News for 28 January 2012

All the news for Saturday 28 January 2012


Ireland 0-1 Belgium; Women's Hockey

Ireland, sponsored by Electric Ireland, played Belgium today in the second of two warm up matches in Johannesburg before they start the official Tri-Nations test tomorrow as they continue to prepare for the upcoming FIH Olympic Qualifiers in March.

The opening minutes of this match saw both sides in early attacking mode making in roads into each others circles. But it was Belgium who broke the deadlock in the eleventh minute thanks to Stepahine DeGroof's shot on the occassion of her 50th cap.

Ireland gained momentum and had a chance when the Belgians were reduced to ten after Valerie Vermeersch was sent to the bin, when they secured a penalty corner, but Audrey O'Flynn's drag effort was defended wide. Despite another Irish penalty corner it was the Belgians who looked sure to double their leadwhen they were awarded a stroke, but excellent work by Louisa Healy in goals denied Stephanie De Groof's effort.

Half time Ireland 0-1 Belgium

Ireland started the stronger of the two in the second half immediately putting the Belgians under pressure but their effords saw no goals. The game continued primarily between the midfields for large parts of the second half and depsite a great shot from Audrey O'Flynn and an even better rebound effort Ireland could not break onto the score sheet. The game continued in a fast paced, exciting manner but despite the entertaining hockey and high skill level the second half yielded no goals for either side and the final score remained Ireland 0-1 Belgium.

Commenting after the match Coach Gene Muller said

"It was a very close and combative match decided by a single corner goal in the first half. We lacked sharpness in the first half but improved technically and pressed well in the second. Tomorrow's match will be another good test for us against South Africa as we look to continue our prepartions for the Olympic Qualifiers in March."

Ireland starting XI: Louisa Healy (GK); Nikki Symmons; Sinead McCarthy; Cliodhna Sargent; Audrey O'Flynn; Nicci Daly; Emma Clarke; Lizzie Colvin; Aine Connery; Chloe Watkins; Lisa Jacob.

Reserves (all used): Pamela Smithwick (GK); Shirley McCay; Emma Smyth; Miriam Crowley; Megan Frazer

Next matches - TRI NATIONS Series; Johannesburg, South Africa

(times listed are local times which is 2 hours ahead of Irish Time)

28/01/12 Ireland v South Africa 14.00
29/01/12 South Africa v Belgium 14.00
30/01/12 Ireland v Belgium 19.00
31/01/12 Ireland v South Africa 19.00
01/02/12 South Africa v Belgium 19.00

Irish Hockey Association media release



Ireland 2-2 Great Britain (men)

Ireland’s men took on Great Britain today in the second of two training matches at Bisham Abbey coming out with a 2-2 draw.

Great Britain opened the scoring in the second minute when Barry Middleton tapped in at the back post from a by-line ball but Ireland managed to level the sides just 7 minutes later with a Timothy Cockram drag flick. The game was evenly contested throughout the remainder of the first half and was fairly reflected in the 1-1 score at half time.

In the 41st minute Great Britain took the lead again with a Simon Mantell goal from a penalty corner drag flick. Ireland piled on the pressure and were awarded a number of short corners but failed to take their opportunities and it was not until after the final hooter that they scored their equalising goal once again from a Timothy Cockram drag flick. Final score Ireland 2 -2 Great Britain.

Starting XI:    David Fitzgerald (GK); John Jackson; Paul Gleghorne; Conor Harte; Stuart Loughrey; Andy McConnell; David Ames; Geoff McCabe; Michael Watt; Mitch Darling; Timmy Cockram

Reserves (all used): Johnny Bell; Chris Cargo; Ian Sloan; Peter Caruth; Gareth Watkins; Shane O’Donoghue;

Irish Hockey Association media release



SA women’s hockey team named for Olympic Qualifier tournament in Delhi

JONATHAN COOK in Randburg


The SA Hockey Association Friday named the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team to play in the Olympic Qualifier Tournament in Delhi, India from February 18 to 26.

Captain Marsha Marescia’s team must win the Delhi event in order to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games. There are no opportunities afterwards.

The Investec SA team includes seven players from Western Province, four apiece from Southern Gauteng and Northern Blues, and one each from North West, Free State and KZN Coastal Raiders.

In Delhi, head coach Giles Bonnet’s 18-player team will play India, Canada, Italy, Poland and Ukraine.

After a defeat to Ireland and a win against Belgium in one-off internationals this week, the Investec SA team kick off the business end of their final preparation for Delhi with the Investec Tri-Nations Series, which runs from Saturday to next Sunday at Randburg Hockey Stadium.

The SA women tackle Ireland at 2 pm Saturday and Belgium at 2 pm Sunday.

The team for Delhi includes 11 Olympic Games players from one or two of, the Sydney, Athens and Beijing events, and boasts 2 112 Test matches between the 18 players, an average of 117 each.

“Players with more than 50 Test matches have been left out, which indicates that competition for places was high,” said Bonnet. “The selection of this team is not cast in stone and will be reviewed on a regular basis.”

SA selection chief Mickey Gordon said one of the goals when Bonnet was appointed 18 months ago was to increase the player base: “We have succeeded in that, and now selection is purely performance-based, so no one can rely on reputation alone.”

Since his appointment, Bonnet has spent six of the 18 months with the team, during which they have played in the region of 100 Test matches. It is the most prepared national team in the history of the sport in South Africa.

“It is best practice for a coach to have four years with a team and we are trying to build an Olympic Games top six team in 24 months,” said Bonnet.  “What we are building now will help us in the future after the Olympic Games as well.”

There is indeed a school of thought that this team will only peak once its four-year cycle is complete around the time of the 2012 Hockey World Cup in Holland.

Marescia said that players who just missed the cut had been given constructive advice by the coaching staff on how to improve their performance: “They know it’s not the end of the road and it’s motivated them to get back in.”

SA assistant coach Fabian Gregory kicked claims that the team has played too much hockey into touch: “A big squad of around 35 players has been used over the 18 months. You can only train so much; the best guide to progress and performance is what you see on match day.”

SA Hockey president Dave Carr agreed there is a marked gap in quality between the SA senior squad and SA junior squad: “If they want to go to the Junior World Cup there is a lot of work ahead in the two years leading up to the tournament. Fitness is a controllable and first priority at their next camp is a fitness test. Those who fail will be sent home at their own expense.”

Beijing Olympian Sanani Mangisa, who at 24 is looking to attend her second Olympic Games, said the thrill never goes away. The goalkeeper spent 18 months out in the cold after Beijing and forced her way back into the team: “Having experienced the Olympics makes you even more determined to go to another one,” she said.

Whether they win in Delhi or not, the Investec SA team are scheduled to be playing a series in Scotland from May 24 to June 3; a Four Nations tournament in London from June 3 to 10 and another in Bremen, Germany from July 12 to 15.

The SA U21 team play their Junior World Cup Africa Qualifier Tournament in Potchefstroom from September 17 to 26.

INVESTEC SA TEAM
Mariette Rix, Kate Woods, Shelley Russell, Jade Mayne, Lauren Penny, Kathleen Taylor, Tarryn Bright (all WP); Marsha Marescia (capt), Lisa Deetlefs, Bernadette Coston, Pietie Coetzee (all Southern Gauteng); Sanani Mangisa, Dirkie Chamberlain, Nicolene Terblanche, Kim Hubach (all Northern Blues), Lesle-Ann George (Free State); Lenise Marais (KZN Coastal Raiders); Sulette Damons (North West). Head coach: Giles Bonnet. Assistant coach: Fabian Gregory.

SA Hockey Association media release



SASCOC sends best wishes to SA Women's Hockey team


In a late release Friday, Tubby Reddy, CEO of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), conveyed the Olympic governing body’s support for the Investec SA hockey women’s team.

"As SASCOC we are firmly behind this group of players chosen to represent their country in this all-important 2012 Olympic Games qualifier on foreign soil in New Delhi, India. We are also grateful that upon our request both the FIH and the IOC were gracious enough to grant us a slot in one of the three qualifiers into the Games in London. you would recall there was no slot for Africa in these qualification tournaments.

"We appreciate the immense effort that they have put in on this lengthy qualification road and have every faith in their ability to go the whole way and do the necessary to join Team South Africa in London later this year.

"SASCOC wishes coach Giles Bonnet, captain Marsha Marescia and all team and management members the very best on this mission."

SA Hockey Association media release

 



SA Men's Hockey team to play Great Britain in Cape Town

JONATHAN COOK


The South African Hockey Association released the names Friday of the national men’s team that will take on world number four Great Britain and top Dutch club Pinoke in Stellenbosch and Cape Town early next month.

The three-Test series against Great Britain forms part of the SA team’s preparation for the crucial Olympic Qualifier Tournament in Japan from April 26 to May 6, which SA have to win in order to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Head coach Gregg Clark’s team will meet Great Britain - an Olympic Games-only team which is predominantly made up of England players - in three Test matches. The first Test is at 7 pm next Friday, February 3 at Hartleyvale Hockey Stadium in Cape Town.

Great Britain, made up of England, Scotland and Wales, only play in the Olympic Games. The three countries play as separate entities in other international tournaments.

Clark is working with a larger squad, so there are six changes from the SA team that lost 3-1 to India in a five-Test series in Delhi this month.

While acknowledging the enormity of taking on the world’s fourth-ranked team, the head coach cited a number of improvements he is looking for against Great Britain as well as Pinoke.

“We are moving in the right direction in terms of structure and general play. I am happier with our penalty corner defence, but we still conceded four goals from 16 corners in Delhi so there is room for improvement. The conversion rate on our own corners was reasonably high at the Champions Challenge in Randburg last November/December but in Delhi we only scored one from 16, which is very poor.”

Clark said the strikers are still leaving too many goals on the table but it was exciting that the team is creating lots of opportunities, a sign that the build-up play was spot on.

Conceding soft goals has long plagued the SAteam and while there were some in Delhi, there was an improvement nevertheless.

Unlike the Investec SA women’s side, which has spent six of the last 18 months together and played around 100 Test matches, the world number 12 national men’s team do not have a major sponsor and as a consequence are probably the most under-prepared team in the world top 20.

“There is a lot of quality in our team but the fact we spend so much time apart means it is difficult to generate momentum and brings added pressure, as we often have to go from one major tournament to the next with little in between,” said Clark.

As the moment of truth in Japan gets ever closer, the recent Delhi trip and now the three Great Britain matches plus the two against Pinoke are most welcome.

SA MEN’S TEAM
Rassie Pieterse, Lance Louw, Clint Panther, Thornton McDade (all Southern Gauteng); Andrew Cronje, Austin Smith (capt), Ian Haley, Lloyd Norris-Jones (all Western Province); Brendon Botes (Eastern Province); Justin Reid-Ross, Rhett Halkett, Jonty Robinson (all Northern Blues); Wade Paton, Lloyd Madsen, Gareth Carr, Tim Drummond, Marvin Harper (KZN Coastal Raiders); Julian Hykes (Amatole-Border).

FIXTURES
03 Feb SA vs GB  at Hartleyvale at 19h00
07 Feb SA vs GB at Stellenbosch at 19h00
09 Feb SA vs Pinoke at Hartleyvale at 19h00
11 Feb SA vs GB at Stellenbosch at 19h00
12 Feb SA vs Pinoke at Hartleyvale at 11h00

SA Hockey Association media release



WCT2012 By The Numbers Preview

A statistical preview of the forthcoming Women's Champions Trophy


This Saturday, the Argentina FIH Champions Trophy 2012 gets underway in Rosario. The Infostrada Sports Group offers an impression of the upcoming tournament by the numbers.

0 – Japan and Great Britain are the only teams participating at the 2012 Argentina FIH Champions Trophy still chasing their first Champions Trophy medal.

1- On one of six occasions the winners of the last CT tournament before the Olympics went on to become Olympic champions. In 1996, Champions Trophy holders Australia won Olympic gold in Atlanta.

2 – Rosario hosts the Champions Trophy for the second time. In 2004 they also hosted the event won by the Netherlands.

3 – Three teams have won the Champions Trophy at least once on home turf: Netherlands (1987, 2000 and 2011), Australia (1999 and 2003) and China (2002).

4 – This is the fourth Champions Trophy tournament hosted by Argentina. The hosts have never won a CT title on home soil finishing 6th in 1995, 3rd in 2004 and runners-up in 2007.

5 – Luciana Aymar (ARG), Kim Lammers (NED) and Maartje Paumen (NED) all chase a record equalling fifth Champions Trophy gold medal. So far only Australia’s Rechelle Hawkes and Juliet Haslam have collected 5 CT titles.

6 – Host nations have won the Champions Trophy on six occasions. Netherlands were the last to do so in 2011.

7 – The Netherlands aim to win the Champions Trophy for a record 7th time. They are now tied with Australia on 6 CT titles.

8 – The biggest winning margin in a Women’s Champions Trophy match. At Amstelveen 1987 Australia beat New Zealand 8-0.

9 – The highest number of goals scored in a Champions Trophy match: three matches have ended 8-1.

14 – Argentina’s Luciana Aymar will participate in a Champions Trophy tournament for a record 14th time.

14 – The Netherlands have won a medal in 14 successive Champions Trophies. The last time the Dutch women failed to finish on the podium was in Mar del Plata in 1995 when they did not participate.

18 – At 18 years and 159 days, Argentina’s Florencia Habif is the youngest player at the 2012 Champions Trophy. The only other 18-year old is New Zealand’s Rhiannon Dennison.

19 – The Netherlands start their 19th CT campaign. They only missed out on the 1995 CT tournament.

20 – This is the 20th edition of the Women's Champions Trophy. The inaugural tournament was held in Amstelveen in 1987.

21 - Maartje Paumen leads all 2012 Champions Trophy players on 21 CT career goals.

22 – Germany’s Nadine Ernsting-Krienke is all-time Champions Trophy top scorer on 22 goals.

24 – Number of matches to be played at 2012 Champions Trophy.

24 – New Zealand are the youngest team present at the 2012 ChampionsTrophy at an average age of 24 years and 55 days.

27 – Germany are the oldest team present at the 2012 ChampionsTrophy at an average age of 27 years and 206 days.

41 – At age 41, Japan’s Akemi Kato is the oldest player at the 2012 Champions Trophy. She is older than Korean coach Lim Jung-Woo (34) and Dutch coach Max Caldas (38) and is the same age as GB coach Danny Kerry (41).

78 – Argentina star Luciana Aymar has played a record 78 Women’s Champions Trophy matches. She will be the first player to reach 80 CT matches.

83 – Record for most goals scored in a single CT edition: Amstelveen 2011.

105 – The Netherlands and Australia have played the most matches in Women’s Champions Trophy history. The Dutch become sole record holders as Australia are not participating in this year's event.

144 – Number of players that will participate in this year’s Champions Trophy tournament.

423 – Total number of penalty corner goals scored in Champions Trophy history.

635 – Total number of field goals scored in Champions Trophy history.

1110 – Total number of goals scored in all 19 previous Women’s Champions Trophy editions.

FIH site



Revised format rewards losers

By Michael Brown



New Zealand captain Kayla Sharland (right) is not impressed with the new format being introduced at the Champions Trophy in Argentina. Photo / Paul Estcourt

New Zealand would be a major beneficiary if the Black Sticks carry their form of last week through but they are not fans of a revised format that appears to reward mediocrity at the upcoming Champions Trophy women's hockey tournament in Argentina.

In a departure from recent tournaments, all eight teams competing at the Champions Trophy, starting tomorrow, will qualify for the quarter-finals after their three pool games.

The top side in each pool will play the fourth-placed team in the other pool with the second and third-placed teams also squaring off for a place in the semifinals.

It means a team that loses all three pool games can still win the tournament if they win their final three games.

At previous Champions Trophies, the top two teams from each pool were grouped together to decide the medals while the bottom four teams played off to determine final placings.

The FIH are trialling a different system with the aim this year of settling on one and locking it in for all future tournaments in both men's and women's hockey.

The one being used at the Champions Trophy is seen as more user-friendly for fans who might otherwise struggle with top-four, bottom-four permutations.

Black Sticks captain Kayla Sharland doesn't like the format, even though her side lost all four of their warm-up games last week at a Four Nations tournament.

"I'm not a huge fan," she said, from Argentina. "I don't think it develops consistency because we saw at the Champions Challenge last year when [the US] lost all their [pool] games but still made the final, so it's a little bit odd. If you're in that situation, it's a good thing but we just want to work on being more consistent rather than relying on that way to get into finals. If it goes that way, obviously we will be happy.

"The previous format was fair. You had to be consistent to make the top two.

"This one, teams might not show anything in the last two games [to keep things under wraps] so it's fun and games, really."

The past week hasn't been particularly enjoyable for the Black Sticks. They were beaten by Argentina (7-3 and 3-2), Korea (6-4) and Great Britain (2-0) at the Four Nations tournament, when the fact they hadn't played a competitive match since October was badly exposed.

It was a difficult experience for a side that finished third at last year's Champions Trophy and have high hopes of picking up a medal at this year's London Olympics.

"Structurally, we were all over the show," Sharland said. "We hadn't played a game since the Oceania Cup and that showed. We were scoring enough goals but we weren't keeping teams out. We were gutted with how we performed and were getting frustrated. Everyone walked away fairly disappointed. We felt we had gone back quite a bit, which is disappointing. We have tried to work on things we know work well and make sure we make changes, and are slowly getting to a place where we should be.

"The Olympics are at the back of our minds but we want to do as well as, if not better, than the last Champions Trophy to make progressions forward."

The sixth-ranked Black Sticks have drawn a tough pool alongside Argentina (ranked No 2), Germany (3) and Korea (8) and open their campaign against the hosts tomorrow.

Despite the generous format, they will want to avoid the top-ranked Netherlands in the quarter-finals and will ideally play China (5) or Japan (9).

Schedule

* Tomorrow, 12pm (NZT)
NZ v Argentina

* Monday, 9.30am
NZ v Korea

* Wednesday, 9.30am
NZ v Germany

* February 3-6 Playoffs

* New Zealand squad:

Kayla Sharland (c), Emily Naylor, Krystal Forgesson, Katie Glynn, Sally Rutherford, Alana Millington, Samantha Charlton, Clarissa Eshuis, Lucy Talbot, Rhiannon Dennison, Samantha Harrison, Cathryn Finlayson, Gemma Flynn, Sophie Devine, Charlotte Harrison, Bianca Russell, Stacey Michelsen, Anita Punt.

The New Zealand Herald



Argentina FIH Champions Trophy 2012 to be televised globally

Live streaming of all matches on LIVEFIH.TV



Luciana Aymar (ARG). (Photo: FIH / Grant Treeby)

All 24 matches of the Argentina FIH Champions Trophy 2012 in Rosario will be streamed exclusively online on LIVEFIH.TV.

LIVEFIH.TV is the official online broadcaster for hockey and has been created in partnership with the International Hockey Federation, the global governing body of field and indoor hockey.

Sign in at LIVEFIH.TV* to watch all matches live played at Argentina FIH Champions Trophy 2012 (women) in Rosario. The first game to stream is the opening match between the Olympic Champions from the Netherlands and the Olympic Silver medalists from China (Jan 28th, 12.30pm (GMT-3).

EUROSPORT 2 will cover seven group matches, three quarter finals, the semi-finals and the final.

All matches with participation of the Black Sticks women and the final will be broadcasted on SKY NZ.

Fox AUS will show the highlights of every day. The final will be broadcasted live while the bronze medal match will be broadcasted delayed.

A selection of group matches, quarter finals and qualification matches will be available on Astro Supersport (Malaysia, Indonesia) as well as on Ten Sports (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan).

PTV (Pakistan) will telecast all matches played at Argentina FIH Champions Trophy 2012 in Rosario except the following
28th January  ARG v NZL
29th January  GER v ARG 
3rd February   Loser Match 15 v Loser Match 16
4th February   Winnner Match 15 v Winner Match 16

*Please note that LIVEFIH.TV is not available in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Argentina and New Zealand.
The following matches will not be shown in Europe:
-matches beginning at 15:30 GMT
28th January NED v CHN, GBR vs JPN (following from the game before)
29th January CHN v JPN
31st January NED vs JPN
2nd February 1st Pool A vs 4th Pool B, 2nd Pool B vs 3rd Pool A (following from the game before)
Both Semi Finals
Final

FIH site



Record Exposure for Women’s Hockey in Asia

Pakistan and India to have a new level of television coverage


Women’s hockey will receive record exposure on the Asian Subcontinent when the Argentina FIH Champions Trophy starts in Rosario tomorrow, Saturday.

Both Ten Sports in India and Pakistan, and PTV Sports, in Pakistan will show more matches of the annual FIH women’s event than ever before.  Ten Sports will show 15 of the 24 matches live, with a further 7 matches delayed-as-live.  PTV will show all except four matches live, the others being broadcast delayed-as-live.  FIH has long-term contracts with both broadcasters for all its major televised events up until 2014.

The Champions Trophy is FIH’s premier annual event.  The 8 top nations in the world will meet over 7 competition days in Rosario Argentina, the same city that hosted the sell-out BDO FIH World Cup, Women in September 2010.

FIH President, Leandro Negre, said, “the Champions Trophy is a magnificent spectacle of the best of women’s hockey and I’m delighted that FIH’s valued broadcast partners Ten Sports and PTV will bring the event to hockey fans in a key territory for hockey”.

Ten Sports is India’s most watched sports channel, broadcasting in cable and satellite to 100 million homes across the subcontinent.  PTV Sports is a new terrestrial channel launched by PTV on the 11 January and is available to 70% of viewers across Pakistan.

FIH site

 



Singapore into Olympic Qualification Tournament

Asian nation takes USA’s spot in Delhi event


The FIH today announced that Singapore will take the place of the United States at the Olympic Qualification Tournament in New Delhi, India from February 18-26.

Singapore, ranked #41 in the FIH World Ranking was contacted to join the six team men’s qualification group after the United States unexpectedly pulled out of the event.

“We were pleased that Singapore agreed on such short notice to take part in the Olympic Qualification event,” said FIH CEO Kelly Fairweather. “It will undoubtedly give its men’s national team valuable experience in a major international tournament.”

The tournament in Delhi will feature a six-team round robin format. Following the round robin, the teams ranked first and second will play for a berth to the London 2012 Olympic Games. The remaining four teams will play placement games for FIH World Ranking points.

To view the new schedule for the Olympic Qualification Tournament in India, please click here.

FIH Media release



USA pulls out; Singapore in

Principal Correspondent


The International Hockey Federation (FIH), on Friday, announced that Singapore would replace the USA in the men's Olympic qualifier to be held here from February 18-26.

After the USA pulled out of the event “due to player unavailability, retirements and injuries,” the FIH offered the vacant slot to Singapore. “We were pleased that Singapore agreed on such short notice to take part in the Olympic qualification event,” said FIH CEO Kelly Fairweather.

The other participating teams in the six-nation event are Canada, Italy, France, Poland and host India.

Earlier, Terry Walsh, technical director of high performance, USA Field Hockey, explained why USA chose to withdraw from the Olympic qualifier.

“The decision has been made strategically with the very best outcome for our programme in mind. Unavailability of many of the senior players has left the men's programme in a position where our best assembled team has a performance potential well below that required to be competitive in a tournament of this calibre,” said Walsh in a statement.

The Hindu



Singapore roped in after US withdraw from Olympic qualifiers

NEW DELHI: Unfancied Singapore will replace the United States in next month's Olympic men's qualifiers in the Capital, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) said on Friday.

The decision to rope in Singapore for the six-nation tournament was taken after the US "unexpectedly" pulled out "due to player unavailability besides retirements and injuries".

Singapore are currently at the 41st place in the world ranking while the US are on 24th. India are the highest-ranked team in the competition at 10th spot followed by Canada (14).

"We were pleased that Singapore agreed on such short notice to take part in the Olympic Qualification event," said FIH CEO Kelly Fairweather.

"It will undoubtedly give its men's national team valuable experience in a major international tournament," he was quoted as saying in the FIH website.

As per the revised schedule, India will now take on Singapore in their opening match on February 18.

Meanwhile, Terry Walsh, technical director of US High Performance said that the country's best-available team would have a performance potential far below than the level required for the event.

"Unavailability of many of the seniors has left the men's programme in a position where our best assembled team has a performance potential well below that required to be competitive in a tournament of this calibre," Walsh was quoted as saying by the US Hockey website.

The Times of India



Kashif strikes as PIA register second victory

Staff Report


KARACHI: Olympian Kashif Ali struck twice as Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) registered their second victory in the 59th National Hockey Championship when they overpowered Pakistan Army 5-3 at Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium here on Friday. Lanky Kashif, who had represented Pakistan in 2008 Beijing Olympics, converted penalty corners in 32nd and 65th minutes to play a key role in his team’s triumph. PIA were leading 3-0 at half time. Inayat Ullah scored the opener in the 10th minute. Mohez Malik a minute before the break scored the third goal to put PIA in control. Adnan Jawed netted the fifth goal for the winners in 69th minute.

Army, however, fought back in the second session and slammed three goals in a space of just five minutes. Muhammad Rizwan scored in 51st minute, Muhammad Safeer a minute later and Pakistan team captain Muhammad Imran scored the third in 55th minute. Habib Bank Limited and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) shared a point each after their match ended in 2-2 draw. In the first match of the day, Pakistan Navy beat PHF Academy 3-0, thanks a double strike by Muhammad Rashid. Waqasul Haq scored the other goal through penalty corner.

Today’s matches:

NBP vs PHF Academy
Army vs Port Qasim Authority
WAPDA vs PAF

The Daily Times



MBI and SSTMI score big wins



SSTMI-Thunderbolts won their third successive match in the MHC-MILO-NSC Junior Hockey League when they trounced Bukit Jalil Sports School Juniors 9-0 in a Division One match at the Ministry of Education Stadium in Pantai.

And in Ipoh, MBI-Anderson gave Tunku Besar Secondary School Tampin the "blues" on the newly laid blue pitch of the Sultan azlan Shah Stadium, winning 8-2.

Bukit Jalil Sports School meanwhile almost squandered a chance to back on the winning trail for they threw away a 3-0 halftime lead as Petaling Jaya City Council scored thrice to draw level but got the winner two minutes from time to win 4-3, at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Thunderbolts took a 2-0 lead in the opening ten minutes as Mohammad Shahril Saabah struck two penalty corner goals in the 4th and 6th minutes. And at the stroke of halftime (35th minute) Muhammad Hafiz Seleman scored to give them a 3-0 lead.

The floodgates opened in the second half as Thunderbolts went on the rampage, scoring another six goals to humiliate the youngsters from BJSS Juniors.

Goals by Shahril (40th and 47th minutes), Sazril Irwan Nazali (49th minute), Azmi Deraman (56th minute), Mohd Afzanizam Zakaria (61st minute) and Muhammad Sufi Ismat Md Rohulamin meant that Thunderbolt were a team to beat in the Division One.

“We could have scored more goals against BJSS juniors, but I felt nine were enough and I pulled the reigns on my players as that was not the match we have been preparing for this weekend.

“We have been working hard to face MBPJ, and there was no use in pushing my players to the limit today (yesterday) as they might pick up unwarranted injuries,” said SSTMI Thunderbolts coach Wan Roslan.

And MBPJ has earned the respect of Roslan after they came back from three goals down.

“Any team which can come back from being three goals down warrants respect, and that is what we will be giving them on Sunday. However, I am confident we will claim the three points and continue our quest to land the double this season,” said Roslan whose side hold the Overall title.

In Ipoh, the hosts took the lead in the 26th minute through Muhammad Najib Abu Hassan who converted a penalty corner. And two minutes later Muhammad Alif Noor Faizal made it 2-0. Barely had the cheers died down that MBI scored the third through Mohamad Ashran Hamsani.

TBSS reduced the deficit in the 43rd minute through Muhd Ikwan Ishak but MBI regained their three goal lead in the 45th minute when Arun Kumar struck.

Though Muhd Syabariq Shamsuri converted a penalty stroke in the 46th minute to make it 4-2 for TBSS, MBI were not to be denied as they went on to score four more goals through Azril Misron (53rd and 62nd minutes), Muhammad Alif ( 54th minute) and Mohamad Ashran (57th minute) for a comprehensive 8-2 win.

At Bukit Jalil, BJSS took the lead in the 10th minute through Mohammad Redzhwan Jaafar. And a goal by Muhammad Noor Khairul Azri Adnan in the 34th minute doubled their advantage. Mohammad Faizail Zairollail scored at the stroke of halftime to give them a 3-0 lead.

But PJCC scored three goals in a space of six minutes through Ganeisha Tamil Chelvam ( 52nd minute ) and  Mohammad Faiz Haiqal Mat Rosdid ( 55th and 58th minutes) to share the points, a bitter blow for BJSS.

Mohammad Azrul Hasbullah scored the winner for BJSS in the 68th minute and the match was marred by yellow cards shown to Azrul and Norshafiq Sumantri.

Meanwhile in the only Division 2 B game played today, KL Sports School upset MSP-Yayasan Pahang at the Sukpa Stadium in Kuantan.

KLSS had on Wednesday lost 2-3 to Olak-PKT at the KLHA Stadium but did well to defeat the homesters barely 48 hours later despite having to travel to Kuantan.

KLSS took the lead in the 7th minute via  Muhammad Zahir Md Zaki. But MSP were back on level terms three minutes later through Khairul Amri Talha. However the city side got their act together to take a 3-1 lead at halftime thanks to goals from Muhammad Nur Faiz Mahmad Rosli  (21st minute) and Zahir (23rd minute).

Wan Haziq Hisyamudin Wan Ameer Ruzman scored in the 56th minute to ensure they collected all three points.

It was raining goals though in Seremban as Sapura hammered NS Project side 12-0 at the Seremban 2 Hockey Stadium to top Group A of Division Two.

Sapura took the lead in the 4th minute through Harmesh Singh who converted a penalty corner. And in the 8th minute Muhd Shahfirul Aqmal Mohd Saiful made it 2-0.

Ahmad Iqwan Shah Harun (34th minute) and Meor Ahmad Azuan Hasan (35th + minute) gave Sapura a healthy 4-0 lead at halftime.

And they did not let up in the second half, scoring eight more goals through Mohammad Ammar Adly Abd Rahman (40th minute), Mohammad Soffian Kamaruddin (45th minute), Muhammad Farid Md Zaki (48th minute), Zulhilmi Muhammad (48th minute), Shahfirul 52nd minute), Ahmad Iqwan (58th minute) and Harmesh (69th minute).

In Alor Star, Politeknik KPT scored a 2-0 win over hosts KHA-MSNK while in Sungai Petani the match between Nur Insafi and KHA Juniors ended scoreless.

The Politeknik KPT goals  were scored by Muhammad Fahmi Zainal Abidin who converted a penalty corners in the 21st minute and 54th minute respectively.

Unofficial MJHL site



Thunderbolts on cloud nine

By Jugjet Singh


TENGKU Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI-Thunderbolts) hammered the daylights out of Bukit Jalil Sports School Juniors in Division One of the Milo-Junior Hockey League, and are now primed for their crunch match tomorrow.

SSTMI whipped BJSS Juniors 9-0 to prepare themselves for  Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MBPJ) tomorrow.

MBPJ showed  grit when they came back from three goals down yesterday to level the score against BJSS seniors, only to lose 4-3 off a disputed last minute goal.

"We could have scored more goals against BJSS Juniors, but I felt nine were enough and I pulled the reins on my players as this was not the match we had been preparing for this weekend.

"We have been working hard to face MBPJ, and there was no use in pushing my players to the limit today (yesterday) as they might have picked up  injuries," said SSTMI Thunderbolts coach Wan Roslan.

Thunderbolts led 2-0  after six  minutes as Shahril Saabah struck two penalty corner goals in the fourth and sixth minutes.  Hafiz Seleman scored the third just before the break.

The floodgates opened in the second half as Thunderbolts went on a rampage, scoring another six goals to humiliate the youngsters from BJSS Juniors.

Goals by Shahril (40th and 47th), Sazril Irwan Nazali (49th), Azmi Deraman (56th), Afzanizam Zakaria (61st) and Sufi Ismat (66th) completed the rout.

RESULTS -- Division One: MBI-Anderson 8 TBSS 2, MBPJ 3 BJSS 4, BJSS  Juniors 0 SSTMI-Thunderbolts 9.

Division Two -- Group A: Kelantan HA-MSNK 0 Politeknik- KPT 2, Nur Insafi  0 Kelantan HA Juniors 0, Negri HA 0 Sapura 12, Anderson Juniors 4 MSSP-USM Juniors 0.

Group B: Yayasan Pahang 1 Kuala Lumpur SS 4.

TODAY -- Division One: USM-MSSPP v TBSS (USM  Stadium, 4pm), UniKL v SSTMI (KLHA Stadium, 6pm).

Division Two -- Group A: Politeknik KPT  v Anderson  Juniors (Alor Star, 4pm).

Group B: MP Batu Pahat v Padang Midin (Taman Daya,  4pm), Tunas Pahang  vs  KLSS (Kuantan, 4pm), Datuk Taha v  Olak (Seremban II, 4pm).

New Straits Times



MJHL leaders go on another goal spree

Shahril steals the Thunder

By AFTAR SINGH



Joy: BJSS striker Azrul Hasbullah is congratulated by his team-mates after scoring the winning goal against MBPJ in the Malaysian Junior Hockey League match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday. BJSS won 4-3. MBPJ player's looks dejectedly. - S.S. KANESAN/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Mohd Shahril Saabah scored four goals to inspire defending overall champions Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI)-Thunderbolt to a thumping 9-0 win over Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) Juniors in Division One of the Milo-Junior Hockey League at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium.

It was the third straight win for SSTMI, who were formerly known as Bandar Penawar Sports School.

Thunderbolt have now scored 21 goals and conceded just two after three matches, having earlier outplayed SSTMI 7-1 and former five-time double champions BJSS 5-1.

Shahril, a trainee with the Project 2013 squad, was on target in the fourth, sixth, 40th and 47th minutes and has now scored seven goals in three matches.

Goals by Hafiz Seleman (35th), Sazril Irwan Nazali (49th), Azmi Deraman (56th), Afzanizam Zakaria (61st) and Sufi Ismat (66th) completed the rout.

Thunderbolt coach Wan Roslan Wan Abdul Rahman was delighted with his team’s clinical finishing.

“We could have scored more goals but I didn’t want to push my players as they might have picked up injuries,” he said.

“We actually used this match to prepare for MBPJ (Petaling Jaya City Council) on Sunday.”

Former champions MBPJ lost 4-3 to BJSS despite coming back from 3-0 down to level the score at one point yesterday.

And their fighting display has earned the respect of Thunderbolt coach Wan Roslan.

“Any team who can come back from three goals down deserve respect. It doesn’t matter that they lost in the end,” he said.

“Anyway, I’m confident we can beat them.”

In another match, MBI-Anderson played one of their best matches to whip Tunku Besar Secondary School Tampin (TBSS) 8-2 at the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh.

The Star of Malaysia



Battle of the bulge for key India defenders

Navneet Singh


It's no more rice pudding or chocolate cookies for India's best two defenders, Sandeep Singh and V Raghunath, at the national hockey camp being held here ahead of the Olympics qualifying event starting on February 18.

With the overweight pair turning out to be sluggish on the field, they have been put on a high protein and low carb diet to shed the flab they have walked into the camp with.

Even at their peak fitness, India players have struggled to last the full 70 minutes against major opponents and the hosts don't want to leave anything to chance. HT had reported two months ago that the national squad members were not fit to last a full match.

According to an official associated with the camp, the diet will help the players trim down, build stamina and get quicker on their feet. "Extra weight means leaden feet and a straight disadvantage," the official said.

The new regimen has begun to bear fruit. In the past week, Raghunath has lost 2-3 kilos. "He needs to shed at least 2-3 more," officials said, pointing out to the new diet chart prescribed for the players to improve their fitness. Even dragflick expert Sandeep has lost a few kilos in the last few days. "He doesn't need to cut down further," the official said. "He now needs to maintain his weight for the next couple of weeks to give a good performance."

Alongwith the healthier diet, Sandeep and Raghunath have also been asked to follow a specific training regimen, to burn a certain amount of calories every day that would not only raise their fitness levels but will also make sure they do not to add extra flab around the waist. On Friday, while others in the team were given the evening session off, Sandeep sweated it out. "The leaner they become, the more vigorous they'll get," an official said on condition of anonymity.

Last September, when Australian Michael Nobbs took charge as India's chief hockey coach, he had observed that the players needed to build their muscle mass to compete on even keel against the best.

Nobbs, however, acknowledges that the star defenders cannot be grounded just because of their fitness problems. "You can't ignore Sandeep or Raghunath even if they are a bit overweight," says Nobbs.

Hindustan Times



Duruelo playground paving raises a stink

By Ashutosh Shukla


Several students of the Duruelo Convent High School, Bandra, are crying foul over losing their school hockey ground.

The ground, used extensively by hockey students, is being covered with paver blocks. What has irked the students and their parents even more is that this is being done despite hockey players from the school competing at the state and national levels.

“The school is doing this only for commercial gains, for the convenience of wedding organisers. Their sole intention is to make more money out of it,” claimed Sudhir Kamat, a parent of a former student. Kamat is leading the delegation of protesting parents, and claimed he was doing this because they (parents) feared individual victimisation.

He added, “The school has performed consistently well (in hockey), and the ground should be preserved.”

This year, Duruelo was the runner-up in the under-17 category of the inter-school state-level competition. Last year, it won the under-16 and under-17 state-level championships. Its players are amongst the prominent team members of the state, the other players being from Kolhapur and Nashik.

Secondary school principal Sister Dorette justified the move. “Of the 2,300 students, only the 25-30 students who play hockey are opposing it. We are doing this primarily for three reasons. One, to stop the rainwater seepage that is weakening the foundation of the building. Two, because other children want to play other sports, and three, to prevent respiratory problems due to dust,” said Dorette.

Dorette claimed that the paver blocks are being placed on the advice of the architects of the school. She, however, did not provide a contact number for the architects.

“Also, we do not have the money to maintain the ground and the building; this has been done from the MLA fund,” she said. “Why are parents complaining? Elsewhere, too, schools that have hockey teams do not have grounds. They play on concrete floors.” Some parents, however, slammed this logic.

“It is common sense that if the children fall on the concrete floor, they will get hurt. Will the management take responsibility if this happens?” asked Balkrishna Jogu, whose daughter studies in Class 8 and is a hockey player.

Jyoti Parihar, whose daughter is in Class 7 at the school, said, “Schoolchildren often have no place to play. This is the only school that has a ground, and it’s converting it into a concrete floor!” Nisha Nair, a former student and national-level player (who has also featured in Chak De India), said, “I think the decision is wrong. My sister and me, and many like us have done well in life by playing hockey. They should not place paver blocks the ground, as there is a dearth of good grounds anyway.”

DNA