News for 30 March 2009

All the news for Monday 30 March 2009

East Grinstead clinch historic first English League title with tense win at Surbiton

By Patrick Rowley

East Grinstead, needing to win to be sure of the English League title, defeated Surbiton 5-3 in an enthralling final league match of the season at Thames Ditton.

Not only did the Sussex club become premier champions for the first time but they also became the first men’s club to complete an indoor and outdoor double.

Surbiton did come close to denying them. They led 3-2 and, with James Tindall in lethal shooting form, came very close to going further ahead.

But Grinstead picked out the weaknesses in Surbiton’s play and found the openings to confirm themselves as the league’s highest scorers.

The excellent German Martin Haner set them on their way with an early roofed corner flick. Matt Daly levelled for Surbiton but Danny Hall regained the lead for Grinstead early in the second half. Tindall made it 2-2, snatching a goal out of nothing.

Two minutes later George Harris fouled Daly outside the circle to receive a temporary suspension and concede a stroke. Ben Hawes converted against Richard Potton but the deputy goalkeeper then proceeded to keep Grinstead in the game until Harris could return.

Dominick Male scored the decisive two goals for Grinstead with Haner later adding his second.

As it transpired, Grinstead would still have been champions if they had lost. Beeston were beaten 3-1 at Hampstead and conceded second place to Reading who thrashed Cannock 5-0. Reading’s win ensured they join Grinstead and Beeston in Europe next winter.

Bowdon Ladies, already indoor and outdoor champions, failed at the last hurdle to collect maximum points in the women’s premier. Playing nervously, they lost 3-1 at Canterbury after Tina Cullen had given them the lead.

Olton denied Canterbury a place in the European Cup Winners Cup, by finishing second, a point above the Kent club, with a 3-2 win at Poynton.

The Telegraph

AHL - Men Round 4 Summary
Results from Sunday 29th March

Tassie Tigers 1 Southern Hotshots 0  (half-time 1 - 0)
Goal Scorers:
TAS – Phil Marshall FG 17th min

The Tassie Tigers gained maximum points this weekend on their quest to reach the AHL Finals with a less convincing second win over the Southern Hotshots in Hobart.

Hotshots coach Mark Dell’oro summed the game up when he said “Matthew Wells made the difference, showing clearly why he was the best full back in the world.”  Notching up 150 matches for the Tassie Tigers today, Wells almost single handedly denied the Hotshot countless scoring opportunities.

The Hotshots improved dramatically from yesterday’s game and had purpose and speed the whole match.  The Hotshots paid dearly by failing to convert any of their 4 penalty corners with the Tassie Tigers earning none.

Tassie Tigers work horse Warren Lucas and teammate Kwan Browne worked tirelessly in the midfield feeding the forwards, resulting in a desperate lunge into goal by Phil Marshall half way through the first half.  This was the first and only score for the game and despite same amazing speed and skill by both sides, shots went wide and keepers saved brilliantly.

“Winning ugly” was the expression from Andrew McDonald, the Tigers coach, at the end of the game. “We had some quality opportunities.  The Hotshots were quite ferocious at times but we had good strong defensive resolve.  Unfortunately we didn’t capitalise on what we should have. But we are still alive.”

The Tasmanian Hockey Centre now has one week to gear up for the Men’s Finals week starting Monday 6 April with the remaining round matches and concluding with the Finals on Easter Saturday and Sunday 11-12 April.

OAMPS Queensland Blades 4 NSW Waratahs 1 (2-1 half time)
QLD – Wilson 24m PC / 27m PC, Gibbs 53m FG, 70m Bates PC
NSW – Orchard 16m PC

The OAMPS Queensland Blades have recorded a round four double victory defeating the NSW Waratahs 4-1 today and 2-1 yesterday in Australian Hockey League top of the table clashes at Toowoomba Hockey Stadium.

NSW were the first to score today but Queensland’s Jason Wilson scored off two penalty corners in close succession, which gave the home side a 2-1 advantage at half time.

The Blades capitalised on attacking opportunities in the second half with both Ryan Gibbs and Tim Bates scoring goals.

The strong competition between the two teams this weekend should be good preparation for Finals Week beginning on April 6 in Hobart.

The OAMPS Queensland Blades, seeking their eighth consecutive grand final appearance this year, will start their Finals Week campaign playing against the South Australian Southern Hotshots.

The NSW Waratahs who are on course to improve on their fifth placed AHL ranking last year, will firstly compete against the Tassie Tigers in Finals Week.

WA Thundersticks 3 DEF Northern Territory Stingers  0 (2-0 half time)

WA – Taylor 6m FG, 19m PC, Boyne 41m FG

After being stung into action by last night’s close result, the WA Thundersticks came out all guns blazing in Game 2 of the double header in Darwin.  Despite this, the NT Stingers held their own and made the Thundersticks work hard for each of their goals.

Struck an early blow with the loss of the hard working Dash Hewitt, the Stingers were delivered an early wake up call with Greg Hearn getting one past the brilliant Leon Hayward in the 6th minute.  The Stingers struggled to penetrate the efficient WA backline and were further frustrated when Hearn returned to the scorers list by converting a penalty corner in the 19th minute.

The Stingers were hopeful of turning around the 2-nil deficit at half time, but the game was put out of reach when Craig Boyne scored from the field in the 41st minute giving the Thundersticks a 3 goal advantage.

Stingers keeper Leon Hayward, who has had an outstanding weekend, was then involved in a nasty clash that resulted in him being accidently struck in the head with a stick.  A ten minute injury break then followed with Hayward at one stage ruled out of the game, but then proving his fitness to return to the field.  The break, continued good work from Hayward, and a persistent Territory team all had an influence on the free flowing game of WA from that point on and no more goals were scored.

WA Coach Paul Gaudoin said “We improved from yesterday, with our skills showing through. We were happy with the first half, and had an interesting second half with the injury break.”

NT Co-Coach Bob Bulasch said “WA improved from last night.  We were hampered by the loss of Hewitt before the match and Travis Carroll in the second half.  However there are good signs from this performance leading into finals week.”

Hockey Australia media release

Winning start for hockey teams

The top four women's teams from last season all got their campaigns off to winning starts in the Canterbury premier women's hockey championship on Saturday.

With something to prove this year after a shock semifinal loss last season, Selwyn easily beat a young Rangi Ruru team 9-0.

The first half was a tight affair and although Selwyn dominated possession and territory they were unable to convert numerous opportunities due largely to the determined Rangi Ruru defence. It had a three-goal advantage at the break.

A whirlwind start to the second half produced five goals in the first 15 minutes. Selwyn added one more for good measure late in the game. Former national player Liz Perry recorded a hat-trick and formed a lethal partnership up front with Canterbury team-mate Anna Wetherall (two goals) and national under 21 player Bridget Blackwood (three goals), who was playing her first game for Selwyn after transferring to Christchurch.

In other women's results, former international Meredith Orr marked her comeback to the Carlton-Redcliffs team with a hat-trick in a 3-1 victory over Avon.

Orr was one of several Cantabrians who spent last season playing in Auckland as part of the national team's preparation for the Olympics.

High School Old Boys-Burnside welcomed back two national players, Stacey Carr and Kate Saunders, both of whom managed a goal, in a decisive 5-1 win over St Margaret's College.

In the closest game of the day, a late goal gave Harewood a 4-3 win over Hornby.

Harewood were able to overcome a 1-0 halftime deficit and on three separate occasions came back from a goal down before taking the win.

There were only two men's matches to start the season.

Avon deservedly beat HSOB-Burnside 6-4, adding three goals in the second half after leading 3-2 at halftime.

Carlton-Redcliffs came from behind for a 2-1 win against Selwyn.


Dangerous puts BJSS back on top

By Jugjet Singh

BUKIT Jalil Sports School (BJSS) reclaimed top spot in Division Two of the Malaysia Hockey League when they beat Malacca 4-1 at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday.

However, the score does not reflect the match, as BJSS lived dangerously until Dangerous Lee Ak Mathew scored a brace to give them a cushion.

Dangerous scored a penalty corner goal in the 35th minute, and increased the lead with a deflected goal in the 40th minute.

Malacca narrowed the deficit through Hanif Rahim in the 55th minute, but after that, fell back into their lazy mode, and BJSS scored two late goals to seal the match.

And this time, it was Hairulnizam Maizan who scored a penalty corner brace in the 67th and 70th minutes.

"We could have sealed the match much earlier, but the forwards were too cautious when chances came their way because they lacked confidence," said BJSS coach S. Prakash, who fielded an under-17 team in the under-19 tournament.

But still, even with nine under-16 players in BJSS, the sports school have yet to be beaten after seven matches.

"And we have four more league matches, and I see them as tough hurdles before we can call it a day. The aim right now will be to keep our place at the top," said Prakash, who has a rained-off match against Anderson in hand.

At the Kuala Lumpur HA Stadium, Tenaga Nasional thumped Old La Sallians Association of Klang 4-1 and are third on the standings.

The Tenaga scorers were Hafizul Akmal (10th), Sabri Mohamed (17th), Aminuddin Abu (22nd) and Nor Hizzat Sumantri (41st). Olak got their consolation through Arshad Repikh Ali in the 24th minute.

New Straits Times

BJSS warn rivals they intend to rule Div 2


KUALA LUMPUR: Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) regained their place at the top of the table in Division Two (Under-19 category) of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) with a 4-1 win over MSN Malacca at the Tun Razak Stadium here yesterday.

They now have a two-point advantage over Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS) after seven matches.

And BJSS coach S. Prakash warned his rivals that they wanted to stay that way for the next four matches to win the title.

The BJSS match against MSN Malacca was closely fought.

Both teams put a lot of emphasis on their defensive play and BJSS only managed to score their opening goal in the 35th minute off a penalty corner.

It came from Dangerous Lee, who flicked home a rebound from close range.

Five minutes into the second half, Dangerous lived up to his name when he put his stick out in the D to deflect home a cross from Mohamed Fazmi Faez.

BJSS controlled play but silly mistakes cropped up and MSN Malacca scored a penalty corner in the 55th minute through Mohamed Hanif Rahim.

But two late strikes by Hirulnizam Maizan gave the sports school a convincing victory. Both goals in the 67th and 70th minutes came from penalty corner set pieces.

Prakash said that the finishing by his forwards was still not good.

“We are doing all the right things from the defence up to midfield.

“But the players are still not able to make it work in the D. The players are lacking in confidence,” he said.

“We made hard work of the win today (yesterday).

“No doubt MSN Malacca gave us a tough fight but we must learn to take advantage of the chances early in the game.”

At the KL Hockey Stadium, Tenaga Nasional overcame Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak) 4-1 to stay in third place.

Tenaga had on Friday suffered their second defeat in the league when they lost 1-3 to BPSS.

The Star of Malaysia

Nur Insafi out to bag Div 3 title for Fadhirul


GEORGE TOWN: Nur Insafi are in a hurry to bag the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) Division Three title. And they will be out to seal it with a win over MSS Selangor at the Sungai Petani Hockey Stadium today.

They want to dedicate the title to defender Mohd Fadhirul Razmin, who died in a road accident three days ago, and four other team-mates, who were injured in the incident.

The four are Kuala Kangsar Clifford College students Mohd Fadli Zabidi, Sabir Ismail, Mohd Azrul and goalkeper Mohd Hanif Kasman.

Coach S. Tatchanamurthy said yesterday: “We are just a win away from the title but I seriously wanted to pull the team out of the championship when tragedy struck on Friday.

“But the players and their parents coaxed me out of it. The players wanted to win the title for Mohd Fadhirul and their injured friends. I could not say no to them.”

Tatchanamurhy now has only 13 players available to play the match today. “Confirming the title tomorrow (today) is of utmost inmportance.

“It will not only ease the pressure on the players but will also enable me to bring forth my junior players to help plug the gaps for the rest of our fixtures,” he said.

“The majority of my junior players are only in Form Two and exposure in our two remaining league matches will be vital, especially with the quarter-final challenges to start in two weeks.”

Nur Insafi will go into the match against MSS Selangor with the maximum 18 points from six matches. They hold a four-point lead over SMK Temerloh, who have played one match more. Nur Insafi’s other matches are against SMK Temerloh (April 3) and MSS Penang (April 5).

The Star of Malaysia

Carib Magnolias slam Ventures 5-0

Nigel Simon

Gayle-Ann Nieves scored a pair of goals as Carib Magnolias began defence of its T&T Hockey Board Women’s Championship Division title with a 5-0 hammering of rivals Ventures at the National Hockey Centre Tacarigua on Friday night.

Magnolias, 3-0 ahead at the interval and winners of the T&THB opening season tournament also got goals from Stacey Siu Butt, Michelle Leotaud and Alicia Waithe in handing Ventures its second defeat from three matches.

In the Men’s Championship Division, Queen’s Park held off a second-half rally from Corona Fatima to secure its first win of the season, 3-2. Khadeem Fortune and Azad Ali netted for the Parkites to lead 2-0 at the half, while midway through the second period, Nicholas Camacho extended the lead to 3-0.

Fatima then mounted a late come-back with Andrew Vieira scoring from two penalty-corners to set up an interesting final ten minutes. However, the Parkites managed to hold on for the narrow win to erase the memories of last week’s 2-1 loss away to Paradise of Tobago.

The Trinidad Guardian

Kuantan Hockey Stadium fit for Asia Cup

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) have reaffirmed that the Kuantan Hockey Stadium is fit to be the competition venue for the Asia Cup tournament.

This comes following an inspection of the turf by the MHF secretary, Hashim Mohamed Yusof, on Friday.

Malaysia are taking over from the United Arab Emirates as hosts of the tournament.

Hashim said yesterday that the Kuantan pitch was fine but some work needed to be done on the other facilities in the stadium complex.

“The Pahang Hockey Association (PHA) officials have given us an assurance that they will look into the issues and work will commence immediately,” he said.

Hashim said that earlier fears on the state of the Kuantan stadium were well founded as it was in a bad state in 2007 when Pahang hosted the Razak Cup tournament.

“But they have done quite a bit of work to get it repaired and the stadium looks much better.

“As I said, there are still a few areas where work needs to be done and we are confident that they can be ready in time,” he said.

The Asia Cup tournament from May 9-16 offers the champions direct entry to the 2010 World Cup Finals in India.

Ten teams will feature in the tournament.

They are defending champions India, Pakistan, South Korea, China, Malaysia, Japan, Bangladesh, Oman, Singapore and Sri Lanka.

It is set to be an active three months for the MHF.

They will host the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh from April 5-12 and in June they will jointly host the Junior World Cup Finals with Singapore.

Hashim said that he expected officials from the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) to visit Kuantan to check out the facilities as well.

Among the Asia Cup teams, India and Pakistan will compete in the Sultan Azlan tournament.

Pakistan coach Shahid Ali Khan said that team officials were likely to use the opportunity to visit Kuantan to see for themselves the pitch and the facilities offered.

“This (Kuantan) is a new venue for international matches in Malaysia. We thought the tournament would be held at Bukit Jalil,” he said.

The Star of Malaysia

WorldHockey Academy (Dubai Sports City) aims new height for hockey in Gulf

By K Arumugam

Country’s Only International Standard Water-Based Pitches Arrive

WorldHockey Academy
P Jeff O'Brien (l), Dubai Sports City Academies Manager, and Adam Barnes, WorldHockey Academy Manager review the WorldHockey Academy surface at Dubai Sports City

Dubai, United Arab Emirates The new WorldHockey Academy, based at Dubai Sports City, is set to bring one of the most popular global sports to the Gulf. The WorldHockey Academy will become the centre of excellence for hockey through a partnership between the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and Dubai Sports City.

The academy is preparing to open its doors with the final stages of the facility nearing completion. The two FIH certified (international standard) water-based pitches, which are unique to the UAE, are being installed complete with broadcast standard floodlighting

The WorldHockey Academy will soon be a hive of activity with coaching programs, local summer and winter leagues and school tournaments. Every coaching program participant will benefit from the expertise of accredited coaching staff and the latest equipment to support their development.

Education courses for coaching and umpiring will also be on offer, with some of the most respected coaches in the world, provided by the FIH, delivering the programs.

“Hockey has arrived in the UAE, and we are extremely excited about improving the standard of the game in the region” said Adam Barnes, WorldHockey Academy manager, Dubai Sports City. “There is a massive amount of enthusiasm throughout Asia and the GCC for hockey and having the WorldHockey Academy here will encourage more people take up the sport.”

The WorldHockey Academy, which will also be the home of the UAE Hockey Committee, will introduce hockey to the local community through entry level programs. The focus will be on fostering enjoyment of the game in a common endeavor to increase the number of players and also lift the game standards across the country.

The WorldHockey Academy will also offer international teams a ‘best in class’ facility for training camps and competitions with a number of international teams looking to use the facility in preparation for the 2009-2010 season.

“The WorldHockey Academy has the potential to change the game in the Middle East,” said Dubai Sports City Academies Manager, Jeff O’Brien. “The WorldHockey Academy is ideally placed to improve the game at all levels creating a focal point for hockey in the region.”

The WorldHockey Academy is part of the integrated facilities at the Dubai Sports City Academies Campus which offers athletes a broad range of industry leading facilities and athlete services which rivals any facility globally, facilitating sharing of knowledge and experience between coaches, players and sports science across a variety of sports disciplines.

The Dubai Sports City Academies Campus also includes the Dubai Sports City Football Academy, the home of Manchester United Soccer Schools, Dubai; a David Lloyd Tennis Academy; and a Butch Harmon School of Golf, the first such facility outside the United States.

In addition, the Dubai Sports City Academies Campus is home to the International Cricket Council’s own ICC Global Cricket Academy; a Swimming Academy based around a 50 metre swimming pool with a retractable boom allowing simultaneous use by multiple users; a Rugby Academy, a High Performance Centre; and a world-renowned sports medicine and rehabilitation clinic.

About WorldHockey Academy

The WorldHockey Academy is the first facility of its kind anywhere in the world.

Through a partnership between Dubai Sports City and the International Hockey Federation, the WorldHockey Academy will provide coaching at the highest professional level from seasoned hockey coaches.

Political parties ignoring hockey stars: Olympians

Jalandhar, March 28 Olympians are unhappy with all national and regional political parties for ignoring hockey players as compared to cricketers.

Five cricketers including, Madan Lal (Congress candidate from Hamirpur in Himachal), Chetan Sharma (BSP, Faridabad in Haryana), Navjot Sidhu (BJP, Amritsar), Kirti Azad (BJP, Darbanga in Bihar), Mohammad Azharuddin (Congress, Muradabad in UP) are trying their luck in this Lok Sabha elections. Besides shooter Jaspal Rana, brother-in-law of BJP chief Rajnath Singh’s son is also in fray from Tehri in Uttrakhand.

Padma Shri DIG (retired) Balbir Singh, who represented India in 1964 and 1968 Olympics, told The Tribune that the political parties should have also fielded hockey players. If former cricketers and singers like Hans Raj Hans can be asked to contest, then why can’t hockey stars? According to him they too have brought laurels to the country by winning eight gold medals in Olympics in 1928, 1932, 1936, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1964 and 1980 respectively.

Arjuna Awardee Balbir Singh said had any political party approached him to contest in the upcoming LS polls, he would have done so.

Similar were the views of another Padma Shri Olympian Ajit Pal Singh, who was the captain of India in 1976 Olympics, 1971 and 1975 world cup.

Ajit Pal Singh expressed his anger that “Cricket was patronised by royal families earlier, nowadays politicians are patronising this game as compared to other sports, and this is clear that they field mostly cricketers in polls.”

Talking to The Tribune on phone from Delhi, Ajit Pal Singh, under whose captaincy Indian won the world cup in 1975, said had any party approached him, he would have fought the elections.

Olympian Colonel (retired) Balbir Singh said though he was not interested in politics, but he was of the view that the political parties should give tickets to those hockey players who were keen to contest.

Balbir Singh said all this showed how the national game was being given the step-motherly treatment.

Arjuna Awardee Olympian Jagjit Singh, who represented the country in 1964 Olympics, where India won gold medal, said he was annoyed with the political parties who only took care for cricketers and ignored other sportspersons.

The four hockey Olympians hail from Sansarpur village, popularly known as a nursery of hockey players as it has produced as many as 14 Olympians and a number of international players.

Balbir Singh and Jagjit Singh still reside at Sansarpur village near Jalandhar Cantonment, whereas, Col Balbir Singh and Ajit Pal Singh are residing in Jalandhar city and Delhi respectively.

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