News for 17 July 2010

All the news for Saturday 17 July 2010


Germany, Britain clash in Four Nations final

By Bruce Hamilton


NOTTINGHAM: Germany and Britain advanced to Saturday's Four Nations final by defeating Japan 4-2 and New Zealand 5-1 respectively on Friday.

Japan defended well in the first 10 minutes, fighting off six shots with goalkeeper Katsuya Takase keeping Germany scoreless.

Germany earned their first penalty corner a minute from the break, converted by Martin Zwicker at the right post from Martin Haner's powerful low flick at the battery to put his side 1-0 ahead at the break.

Japan levelled from their first penalty corner early in the second half when a quick left-to-right pass for Katsuyoshi Nagasawa was flicked high across Tim Jessulat in Germany's goal.

Japan continued to be competitive until 12 minutes from time when Felix Oldhafer was left unmarked in Japan's circle to score twice and Oskar Deecke added another to have Germany ahead 4-1.

Koji Kayukawa drove in a consolation goal from the top of the circle which caught Jessulat in goal by surprise.

Japan coach Siegfried Aikman acknowledged Takase's goalkeeping skills.

"We had a difficult start and Takase kept us in the match. But I have to acknowledge that Germany had better individual skills and control of the match than Japan," said Aikman.

Germany coach Markus Weise was critical of his team's strikers.

"We had a lot of action in their circle but we didn't really find any good solutions to score because there was too much hectic play by the strikers," Weise said.

Meanwhile, New Zealand exploited Britain's lack of organisation in the backfield in the first 20 minutes but were unable to find the breakthrough.

Slowly, Britain started to dominate midfield, intercepting New Zealand's passes forward, andf turning possession into attack.

Simon Mantell scored from an interception of a New Zealand outlet pass, deflecting in Alistair Brogden's cross from the right for England's first goal.

James Tindall converted Britain's first penalty corner followed by Ashley Jackson flicking Britain's second penalty corner into the roof of the net to have Britain ahead 3-0 at the break.

Jackson scored a penalty stroke and James Tindall sneaked a goal late in the game, intercepting a lazy New Zealand pass at the top of the circle, beating New Zealand goalkeeper Stephen Graham with a deft reverse hit into goal.

New Zealand took advantage of Jackson and midfielder Alistair Wilson on the penalty bench at the same time create the chance for Marcus Child to score a soft consolation goal for New Zealand.

Britain's assistant coach Bobby Crutchley conceded his side lost shape in the first 20 minutes.

"Apart from the first 20 minutes, when we were lucky not to have a score against us, we did a lot of good things and scored some nice goals," Crutchley said.

New Zealand coach Shane McLeod agreed New Zealand were out-played.

"I think England played very well. They were much tougher and played a very physical game," said McLeod.

The Times of India



GB earn televised finals berth comfortably

Great Britain’s men sealed their place in Saturday Men’s Four Nations Final with a comfortable victory over New Zealand at Highfields Sports Club in Nottingham on Friday evening.  Doubles from Surbiton’s James Tindall and HGC’s Ashley Jackson followed Simon Mantell opener and sealed a 5-1 win, with New Zealand’s Marcus Child pulling one back midway through the second half.

Germany’s defeat of Japan earlier in the evening meant both sides went into the game knowing a good result would put them in Saturday’s televised final against the Germans.  Surbiton forward James Tindall returned to the side after missing Wednesday’s defeat to Germany with Reading’s Jonty Clarke sitting out alongside Cannock goalkeeper James Fair.

There was a moment of early panic in the Great Britain defence when Hugo Inglis dispossessed Reading’s Richard Springham at the top of the circle and stepped in one on one with Springham’s Reading teammate Nick Brothers.  The goalkeeper was out quickly to meet Inglis, who could only flick the ball into the body of the goalkeeper.  The danger remained as New Zealand’s Nick Wilson picked up Brothers’ clearance but GB captain Barry Middleton arrived in time to prevent Wilson getting a shot off.

Having cleared the danger, Great Britain countered through Alastair Brogdon down the right.  His cross was tipped on by Barry Middleton in front of goal but New Zealand goalkeeper Stephen Graham blocked the shot at close range.

Midway through the half Bowdon’s Brogdon was the provider for Simon Mantell’s opening goal with another cross from the right.  Having reached the baseline he drilled the ball low into the circle where it was met by Mantell at the near post and he scored from an acute angle to give Great Britain the lead.

Ashley Jackson then caused the Black Sticks’ defence problems as he let off a reverse stick shot from the left side of the circle but Richard Petherick did well to get the block in to deflect the ball away.

It took 21 minutes for the game’s first penalty corner to be awarded and it went the home side’s way.  At the top of the circle, Jackson dummied his shot and the ball was moved left to Surbiton’s James Tindall.  Spinning his marker he hit the ball on his reverse into the net three inches above the backboard.  The German umpire signaled for a goal despite the protestations of the New Zealand defence who argued the shot was the first effort on goal and should therefore have hit the backboard for the goal to count.

The goals had injected something into Britain’s play and Middleton came very close to adding a third in the 25th minute when he deflected Niall Stott’s through pass just beyond Graham’s left post.

Brogdon and Mackay combined well to earn GB their second penalty corner with five minutes of the first half remaining and World Young Player of the Year Jackson rifled home an unstoppable penalty corner flick to put Great Britain 3-0 up.

New Zealand had two half chances as the first period drew to a close with Nick Brothers blocking from a loose ball inside the circle before the hooter went on a comfortable half time lead for Great Britain.

Five minutes into the second half Great Britain found themselves down to nine men when first Ashley Jackson was shown a green/yellow card and Beeston’s Alastair Wilson talked himself into a yellow card at the same time.  GB were forced to defend deep and with two players off the pitch they conceded a scrappy goal.  Marcus Child’s persistence paid off as he eventually forced the ball through defending sticks and goalkeeper Nick Brothers and over the line for 3-1.

Jackson and Wilson returned to the field but were immediately on the back foot defending as the Black Sticks’ Nick Wilson and Stephen Jenness combined well around the British circle.

With 17 second half minutes played Iain Mackay forced Kiwi goalkeeper Graham into conceding a penalty corner.  Richard Springham pulled the ball out to Jackson who returned it to him on the post.  His goal-bound effort was blocked on the line by the defender’s foot and the umpire immediately signalled for the penalty stroke.  Up stepped HGC’s Ashley Jackson to flick the penalty high into the top right corner for 4-1.  The goal took Jackson to 49 international goals for Great Britain and England with the possibility of a 50th in the final against Germany.

A flowing move involving Middleton, Mackay and Loughborough Students’ Nick Catlin ended with Mackay narrowly failing to reach Catlin’s pass outside the far post after the GB captain had won possession in the New Zealand half.

With five minutes of the match remaining James Tindall bagged his second of the game.  After dispossessing Blair Tarrant deep inside New Zealand territory, Tindall entered the circle, wrong footed the goalkeeper and coolly rolled home Great Britain’s fifth.

At the post match press conference, Great Britain Assistant Coach Bobby Crutchley said he was happy with the performance: “We did a lot of good stuff today.  We’re slightly inconsistent at the moment but apart from the first 20 minutes we played some good hockey and scored some good goals.”

Commenting on the second goal, which seemed to turn the match in Britain’s favour, Crutchley said:  “I was surprised to see it given because from my angle it looked to go straight in but it had deflected off a defender’s stick, which he admitted, so it was a good decision.”

Great Britain will now play Germany in Saturday’s final, which gets underway at 20:00.  Japan and New Zealand will play off for third and fourth at 17:30.

NEW ZEALAND (men) 1 (0)
Marcus Child 44 (F)                 

GREAT BRITAIN (men) 5 (3)
Simon Mantell 17 (F)                
James Tindall 22, 65 (PC, F)                
Ashley Jackson 31, 53 (PC, PS)           

GREAT BRITAIN SQUAD v NEW ZEALAND
Started


Nick Brothers (Reading) Goalkeeper
Alastair Wilson (Beeston) Defender
Andy Bull (Brooklands MU) Defender
Richard Springham (Reading) Defender/Midfielder
Niall Stott (East Grinstead) Defender
Ashley Jackson (HGC) Midfielder
Glenn Kirkham (East Grinstead) Midfielder
Harry Martin (Old Loughtonians) Midfielder
Barry Middleton (HGC) Midfielder/Forward
Alastair Brogdon (Bowdon) Forward
James Tindall (Surbiton) Forward

Substitutes Used

Richard Alexander(Surbiton) Defender/Midfielder/Forward
Nick Catlin (Loughborough Students) Midfielder/Forward
Adam Dixon (Beeston) Defender/Midfielder
Iain Mackay (Reading) Midfielder
Simon Mantell (Reading) Forward

DNP

James Fair (Cannock) Goalkeeper
Jonty Clarke (Reading) Forward

INTERNATIONAL MEN’S FOUR NATIONS TOURNAMENT TABLE


1. Germany (9 pts)
2. Great Britain (6 pts)
3. Japan (3 pts)
4. New Zealand (0 pts)

INTERNATIONAL MEN’S FOUR NATIONS TOURNAMENT FIXTURES

Monday 12 July 2010


17:30 Germany v New Zealand - Men’s Four Nations
20:00 Great Britain v Japan - Men’s Four Nations

Wednesday 14 July 2010

13:30 Great Britain v Germany - Men’s Four Nations
16:00 New Zealand v Japan - Men’s Four Nations

Friday 16 July 2010

17:30 Germany v Japan - Men’s Four Nations
20:00 New Zealand v Great Britain - Men’s Four Nations

Saturday 17 July 2010

17:30 3rd v 4th – Japan v New Zealand - Men’s Four Nations
20:00 Final – Germany v Great Britain - Men’s Four Nations (live on Eurosport)

Great Britain Hockey media release



Britain thrash NZ to reach Four Nations hockey final

Great Britain beat New Zealand 5-1 in Nottingham's Four Nations tournament to reach Saturday's final against Germany.

James Tindall and Ashley Jackson both scored twice for the home side after Simon Mantell had broken the deadlock in the 18th minute.

Earlier, Germany cruised to a 4-2 victory over Japan to finish top of the four-team pool.

Britain, the European champions and World Cup semi-finalists, lost 3-2 to the Germans on Wednesday.

Needing a victory to guarantee their place in the final, Great Britain took the lead when Alastair Brogdon broke down the right and crossed to Mantell, who converted from an acute angle at the near post.

Four minutes later, Tindall spun past his marker and drilled home to make it 2-0 from the game's first penalty corner.

With five minutes of the first half remaining, world young player of the year Jackson slammed home a penalty corner flick to put the home side in total command.

Great Britain were reduced to nine men early in the second period when Jackson and Alastair Wilson were shown yellow cards and New Zealand capitalized with a scrappy goal from Marcus Child.

But Jackson's penalty made it 4-1 and Tindall grabbed his second of the game with a superb finish five minutes from time.

"We did a lot of good stuff today," said Great Britain coach Bobby Crutchley. "We're slightly inconsistent at the moment but apart from the first 20 minutes we played some good hockey and scored some good goals."

BBC Sport



Great Britain beat New Zealand to reach Four Nations final

By Emily Benammar



In the bag: Ashley Jackson celebrates scoring his second goal and Great Britain's fourth of the match against New Zealand Photo: ADY KERRY

Great Britain men have set up a Four Nations final clash again Germany after a 5-1 victory over New Zealand at Highfields Sports Ground, Nottingham.

Simon Mantell opened the scoring for Jason Lee’s side after 17 minutes, tapping in at the near post off Alastair Brogdon’s cross from the right.

The home-side’s lead was doubled five minutes later when James Tindall’s shot off a penalty corner was awarded despite appeals from New Zealand who claimed the shot was the first effort on goal and should therefore have hit the backboard for the goal to count.

Eager to get in on the action, World young Player of the Year, Ashley Jackson did what he does best sending a bullet of a shot into the top of Stephen Graham’s net to make it 3-0 with five minutes of the half remaining.

The early stages of the second-half saw Great Britain reduced to nine men after Jackson and Alastair Wilson were both shown yellow cards. New Zealand capitalised on the advantage and pulled a goal back through Marcus Child.

The match was wrapped up with Jackson and Tindall scoring their second goals of the night. The former again scoring off a penalty corner while Tindall wrong-footed the keeper to send his strike into the bottom left corner.

After what has been a largely experimental tournament for Great Britain, assistant coach Bobby Crutchley said: “We did a lot of good stuff, put together a lot of good hockey and scored some good goals.

“We were probably lucky to have come out of the first twenty minutes without conceding but overall it was a good performance given all the injuries.”

The Telegraph



Black Sticks men in bronze play off

by Bruce Hamilton


Great Britain overwhelmed the Black Sticks Men 5-1 in the men's Four-Nations tournament on Friday (UK time) and play Japan for the bronze medal on Saturday (NZT 4.30am, Sunday July 18).

The Black Sticks Men lost 3-4 to Japan in the round robin match.

New Zealand played with black arm bands, honouring Joseph Bartholomew’s uncle who passed away and Joseph sat out the match.

Britain was clearly disorganised in the backfield in the first 20 minutes, failing to establish a shape to allow passing angles amongst the deep three defenders and into attack.

New Zealand’s high pressure exacerbated Britain’s lack of organisation however the Black Sticks Men could not convert the pressure into scoring chances.

Britain started to dominate the midfield after it found the solution to its positional play in defence, intercepting New Zealand’s passes forward and turning possession into attack.

Alistair Brogden set up Britain’s first goal, beating New Zealand’s defence out wide on the right to cross for Simon Mantell to jag a deflection past Stephen Graham in goal.

Britain’s speed to contested possession and repeated turnovers of possession by the Black Sticks Men allowed Britain to continue to dominate.

James Tindall converted Britain’s first penalty corner with a first-shot backstick which flew high into the net, collecting the slightest deflection from New Zealand’s defence.

Ashley Jackson made an unstoppable flick into the roof of the net to convert Britain’s second penalty corner and take Britain to the break at 3-0.

New Zealand took advantage of Jackson and midfielder Alistair Wilson on the penalty bench at the same time, five minutes into the second half, Marcus Child punishing Britain’s indiscretions with a soft goal - his second in two matches.

Jackson converted a penalty stroke following a penalty corner where the penalty corner injector, Richard Springham, flicked into the body of Andrew Hayward on the goal line after Tindall’s first shot rebounded.

James Tindall picked off a Black Sticks Men's pass at the top of the circle, ran to Stephen Graham and beat him with a turn to the right and a reverse hit into the empty net with five minutes on the clock.

Great Britain's Assistant Coach Bobby Crutchley gave credit to New Zealand’s high press.

“We had some shape issues in the first 20 minutes and the New Zealanders, who are good at pressing, exploited that and they got us on the back foot a bit as the New Zealand pressure is very effective,” Crutchley said.

Black Sticks Men's Coach Shane McLeod agreed New Zealand was out-played.

“I think England played very well today as they were much tougher in that they played a very physical game which we struggled to compete with, and I think there was some very good finishing from the Britain side,” McLeod said.

“There is probably a list of things that we can work on from our perspective,” McLeod added.

McLeod is exposing his young team to international competition.

“We have brought a group to Europe that has not had a lot of international experience and for those guys it is a learning experience,” McLeod added.

“For most of the group, the best they have played is top provincial hockey and we have nine players still under 21 in this squad, so there is a lot of learning for them and it is hard way to learn when they play Great Britain which is a team when it plays well is very difficult for the guys to compete with them,” McLeod said.

“Our senior squad members will join us for the next part of our trip and that will be a pretty strong side going into the Champions Trophy [commencing 31 July]” McLeod said.

The Four-nations tournament continues Saturday when Britain and Germany play for first place and Japan play New Zealand for third place.

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Britain beat Black Sticks

Great Britain overwhelmed New Zealand 5-1 in the men's Four-Nations hockey tournament this morning (NZT), leaving the Black Sticks to play Japan for the bronze medal early tomorrow.

New Zealand's high press exposed Britain's lack of organisation at the back, especially in the first 20 minutes, but they couldn't convert the pressure into scoring chances.

Britain started to dominate the midfield after sorting out their defensive pattern, intercepting New Zealand's passes forward and turning possession into attack.

Alistair Brogden set up Britain's first goal, beating New Zealand's defence out wide on the right to cross for Simon Mantell to jag a deflection past Stephen Graham in goal.

Britain's speed to contested possession and repeated turnovers by the Black Sticks continued to allow Britain to dominate.

James Tindall converted Britain's first penalty corner with a first-shot backstick which flew high into the net, collecting the slightest deflection from New Zealand's defence.

Ashley Jackson made it 3-0 going into the break with an unstoppable flick into the roof of the net in converting Britain's second penalty corner.

New Zealand pulled one back five minutes into the second spell, with Britain's Jackson and midfielder Alistair Wilson on the penalty bench at the same time.

Marcus Child punished Britain's indiscretions with a soft goal - his second in two matches.

However, the British were too strong overall, and goals to Jackson and Tindall put the win beyond doubt.

Great Britain assistant coach Bobby Crutchley gave credit to New Zealand's high press.

"We had some shape issues in the first 20 minutes and the New Zealanders, who are good at pressing, exploited that and they got us on the back foot a bit," he said.

New Zealand coach Shane McLeod said New Zealand were simply out-played.

"I think England played very well today as they were much tougher in that they played a very physical game which we struggled to compete with, and I think there was some very good finishing," McLeod said.

"There's probably a list of things that we can work on from our perspective."

He said the tournament was invaluable in exposing his young team to international competition.

"We have brought a group to Europe that has not had a lot of international experience and for those guys it is a learning experience.

"For most of the group, the best they have played is top provincial hockey and we have nine players still under 21 in this squad, so there is a lot of learning for them."

New Zealand now meet Japan in the bronze medal playoff, after losing 3-4 to them in the round robin match.

The Black Sticks' senior players join the squad for the next part of the trip, strengthening the team going into the Champions Trophy, which begins in Germany on July 31.

 

Stuff



England cannot underestimate New Zealand in Champions Trophy, says Helen Richardson



On a roll: Helen Richardson has scored three times for England in their run to the medal play-offs Photo: ADY KERRY

England play New Zealand in their final pool match of the Women’s Champions Trophy today with a place in the final at stake but Nottingham-born Helen Richardson has warned has warned the squad cannot afford to be complacent against the world No 9 side.

Danny Kerry’s side have exceeded expectations at the six-nations tournament after recording victories over three of the world’s four top-ranked sides. And victory over the Black Sticks will secure England their first Champions Trophy medal.

But with New Zealand yet to record a win, Richardson, England’s top scorer at the event in her hometown, has warned the visitors will be even more determined to prove themselves worthy of their presence on the world-stage.

“They don’t want to leave this tournament with no points so they’ll be really driven to get something out of this game.

“We’ve seen them in the tournament and they’re catching teams on the counter, they have a big hit into the circle which they’ll try and win corners off and they present a lot of threats so we can’t underestimate them.

“New Zealand are here on merit having won the Champions Challenge Cup - so we can’t be complacent.

“They’re similar to the Aussies - really fit and like to play fast - but if we play how we’ve played so far we can get a result.”

Enjoying their best ever run at a Champions Trophy, Richardson said the rest of the squad were delighted with their performances and that the results are a testament to the centralised programme they have been following since October last year.

With the entire squad relocated to train at least three-times a week at Bisham Abbey, success at the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and ultimately the London 2012 Olympics is becoming more and more of a reality.

“We’ve done fantastically well,” said Richardson. “We came into the tournament having set ourselves three goals; one was to meet our ranking, the good one was to get to the bronze play-off and the fantastic one was to reach the final.

“We’ve ticked one off and tomorrow is about achieving the fantastic goal.

“Everyone’s really happy. The way we’ve played has been really good because we’ve played our way. Everything we’ve done in the build up to this we’ve put in to practise. We’re not beating these teams by fluke we’re playing our own game.

“And now we’ve made the top sides sit up and take notice of us.

This week gives the centralised programme so much more momentum and we really look forward from here. The difference in the group is amazing – we’re talking about winning a gold medal at the Olympics. We’re getting used to saying and that with the improvement and the results. It’s not unrealistic at all.”

Meanwhile, Great Britain's mens squad face Germany in Saturday's Four Nations final after beating New Zealand 5-1 on Friday night.

The Telegraph



Pakistan hockey team reach Holland

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan hockey team have reached Holland after playing three matches against Spain and France in Spain. According to information made available here, the green shirts will play two matches against Dutch side on July 18 and 19.

Pakistan will also play three-day practice session in Holland after these matches. Meanwhile in the last match of the Spain-leg tour, Pakistan played a 1-1 draw against the hosts, Spain. The only goal from Pakistan was scored by Rehan Butt. Pakistan also played 2-2 draw against Spain in the first match and beat France 4-0 in the second match.

The Daily Times

 



India beat Belgium 3-2 in 2nd hockey Test, lead series

NEW DELHI: Sandeep Singh struck twice and custodian Bharat Chetri saved a penalty stroke to steer India to a 3-2 win over hosts Belgium in the second hockey Test in Antwerp.

The win secured India an unassailable 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

The two teams had played a 3-3 draw in the opening Test. Sandeep (26th and 67th minutes) converted two penalty corners while skipper Rajpal Singh scored a field goal in the 39th minute.

For the hosts the goal scorers were Cedric Charlier (10th min) and Thomas Briels (55th min).

Belgium began aggressively and earned the first of their three penalty corners in the 3rd minute when Gurbaj Singh wrongly tackled Jerome Dekeyser.

Captain Jerome Truyens' dragflick found the hand of Vikas Pillay which resulted in a penalty stroke.

Indian goalkeeper Chetri brought off a splendid save with his stick high on the right from Greg Gucassaoff.

India continued to lose possession with faulty passing and trapping and were unable to mark the Belgium forwards initially.

Belgium scored their first goal when Charlier struck in the 10th minute after receiving a long pass from deep defender Alexandre De Saedeleer.

India were lucky not to concede another goal shortly after as John Verdussen shot wide.

Indian nearly got the equaliser when Rajpal broke through the Belgium defense from the right flank but his cross went abegging as Tushar Khandker was a trifle slow to intercept.

India made it 1-1 in the 33rd minute with a penalty corner conversion by Sandeep in the 33rd minute.

After half-time, India orchestrated their moves with more flair with Prabodh Tirkey, Gurbaj Singh and Ajitesh Roy engineering good boll rotation.

A solo effort by Rajpal in the 39th minute put India 2-1 ahead. This was a spectacular goal as the Indian captain stole the ball on the center line and worked his way past four defenders before beating the Belgium goalkeeper.

Belgium equalised in the 55th minute as the Indian defense gifted a goal to their rivals with Thomas Briels scoring after being set up by Eliott Van Strydonck.

India however were awarded their fourth penalty corner in the 67th minute when Belgian defender Max Vandersmissen was pulled up for obstruction.

Sandeep Singh made no mistake as he slotted the ball home to give India victory.

The Times of India



A mix of the prosaic and the pulsating

S. Thyagarajan



BATTLE FOR POSSESSION: Karnataka's Girish Ganapathy (left) and ONGC's Sandeep Antil vie for the ball on Thursday. Photo: M. Vedhan

The opening day of the MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament produced interesting fare here on Thursday.

While ONGC scored a comfortable 4-2 victory over Karnataka XI in pool A, India Juniors almost overcame the formidable BPCL but for a goal in the dying minutes by Sabu Varkey signalled a 1-1 draw.

The Indian colts clung on to the early goal by skipper Lalith Upadyaya and repulsed every move of the rival.

Lalith Upadyaya led the attack with confidence and had good support from Irfan Affan, whose runs down the left flank caused considerable alarm in the BPCL defence.

As the team moved close to an upset victory the script changed.

BPCL needed a veteran to pull in the equaliser and the former star, Sabu Varkey, did the trick. He did so with a fluent shot from top of the circle shattering the confidence of goalkeeper Navin Kumar.

Notwithstanding a late rally in the second half, the intensity of fight put up by Karnataka proved insufficient to stem the tide against the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).

Nothing mirrors this than the final tally although at one point shortly after half-time the Karnataka team had considerably narrowed down the leeway to 2-1.

The focus, undoubtedly, was on ace penalty corner striker Diwakar Ram. But he did not emerge as the key player in the team although he produced a thundering shot late in the match — one minute before close to be precise — to get into the scorers' list.

What attracted notice in ONGC's display was the system and consistency of the frontline attack led well by Pramod Kumar, assisted by Sandeep Antil and Jagwant Singh. It did not come as a surprise when each one of them slotted in a goal.

When Ravi Kumar slammed in a penalty corner shortly after the break it signalled a fightback from Karnataka. After Jagwant hoisted the third goal for ONGC, Nithin Thimmiah netted four minutes from the end. Karnataka still was in the fight, but Diwakar Ram snuffed out all hopes of a further recovery.

The results: ONGC 4 (Pramod Kumar, Sandeep Antil, Jagwant Singh, Diwakar Ram) beat Karnataka XI 3 (Ravi Kumar, Nithin Thimmiah).

India Juniors 1 (Lalith Upadyaya) drew with BPCL 1 (Sabu Varkey).

The Hindu



Laboured wins for Army XI and IOC

S. Thyagarajan




Holder Army XI put down a determined Namdhari XI 4-2 while former winner IOC made heavy weather of the local challenge from Southern Railway but managed to take full points with a 4-0 win in the MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament here on Friday.

Featuring a pack of internationals, including the heroic Baljit Singh in the goal for a brief spell — the goalkeeper is recovering after undergoing treatment in the US for a serious eye injury sustained last year — the IOC squad was painfully laborious. Even the usually elegant Prabhjot and Deepak Thakur were below par.

Even the few incisive moves that Inderjit Chadha fashioned with Vickram Kanth and Mujtaba were met with stiff resistance. The local defenders, with goalkeeper M.G. Suresh making a handful of good saves, kept IOC down to just a 1-0 lead going into the second half.

Yuvaraj was another prominent player in the defence, bringing off a fine goal-line save to thwart Deepak Thakur.

In the first half, IOC failed to make further impact after the early goal — off a drag flick by Raghunath. After that, he was held off by Suresh who had support from Gouthaman.

Early in the second half, Deepak Thakur scored after piercing through the defensive wall. Midway through the session came the third from Chadha, easily the most hard-working of the IOC players. Raghunath netted the fourth goal.

Southern Railway, the local league champion, made few moves to cause anxiety to the rival defenders. Jayaraj stood out with his valiant efforts to break through but he was like one swallow attempting to make a summer. It was hard labour for Army to overcome the challenge offered by the Namdhari XI. This was expected given the forthright approach that is part and parcel of the Namdhari side.

Within minutes, the Namdharis stunned the Armymen with a goal. A perfect penalty corner paved the way for a lively duel, which saw the sides locked 2-2 at half-time.

The Army players were a wee bit slow to settle down. There were known faces like Sunil Ekka, S.V. Sunil and goalkeeper P.T. Rao in the squad but the side had to stretch to smother the pressure exerted by the rival. Mention must be made of a splendid save effected by Rao off a smashing shot from Gurmail Singh, whose wing play was decidedly eye-catching.

Army neutralised the Harpreet Singh goal with a similar fashion penalty corner conversion — by Reneil Singh off a flick by Xalco. Another effort by Sunil Ekka put the Army squad ahead but a penalty stroke taken by Harpreet Singh — after a withering shot by Gurmit Singh hit a defender in front of the goal — saw Namdhari XI pull level.

After the break, the teams fought with all the intensity they could summon. A brilliant back-hander by Eliazar Lakra symbolised the ascendancy of the Army team and Sunil settled the issue with a fluent finish from the top of the circle to give the Army team's victory a veneer of comfort.

The results: Army XI 4 (Reneil Singh, Sunil Ekka, Eliazar Lakra, S.V. Sunil) bt Namdhari XI 2 (Harpreet Singh 2); IOC 4 (V. Raghunath 2, Deepak Thakur, Inderjit Chadha) bt Southern Railway 0.

The Hindu



A year of miseries, neglect and comeback for Baljit Singh

Tushar Dutt


Mumbai: “A lot has happened in this one year. The injury has robbed my happiness. It has made me and my family go through the toughest phase of our lives,” Baljit goes back in time. “I am the only bread-earner for my family and after the injury, we were left in the lurch, as we didn’t know what was going to happen in the future,” he goes on to explain.

But, it was his determination and faith in himself that enabled Baljit to hit the turf again.It looked impossible some months back. “This is the fourth tournament I am participating in and for that, I would like to thank my employers Indian Oil and my coach Ramesh Parmeshwar, who put their faith in my talent and supported me all this while,” he says. Baljit is playing for his team in the Murugappa Gold Cup tournament and has participated in the Inter-petroleum tournament, Bangalore league and CM Cup in Bangalore. He says there is no further improvement in the vision, as it is somewhere around 33 per cent. To better the vision, he will have to go through a few more surgeries in the future.

Ask him how different things have become after the injury and he is quick to reply. “Honestly speaking, I admit that the vision of my right eye is still poor, but I haven’t faced any difficulty so far when it comes to keeping the goal post. I practise regularly with Devesh Chauhan and even he feels the same for me.”

Is he confident of playing for the Indian team? “Playing for the country is the biggest achievement for any player. I want to practise harder and improve my game further so that I can show the world that nothing is impossible. If I do so, it won’t be difficult for me to attract the selector’s attention,” he concludes.

DNA



Tirkey turns down IHF offer to become selector

BHUBANESWAR: Apparently under pressure, former India captain Dilip Tirkey on Friday turned down the offer by the rejuvenated Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) to become a part of the four-member national selection committee.

"I am not accepting the appointment as a selector by the IHF. Air India has not given me permission for this," Tirkey said.

"Since I have to abide by what my department (Air India) wants me to do, I am not going to participate as a national selector in the ongoing men's national (at Bhopal)," the Olympian said.

Stating that he had received a communication from the IHF regarding his appointment as a selector, Tirkey said he has already conveyed to the Federation his inability to accept the offer.

Evading a direct reply the controversies engulfing Indian Hockey in recent past, Tirkey said "there are a lot of things. I don't want to get embroiled in the controversy involving IHF and Hockey India."

The Padmashree awardee said his priority at present is to provide proper training and coaching to about 25 budding talents.

Meanwhile, Olympian Joaquim Carvalho reportedly hit out at Hockey India for stopping Tirkey and Ashish Ballal from performing their roles as selectors of the IHF in the ongoing 63rd men's nationals at Bhopal.

In a letter to the sports ministry, Carvalho also accused an Air India Sports Control Board official of preventing the duo from doing their job as the IHF selectors.

The Times of India



Pargat to contest for Hockey India president's post

NEW DELHI: Former India captain and Hockey Punjab secretary Pargat Singh on Friday announced his candidature for the post of Hockey India president and said he was confident of his victory in the much-awaited polls of the national federation to be held on July 28.

"Yes, I will be contesting for the post of Hockey India president and I am pretty confident that I will win," Pargat said.

"You can win only if you play the game, by sitting outside you cannot think of victory," he said.

Pargat will file his nomination on Saturday before the Returning Officer Justice R C Chopra.

The former India full back said he decided to contest the elections because he felt he can make a difference and improve the state of the national game, which is running without a democratically-elected set-up since 2008.

"Hockey has given so much to me and now it is my turn to give back my share to the game. I feel pity to see the present condition of hockey in India. Now the game is in doldrums," Pargat said.

Hockey India had last month ratified the affiliations of 33 units, including four institutional boards, during its special general meeting. Earlier this week, Hockey India received a no-objection certificate from the sports ministry.

Hockey India polls had been postponed thrice in the past because of various reasons, which had even irked the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

The Times of India



Pargat to contest Hockey India elections

HT Correspondent


Former India captain and coach Pargat Singh has decided to contest for the post of the Hockey India president. He will be filling his nomination on Saturday for the elections scheduled for July 28. Pargat is the first person to officially announce his candidature for elections that have been postponed thrice because of problems with affiliation process and the resultant court cases.

There are indications the elections would be a contest between two groups — one led by Pargat Singh and the other by incumbent president Vidya Stokes and secretary general Narinder Batra.

Bengal Hockey Association president JB Roy, who has led a group of states against IHF president KPS Gill and held a conclave at Amby Valley near Pune, would not throw his hat into the ring. The Roy group will support Pargat and some of its members may contest as a new panel, which will be announced in a couple of days.

“Pargat will file his nomination on Saturday. The names for other posts in his panel will be decided later,” said a source close to the Olympian.

“We have got support from all quarters. Many state associations are backing his candidature for the various roles he has played in Indian hockey,” the source added.

Hindustan Times



Players in a fix as turf war

The fight to control hockey has virtually reduced the much-awaited ongoing National Championship in Bhopal, the first in the last four years, into a futile exercise. With the event being conducted by the KPS Gill-led Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), the national body whose suspension by the Sports Ministry and Indian Olympic Association was recently revoked after a court ruling, it is unlikely that the 400 participants from 32 teams may merit attention for India selection.

That’s because, the men who pick the team that participates in international tournaments didn’t make a trip to Bhopal as they are affiliated to Hockey India, a body that both Sports Ministry and FIH recognises.

Former India captain Pargat Singh, who is the Punjab sports secretary and also the secretary of Hockey Punjab, explains the never-ending chaos and confusion in the hockey circles. “The body that selects the teams, can’t send it for the Nationals.

The one that has the right of participation isn’t authorised to select the team. The game is in a mess,” he says. Ask him about the Nationals and he pleads ignorance. “I know the Nationals are on and I also know that there is a Punjab team participating. But I have no idea about it,” he says.

Indian Express



No end in sight to Indian hockey's woes

V Narayan Swamy


BANGALORE: The hockey imbroglio in the country is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon and the fraternity is destined to endure multiple federations grappling with administration for at least the next six months.

With the Commonwealth and Asian Games, scheduled in October and November this year, the Union sports ministry is left with little or no time to restore order in hockey administration. A solution, if possible, may be attempted in the new year by bringing these rival bodies to the negotiation table.

The die is cast, in fact, with the Hockey India election on July 28 but to those wondering how the two warring bodies can run the show in the country without stepping on to each other's toes, the message from the sports ministry is that at this point in time, the only decisive factor that should govern every move is player welfare and nothing else.

In fact, the ministry has given Hockey India given a conditional no-objection tag. One, HI will be bound by the 2001 guidelines on tenure and age, which they have accepted. Two, they have been told that they should not harm the interests of any player choosing to turn out in the National championships organised by Indian Hockey Federation to which they have replied in the affirmative.

At the same time, teams for international events will continue to be selected by Hockey India as they have the recognition of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) but without any bias against players who figured in the IHF Nationals.

So what pushed the ministry into backing Hockey India elections?

Ministry officials aren't revealing much but the drift is that the threat from the FIH to bar India from the women's World Cup in August-September and the two multi-sport events at the end of the year might have forced the decision. Having done that, the ministry also felt election was the way forward as it had always maintained - and submitted to the court as well on a previous occasion - that it did not recognise Hockey India in its present form - an unelected body comprising a handful of people.

While Hockey India elections and the ministry's backing have come a shock to the KPS Gill-led body, the ministry argues that in the May 2010 ruling, only its 2009 order derecognising the IHF was quashed by the High Court. Nowhere has it been implied in the ruling, which favoured the IHF, that the recognition to Hockey India has been quashed, it feels.

Understandably, this interpretation does not address the core issue of forming a single national federation. But obviously, the FIH threat, the two major events and the fact that a registered society cannot be prevented from holding election for long, have played big roles in prompting the move.

What next? India will have to bear with two federations — both promoting the game but only one continuing to represent Indian hockey at the FIH till the situation changes.

But not for long though as government guidelines mandate only one ruling body for each sport. But for that to happen, India may have to wait until the Commonwealth and Asian Games are over. And, of course, hope that wiser counsel prevails when the hockey factions get ready for negotiations.

The Times of India



Border hockey girls’ big opportunity

By PETER MARTIN


KAT Leisure Park and Buffalo Flats Astroturf will be graced by the presence of 18 hockey teams for the 2010 women’s inter-provincial which starts on Monday and ends with the final play-off matches next Saturday.

In the A section of the event there are eight teams, split into Pools A and B, while the B section, in which the Amathole or Border team will compete, includes 10 teams, also split into two Pools.

The teams are A Section: Pool A: Southerns, North West, Western Province, Eastern Province. Pool B: KwaZulu-Natal Coastal, Northerns, Witwatersrand, KwaZulu- Natal Inland.

B Section: Pool A: Western Province Pens, SA Country Districts A, Southern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal Mynahs, SA Country Districts B. Pool B: Border, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Free State, Namibia.

For Border, under the inspired captaincy of international Marcelle Keet, the tournament affords a great chance to win their section and gain promotion to the A section.

With home support encouraging them and playing in their back yard, they will seldom get such an opportunity to advance to the upper echelons of SA hockey.

Their toughest game is likely to be their opener against Free State on Monday at 1.30pm at Kat Leisure Park.

It is rumoured that the Bloemfontein side contains three Dutch players of high calibre. Nevertheless Keet and her team should be up to the challenge.

Thereafter Border play Northern Cape on Tuesday, Mpumalanga on Wednesday, take a break Thursday and then tackle Namibia on Friday, with the last three matches all scheduled for 6pm to allow East London supporters to get to the venue after work and cheer their team on.

The tournament will be the culmination of four to five month’s hard work under coach Greg Beling and the Border team would hate to let him down.

Defending A section champions, Southern Gauteng, or Southerns as they prefer to be called, will be the team to beat, with perhaps KZN Coastals being their closest rivals. These two are likely to contest the A section final.

“This is a big tournament,” said Amathole Hockey Association president, Kevan McDougall yesterday. ”There will be a lot of international players in action which is a great crowd-puller.

“And with the best women players in South Africa present, the hockey will be of top quality.”

There is much at stake for the players. The new women’s chief coach, Giles Bonnet along with the national selectors, will be present and Bonnet has gone on record as saying that he is looking for new talent to attend upcoming training camps.

The final for the B section will be contested on Saturday, July 24 at 2pm, and the final of the A section two hours later.

Daily Dispatch



Singapore make final date with hosts

By Jugjet Singh


SINGAPORE will battle Malaysia for the Asean Schools hockey gold medal at the Tun Razak Stadium tomorrow -- with the odds heavily favouring the hosts.

Yesterday, Singapore completed their fixtures with a 4-1 win over Indonesia. The republic's only blemish in this tournament was a 7-0 hammering by Malaysia.

Singapore got their goals from Mohamed Al Fien (2nd), Karleef Sasi (29th, 44th) and Mohamed Rifqi (61st). Angga Widman (32nd) scored for Indonesia.

In another match, Thailand hammered Brunei 12-0. Malaysia wrap up their fixtures against Brunei today.

"Malaysia are too strong to upset in the final, but I believe the score will not be as high as when we met in the pool," said Singapore coach Lim Chiow Chuan.

Singapore were a spent force when they met Malaysia on Thursday evening, as they had beaten Thailand 4-2 in the morning.

However, with a rest day before meeting Malaysia in the final, Singapore are not expected to throw in the towel easily.

Lim, who was Malaysia's Project Manager for the Doha 2006 programme, is involved with his last tournament with Singapore.

After the Asean Schools, he will return to Malaysia as the Director of Development for the nation-wide 1Mas Hockey project.

RESULTS: Thailand 12 Brunei 0, Indonesia 1 Singapore 4.

TODAY: Thailand v Indonesia (3pm), Brunei v Malaysia (5pm).

*Matches at Tun Razak Stadium.

New Straits Times



Hockey men eye CAC gold

Nigel Simon


England-based Kwandwane Browne will lead a 16-member T&T senior men’s hockey team which left yesterday as part of this country’s contingent for the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. The T&T squad, the reigning Caribbean champions will compete in Group A of the eight-team tournament with Barbados, Panama and host country, Puerto Rico at the Estadio, Idelfonso Solo Morales, in Caguas. Group B comprises, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico and Netherland Antilles. With 2006 gold medal winners in Santo Domingo, Cuba not involved, T&T who were runners-up after a 4-3 loss on penalty-flicks following a 2-2 draw will be favourites to take top spot.

Only on Friday, the national team which will be led by Kwandwane Browne, one of four English-based players in the team returned from a two-week tour of Europe. The other players who ply their trade in England are Dillet Gilkes, and Browne’s clubmates at newly promoted English Hockey League Premier Division outfit Canterbury in Matthew Tang Nian and Mickel Pierre. During the European tour, the national hockeymen played nine matches, winning four, drawing one and losing the other four. The four victories included wins over the 13th world ranked, Belgium team 3-0 and their Under-21 counterparts, 6-4 as well as two clubs teams. Looking ahead to the tournament, Browne said the pressure will be on T&T to live up to the expectations as being the favourites.

Browne said he expects both Mexico and Barbados to be his team’s main challenger for the gold medal. “Mexico has had a young team for quite some time playing together and I know they have targeted this CAC Games for a long while now. “The Bajans have also hired a new coach... and I expect their game will improve and become more tactical and organised.” “But at the same time we are confident in our own ability. We are coming off the tour of Europe and by our standards we are playing far above our expectations.” In in Puerto Rico, Browne and his team-mates under the guidance of coach, Eric Verboom of Holland will have a week to acclimatise themselves before meeting Puerto Rico in its opener on July 23. T&T, who won CAC gold in 2006 also in Puerto Rico and were third in 1998 then faces Barbados on July 25 and Panama on July 27 to complete round-robin pool play. The top two teams in the group will qualify for the semifinals on July 29 with the final and other playoff matches carded for two days later. In addition to Verboom, the technical staff includes local assistant coaches in Bruce Tang Nian and Glen “Fido” Francis and manager Denise Scanterbury.

T&T men’s touring team:

Darren Cowie, Solomon Eccles, Kwandwane Browne, Wayne Legerton, Dwain Quan Chan, Dillet Gilkes, Atiba Whittington, Akim Toussaint, Matthew Tang Nian, Mickel Pierre, Andrey Rocke, Aidan De Gannes, Javon Woodward, Marcus James, Justin Pascal, Chad Pedro.
Reserves: Christopher Scipio, Andrew Vieira
Technical staff: Eric Verboom (coach), Brian Tang Nian (assistant coach), Glen “Fido” Francis (assistant coach), Denise Scanterbury (manager).

The Trinidad Guardian



Abahani bounce back in style

Sports Reporter


Title contenders Abahani returned to winning ways in the Green Delta Insurance Bangladesh Premier Division Hockey League when they handed an easy 5-0 defeat to Dhaka Mariner Youngs Club in their opening match of the Super League at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Smarting from a 3-0 defeat to rivals Mohammedan Sporting Club in their previous match, Abahani established their superiority from the onset and took only three minutes for a deserved lead with Pakistani Modasser Ali Khan through a field goal.

After the lead, the Dhanmondi-based outfit did not look back and Modasser doubled the advantage in the 15th minute before Ehsan Rana made it 3-0 through another field goal.

Then the Pakistani penalty corner specialist Sohail Abbas converted one, to extend the margin just one minute before the break.

Abbas, in the second half, converted another penalty corner to seal the fate of the game.

The Daily Star