News for 18 July 2010

All the news for Sunday 18 July 2010


Netherlands and Argentina set up dream final

A pulsating day of action saw The Netherlands and Argentina get the results that they needed to reach the final of the Samsung FIH Champions Trophy in Nottingham, England.

The Netherlands defeated Germany 1-0 courtesy of a field goal from Kim LAMMERS, which was the 1000th goal in the history of the women's Champions Trophy. They were joined in the final by an Argentina team that claimed a narrow win over China, with penalty corner star Noel BARRIONUEVO netting the winner in the 69th minute. The goal meant that Argentina leap-frogged England - who drew 2-2 with New Zealand earlier in the day - into second in the table, setting up a dream final between the two best teams in the world rankings.

Lammers fires The Netherlands into Final

A second half strike from Kim LAMMERS was enough to confirm The Netherlands' place in the final of the Samsung FIH Champions Trophy, giving her team a 1-0 win over Germany. LAMMERS' goal was the 1000th in the history of the Women's Champions Trophy, a statistic that mattered little to a Dutch team determined to triumph in this tournament.

The first half saw both sides create a number of excellent opportunities, with Germany's Tina BACHMANN and Maartje PAUMEN of the Netherlands both hitting the frame of the goal with penalty corner efforts. The game's decisive moment arrived in the 50th minute when Kim LAMMERS drilled a low shot just inside the left post from the right of the circle. Germany chased hard for an equaliser, but The Netherlands held on to claim an important victory.

Black Sticks frustrate England

New Zealand's Black Sticks finally claimed their first point of the tournament by securing a 2-2 draw with England. The result eventually cost England a place in the tournament final thanks to Argentina's triumph over China.

Although England dominated the early stages of the game it was New Zealand who struck first when Piki HAMAHONA raced down the right, dribbled past Crista CULLEN and fired an unstoppable shot just inside the left post of the England goal (FG 9m). Things went from bad to worse for England in the 18th minute thanks to Gemma FLYNN who struck home from open play, but England pulled a goal back a minute later thanks to Nicola WHITE who latched onto a cross into the circle from Charlotte CRADDOCK to score with ease. Crista CULLEN slammed in an equaliser just before half time from an expertly placed penalty corner, giving England real hope ahead of the second period. However, no further goals were coming, despite a couple of good late chances from Alex DANSON and a failed penalty corner variation.

Regardless of today's result, this has been England's best ever performance in a women's Champions Trophy event, achieving ten points in the Round Robin phase.

Barrionuevo blasts Argentina into Final

Argentina have booked their place in the final of the Samsung FIH Champions Trophy with a 4-3 win over China. The winning goal came in the 69th minute, with Noel BARRIONUEVO sending a penalty corner flick into the goal to ensure that her team leap-frogged England in the league table courtesy of a better goal difference. Argentina will play The Netherlands in tomorrow's tournament final, with the South American's hoping that they can claim the Champions Trophy for a third successive year.

Argentina took the lead in the game after 20 minutes when Daniela SRUOGA danced past three Chinese defenders before finding the roof of the net with a reverse stick shot, but China were level ten minutes later thanks to WANG Zishuang's field goal. Silvina D'ELIA re-established Argentina's lead in the 45th minute with a deflected penalty corner strike before Rosario LUCHETTI's inch-perfect lob made the score 3-1 to Las Leonas with just over 20 minutes remaining. China netted twice in the final ten minutes to tie the scores, with goals from ZHAO Yudiao (60 PC) and FU Baorong (64 FG), but BARRIONUEVO's late goal sealed an Argentinean victory.

Tomorrow will see another action-packed day in Nottingham, which begins at 09.35. China and New Zealand will contest the 5th-6th place play-off match before England and Germany do battle for third place at 12:15. The Gold medal match between The Netherlands and Argentina will begin at 15:05.

More information about the action from Nottingham can be found on the Samsung FIH Champions Trophy tournament microsite

WorldHockey



Netherlands, Argentina book final encounter

By Bruce Hamilton


NOTTINGHAM: Argentina will play the Netherlands in the women Champions Trophy final on Sunday after England and New Zealand drew 2-2, Netherlands squeezed a 1-0 win over Germany and Argentina beat China 4-3 on Saturday.

England's inability to score one more goal against New Zealand cost them a place in the final, failing to gain the 12 points needed to advance ahead of Argentina.

Argentina's win equalled England's 10 points but the South Americans secured a final berth with a better goal difference.

Germany goalkeeper Kristina Reynolds parried Netherlands' four first half penalty corner shots in the scoreless first half, winning more contested possessions while Netherlands turned over possession in the midfield and in Germany's circle.

Kim Lammers' 50th minute goal marked one thousand women's Champions Trophy goals and earned the Dutch their ninth Champions Trophy final berth.

Netherlands' coach Herman Kruis believes his side advanced by generally sticking to their game plan.

"We started the game with the goal to play a better press than the last matches and I think we did that very well because in the press we could pick up some balls and that was our goal for this match," Kruis said.

Germany coach Michael Behrmann was pleased with his side's showing - if not the result.

"I think we played quite well today in a very close match and we had chances to score and while I am not happy with the result I am quite happy with the way we played," Kruis said.

New Zealand spoilt England's chance of playing in their first Champions Trophy final by drawing 2-2.

The draw gave New Zealand their first point in the tournament and kept alive their record of not losing to England in Champions Trophy tournaments.

New Zealand's Piki Hamahona and Gemma Flynn had New Zealand ahead 2-0 midway through the first half before Nicola White's field goal and Crista Cullen's penalty corner conversion levelled matters at the break.

England had a penalty corner chance in the last minute, saved by New Zealand goalkeeper Beth Jurgeleit, clearing Cullen's high flick with seconds remaining.

New Zealand coach Mark Hager was not enthused by New Zealand's performance.

"We were patchy although obviously the two goals in the first half were pleasing, but apart from that, in the second half, I don't think we created too many opportunities so we need to learn to play for 70 minutes rather than for 15 minutes," Hager said.

England coach Danny Kerry was impressed with New Zealand.

"I have watched the matches of New Zealand here and I think this New Zealand squad is very talented," Kerry said.

Argentina struggled to overcome China's speed at times as they let slip a seemingly safe advantage at 3-1, the Chinese roaring back through Zhao Yudiao and Fu Baorong.

But in a thrilling finale Argentina earned a penalty corner converted by Noel Barrionuevo.

As the Dutch and Argentina play for gold, Germany and England meet for bronze and China face New Zealand to avoid the wooden spoon.

The Times of India



Draw leaves England waiting

England drew 2-2 with New Zealand in their final pool match of the Samsung FIH Champions Trophy early on Saturday afternoon at Highfields Sports Club in Nottingham.

After the Netherlands beat Germany 1-0 in the day’s early match, England went into the game knowing a win over the Black Sticks would set up a re-match with the Dutch in the final.  Anything less than victory and they would require China to do them a favour against Argentina such was Argentina’s superior goal difference over England.

Seeking an early opening England began in a lively fashion but fell behind to Piki Hamahona’s solo effort in the ninth minute.  Things got harder for the hosts midway through the half when Gemma Flynn tucked away a rebound from her own shot to put New Zealand 2-0 up.  But England rallied.  Good work from Charlotte Craddock set up Slough’s Nicola White a minute later and just before half time Crista Cullen converted a penalty corner to pull England level.

The second half was a tight affair with England enjoying much the better of the chances but despite a late penalty corner they failed to break New Zealand’s resolve and had to settle for 2-2.

Head Coach Danny Kerry brought back Katie Long, whose Leicester teammate Kerry Williams replaced her in the stand alongside reserve goalkeeper Gemma Ible.  New Zealand’s Gemma Flynn was presented with her 50th international cap before the match.

England began the match positively, taking it to the New Zealanders.  Alex Danson’s enterprising play down the right won England an early free hit and not long after Leicester’s Katie Long won a penalty corner after good work from Chloe Rogers.  Captain Kate Walsh’s effort from the corner was aimed for the right post but the Black Sticks cleared.

Reading’s Danson had an opportunity to open the scoring on seven minutes after Susie Gilbert found her in space inside the New Zealand circle but the 25 year old could only hook her reverse stick effort wide with Beth Jergeleit advancing.

Despite the positive start England fell behind as the Kiwis hit them on the counter attack.  The ball out of defence reached Piki Hamahona who ran at Crista Cullen.  After shaping left, Hamahona wrong footed the Leicester defender, going past her on the right and firing home over the sliding Beth Storry in the England goal.

Cullen forced Jurgeleit into a low save to her right from a penalty corner in the tenth minute as England looked to recover from the setback.

Things got worse for England midway through the half when New Zealand, who despite their results have looked good throughout the tournament, doubled their lead.  Gemma Flynn found herself with time to shoot but Beth Storry was on her quickly, blocking with her legs.  Unfortunately for the Reading goalkeeper Flynn reacted immediately to knock the rebound in and put the Black Sticks two goals up.

With Crista Cullen off receiving treatment, England pulled one back through Slough’s Nicola White.  A great run down the right hand side from Clifton’s Charlotte Craddock saw the Bristol University student beat her challenger along the baseline before finding the unmarked White just a metre from goal.  With the goalkeeper dragged to the near post in an attempt to thwart Craddock, White had all the time in the world to push the ball over the line for 2-1.

From the restart and with Cullen still off, England goalkeeper Storry was called upon to show why she is one of the best goalkeepers around, pulling off an excellent low block on Katie Glynn around the penalty spot.

With five minutes of the half remaining Alex Danson used England’s team referral to refer a foot inside the circle that the umpire had not seen.  The video umpire Amy Hassick agreed and England were awarded penalty corner number three.  From the corner, Cullen pulled England level with a well placed low flick inside the right post and the dream of a place in the Champions Trophy final was reignited.

With all to play for in the second half the opening period was evenly matched although Leicester’s Katie Long narrowly failed to connect properly diving on her reverse to meet University of Birmingham student Susie Gilbert’s threaded pass.

On 45 minutes Chloe Rogers had a shot blocked inside the circle from which New Zealand countered, winning a free hit on the edge of the English circle, which England cleared.

A New Zealand mistake then gave Alex Danson the opportunity to play in Craddock but the Clifton youngster just failed to latch on to Danson’s penetrating pass.  Midway through the half the visitors found themselves temporarily down to ten when Krystal Forgesson was shown a green card for a shove in the back and with 13 minutes remaining Georgie Twigg followed her off when she knocked the ball away after the whistle had gone.

The match entered its final ten minutes delicately poised at 2-2.  Slough’s Nicola White gave the full house crowd something to shout about when she shot from the top of the circle with nine minutes remaining but Beth Jurgeleit dealt with the effort, kicking clear the danger.

Unlike in previous games New Zealand were competing to the end with England working hard to find the opening.  The Black Sticks so nearly gave it to them when Danson picked up a wayward aerial across the field and fed White in the circle.  New Zealand had bodies back though and White’s miscued effort went off the side of the pitch.

The game moved from end to end as the clock reached two minutes and with 90 seconds remaining Forgesson was again sent from the field, this time for a foul on Georgie Twigg.  From the free hit, Laura Unsworth ran into the circle but New Zealand stood firm with England forwards looking for a clean shot on goal.

Half a minute from time Charlotte Craddock looked to have won a penalty corner off a defender but New Zealand referred it to the video umpire.  Amy Hassick agreed that the ball had come up dangerously off the defender and the corner was given.  Susie Gilbert’s injection to the top was flicked powerfully by Cullen but Jurgeleit kept it out.

In a tense finish to the match, umpire Michelle Joubert blew for a fifth England penalty corner just as the clock hit zero.  She referred the decision to the video umpire to check whether the offence had occurred before or after the full time hooter and following consultation with the video umpire, changed the decision, blowing for full time instead much to the disappointment of the crowd and the England players.

After the match, Head Coach Danny Kerry said: “Credit to the girls, they came back from 2-0 down.  They did really, really well to get two goals back.

“At half time there were some key messages given and I’m a little disappointed some of them didn’t get through.  My job now is to get the girls up and prepare for tomorrow’s match.”

The result put England’s destiny in the hands of China, Argentina’s opponents later in the day.  Anything less than a win for the South Americans would see England progress to meet the Netherlands in the final.  An Argentina win would put them through to Sunday’s final and leave England fighting Germany for bronze.

NEW ZEALAND 2 (2)
Piki Hamahona 9 (F)                
Gemma Flynn 18 (F)                

ENGLAND 2 (2)
Nicola White 19 (F)                  
Crista Cullen 31 (PC)                

England Squad v New Zealand

Started


Beth Storry (Reading) Goalkeeper
Crista Cullen (Leicester) Defender
Kate Walsh (c) (Reading) Defender
Laura Unsworth (Leicester) Defender
Natalie Seymour (Canterbury) Defender
Helen Richardson (Leicester) Midfielder
Chloe Rogers (Leicester) Midfielder
Susie Gilbert (University of Birmingham) Midfielder
Hannah Macleod (Leicester) Forward
Alex Danson (Reading) Forward
Katie Long (Leicester) Forward

Substitutes Used

Ashleigh Ball (Slough) Defender/Midfielder
Sally Walton (Bowdon Hightown) Defender/Midfielder/Forward
Georgie Twigg (Clifton) Midfielder
Charlotte Craddock (Clifton) Forward
Nicola White (Slough) Forward

Did Not Play

Gemma Ible (Clifton) Goalkeeper
Kerry Williams (Leicester) Midfielder/Forward

Remaining Samsung FIH Champions Trophy Fixtures

Sunday 18 July 2010


09:30 5th v 6th - Women’s Champions Trophy 2010
12:15 Bronze Medal Match - Women’s Champions Trophy 2010
15:00 Final - Women’s Champions Trophy 2010

England Hockey Board Media release



Danny Kerry blames naive defending for England's lost gold medal shot

By Emily Benammar



False hope: Nicola White celebrates pulling a goal back against New Zealand, but England could only manage a draw with the Black Sticks Photo: PA

England fell at the final hurdle in their bid to reach the Women’s Champions Trophy final after a 2-2 draw with New Zealand left their fate in the hands of China.

Victory would have seen Danny Kerry’s side automatically through to face Holland in the gold and silver medal match, but with Argentina still in a position to finish higher in the standings through goal difference, England were depending on China to draw with the South Americans.

A closely fought out contest saw Argentina run out 4-3 winners and ruled that England would instead play Germany in the bronze medal play-off.

A slow start saw England go two goals down thanks to strikes from Piki Hamahona and Gemma Flynn. But, as it had against China earlier in the week, the deficit sparked an England fightback.

Less than a minute after Flynn scored, a flying run down the right wing from Charlotte Craddock opened up space and the Clifton forward’s cross was tapped in by Nicola White on the far left post to pull the home side back into contention.

The goal was followed by a period of English dominance, which culminated in Crista Cullen’s equaliser off a penalty corner, awarded after an appeal to the video umpire that the ball had deflected off a New Zealand defender.

Level at the break, England emerged the stronger side but despite their dominance, they were unable to break the deadlock. Appeals for a penalty corner on the final whistle were dismissed and their destiny lay with China.

Disappointed with the performance but mindful that his squad needed to turn their attentions to playing Germany, head coach Kerry said: “I was disappointed by the naivety of some of our defending in the first half. We were well briefed and knew what they were capable of. But credit to the girls, it was a tough game and they kept on going, it’s just a shame we couldn’t finish it off.

“The main challenge now is to get up and ready for Germany. It’s going to be a tough job to get our minds right – now it is about the mental challenge. We need to pick up and regroup.”

Despite the disappointment of missing out on the final, England have surpassed all expectations and bettered all previous English or British performances in the Champions Trophy.

Earlier in the day, Holland secured their place in the final with a 1-0 win over Germany. Kim Lammers’ second – half goal ensured the Olympic champions’ presence in the gold medal match for the ninth time since the tournament’s inaugural year in 1987.

There was further disappointment on Saturday when Great Britain men squandered a 2-0 half-time lead to lose the Four Nations final 3-2 against Germany on a golden goal.

Barry Middleton and James Tindall gave Great Britain the advantage but the second-half saw the Germans come out fighting and strikes from Linus Butt and Martin Zwicker forced the match into extra time.

Jan-Marco Montag’s strike thirty seconds before the end of the first period sealed the win for Germany, who will play host to the 2010 Men’s Champions Trophy in Monchengladbach at the end of the month.

The Telegraph



England miss out on final spot

By Ollie Williams, BBC Sport in Nottingham


England's bid to reach the Champions Trophy final for the first time is over after they drew 2-2 with New Zealand and Argentina beat China 4-3.

England were 2-0 down before Nicola White and Crista Cullen rescued a disappointing draw in Nottingham.

That meant the hosts needed China to avoid defeat, but a late score sent Argentina through on goal difference.

England now face Germany on Sunday in a battle for bronze, before Argentina play Netherlands in the final.

"Today has been horrendous on many levels," England head coach Danny Kerry told BBC Sport.

"I don't know what to say. It's been awful. We were all over New Zealand like a rash in the first five minutes.

"We had a bad 15-minute spell and that cost us, but we had more than enough chances to win the game."

The Dutch booked their place in the final in Saturday's opening game, beating Germany 1-0, and will be clear favourites to lift the trophy.

The tournament, which pits six of the world's top teams against each other, ranks behind only the Olympics and World Cup in terms of importance, and is being staged in England for the first time.

The home side, occasional participants in the past, have never previously finished higher than fifth, and had won just one of their 18 Champions Trophy fixtures prior to the start of the 2010 tournament.

In Nottingham the team have at least matched their initial ambition to finish in the top four, but, having come so close to reaching the final, settling for the bronze medal play-off will feel like failure.

New Zealand had lost all four of their matches coming into Saturday's game, but England started shakily and Pikki Hamahona waltzed through almost unchallenged to put the Black Sticks a goal up after just seven minutes.

Gemma Flynn made that two, tidying up a rebound as England again looked weak at the back, before Charlotte Craddock's excellent break down the right handed White the easiest of finishes to get England back into the tie.

The talismanic Cullen, who limped off with a knee injury earlier in the game, then returned from the sidelines in time to fire England back onto level terms with a fine finish to a penalty corner move, low into the right-hand corner of the net.

England began the second half looking strong, making particularly good use of long-range passes, but no straightforward chances for a winner presented themselves as the teams became entrenched in a frustrating midfield skirmish.

England squandered a last-second penalty corner which could have booked their berth in the final, then were powerless as they watched Argentina play China.


Luchetti celebrates Argentina's third goal

The energetic Chinese knew their tournament was already over, but fought back from 3-1 down to 3-3 before a dramatic Noel Barrionuevo goal won the game.

Barrionuevo scored from a contentious late short corner, awarded by English umpire Frances Block, who penalised a Chinese defender for failing to remove her protective facemask quickly enough following an earlier set piece.

The Netherlands have lived up to their billing as world and Olympic champions so far but they lost 4-2 to Argentina on Thursday, which will give the world number two Argentines hope of an upset in the final.

England were victors over Germany earlier in the tournament and a bronze medal in Sunday's game, which starts at 1220 BST, would be some reward after what has been their most successful Champions Trophy appearance.

Crowds have picked up for the weekend's action despite howling winds in Nottingham, with England Hockey declaring Saturday a sell-out of the venue - which has a capacity of just over 3,000 - and operating a "Wimbledon-style" ticket reselling scheme at the gate.

Many England supporters stayed on after the New Zealand draw to back the Chinese as their team's fate hung in the balance.

BBC Sport



Black Sticks Women draw with England

by Bruce Hamilton


A two all draw between the Black Sticks Women and England on Saturday (UK) time saw New Zealand arrive on the scoreboard, and was a heartening way for Gemma Flynn to celebrate her 50th cap at the Samsung Champions Trophy in Nottingham.

The Black Sticks now play off for fifth and sixth place against China later today (9.30am UK time, and 8.30pm NZT, live on SKY Sport 1).

England went into Saturday’s final round robin match knowing they had only to beat New Zealand to make their first women’s field hockey Champions Trophy final and those hopes were dashed by New Zealand’s 2-2 draw.

England then had to rely on Argentina losing or drawing with China to advance to the final after the draw, but those hopes were also dashed when Argentina defeated China 4-3, scoring the go ahead goal through a penalty corner conversion in the last minute, shattering the hopes of the near capacity English crowd.

Argentina’s win equalled England’s 10 points but secured a finals berth with a better goal difference than England.

The draw gave New Zealand their first point in the tournament and kept alive New Zealand’s record of not losing to England in Champions Trophy tournaments, now having won twice and drawn once in three meetings.

New Zealand’s Piki Hamahona tore apart England’s defence early in the first half, collected a pass from Katie Glynn on the right and ran 45 metres into the circle to score past England goalkeeper Beth Storry.

Katie Glynn helped Gemma Flynn put New Zealand ahead 2-0 half way through the first half, punishing England’s defensive error and passing to Flynn in the circle to shoot then take the rebound off Storry’s pads to score into the left corner.

Nicola White’s field goal and Crista Cullen’s penalty corner conversion equaliser locked the score at 2-2 at the break.

Both teams played for the win in the second half in an arm-wrestle of changing fortunes, without scoring.

England had a penalty corner chance in the last minute, saved by New Zealand goalkeeper Beth Jurgeleit, clearing Cullen’s high flick with seconds on the clock.

Black Sticks Women's Coach Mark Hager was not enthused by New Zealand’s performance.

“We were patchy although obviously the two goals in the first half were pleasing, but apart from that, in the second half, I don’t think we created too many opportunities so we need to learn to play for 70 minutes rather than for 15 minutes,” Hager said.

England coach Danny Kerry is impressed with New Zealand.

“I have watched the matches of New Zealand here and I think this New Zealand squad is very talented – they should have beaten Netherlands and Argentina if they had taken their chances and they upset some of our defenders,” Kerry said.

Sunday Netherlands and Argentina play for gold, Germany and England play for bronze and China meet New Zealand to avoid the wooden spoon.

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Black Sticks women draw with high-flying England

New Zealand striker Gemma Flynn celebrated her 50th international appearance by scoring in a 2-2 draw with England in the Champions Trophy women's hockey tournament at Nottingham this morning.

The result secured New Zealand their first Champions Trophy point since 2006, and ended a tournament record-equalling run of eight straight defeats.

It also kept alive New Zealand's record of not losing to England in Champions Trophy tournaments, having won twice and drawn once in three meetings.

New Zealand were to play China in tonight (NZ time) in a playoff for fifth and sixth placing in the six-team elite tournament.

The result also thwarted England's hopes of making the final.

England went into the final round robin match needing to beat New Zealand to make their first Champions Trophy final.

England then had to rely on Argentina losing or drawing with China to advance to the final after the draw, but those hopes were also dashed when Argentina defeated China 4-3 through a penalty corner conversion in the last minute.

Argentina's win equalled England's 10 points but they secured a finals berth with a better goal difference than England.

New Zealand striker Piki Hamahona tore apart England's defence early in the first half, collecting a pass from Katie Glynn on the right and ran 45 metres into the circle to score past England goalkeeper Beth Storry.

Glynn helped Flynn put New Zealand ahead 2-0 half way through the first half, the striker nailing the rebound after Storry padded back her first shot.

Nicola White's field goal and Crista Cullen's penalty corner conversion for England locked the score at 2-2 at the break.

Both teams played for the win in the second half in an arm-wrestle of changing fortunes, without scoring.

England earned a penalty corner in the last minute but New Zealand goalkeeper Beth Jurgeleit cleared Cullen's high flick with seconds on the clock.

New Zealand coach Mark Hager was not enthused by New Zealand's performance.

"We were patchy although obviously the two goals in the first half were pleasing," he said.

"But apart from that, in the second half, I don't think we created too many opportunities so we need to learn to play for 70 minutes rather than for 15 minutes."

Tonight's playoffs also see Netherlands and Argentina play for gold after Germany and England play for bronze.

Stuff



England and Great Britain midfielder Helen Richardson Q&A

Interview by Emily Bennamar


No regrets: Helen Richardson has never looked back on choosing hockey over cricket Photo: ADY KERRY


England and Great Britain midfielder Helen Richardson talks to Telegraph Sport about choosing hockey over cricket, the London 2012 dream and life after hockey.

How has sport come to play such a huge role in your life?

I’ve got two older brothers and sport was always a big part of out family. We played everything; cricket, football, rugby - I didn’t play rugby but they did - hockey and tennis, we all played sport from an early ages it was just part of our lives.

Were you ever at a cross-road with hockey and another sport that forced you to make a decision?

I played cricket and I was involved in the England set up. They had a joint trials with the senior and U21 team so I went to that.

I didn’t get selected but I was about 14 and I’d just broken in to the England U16 team and so to be honest it wasn’t much of a choice because hockey was much more organised than the cricket and so I got into hockey

I played U16 and U18 and by that time the ball had started rolling so I went with the hockey because that was the one that took me.

Cricket kind of fell by the wayside.

Any regrets?

Not at all. I have no regrets. I love playing hockey it’s a great sport. I love watching cricket it’s my favourite sport but that’s to watch – to play it’s hockey.

How is the centralised training programme with Great Britain working out?

You only have to look at the changes. We’re on the pitch 3 days a week but the majority of us are at Bisham every day in the gym or whatever.

We are so lucky that Danny [Kerry] and England Hockey have pushed to make this happen. It came into play in October whereas I think it wasn’t planned until April but then again we wouldn’t have been this well prepared for this summer without it. It’s really exciting.

It’s so important that it happened. This gives us the momentum we need and we’ll really move forward from here

Is England Hockey's mission statement for podium in 2012 a realistic target or is it too early to tell?

I feel like you have to set those goals to have something to aim for. You see the difference in the group. We’re talking about gold at the Olympics and if we only started talking about that a year out it we wouldn’t reap the benefits like we are.

Now we’re getting used to saying it and when you see the improvements, get the results, it’s not an unrealistic target.

You need to build the confidence we can’t just turn up and expect to win. It’s good to change the mindset of the team.

What's the best and worst thing about playing hockey at the level you do?

You get to travel the world is probably the best thing. No actually the best thing is playing in major tournaments without a doubt and that’s hard for me to say that because I haven’t been successful yet and so that’s also the worst thing.

So the best thing is to go to these tournaments and the worst thing for me has been not winning anything.

Do you have plans for life after hockey?


Not at the moment. I’m not overly career minded I don’t have anything specific. My focus is so much on hockey. Its easy for a footballer to say that because they get paid thousands a week so nobody questions what they’ll do.

My focus is on hockey. I mean I love cricket I wouldn’t mind going into something to do with that.

I'm sure something will turn up but for now it’s hockey.

The Telegraph



Extra-special Germany beat Britain for title

By Bruce Hamilton


NOTTINGHAM: Olympic champions Germany came back from two goals down to defeat Britain 3-2 in extra-time and clinch the Four Nations title on Saturday.

Britain had taken a commanding 2-0 lead early in the first half when captain Barry Middleton chipped Germany goalkeeper Max Weinholt and James Tindall flicked a penalty corner conversion through Weinholt's pads.

But Germany looked sharper in the second half.

Linus Butt reduced the deficit through a penalty corner variation at the left post before Martin Zwicker drove a backstick shot for the equaliser to take the match to extra time where the golden goal rule was in operation.

Jan-Marco Montag scored the winner, flicking in Germany's fourth penalty corner in the last minute of the first period of extra time.

"I'm not super-pleased with the performance we gave, especially in the first half which was close to being awful. I think we were quite lucky not to have to come back from only two goals down," said Germany coach Markus Weise.

Britain coach Jason Lee was concerned about his team's staying power.

"We were not able to maintain enough control in the second half and we ended up having to run a lot," Lee said.

"It's good that we can be competitive with the number two team in the world who are Olympic champions and that is progress from where we were a few years ago."

New Zealand took the bronze medal, coming back from 2-0 down to beat Japan 4-2 and reversing the result of the pool match which was won 4-3 by the Japanese.

Japan established a first half lead with a field goal and a penalty corner conversion by Tomonori Ono.

New Zealand stormed back in the second half with two field goals by Stephen Jenness, one by Steve Edwards and a penalty corner from Andrew Hayward as Japan ran out of steam.

"We played a good first half but in the second half we couldn't put on any pressure and played at too slow a pace because the players were too tired - the tournament was one half a match too long for us," said Japan coach Siegfried Aikman.

New Zealand coach Shane McLeod was pleased with his team's performance.

"After we got two goals, and were on level pegging, there was a high motivation at that time for the guys to go for the win," he said.

The Times of India



GB go down to German Golden Goal

Great Britain lost the final of the International Men’s Four Nations Tournament at Highfields Sports Club in Nottingham on Saturday night as they surrendered a two goal lead to Germany, who came from behind to win the tie with a Golden Goal from Jan-Marco Montag

The hosts had stormed into a two goal lead with goals from Barry Middleton and James Tindall but Germany responded with second half strikes from Linus Butt and Martin Zwicker to send the match to golden goal extra time.  Chances to win the match fell to Adam Dixon and Ashley Jackson but neither could convert and it was Germany who sealed the win in the final minute of the half as Jan-Marco Montag snuck a low penalty corner into the bottom corner with the aid of a deflection from Glenn Kirkham on the line.

The two sides had previously met on Wednesday night when Germany won 3-2 but wins over Japan and New Zealand took Great Britain to second in the table and into the final, which was televised live on Eurosport.

Loughborough Students’ Nick Catlin and Reading’s Nick Brothers took their turn in the stand as Cannock’s James Fair and Reading forward Jonty Clarke were reinstated to the line up by Head Coach Jason Lee.  Beeston pair Adam Dixon and Alastair Wilson both started on their home pitch.

Fair was the first of the goalkeepers called upon after just three minutes when he patted down Jan-Marco Montag’s effort but it was Great Britain who showed real menace early on in a slick move involving four players.  Ashley Jackson broke through the midfield and fed Simon Mantell on the left.  The Reading forward turned inside before finding Glenn Kirkham in the middle.  East Grinstead’s Kirkham moved the ball on to captain Barry Middleton and his drilled cross from the right was stopped by the foot of a German defender.  From the penalty corner, Great Britain moved the ball around the onrushing defenders but a combination of a defending stick and goalkeeper Max Weinhold kept GB out.

To the delight of the large and vocal crowd, Doncaster-born Barry Middleton gave Great Britain the lead in the tenth minute with an audacious lob over Weinhold.  Picking up a loose pass out of the Germany defence, Middleton advanced on the goalkeeper before chipping the ball over him with a superbly disguised chip well worthy of a player ranked among the best in the world.

GB were looking sharp and had the ball in the back of German net moments later but the umpire spotted an infringement and the goal was ruled out.

Playing with power and pace, the hosts won their second penalty corner soon after as Germany struggled to cope with Great Britain’s attacking intent.  From Glenn Kirkham’s injection, GB slipped the ball left to Surbiton’s James Tindall on the edge of the circle from where he slapped it powerfully through the legs of Weinhold to put his side 2-0 up.

Midway through the first half, Germany forced Fair into a good save; Tobias Leitz found Martin Zwicker on the baseline and his dangerous cross to the middle required the Cannock goalkeeper to make a point blank save at the feet of the German forward.

Both sides continued to attack throughout the remainder of the half but neither goalkeeper was seriously threatened and Great Britain went in at the break two goals to the good.

The second half began with an upgraded penalty corner awarded to Germany.  Jan-Marco Montag looked to be shaping to flick at goal but instead opted to slip the ball sideways to Moritz Furste.   Despite Montag scuffing the pass, Furste got a looping shot off which Fair athletically kicked away.

Germany were enjoying the best of the early second half possession and they pulled themselves back into the match ten minutes in after taking their penalty corner tally to two.  From the set piece, Linus Butt converted after former East Grinstead star Martin Haner’s shot had deflected into his path at the back post.

Reading’s Jonty Clarke and Surbiton’s James Tindall both caused the German defence trouble with Tindall showing his strength to hold off three defenders at the top of the circle before Max Weinhold came to their rescue with a block on his penalty spot.

With 20 minutes remaining, Bowdon’s Alastair Brogdon came close to extending Great Britain’s lead as he slid in to meet Barry Middleton’s cross from the right.  With the crowd gasping, Brogdon’s deflection flew narrowly beyond the far post.

After weathering the German storm, Great Britain responded with sustained pressure of their own.  An Ashley Jackson inspired counter saw Tindall unleash a lightning bolt shot from the edge of the circle which Weinhold did well to deflect wide and Jackson then saw a penalty corner flick saved by the goalkeeper.

With seven minutes remaining, Germany equalised with a good finish from Martin Zwicker after scrappy play in the British circle handed him an opportunity to shoot.  The goal came as a disappointment to GB, who had outplayed the Germans in the first half, and set up a tense end to an engaging contest.

There was just one minute remaining on the clock when World Young Player of the Year Jackson cleverly worked his way along the baseline, winning a penalty corner for his efforts.  With the cheers of the crowd ringing in his ears, Jackson’s high flick towards the top corner was goal-bound until the impressive Weinhold stuck out a glove to deflect the ball to safety and set up golden goal extra time.

Just 30 seconds into extra time James Tindall fired hard at goal and Weinhold could do nothing but block the shot with his stomach.  The ball bounced down in front of the goalkeeper and into the path of Adam Dixon, whose chip flew up and over the crossbar.

Germany survived a scare when Surbiton’s Tindall won Great Britain a penalty corner with four first half extra time minutes remaining and they could only watch as Jackson’s effort was touched onto the post by the goalkeeper.

And Germany’s comeback was complete with less than a minute of the half remaining when they scored the second of a brace of corners.  After James Fair had parried Montag’s first effort into the air, a second was awarded and this time Montag went low to Fair’s left.  The shot was well placed but appeared to go in off Glenn Kirkham standing in front of the post and Germany sealed the tournament win with a golden goal after coming from 2-0 down.

Great Britain Head Coach Jason Lee admitted later that he was slightly disappointed with the outcome.  “I’m disappointed with the result, of course,” he said.  “It highlighted the areas we need to work on as a team.

“The Germans are fantastic at maintaining control and possession.  It’s good that we’re competitive with the second best team in the world.”

Captain Barry Middleton added:  “We know when we play well we can beat them but I felt we got a little tired out there tonight.  Extra time is just one of those things; a corner could go in for us, a corner could go in for them.  But we’re not too worried about those little things.”

GERMANY (men) 3* (2)
Linus Butt 44 (PC)                   
Martin Zwicker 64 (F)                
Jan-Marco Montag 77 (PC)                  

GREAT BRITAIN (men) 2 (2)
Barry Middleton 10 (F)             
James Tindall 15 (PC)              

*GER win on Golden Goal      

GREAT BRITAIN SQUAD v GERMANY

Started


James Fair (Cannock) Goalkeeper
Alastair Wilson (Beeston) Defender
Andy Bull (Brooklands MU) Defender
Niall Stott (East Grinstead) Defender
Adam Dixon (Beeston) Defender/Midfielder
Ashley Jackson (HGC) Midfielder
Glenn Kirkham (East Grinstead) Midfielder
Barry Middleton (HGC) Midfielder/Forward
Richard Alexander (Surbiton) Defender/Midfielder/Forward
Iain Mackay (Reading) Midfielder
Simon Mantell (Reading) Forward

Substitutes Used

Richard Springham (Reading) Defender/Midfielder
Harry Martin (Old Loughtonians) Midfielder
Alastair Brogdon (Bowdon) Forward
Jonty Clarke (Reading) Forward
James Tindall (Surbiton) Forward

DNP

Nick Brothers (Reading) Goalkeeper
Nick Catlin (Loughborough Students) Midfielder/Forward

INTERNATIONAL MEN’S FOUR NATIONS TOURNAMENT FINAL STANDINGS

1. Germany (Winners)
2. Great Britain (Runners up)
3. New Zealand
4. Japan

Great Britain Hockey media release



Great Britain lose Four Nations final to Germany on golden goal


Victorious: Germany celebrate after a golden goal saw them beat Great Britain in the Men's Four Nations final Photo: ADY KERRY


Great Britain suffered heartbreak in the final of the Men's Four Nations Tournament in Nottingham as a golden goal from Jan-Marco Montag saw Germany secure a 3-2 win.

The hosts had looked set to take the title as they stormed into a two-goal lead thanks to Barry Middleton and James Tindall.

But Germany levelled matters through second-half efforts from Linus Butt and Martin Zwicker.

That saw the match go to extra-time and Montag's low penalty corner, which went in via a deflection off Glenn Kirkham, ended the contest in Germany's favour.

But Great Britain head coach Jason Lee was not too downhearted following the defeat.

"I'm disappointed with the result, of course," he said. "It highlighted the areas we need to work on as a team.

"The Germans are fantastic at maintaining control and possession. It's good that we're competitive with the second best team in the world."

The Telegraph



Great Britain edged out by Germany at 4 Nations


Mantell slotted home Britain's first

Great Britain's fightback fell short as Germany hung on for a 3-2 win at Nottingham's Four Nations tournament.

Oskar Deecke and Moritz Furtz put the Germans in front but Simon Mantell replied for Britain before the break.

Tobias Lietz restored a two-goal margin before Ashley Jackson fired a penalty-corner home to set up a tense finish.

Another Jackson shot was tipped wide in the dying seconds as reigning Olympic champions Germany went top of the table by three points from Britain.

GB head coach Jason Lee, whose team won their opening match 6-4 against Japan on Monday, said: "Our play was a bit disjointed today, with some good and bad phases.

"There were positives though with the younger players getting another chance to play, particularly Harry Martin and Andy Bull."

Captain Barry Middleton added: "We're disappointed because we want to beat teams that are similarly placed in the rankings; the boys are a bit down because they just want to win."

Britain, the European champions and World Cup semi-finalists, could clinch a place in Saturday's final with victory over bottom-of-the-table New Zealand in their final pool match on Friday.

The Kiwis are without a point in the tournament and went down 4-3 to third-placed Japan, who have three points, on Wednesday.

The top two teams will qualify for the decider, while the bottom two will play off for third place.

BBC Sport



Black Sticks Men win Bronze at Four Nations

by Bruce Hamilton


The Black Sticks Men took the bronze medal in the Four Nations tournament in Nottingham on Saturday (UK time), overcoming a first-half, two-goal deficit, scoring four goals in the second half to win 4-2.

New Zealand reversed the result of the pool match against Japan, which was won 4-3 by Japan.

Japan established a first half 2-0 lead with a field goal and a penalty corner conversion by Tomonori Ono.

Japan tired in the second half, lost momentum and control, abandoned the running game of the first half as they attempted to defend their lead.

Stephen Jenness deflected in a penalty corner conversion at the right post early in the second half and Steve Edwards ran through the circle from the right to push the ball into goal for the equaliser.

Andy Hayward’s unstoppable penalty corner conversion flew into the roof of goal with 10 minutes to play for the go-ahead goal to 3-2.

Two minutes later Stephen Jenness popped in a field goal at the left post after a goalmouth scramble for the last score.

Japan coach Siegfried Aikman acknowledged Japan grew tired in the second half.

“We played a good first half. But we wanted to avoid making a running game in the second half and we could not put on any pressure and played at too slow a pace because the players were too tired – the tournament was one half a match too long for us,” Aikman said.

Black Sticks Men's Coach Shane McLeod was pleased with his team’s performance.

“The second half fell quite nicely for us and after we got two goals and were on level pegging with Japan there was a high motivation at that time for the guys to go for the win and give them a success at the end of the tournament,” McLeod said.

Shane McLeod said he had no trouble motivating his players to go for the second half win.

“You are dealing with guys who have a lot of ambition and several of these guys are going back to New Zealand at the conclusion of this tournament. They may not play for New Zealand again for 18 months to two years so they are hugely motivated athletes who want to do well,” McLeod said.

Germany took gold in the Four Nations tournament over Great Britain 3-2 with an extra time golden goal.

The Black Sticks Men travel to Belgium next, and then France, as part of their build-up to the ABN AMRO Champions Trophy in Monchengladbach, Germany from July 31 to August 8. Several of the younger players now depart the team, as McLeod assembles his strongest combination for the next part of the tour.

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Black Sticks men third in four-nations tournament

The New Zealand men's hockey team finished third at a four-nations tournament at Nottingham this morning (NZ time) after beating Japan 4-2 in a come-from-behind effort.

New Zealand, who had lost 3-4 to Japan in round-robin play, trailed by two Tomonori Ono goals after the first half.

The Black Sticks got the upper hand in the second half as a tiring Japan abandoned their running game and attempted to defend their lead.

Stephen Jenness deflected in a penalty corner at the right post early in the second half and Steve Edwards ran through the circle from the right to push the ball into goal for the equaliser.

An Andy Hayward bullet flick from a penalty corner flew into the roof of goal with 10 minutes to play to give New Zealand the lead before Jenness popped in a field goal at the left post after a goalmouth scramble two minutes later.

Black Sticks coach Shane McLeod was pleased with his team's performance.

"The second half fell quite nicely for us and after we got two goals and were on level pegging with Japan, there was a high motivation for the guys to go for the win," McLeod said.

Germany won the gold medal, beating Britain 3-2 in the final with an extra time golden goal.

The Black Sticks travel to Belgium next, and then France, as part of their build-up to the Champions Trophy in Monchengladbach, Germany from July 31 to August 8.

Stuff



Netherlands trashed by good playing Pakistan under van den Heuvel

Today in Amsterdam Pakistan defeated the Netherlands by 4 goals to 1. At the break Pakistan was leading 2-1. The quality difference between these two hockey gigants was very big and Pakistan is definitely looking up.

Sunday both countries play again.

Hockey Asia



India thrash Belgium 6-0 to win hockey Test series 2-0

NEW DELHI: India pumped in four goals in the second half to rout hosts Belgium 6-0 in the third and final hockey Test and clinch the series 2-0 at Wellington, Brussels.

India had won the second match 3-2 and drew the opening game 3-3.

On Friday, India scored through Sandeep Singh (18th and 70th), Danish Mujtaba (29th), Dhananjay Mahadik (44th), Tushar Khandker (45th) and Sarvanjit Singh (63rd).

India played attacking hockey with one touch passes and swift ball rotation and made their intentions clear when captain Rajpal Singh dashed down the right flank to set up Danish whose diving deflection went inches wide.

Two Belgium attacks went in vain as India goalkeeper Bharat Chetri warded off attacks from John Verdussen and Renaud Pangrazio.

India earned first of their three penalty corners but Sandeep Singh's flick hit a defender's leg and was re-awarded. Sandeep was on target this time to give India the lead in the 18th minute.

Belgium nearly got the equaliser in the 22nd minute following a penalty corner, awarded due to a wrong tackle by Mahadik, but Jerome Truyen's attempt was saved on the ball line by Probodh Tirkey.

India consolidated their lead in the 29th minute with a fast counter attack engineered by Gurbaj Singh and Ravi Pal with Danish Mujtaba putting the finishing touch with a diving effort.

Belgium earned eight penalty corners but all of them were well taken by goalkeeper Chetri and the Indian rushers.

Mahadik scored India's third goal in the 44th minute from a penalty corner after Vincent Van Asch was penalised in the striking circle.

Tushar Khandker added another goal to India's tally in the next minute after a speedy combination with Rajpal and Dharamvir Singh.

This was followed by an onslaught by the Indian forwards from the right flank as midfielder Ajitesh Roy played wall passes with Mandip Antil and set up Sarvanjit Singh who beat Belgium goalkeeper Gucassoff.

India were awarded a penalty stroke in the last minute after Rajpal Singh was brought down by Cederic Charlier in an attempt to take a deflection at goal.

Sandeep Singh confidently pushed home to give India a well deserved 6-0 victory. India now travel to Paris where they will play three Tests against France.

The Times of India



Exciting finish to a set of sedate matches

S. Thyagarajan


ACTION PACKED: Karmjit Singh (right) of BPCL and Jatinder Saroha of Punjab National Bank fight for possession. Photo: M. Vedhan


There were moments to relish as a set of sedate matches, interspersed by rain, coursed through to an exciting climax when Punjab National Bank and BPCL figured in a nail-biting contest in the MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium here on Saturday.

Rain interrupted the last match more than once but that never deterred the big crowd which witnessed a major upset when PNB claimed full points with a 3-2 victory after trailing twice.

PNB richly deserved the outcome as the players fought against a more seasoned side apart from the weather and a slippery surface.

In fact, the first sign of alarm for BPCL came in the early minutes when Navdeep Singh almost stunned goal-keeper Kuttappa with a deflection.

Progressively, BPCL found the format to weave circles around the rival defenders. Veteran Sabu Varkey with undiminished enthusiasm kept the attack moving. And what more, paved the way for the lead when Karamjit Singh tapped in a cross from the right.

The equaliser

Shortly after the break came the equaliser for PNB through a penalty corner. Jatinder's fierce shot was stopped by Kuttappa but Satpal slammed into the net from the rebound.

Then a well rehearsed move involving Jarnail and Karamjit ended with the latter finding the target. If BPCL thought that it had conquered the opposition it was sadly mistaken.

PNB roared back in pouring rain to level when Ravinder Singh hit the target and then Lakwinder Singh connected a beautifully angled cross by Ranjit Singh.

The players had to cool their heels for over quarter of an hour at that point with 10 minutes remaining. The rain relented but not the PNB defence which held on gamely to play out time.

Notwithstanding some smart saves by goal-keeper Suresh, Southern Railway failed to deny Indian Juniors a victory by the narrowest of margins in a pool B encounter.

The credit for turning the match in favour of the Juniors went to Navin Sangwan, whose deft back hander caught Suresh on the wrong foot when five minutes remained from the hooter.

Far more confident

Granting the fact that the juniors looked more organized, both in the creation of moves and maintaining attacking tempo, the Railway team looked far more confident and authoritative than it did while capitulating to the formidable IOC on Friday.

Not only did the defenders control their area well, but enabled the frontline to forge a few sallies using Jayaraj as the fulcrum. Inconsistency sullied all the good work.

The Juniors, with Lalith Upadyaya as the principal striker, managed to build a good measure of pressure in the rival area. But the stumbling block was Suresh. Twice, the Railway custodian stopped powerful hits fom Amit Rohitdas in penalty corners.

Even a withering drive by Lalith was saved with rare equanimity. But in the final minutes, perhaps unsighted by the crowd of defenders in front, Suresh erred in reading the angle of the reverse flick from Sangwan.

With four points in two matches, the Juniors enjoy a fairly good chance of making it to the last four.

Namdharis fight back

After an insipid start against ONGC on the opening day, Karnataka looked well set for a comfortable victory against the Namdhari XI. At least this looked quite within reach when Karnataka had three goals on the board without a reply till 13 minutes before the final whistle.

But the Namdharis, known for their gallant fightbacks staged one such act. They almost came close to clinching full points. In a space of seven minutes, they equalled the score, thanks to two splendid goals in as many minutes by Gurpreet Singh.

Buoyed by the turn of events, the Namdharis restored parity through Harpreet Singh.

The results: Karnataka XI 3 (Ravi Kumar, Nithin Thimmiah, Vivek Ramakrishnan) drew with Namdhari XI (Gurpreet Singh 2, Harpreet Singh).

Hockey India (juniors) 1 (Naveen Sangwan) beat Southern Railway 0.

Punjab National Bank 3 (Satpal, Ravinder Singh, Lakwinder Singh) beat BPCL 2 (Karamjit Singh 2).

The Hindu



Mumbai and Haryana in final

Gursewvak stars for Mumbai


BHOPAL: Haryana fashioned their maiden entry into the championship round and set up a title clash with Mumbai following convincing wins in the semi-finals of the 63rd Rangaswamy Cup Senior National Hockey Championship at the floodlit Aishbagh Astroturf Stadium, Bhopal on Friday.

In the first semi-finals, defender Gursev Singh fired in two crucial goals to steer Mumbai, as the former champions routed Chandigarh 3-0, while Haryana pipped four-time runners-up Tamil Nadu 2-1 in the second semi-final.

Man of the match Gursev scored the first two goals in the 4th and 63rd minutes and forward Jayesh Jadhav added the third in the 67th, all off penalty corners.

Haryana, who dominated the match, opened their account in the 37th minute through Naveen Antil’s field goal and added the match-winner in the second half off a 57th minute penalty stroke scored by Kulbhushan Vashisht.

Tamil Nadu scored in the 45th minute when R. Ashok found the target off a penalty corner.

Mumbai got off to a dream start, putting the pressure early on the opposition when Manish Yadav, who was in front of the goal, failed to trap a Laxman Rao pass in the third minute. But to their delight, they earned their first penalty corner in the next minute and defender Gursev Singh found the net off goalkeeper Harjeet Singh’s pads.

A full strength Chandigarh, looking for their maiden entry into the championship round, came back into the match by the end of the first quarter and earned two scoring opportunities in quick succession, though both went abegging.

On the first occasion, Gaganjeet failed to connect a cross from the right while in front of goal in the 13th minute, and defender Gagandeep Jr’s firm grounder off their first penalty corner was brilliantly saved on the goalline by Amit Gowda.

With a 1-0 advantage at half time, Mumbai kicked off the second half like they did the first and held possession soon after resumption.

The speedy Vikram Yadav should have found the target in the 41st minute but an alert custodian Harjeet padded the ball away to safety. Harjeet effected another save four minutes later while foiling Gyanendra Pandey.

In between, Chandigarh’s Harmanpreet and Deepanshu Bhargav missed the target by a whisker off their third penalty corner that would have kept their hopes alive and set the tone for an exciting finish.

But Gursev made it safe for Mumbai with his second goal off their third penalty corner in the 63rd minute and Jayesh Jadhav sealed victory three minutes from the end off the fourth and last penalty corner.

Saturday: 7 p.m. Chandigarh vs TN (Hardlines, 63rd National Hockey Championship, Aishbagh Stadium, Bhopal)

Stick2Hockey.com



Haryana in line for maiden crown, confident Mumbai favourites

BHOPAL: Haryana will be looking to clinch their maiden championship crown when they take on a confident Mumbai in the final of the 63rd Rangaswamy Cup Senior National Hockey Championship at the floodlit Aishbagh Astroturf Stadium on Sunday.

In the semifinals played on Friday, Mumbai spanked Chandigarh 3-0 while Haryana got the better of Tamil Nadu 2-1.

The match between Mumbai and Chandigarh was marred by a scuffle with players pushing and jostling each other. However, tournament officials intervened and restored normalcy in the game.

Mumbai shot into the lead in the fourth minute when Gurdev Singh scored off a penalty corner. At half-time, Mumbai led 1-0. Two more goals were scored in the 63rd and 67 minutes.

In the second encounter, Haryana opened its account in the 36th minute through a fine field goal by Naveen Antil. But six minutes later, Tamil Nadu equalised with R Ashok converting a penalty corner.

However, Kulbhushan Vashisht converted a penalty stroke in the 57th minute to give his team a 2-1 victory.

The Times of India



Pargat files nomination for HI president's post

NEW DELHI: Former India captain Pargat Singh on Saturday filed his nomination for the Hockey India president's post, setting the stage for a showdown with HI interim head Vidya Stokes in the July 28 polls.

Stokes, who was earlier chief of Indian Women's Hockey Federation, has already filed her nominations.

After filing his nomination before Returning Officer Justice R C Chopra, Pargat vowed to revive hockey and clean the mess the national game is in.

"We have seen what hockey is going through for quite some time. There is a divided house but I won't let it divide anymore. I will take hockey to its lost glory," Pargat, also Punjab Hockey Secretary, said.

"For the last couple of years hockey is being played in court rooms and inside closed chambers but not on the field. Whatever I am today is because of hockey, I want to give something back to the game. So, today I have filed my nomination for the president's post," he said.

"It doesn't matter whether the house is of 56 or 57 people but I would appeal all to be conscious while voting. Like-minded people should come forward who wants to promote hockey," Pargat added.

Exuding confidence about his victory, the former India full back said he would pay emphasis on the domestic structure and the well being of the players.

"I won't let hockey demote any further. I will work to take hockey to its lost glory. The coaching system and umpiring system needs to be upgraded. We need to prepare a calendar and revive the domestic structure," Pargat observed.

"Presently, there is hardly any domestic tournament in India. We have a very limited pool of players and over that we warn them of possible ban if they play this or that tournament. The players are confused where to play and where not. This is the situation at the ground level," he said.

Pargat, however, refused to divulge the names of other possible candidates from his panel, which, reportedly, has the full backing of Bengal Hockey Association president J B Roy.

But it is learnt that besides Pargat, Karnataka State Hockey Association secretary K Krishnamurthy and Hockey Arunachal's Gunjum Haider have both filed their nominations for the twin posts of secretary and treasurer.

There is still some uncertainty over Krishnamurthy's candidature as Hockey India secretary Narinder Batra has challenged the Karnataka High Court's interim order, which gave Krishnamurthy the right to represent Hockey Karnataka in the polls.

The Times of India



Pargat jumps into the fray for HI elections

With the Sports Ministry finally giving its go-ahead for Hockey India to hold its scheduled elections by the month-end, the nominations have begun to be filed.

While incumbent Vidya Stokes continues to be in the fray, former India captain and Olympian Pargat Singh has decided to throw his hat in the ring.

“Yes, I will be contesting for the post of Hockey India president,” Pargat said. “You can win only if you play the game, not by sitting outside,” he added.

Pargat happens to be the secretary of Hockey Punjab and also the director of sports in Punjab government.

Since Pargat enjoys the support of Bengal Hockey president JB Roy, younger brother of Sahara group president Subrata Roy, Stokes will have a fight at hand to retain her position at the helm.

Stokes, the interim president of the ad-hoc body, is contesting as the president of Hockey Himachal.

An official close to the JB Roy group said that, given Pargat’s experience, both in administration and as a player, it was decided he should contest for the top spot. “There is no dearth of good, clean candidates. While Pargat will be filing for the president’s post, K Krishnamurthy’s candidature is likely to be finalised for the secretary’s post,” he said.

Krishnamurthy is currently the secretary of Hockey Karnataka and his main rival in the elections will be present HI secretary general Narinder Batra.

Punjab had had a tough time in its dealings with HI, getting recognition only recently.

Hockey India had last month ratified the affiliations of 33 units, including Punjab and four institutional boards, during its Special General Meeting. Pargat will file his nomination on Saturday before the Returning Officer retired judge RC Chopra. The elections are scheduled to be held on July 28.

Indian Express



Free State team means business in East London

JONATHAN COOK in East London


THERE is no doubt that a revitalised Free State women's hockey team are perfectly placed to make a strong challenge for promotion to the top eight of South African hockey when they compete in the SA Interprovincial Tournament in East London this week.

Coach Elsie Coetzer's squad left for East London Sunday and have a well-balanced side with the right mix of youth and experience.

Free State University's Mickey Gordon has been instrumental in attracting a number of quality young players to Kovsies and his arrival in Bloemfontein after revitalizing North West hockey is one of the key components of the province's resurgence in SA hockey.

Free State are unrecognisable from the team that fared poorly in the B Section last year, with highly experienced SA midfielder Lesle-Ann George and former Dutch internationals Belle de Meer and Sabine Romkes the most notable newcomers. Others to watch include Holland junior squad representative Nicci de Haas, exciting SA junior players such as Hettie Oosthuizen and Nicole Kemp, as well as talented schoolgirls Lisette du Plessis, Chevaun Botha (both Eunice) and Tanya Britz (Sentraal).


Hettie Oosthuizen ... Free State's quick, skilful striker. Photo: Johan Pretorius (contact SA Hockey World)

Another hugely talented national age-group player, midfielder Cherie Smith, is doubtful after suffering injuries in a recent car crash.

"Cherie had bleeding on the brain, which has thankfully cleared up, but neck/back injuries are taking time to heal and we will have to see if she's well enough to play," outstanding Free State coach Elsie Coetzer said Saturday.

Coetzer's Free State U21 team, captained by Smith, impressed everyone at the SA junior provincials earlier this year in Pietermaritzburg.


IN DOUBT: Free State midfielder Cherie Smith. Photo: Johan Pretorius

"We couldn't have worked harder, our training continuing throughout the school and university holidays during the Soccer World Cup," said Coetzer. "We have to win the B Section in East London, it's that simple.

"Host province Border will be a big challenge for us, and we play them Monday so the girls have to hit the ground running," the coach added.

Indeed, there is no room for complacency in the B Section, as unlike the A Section there are no semi-finals, just the first-place finishers in the two pools qualifying for next Saturday's final.

That said, Free State will have no better chance of returning to the A Section than in East London this week. They control their own destiny – and you can be certain that Coetzer will ensure that the players remain focused.

There is much to play for, as National convenor of selectors Mickey Gordon, head coach Giles Bonnet and Jo Morley-Jepson name the SA teams for the upcoming World Cup in Argentina, as well as the Commonwealth Games, which takes place in New Delhi, India thereafter.

FREE STATE TEAM

Goalkeeper: Berne van Wyk.

Defenders: Orpah Pretorius, Christine Roos, Jonelke Swanepoel, Sabine Romkes, Nicci de Haas.

Midfielders: Felicia Shongwe, Cardeux Nel, Lesle-Ann George (capt), Belle de Meer, Lisette du Plessis.

Forwards: Hettie Oosthuizen, Chevaun Botha, Tanya Britz, Nicole Kemp.

Possible: Cherie Smith.

Coach: Elsie Coetzer.

Manager: Lerato Thale.

SA Hockey World



KHA, PHF collaborate for club hockey

By Our Sports Reporter


KARACHI: Karachi Hockey Association (KHA) President Wasay Jalil on Friday initiated a programme in collaboration with the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) for the promotion of hockey at the grassroots level.

KHA’s successful holding of the 57th National Hockey Championship, the Inter-club Hockey Tournament and the PHF U-12 Tournament has given the association president enough confidence in his team to be able to unveil his next plan to promote club hockey.

The programme will also include the country’s former players like Olympians Shahid Ali Khan and Iftikhar Syed, International Jan Mohammad, Asif Ahmed Khan, Ahsan Mohammad Khan and Mubashir Mukhtiar.

All have been requested to work together with the KHA team, that includes its secretary, chairman and other members besides the president himself, for the betterment of the players of Karachi.

“Having accepted the portfolio of president of KHA, I will keep on working for the promotion of hockey in the city while also looking after the players of this city,” he said.

While also announcing the installation of artificial grass soon at the KHA Sports Complex, Wasay Jalil added: “We intend holding inter-school, inter-club, inter-academies and inter-town hockey tournaments in the city.”

 

Dawn



Nasir, Riaz beat Ajax

Sports Reporter



Action from yesterday's Green Delta Insurance Bangladesh Premier Hockey League match between Sonali Bank and Ajax Sporting Club at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium.Photo: STAR

Sonali Bank won their match against Ajax Sporting Club 2-1 in the Green Delta Insurance Bagladesh Premier Hockey League at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

The winners took a lead in the very first minute of the match when striker Shahjad Nasir scored through a field goal.

Rana Jubaer Riaz followed him and scored the second goal for Sonali Bank from a penalty corner in the 11th minute.

Ajax managed to pull one back at the stroke of half-time when Imtiaz Ahmed struck through a penalty corner.

Championship contender Mohammedan Sporting Club will play against Mariner Youngs Club today at 4pm.

The Daily Star

 

 



Malaysia extend hot streak with huge win over Brunei

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia chalked up their fourth straight win by hammering Brunei 8-0 in the last round robin match of the Asean Schools Games hockey competition at the Tun Razak Stadium here yesterday.

Malaysia got the goals through G. Kavin Kartik (second minute), Shahril Saabah (13th), Anuar Wahab (15th, 16th), Dangerous Lee (31st, 68th), Hairulnizam Maizan (49th) and Mohamed Rasul (51st).

Malaysia, who top the five-team table with maximum points, will face Singapore in the final today.

Malaysia had thrashed Singapore 7-0 in the preliminary rounds.

In another match, Thailand beat Indonesia 5-1 to finish third in the tournament.

Malaysia coach S. Prakash expects his boys to deliver the gold medal but warned them that “it won’t be as easy as in the pool match”.

Singapore coach Lim Chiow Chuan said they had achieved their target of reaching the final and that it would be an uphill task to beat the Malaysians.

The Star of Malaysia



Americans to light up City

By Ayumba Ayodi



Musco Lighting President Joe Crookham (second left), Kenya Hockey Union chairman Resham Bains (second right) at City Park Stadium on Saturday. Musco Lighting have donated Sh6m worth of floodlights to renovate the pitch. DENNIS OKEYO/ DAILY NATION

Two years after City Park donned a new artificial astro turf, the hockey stadium is set for another transformation in three months time.

Musco Lighting, a United States of America-based lighting systems company has donated floodlights worth US$ 75,000 (Sh6m) to be erected at the 10,000 seater by October this year.

The company’s president, Joe Crookham said the state-of-the-art lighting equipment that will have four mast with each cluster comprising 34 illuminators, will be shipped from USA on August 1.

The agreement that is through Africa Hockey Union (AHU) was sealed yesterday in the presence of Kenya Hockey Union chairman, Resham Bains and the National Olympic Committee of Kenya chairman, Kipchoge Keino.

“This high-tech energy-saving illuminators will be able to discharge 600 aux that is required for international matches. At the same time, it will reduce the spill light by 50 per cent,” said Crookham, who was accompanied by his deputy Jeff Rogers.

Crookham hopes that their venture this will help spur the growth of the game in the country and inspire the youth to build on their future. Bains said work on site should commence September 1 with the first floodlight matches expected by October 1.

He said that the project will cost a total of US$120,000 (Sh9.6m) which includes the lighting equipment, its shipment and installation.

“We will have to dig deeper into our pockets and ensure that the project is completed since it’s bound to benefit not only hockey but other sports.”

Keino said they would request the government to ease the clearance of the equipment by tax waive.

Daily Nation