a further opportunity to Schulz late on. This time opting to shoot low, her flick was on target for the bottom corner but Hinch was equal to the task, deflecting the ball out to safety and ensuring that the match finished level; 1-1 the final score. 

Goal scorer Jodie Schulz said afterwards, "It was a good game. It would have been nice to have come away with a win, we had lots of opportunities and unfortunately didn’t score but I was happy to get my name on the score board – my first goal for the tournament."

It means that Australia still top the group on goal difference from England, holding the coveted number one position that would mean a quarter-final showdown against the bottom team in Pool A, currently USA who suffered a surprise defeat to Italy earlier in the day.

The Hockeyroos third and final pool match is against South Africa at 2:30am AEST on Wednesday, 26 June. The match will be streamed live online at www.youtube.com/fihockey.

Investec World League, Pool A

Hockeyroos  1 (0)

Jodie Schulz 60 (PC)

England 1 (1)
Hollie Webb 25 (PC)

Hockey Australia media release



Investec SA hockey women and Spain draw 2-2 in World League Pool B

JONATHAN COOK in London


The Investec South Africa women’s hockey team dominated the Investec World League Pool B match against Spain at the University of Westminster in Chiswick, London Sunday night but had to be content with sharing the spoils 2-2.

SA had more than double the number of goal shots in the first half but Spain led 1-0 at the break thanks to a cracking strike from Carlota Petchame in the 31st minute, just four minutes before half-time.

Spain felt they had scored another goal a minute after the changeover when a cracking shot from Berta Bonastre on the reverse-stick slammed into the backboard but the umpires disallowed the effort for deliberate shielding of the ball.

SA hit back in the second half when Tarryn Bright stroked in the equaliser from a penalty corner in the 50th minute (1-1).

In the 54th minute of the second half Pietie Coetzee hit the post with a deflection shot off Nicolene Terblanche’s long slap-pass.

SA again had the lion’s share of shots on goal in the second half, and in the 61st minute it was Coetzee who scored her 274th goal in 268 Test matches, this time from a penalty stroke after captain Marsha Cox’s rebound effort hit a defender’s foot on the goalline.

However the 2-1 lead became 2-2 just two minutes later when Maria Romagosa smashed in the equaliser in the 63rd minute.

Cox, in the left channel, and Shelley Russell, on the right-hand touchline, were constant threats as the Spaniards battled to stay the pace.

In the dying minutes there was much drama, and a penalty stroke award to Spain was turned down while SA also repelled two controversially awarded penalty corners.

SA meet leaders Australia at 6.30 pm SA time Tuesday in their final Pool B match and are likely to meet China in the quarter-finals on Thursday, this format giving every team a second crack at getting amongst the medals.

Pool B log: Australia goal difference +5, points 4; England GD +3, pts 4; South Africa GD -3, pts 1; Spain GD -5, pts 1.
Pool A: Argentina GD +2 pts 6; China GD 0, pts 3; Italy GD 0 3 pts; USA GD -2, pts 0.

SA Hockey Association media release



One's to Watch at Investec World League

Lily Owsley




After impressing the world by scoring five goals for Team GB in the Australian Youth Olympic Festival, Lily was swiftly called up to join the centralized program and train for the England women senior side. She made her international debut just two days ago in the first game of the Investec World League. Owsley has been putting the defensive opposition under immense pressure, making long runs into the D and multiple on target shots – definitely one to watch!

Alex Danson



England’s most capped forward, Alex Danson, first made her international debut in 2001, aged just 16. Since then, Danson has gone from strength to strength, becoming one of England’s star players, famed for her stunning reverse stick shot. Alex is a vital member of the team and has proven this by scoring an impressive goal against England’s first opposition; South Africa. Her continued hard work in all matches has not gone unnoticed; she is loved and respected by all of her team and fans, becoming a fundamental member of the England squad.

Maddie Hinch



Playing in goal may be an intimidating job for some, but England’s Maddie Hinch has not shrunk away from the task, despite coming up against some of the world’s best forwards. Hinch has been the star of the tournament so far, making save upon save and thriving in high pressured situations. She plays with a wealth of experience and calmness despite having less than a dozen caps playing for England. Expect to see more remarkable dives and saves from the West Sussex born keeper as England continue to fight to qualify for their place in the World Cup.

England Hockey Board Media release



Isberg holds the key to hosting of World League semis

By S. RAMAGURU


KUALA LUMPUR: With just four days to go before the FIH World Hockey League semi-finals begin in Johor Baru, the worsening haze condition is giving the teams and hosts Malaysia the jitters.

While England have already moved their base to Kuala Lumpur, Argentina, who arrived late on Saturday night, are staying put – for now.

But the final decision on whether the tournament will go on or not lies with one man – tournament director Bjorn Isberg of Sweden.

Isberg is already in Singapore and fully aware of the situation since the island nation is one of the worst hit.

Isberg will move to Johor Baru tomorrow and it is his assessment of the haze situation that matters as the International Hockey Federation (FIH) will decide on the call he makes – by Wednesday.

Taking the tournament to KL is also out of the question as the city is also hit by the haze.

The tournament could be moved to another venue – like Kuantan or Ipoh – but, with just days to go, will the FIH want to risk moving it?

Tournament organising committee secretary Manjit Majid Abdullah remains optimistic that the expected thunderstorm in the next few days will help resolve the issue.

“The API (Air Pollutant Index) reading on Thursday was as high as 380. But the situation has improved tremendously over the last two days,” said Manjit.

“We expect some thunderstorms over the next few days, which will clear the haze to a much lower level.

“The API reading at 5.40pm yesterday was 70.

“We have been updating the FIH daily regarding the haze situation.”

More teams will arrive in the next two days and many have already arranged training matches in the evening.

Argentina team manager Alejandro Doherty said that apart from the haze, the heat and humidity were also big concerns.

“We are coming in from the cold and hope to get used to the hot conditions. We are keeping a close watch on the haze situation ... hopefully, it will be clearer over the next few days,” he said after a morning training session.

South Korea are due to arrive today and the Malaysian team will also move their base to Johor Baru.

But while the teams put their finishing touches to their preparations, all eyes will be on Isberg.

The Star of Malaysia



Argentina in upbeat mood despite changing their coach

KUALA LUMPUR: Pan American champions Argentina changed their men’s team coaching set-up just 40 days ago but remain confident of a good showing in the FIH World Hockey League semi-finals, which starts in Johor Baru this weekend.

Former international Carlos Re­­tegui, who enjoyed a successful stint with the women’s team, has now taken over from Franco Nicola.

Team manager Alejandro Doherty said that the team had enough experience to mount a strong challenge despite the recent change of coach.

“Sure, Carlos will need more time with the team to do what he wants. Still, I’m sure he will do a good job with the limited time he has had,” said Doherty.

“The players are experienced enough ... most of them were in the team who won the Champions Challenge I in November last year.”

Prior to coaching the men’s team, Retegui led the women’s side to victory in the 2010 World Cup. At the London Olympics last year, the team won the silver medal.

Retegui is well-known to the Malaysian players as he was with the Argentine national team for well over a decade.

The Argentinians arrived two days ago and wasted no time – holding a morning training session at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium and playing a friendly against the Malaysians Juniors the same night.

Doherty said that they wanted to get acclimatised to the conditions here as quickly as possible and had arranged for at least four matches before the tournament starts.

“Yes, we hope to play at least three more matches from Monday. We have lined up matches against South Korea, Malaysia (senior) and South Africa,” he said.

“Our opening match on June 29 is against Germany, who are the reigning world and Olympic champions. We hope to be ready for them.”

The South Americans are in Group A with Germany, South Korea and Japan.

Group B comprises England, Malaysia, Pakistan and South Africa.

Doherty said their target was to make the top three in Johor Baru.

The World Hockey League semi-finals is a qualifier for the 2014 World Cup, which will be hosted by Holland.

The top three finishers in Johor Baru will get an automatic berth to the Finals. The tournament, to be held at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium, be­­gins on Saturday and ends on July 7.

The Star of Malaysia



English playing it safe

HEALTH CONCERN: Haze in Johor force them to shift base to KL but Argentines train on

By JUGJET SINGH


THE English, not wanting to take chances, moved their camp to Kuala Lumpur, but the Argentines did not seem to mind the haze in Johor Baru as they trained for the World League Semi-finals yesterday morning.

The World League starts on Saturday and with the top-three teams assured of tickets to the World Cup next year, the haze could turn the situation chaotic if it continues.

England, the World No 4, arrived in Singapore on Thursday and were supposed to play a friendly with the Singapore national team but with the Air Pollutant Index (API) hovering around 400, they stayed indoors instead.

However, the readings dropped to about 63 yesterday, and the Argentine team had no qualms about training at the tournament venue -- the Taman Daya Stadium.

In fact, the Argentine side even played a friendly yesterday evening with Malaysia's Junior World Cup side, coached by K. Dharmaraj.

But England moved to KL and held their first training session at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Saturday.

Head coach Bobby Crutchley is happy the squad have finally found some playing time.

"We lost two days of training as we were scheduled to play the Singapore national squad. The players' health comes first and we could not carry on as the pollutant index was very high," he said.

"This is a physically challenging sport and to play five games in nine days under those conditions is certainly asking for trouble.

"But for now, we need to continue with training and that is why we opted to come to KL and hope the conditions improve in the next few days and the tournament will be able to run smoothly." England are in Group B with Malaysia, Pakistan and South Africa while in Group A are Germany, Argentina, Japan and South Korea.

The situation is being monitored closely and organising secretary Manjit Majid Abdullah said: "The API index on Thursday went as high as 380. But the situation has improved tremendously over the last two days.

"We expect some thunderstorms over the next few days which will clear the haze to a much lower level."

The API reading at 5.40pm yesterday at Taman Daya was 70.

The International Hockey Federation is being updated daily on the situation.

New Straits Times



Electric Ireland Senior Women emerge victorious over Canada

The Electric Ireland Senior Women’s team bounced back from yesterday’s disappointment to emerge 2-1 victors over Canada in wet and windy UCD today.

Darren Smith’s team were tougher in their fifty fifty battles and breached the Canadian press much more so than in their first test.

Ireland made the better start and won their first penalty corner in the fourth minute when a pass from Watkins found O’Flanagan in the circle, popping the ball onto a Canadian foot.

Harvey’s drag was run down at the top, and minutes later Canada forced a corner of their own when a baseline run came of Meeke’s foot. The resulting flick lead to a reaward and the ball was flung wide.

Ireland began to find more flow and fluidity through the backline and midfield, but the final pass was missing and they struggled to penetrate the Canadian circle with any success.

With two minutes left in the half O’Flanagan took the initiative off a side-line ball on the right. Her mazy run beat four Canadian players but her reverse effort was saved high by the goalkeeper, and a penalty corner awarded.

With seconds left on the clock Michelle Harvey stepped up from the back to give the Green Army a 1-0 lead from a pin-point drag flick low to the keeper’s right. 

Half time and the score board read Ireland 1 Canada 0.

Canada made the brighter start to the second half, clipping a shot over the cross-bar and forcing Grace O’Flanagan to smother well from a tight angle.

They won their third penalty corner of the game nine minutes after the restart, after an Irish break down on the half way line led to a Canadian break away force a foot in the circle.

The ensuing set piece was again well saved from O’Flanagan, and minutes later Ireland won a corner after good work from Jacob on the right forced a stick-chop.

Harvey’s flick was saved but Watkins did well to win another. This time Harvey made no mistake as her low fling found O’Flanagan flying in from the left to touch home and put the Green Army 2-0 up.

Canada won two corners in a period where Ireland found themselves unable to maintain possession when under pressure. The first was well saved by O’Flanagan and the second went dangerously into the face of Niamh Atcheler before a Haughn rebound found the back of the net.

Time was stopped for the blood injury but after umpire deliberation the goal stood. Atcheler received a nasty gash on her forehead for her troubles and took no further part in the game.

Another corner with 13 minutes left in the half forced Dillon to concede a stroke when the resulting flick hit her body on the line. O’Flanagan stood tall to make a reflec save high to the right and Ireland’s slender one goal lead remained.

It was then Ireland’s turn to attack as they went in search of a third. Duke and Beatty were particularly effective going forward, the latter finding Evans who shot just wide of the upright with minutes to go.

Time fizzled out along with Canada’s chances of snatching an equaliser, and the score finished 2-1 to the Green Army.  

Smith was happier with his side’s performance but still felt improvements need to be made:

“It was a better performance from the girls today, with increased energy through the game. I’m pleased to be able to introduce other players to the series and be confident they can perform.”

“Tuesday’s decider will be a tough game, where we will need to fix our mistakes to win the series.”

The series now stands at one apiece, with the decider to be played on Tuesday evening, 7.30pm in UCD.

Ireland 2 (Harvey, O'Flanagan)

Canada 1 (Haughn)

Irish Hockey Association media release



Scots record fifth straight win with victory over England 'A'

Scotland Men recorded their fifth straight win in a row following an excellent 5-2 victory over England ‘A’ at Peffermill this afternoon.

A double for Royal Penguins’ Wei Adams and strikes from Paul Martin, his second in two games, Nick Parkes and Kenny Bain provided Scotland Head Coach Derek Forsyth and his side with their second victory over the visitors this weekend. David Beckett and Jonny Kinder were the goalscorers for England ‘A’.

Grove Menzieshill striker Paul Martin was again quick off the blocks when he gave Scotland the lead in the fourth minute. He picked up Gavin Byers’ pass from the right hand side of the circle and dispatched a reverse stick strike into the top left hand corner, leaving England ‘A’ goalkeeper Harry Gibson with no chance, to make it 1-0.

England ‘A’ responded with their first attempt on goal in the eighth minute, David Beckett producing a good save from Scotland ‘keeper Allan Dick.

The visitors were left ruing the missed opportunity in the 12th minute when the Scots doubled their advantage. Derek Salmond found Ian Scholefield in space on the right touchline and the Kelburne midfielder glided along the goal-line, finding Fraser Hirst in the circle with a sharp cross.  The Clydesdale midfielder’s deft touch played in Wei Adams at the back post, who finished off the move with a crisp strike into the bottom corner of the net for a 2-0 lead.

In the 22nd minute, Dick made a fine block from Luke Taylor’s drag-flick following the award of a penalty corner to the away side, before Byers came close for Scotland with a clipped shot over the bar shortly afterwards.

Scotland continued to pressurise the English defence and their persistence paid off in the 26th minute when Nick Parkes robbed the ball off a defender inside the circle and rifled the ball past Gibson, extending the score to 3-0.

Chris Grassick had a chance for the national side just before the break but his reverse stick shot went wide of the left hand post.

Following half-time, the Scots continued where they had left off as Gary Cameron played in Bain but the forward’s arrowed shot was blocked by Gibson.

Nevertheless, the home side made it 4-0 in the 39th minute when Salmond’s shot was saved by Gibson, only for the ball to fall to Martin, whose goal-bound shot was tapped in by Adams a yard out.

England ‘A’ pulled one back three minutes later when Dick saved Andy Bull’s penalty corner drag-flick, only for the umpire to award a penalty stroke. Dick got a hand to Beckett’s subsequent flick but the shot just had enough power to creep over the line to make it 4-1.

However, Scotland dashed any remote hopes of an English comeback when Callum Duke's persistence on the right touchline led to his first shot being saved by Gibson, but Kenny Bain was on hand to follow-up to put his side 5-1 up in the 48th minute.

Jonny Kinder gave England ‘A’ a second goal with a nice finish to make it 5-2 in the 54th minute.

During the closing stages, Dick made another good block from Chris Newman’s strike at the penalty corner, before Newman came close again when his shot flashed across Dick’s goal. However, it was not to be his day as the game finished without any further goals, giving Scotland a fine 5-2 win.

Scotland (Martin 4', Adams 13', 39', Parkes 26', Duke 48') 5-2 England 'A' (Beckett 42', Kinder 54')

Scotland Men: Allan Dick, Jamie Cachia, Ross Stott, Graham Moodie, Chris Duncan, Paul Martin, Nick Parkes, Gary Cameron, Wei Adams, Callum Duke, Ian Moodie, Fraser Hirst, Gordon McIntyre, Kenny Bain, William Marshall, Ian Scholefield, Chris Grassick, Gavin Byers, Derek Salmond.

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Sliders too good for Strathmore in national league

By ELIZABETH MBURUGU


Sliders beat Strathmore 3-2 in the Kenya Hockey Union women’s National League at City Park on Saturday.

A minute into the match Sliders went one goal up as a result of an own goal. Strathmore’s goalkeeper Dorothy Mutuku carelessly tried to clear the ball but instead conceded a goal.

Strathmore replied in the 7th minute through Nancy Wanjue as she scored a superb goal.

June Kagongo scored the second goal in the 14th minute to put Sliders in the lead.

Strathmore had chances to score but wasted them in the 33th  minute when Ndombella Sikwattah shot wide from a short corner.

They, however, came back in the second half energised and Lucy Wanjiku pulled one back in the 40th minute to level the score.

Sliders determined to walk away with three points sealed the victory in the 47th minute through a fantastic field goal by Dorsillah Oyaro.

 

After Sliders victory captain Nancy Chepchumba said: We are delighted with this win, we aim to handle every match differently with the seriousness it deserves.”

Sliders move to 3rd place with six points from three matches on league standings behind Strathmore University and defending champions Orange.

The men’s National League match pitting Kimathi University and Wazalendo Youth ended in a 4-4 draw. Wazalendo started very well playing long balls maintaining ball possession and counter attackers.

Erick Ochieng opened the score for Wazalendo in the 5th minute and added his second two minutes later. Gideon Kimunge scored twice for Wazalendo in the 14th and 43rd minutes.

Kimathi University netted their lone goal in the 9th minute through Fredrick Nyaga.

Kimathi University came back in the second half scoring thrice to share spoils with Wazalendo who seemed to be headed for an easy win.

Daniel Anyangu scored second one in 37th minute. Daniel Waweru scored in the 47th and 59th minutes to equalise and deny Wazalendo Youth a win and three vital points.

The Standard Online

 



Ventures retains hockey titles

Rashneel Kumar



Rozina Johns, left, of Hackers, drives the ball away from Marist's Laura Barrett during their clash at the National Hockey Centre yesterday. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU


VENTURES retained the men's and women's title in the Valerie Manueli-Daveta Memorial tournament that ended yesterday at the Fiji National Hockey Centre in Laucala.

The Suva club were unbeaten in the three-day tournament and showed superior power and class to down their challengers.

In the men's final, Ventures One defeated Stingers 3-1 while in the women's grade, the side defeated Stingers 1-0.

The tournament which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, had 16 clubs from Suva, Nadi and Lautoka participating.

Tournament co-ordinator Martin Fong hailed the event a success.

"Overall, the tournament was very competitive. We had a new team, Falcons, from the West," he said.

"There were young talents identified in this tournament that can be future national hockey prospects.

"The weather was also kind to us and the tournament was successfully organised."

Fong said the inter-club competition was the next event in the Fiji Hockey calendar.

Results: Men's quarters - Ventures I 4 Rebels 1, Stingers 5 Ventures 11 0, Marist White 1 Stingers Xtreme 0, Mates 2 Seals 1; Semis - Ventures I 6 Mates 0, Stingers 3 Marist 0; Final - Ventures I 3 Stingers 1

Women's - Marist 7 Stingers Fusion 6, Rebels 0 Ventures 11; 3/4 place - Marist 2 Hackers 0; Final - Ventures 1 Stingers 0.

The Fiji Times



Hockey dying in DU, colleges strike it off their sports quota

Aditi Vatsa


India's national game has taken a beating as a sport in the Delhi University, with prominent colleges such as Hindu and Hansraj deciding to not hold hockey trials for admission under the sports category.

Colleges say it has become difficult to maintain a team in hockey and attribute this to the waning interest in the game.

Having played hockey briefly when he was student at Kirorimal College, Hindu College principal Pradyumn Kumar says: "In the 1970s and '80s, hockey used to be such a craze. Ajit Pal Singh was the captain of the Indian hockey team at the time. We would go to Shivaji Stadium to watch matches. In my first year, I was in the college hockey team at Kirorimal. I remember in those days, most colleges such as KMC, Khalsa, Hindu and Hansraj had hockey teams. But gradually most of these teams disappeared."

The Delhi University offers five per cent reservation for sports and extra-curricular activities (ECA) categories, but colleges say the number of sports seats are not enough to sustain a team.

Hansraj principal V K Kawatra says: "We do not get enough students for games like hockey and kho kho. Also, the sports seats are reserved subject-wise and the demand for commerce and economics is higher. Earlier, many sportspersons used to take up BA Pass course, but that is no longer the case. It becomes difficult to maintain a team in such a situation."

Kumar agrees: "There are 36 to 37 seats in sports category in our college. These are divided among subjects. All good sportspersons want sought-after courses such as economics, commerce or English. Since the seats in these subjects are limited, all of them cannot get admission in that course. The result is that some of them go to another college. This has hampered the growth of team games like hockey. This is a problem that we face in all games that require a big team."

Indian Express