News for 17 February 2013

All the news for Sunday 17 February 2013

Honours even in Rome

Scotland Women recorded a 3-3 draw in the opening match of their three match contest against Italy in Rome this afternoon. Sam Judge, Nicola Skrastin and captain Linda Clement grabbed the Scotland goals.

Commenting on his team’s performance, Scotland Head Coach Gordon Shepherd said, “At times our performance was good and we've identified areas to work on [for the remaining two games against Italy]. I’m pleased to get a result in a game where we didn't perform at our best.”

The Scots got off to a flyer in the fourth minute of the match when some neat team inter-play in the circle led to Edinburgh University player-coach Sam Judge sweeping the ball into the roof of the net from close range to give Scotland a 1-0 lead.

Samantha Judge

Shepherd's side then doubled their lead through Milne Craig Clydesdale Western’s Nicola Skrastin in the eighth minute; Scotland captain Linda Clement drove down the right flank to the baseline and found Holly Cram, whose strike across goal was met by Skrastin’s reverse stick shot past the Italian goalkeeper to make it 2-0 to Scotland.

Nicola Skrastin

However, the home side pulled a goal back three minutes later when Giuliana Ruggieri got her first goal of the match in the 15th minute from a three on two situation.

In the 25th minute, Italy forced an equaliser when Ruggieri’s penalty corner found the back of the net to put the sides back on level terms at 2-2.

Shortly after half-time, Clement capitalised on a good Scottish attack down the right hand side to strike the ball home and give Scotland the lead again at 3-2 in the 43rd minute.

Linda Clement

With game reaching its latter stages and Scotland looking to hold on for a win, the Italians showed their resilience once again when Alessioro Padalino got on the score-sheet in the 58th minute to level the scores once again at 3-3 and give Italy a draw.

The two sides meet again on Monday.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

What is FIH Hockey World League and where India stand

Indian teams got a 1st-round bye but need to finish Round 2 as winners to progress to the semi-finals. The league doubles as WC qualifier.

New Delhi: Cashing in on the success of inaugural Hockey India League (HIL), the International Hockey Federation (FIH) is ready to foster the Hockey World League in India - when Round 2 of the competition kicks off here from February 18.

The league is divided into two phases. The first phase, which began in August and runs until February 2014, serves as the 2014 World Cup qualifier while in the second it turns into a qualifying tournament for the Olympics.

In all, 54 countries are part of the men's competition and 45 women's.

Men's competition

India got a bye into Round 2 by virtue of being ranked between No. 9 and 16 in the world and will be joined by the qualifiers from Round 1. The Round 2 will be played simultaneously at New Delhi, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Saint-Germain-en-Laye (France) and Elektrostal (Russia).

Only seven of the twenty-four teams playing Round 2 will make it to the next stage - the semi-finals. Nine top ranked teams will join these qualifiers from the first two rounds for two 8-team events scheduled to be played at Netherlands and Malaysia in June-July this year.

Eight teams from the semi-finals will make it to the finals to be played in February 2014.

Women's competition

Like men, the India women also got a first-round bye on virtue of their ranking and will now play Round 2, which will have four events in Cape Town (South Africa), New Delhi, Valencia (Spain) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).

Eight teams qualify from here to join the 8 top-ranked teams for the semi-finals in June-July. From there, 8 teams progress to the final.

India's chances

The stiffest challenge for the men - led by Sardar Singh - is going to come from Ireland, who are ranked 15th compared to India at 11. With Oman (36), Bangladesh (40) and Fiji (7o) playing only for international exposure more than anything else, the only team that could prove to be the party pooper is China (18).

The tournament is more challenging for the Indian women, who will be captained by Ritu Rani. Japan - ranked 9th - enter the tournament as the favourites to progress to the semi-finals but can expect solid resistance from the 12th-ranked India. While Fiji (59th) could be the tournament's punching bag, Russia (20th), Malaysia (22nd) and Kazakhstan (33) can't be treated as pushovers. Had Japan been in the top 8, they would have got a bye in the second round as well.

Indian men's and women's team will play their opening matches against Fiji and Kazakhstan, respectively, on February 18 at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in the capital.


Hosts wary of unknown Fijians hockey talent

Mereseini Marau In New Delhi

India hockey captain Sardar Singh says they are not underestimating the Fiji team when they meet in their first match of the Hero Hockey World League Round 2 in New Delhi tomorrow

In an interview with Singh after a press conference in New Delhi, he said they would play their normal game.

"This is the first time we are going to play against them, we will not take them lightly," he said.

Singh said his team was looking forward to the challenge and the boys were eager to represent their country again.

"This is a very important tournament; we are in a same situation that we were ahead of the London Olympics. It is a qualifying tournament for the World Cup and we cannot take any team lightly."

The hosts will also take on China, Ireland, Bangladesh and Oman in the tournament.

Singh said the team would face a stiff challenge from China and Ireland.

Fiji men's national coach Hector Smith Sr said his team would do the best they possibly could.

"We really appreciate his level of respect," he said.

"We will play with one thing in mind."

Hector Sr said he watched the Indian players in their training yesterday.

"This is the second time I've watched them, the first one was during their wild card entry in Australia," he said.

"I know they did a few changes after the Olympics, but India always proves to be a power house in hockey."

He said his side, made of relatively young boys most of whom are still at school were wary of the challenge ahead of them.

"We will play our very best," he said. The women's team will take on Japan in the first match of the tournament at 5pm (Fiji time) tomorrow while the men's will play against India at 3am (Fiji time) on Wednesday morning.

The two teams were welcomed by the Fiji's High Commissioner to India Yogesh Karan, who challenged them to go out and do their best.

The Fiji Times

Sandeep will be missed, says Sardar Singh

By Chander Shekhar Luthra

India’s hockey skipper Sardar Singh rues the absence of drag-flicker Sandeep Singh for the forthcoming World League Round 2 to be held in New Delhi from February 18 to 24. However,he is confident of Sandeep’s return.

Sandeep failed to find a place in the Indian squad despite being the highest goal scorer in the inaugural Hockey India League.

“Sandeep has been playing well. He scored some crucial goals for Mumbai Magicians in the HIL. Every player goes through ups and downs and I’m sure he will be back soon. I’m going to miss him personally,” he said.

India have been fielding three drag-flickers — VR Raghunath, Rupinder Singh and Gurjinder Singh — in this six-nation tournament featuring China, Ireland, Bangladesh, Oman and Fiji. “Both Raghu and Rupinder were in good form during the HIL, while Gurjinder has impressed with his showing in other tournaments,” Sardar said.

Gurjinder was named player of the tournament in last year’s World Series Hockey and has been drafted into the team in place of half-back Gurmail Singh.

“There is healthy competition among all three of them and that’s going to help the team finally. We can’t take any match lightly since the situation we face is similar to that at the London Games,” he said. “We will have to be at our best against China and Ireland and ensure we are not complacent against any other side too.”

He admitted that almost all the players were fatigued after the HIL and needed rest. “That’s why coach (Michael Nobbs) allowed most players a good recovery period after the HIL. We only started light training on Thursday. Good news is that no player is carrying any injury. I’m sure that the HIL exposure would help us in the future tournaments. All the players have learned immensely while playing alongside the Germans, Dutch and Australians.”

The winner of the six-team tournament will progress to Round 3. Ranked No. 11, India got a direct entry into the second round of the World League that also doubles up as WC qualifier. While the winners stay in the hunt to earn a place in the World Cup, the losers bow out of both the races.

“Each player has played at least a dozen games in the last month. But there is no room for excuse as only one team is going to progress from Round 2. I am sure India will be that team,” Sardar said. The tournament will start on February 18 when India play Fiji.


East Grinstead in with promotion hope

Niall Stott Maxifuel Super Sixes Finals East Grinstead

A 6-2 win over HC Minsk on Saturday morning sealed East Grinstead's progress into Pool C, the promotion pool, at the EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy in Vienna. The result added to two victories on Friday, including a memorable fight back against Scotland's Grove Menzieshill in which EG came from 5-2 down to win 6-5.

Earlier on Friday, the recently re-crowned Maxifuel Super Sixes Champions beat Portugal's Lousada 7-2.

East Grinstead face another of the favourites for promotion, Kolos-Sekvoya Vinnitsa of Ukraine, and the hosts NAVAX-AHTC in Pool C. With five points for a win, EG look strongly placed in the promotion pool in which they need to finish in the top two to earn promotion. The fourth side contesting the title is the Scottish team, ho drew their final match in Pool B.

Follow the tournament on the official website here.

England Hockey Board Media release

Grove Menzieshill suffer promotion set-back

Grove Menzieshill’s EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy chances took a knock when they were beaten 3-2 by hosts NAVAX AHTC-Wien in this afternoon’s promotion pool match in Vienna.

Chris Anderson’s side now have to beat Ukranian outfit Kolos-Sekvoya Vinnitsa in their final match tomorrow and hope that East Grinstead can do them a favour by beating NAVAX AHTC-Wien by a significant margin if they are to gain promotion to compete in the Club Champions Cup next season.

Before their final Pool B match against AD Lousada got underway this morning, the Dundonians received the news that they had clinched qualification for the promotion pool following East Grinstead’s 6-2 win over HC Minsk, leaving Anderson’s charges in an unassailable position as Pool B runners-up.

When Scottish indoor champions eventually took to the court against AD Lousada, Scotland international Gavin Byers opened the scoring against in the eighth minute before captain Chris Wilson doubled Grove Menzieshill’s advantage with a penalty corner strike in the 12th minute to make it 2-0.

However, they were pegged back late in the second half when two Tiago Sampaio goals from open play in the 30th and 33rd minute restored parity to the contest at 2-2.

Grove Menzieshill then thought they had won it two minutes from the end when Allan Law’s penalty stroke gave them a 3-2 lead but Marco Santos found an equaliser for AD Lousada from a penalty corner right on full-time to leave the sides all square at 3-3.

Advancing to the promotion pool with East Grinstead and Pool A qualifiers NAVAX AHTC-Wien and Kolos-Sekvoya Vinnitsa, Grove Menzieshill got off to a great start in their next match against the Austrian champions.

Ross Stott opened scoring in the third minute to give them a 1-0 lead against NAVAX AHTC-Wien, only for Dominik Monghy to equalise in the sixth minute from a penalty corner.

The hosts went in front in the 16th minute when Monghy got his second goal of the game, again from a penalty corner set-play, and sixty seconds later Mathias Gerö made it 3-1 when his deflected shot found the back of the net.

During the second half, Grove Menzieshill had a number of penalty corner chances but could not beat Spannocchi Dominik in goal.

Nevertheless, Gavin Byers brought his side back into the contest when his 31st minute strike made it 3-2. Then Anderson’s side thought they had secured an equaliser two minutes later but the two umpires ruled it out to leave the final score 3-2 to the home side.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Arthur McKay Scottish-Cup round up

There were a couple of shocks in the Women’s Arthur McKay Scottish Cup as the round of last 32 got underway today.

Aberdeen Asset Management National League Division 3 sides AAM Merlins Gordonians and Aberdeen Ladies sprung surprise results over Division 2 opponents, with Highland losing out 3-1 and Granite City Wanderers going down 2-1 to their lower ranked opponents.

Elsewhere, CALA Edinburgh comfortably beat Watsonians A 10-0, Inverleith were 6-2 winners over Glasgow Accies and Western Wildcats beat Grange EL A 8-1.

There were also wins for Hillhead Ladies, Glynhill Hotel Kelburne, Giffnock and Dundee Wanderers.

Meanwhile, there were no major upsets in the Men's Arthur McKay Scottish Cup laat 32, with most of the matches going to form.

There was an avalanche of goals at both Auchenhowie and Titwood as Western Wildcats took care of FMGM Monarchs with nineteen goal without reply and PSL Team Sport Clydesdale comfortably defeated Harris Academy 16-0.

Falkirk GHG beat fellow Aberdeen Asset Management National League Division 2 side Ayr 5-2, CALA Edinburgh needed penalties to finally overcome Highland, and Grange strolled to an 8-0 win against Greenock. Also through to the next round are Perthshire, Waverley Inveresk Trinity and Watsonians.

Men's Arthur McKay Scottish Cup - Results

Dundee University v Dundee Wanderers (postponed)
Falkirk GHG 5-2 Ayr
Glasgow University v Giffnock (postponed)
Grange 8-0 2020 Renewables Greenock
Highland 3-3 CALA Edinburgh (CALA Edinburgh win 4-3 on pens)
Inverleith BYE
Perthshire 5-2 Erskine Stewarts Melville FP
PSL Clydesdale 16-0 Harris Academy FP
St Andrews University v AAM Gordonians (postponed)
Stirling Wanderers 1-5 Waverley Inveresk Trinity
Watsonians 6-1 Granite City Wanderers
Western Wildcats 16-0 FMGM Monarchs

Women's Arthur McKay Scottish Cup - Results

AAM Merlins Gordonians 3-1 Highland
Aberdeen Ladies 2-1 Granite City Wanderers
Aberdeen University BYE
CALA Edinburgh 10-0 Watsonians A
Edinburgh University A 0-3 Edinburgh University
Glasgow Accies 2-6 Inverleith
Grange EL W-0 Giffnock A (conceded)
Grove Menzieshill BYE
Hillhead Ladies 3-2 CALA Edinburgh A
MCC Western W-0 Erskine Stewarts Melville FP (conceded)
MCC Western A 3-2 Glynhill Hotel Kelburne
Stirling Wanderers 1-4 Giffnock
Watsonians 0-4 VWS Dundee Wanderers
Western Wildcats 8-1 Grange EL A

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Hat-tricks help top sides maintain Premier Division push

Jade Mayne Canterbury

HAT-tricks from Canterbury’s Jade Mayne and Leicester’s Hannah Macleod ensured their teams remain first and second respectively in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division.

London Olympian Macleod struck twice in the first half as Leicester led 4-1 at Bowdon Hightown, and added her third shortly after play resumed. Other Leicester goals came from Julia Karwatzky (2) and Vanessa Hawkins.

Meanwhile Mayne’s first goal gave Canterbury an early lead at Slough. Amy Sheehan scored twice for the Berkshire side, but Mayne (pictured) added two more after the break, and others came from Dom Masters and Sarah Kerly as they secured victory.

Elsewhere, Reading held on to third spot with a 4-0 win at University of Birmingham. GB’s Alex Danson scored twice, while others came from Jess Brooker and Abi Harper.

Clifton battled to a 3-2 win at Olton and West Warwickshire, their goals coming from Els Mansell, Josie Rixon and Stephanie Addison. Emma McCabe and Amie Hone scored for the hosts, but it wasn’t quite enough for Olton to secure their second league win of the season.

And Surbiton beat Sutton Coldfield 4-2, with Abi Robinson scoring twice, while Georgie Twigg and Vicky Bryant also found the net.

In the Investec Women’s Conference West Bristol Firebrands staged a fightback at Isca, battling from 1-0 down to win 2-3 with goals from Linda Webb (2) and Lily Owsley.

Meanwhile, leaders Buckingham notched up a 13th straight league win with a 4-0 victory over Barnes Hounslow Ealing.

Leaders Beeston maintained the push for promotion from the Investec Conference North with a 4-1 win at Brooklands Poynton, Hannah Wraith scoring all their goals.

And second-placed University of Durham remain three points adrift of Beeston following their 2-1 win over Doncaster.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (February 16 2013):

Investec Premier Division: Bowdon 1, Leicester 6; Olton & West Warwicks 2, Clifton 3; Slough 2, Canterbury 5; Surbiton 4, Sutton Coldfield 2; University of Birmingham 0, Reading 4.

Investec Conference East: Bromley and Beckenham 0, Horsham 1; Ipswich 4, Harleston Magpies 1; Oxford Hawks 4, Chelmsford 0; St Albans 3, Old Loughtonians 0; Wimbledon 2, Sevenoaks 0.

Investec Conference North: Brooklands Poynton 1, Beeston 4; Cannock 0, Ben Rhydding 1; University of Durham 2, Doncaster 1; Wakefield 2, Loughborough Students 2; Whitley Bay and Tynemouth 3, Liverpool Sefton 2.

Investec Conference West: Buckingham 4, Barnes 0; Gloucester City 1, Swansea City 1; Isca 2, Bristol Firebrands 3; Stourport 3, Taunton Vale 0; Trojans 1, Staines 2.

England Hockey Board Media release

Kelantanese fight for title despite pitch woes


Main hope: Mohd Nur Amin (left) will spearhead Anderson’s challenge against Politeknik KPT in the playoff for third place.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Kota Baru Municipal Council hockey Astro-turf is in such a deplorable state that it cannot be used for matches.

However, the MSS Kelantan team, have no choice but to train on the torn and worn out turf and yet they still managed to qualify for the MHC-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League Division Two final.

En route to the final, they had been in smashing form winning all their nine matches – eight in the group matches to top Group A.

And in the semi-finals, they beat Politeknik KPT 4-3 in extra time sudden death on Friday after both teams were tied 3-3 in the regulation time.

Today, they take on Kuala Lumpur Sports School in the final.

KL Sports School outplayed Anderson Juniors 5-1 in the other semi-final match.

Both MSS Kelantan and KL Sports School are unbeaten in nine matches and a close match is on the cards as they will be out to win their tenth match and the Division Two title.

By virtue of reaching the final, MSS Kelantan and KL Sports School, earned promotion to Division One next year.

MSS Kelantan coach Hamzi Shaari said that the turf in Kota Baru is not playable.

“But we have no choice as we still have to train there as it is the only turf in the state,” said the Tanah Merah 1 secondary school teacher.

“We have been training on the turf since December and we are proud to reach the Division Two final for the second time.

“What can be more inspiring then training on a deplorable turf and still staying unbeaten after nine matches,” said Hamzi.

MSS Kelantan won their first Division Two title in 2008.

MSS Kelantan, however, will not have the service of key midfielder Mohd Ashraf Mohd Noor for the final because he has to serve a suspension for collecting a red card after hitting Politeknik KPT player Mohd Kamarul Ariffin Kamaruddin on the forehead with a hockey stick in the semi-final match.

“Although we have lost Ashraf we can still go on to lift the title,” said Hamzi.

KL Sports School team manager Zainal Ariffin Abdullah said that it’s the first time they have qualified for the final since making their debut in the Under-19 league three years ago.

“So we hope to create history by winning our first silverware in the MJHL. But it’s not going to be easy as MSS Kelantan have proven that they are fighters as they came back from two goals down to beat Politeknik in the sudden death extra-time,” said Zainal.

The Star of Malaysia