News for 21 February 2013

All the news for Thursday 21 February 2013


Bangladesh stun China to produce massive World League upset

India and Ireland line up key battle with big wins over Oman and Fiji



Bangladesh celebrate a goal during their win over China (Photo: Cameraworx)

Hero Hockey World League Round Two 2013, day two round-up

China - Bangladesh 2-3 (half-time: 2-2)

Bangladesh produced the result of the men’s Hero Hockey World League Round Two 2013 to date when they got the better of world number 18 China 3-2 in a thrilling encounter in Delhi.

Pushkor Khisa got the crucial goal in the late phases of the game, sliding onto the pass from the excellent Rashel Mahmud whose lightning pace was a critical factor throughout.

His side had gone in front four minutes in when Mh Mamunur Rahman Chayan whipped a brilliant penalty corner flick into the top corner. China levelled soon after, though, via the experienced Yubo Na and were in front from the penalty spot with skipper Mi Ji holding his nerve to make it 2-1.

Bangladesh did not drop the intensity, though, and were level when a determined Mohammad Moinul Islam fired home while others hesitated in the circle.

China thought they were back in front early in the second half via the stick of Yanjun Su only for an umpire’s consultation to rule out his effort. Mi Ji also flashed wildly wide from close range soon after before Khisa got the winner in stunning fashion.

Mahmud tore down the right flank, out-stripping the left back and, full flow, lay on the perfect pass for his strike-partner. From there on, China found it impossible to break through the defence marshaled by Chayan and looked the more likely to extend the lead from a string of counter-attacks but no more goals were required as they held on for a result they gleefully celebrated.

India – Oman 9-1 (half-time: 4-1)

Another powerful performance from India saw them set up a critical Hero Hockey World League Round Two 2013 date with Ireland on Thursday when the two remaining sides with unbeaten records meet in Delhi. Oman put up a brave fight, pulling back a goal just before half-time via the drag-flicking stick of Mohamed Hubais Al Shar.

But the hosts had already nabbed four at that point, again their penalty corner pair VR Raghunath and Rupinder Pal Singh fizzing home some exceptional low strikes while Nitin Thimmaiah and Dharamvir Singh chipped in, too.

In the second half, there was a first international strike for Mandeep Singh and more corners for Raghunath and Rupinder. Thimmaiah and Gurjinder Singh closed out the win.

Fiji – Ireland 0-13 (half-time: 0-5)

Ireland equalled their largest ever senior men’s international victory as they saw off Fiji 13-0 in the opening game of day two of the Hero Hockey World League Round Two 2013 in Delhi.

Indeed, it was a record-breaking day as Eugene Magee, captain for the day, played in his 164th international game, a record for a player in the Irish green jersey.

He was among a list of nine goalscorers with Mitch Darling starting the run in the 12th minute while Alan Sothern continued his fine scoring form, netting second consecutive hat trick late in the game.

FIH site



Bangladesh stun China 3-2



Bangladesh delivered a major blow to China by defeating them 3-2 on the third day of the Hero Hockey World League Round 2 Delhi 2013 played on Wednesday at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

The Bangladesh team played an attacking game since the beginning of the match. In the 5th minute of the game Md. Mamunur Rahman Chayan from Bangladesh took advantage of the penalty corner and converted it into the first goal for his team. Later in the 34th minute Mohammad Moinul Islam and in the 50th minute Pushkor Khisa converted second and third goal for Bangladesh to keep their team on the winning streak.

In reply, Yubo Na from China scored in the 11th minute and skipper Mi Ji converted the second goal for China in the 27th minute of the game.

Mahmud Rashel from Bangladesh was declared Player of the Match.

NDTV Sports



India beat Oman 9-1




An all round display by the Indian men's team helped maintain their supremacy against Oman on the third day of the Hero Hockey World League Round 2, Delhi 2013 played on Wednesday at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

India defeated Oman 9-1 by scoring at regular intervals in the first and second half of the game. Raghunath converted an early penalty corner into the first goal for Team India in the 3rd minute of the game. Rupinder Pal Singh scored in the 14th and 38th min through penalty corners, Nithin Thimmaiah (16th min & 60th min), Dharamvir Singh (20th min), Raghunath (40th min penalty corner), Mandeep Singh (42nd min), Gurjinder Singh (65th min).

Oman scored just one goal by converting a penalty corner through Mohamed Hubais AL Shar in the 35th min of the match.

Skipper Sardar Singh was adjudged Player of the Match.

NDTV Sports

 



India swamps Oman

The visitor’s tactical game surprised the hosts

Y. B. Sarangi



Dharamvir Singh made the most of Mandeep Singh’s pass to score in the 20th minute. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

India outclassed a lower-ranked Oman 9-1 to record its second successive victory in the Round 2 of the Hero Hockey World League (HWL) at the National Stadium here on Wednesday

The host occupied the top slot in the table with six points from two big wins. India, placed 11th in the world, faced a little resistance than it had expected from the 36th-ranked Oman.

Coached by 1992 Olympic gold medallist German Oliver Kurtz, who once worked with the Indian side, the Oman players moved well, closed the gaps and initiated counterattacks whenever they got an opportunity.

Oman’s tactical game surprised the Indians as they struggled to find rhythm even after grabbing a 4-0 lead. V.R. Raghunath launched a clean drag-flick to get the breakthrough in the third minute and Rupinderpal Singh shot home off a variation to make it 2-0.

Nithin Thimmaiah utilised a Dharamvir Singh pass to hit home in spectacular manner. Thimmaiah put his stick on to the ball even while falling on the pitch due to goalkeeper Abdul Jabar Al Balushi’s tackle.

Dharamvir, who displayed his fine skills upfront, made the most of a Mandeep Singh pass to score the fourth goal in the 20th minute.

Oman troubled the Indians in the last 15 minutes of the first half and reduced the margin through Mohammed Hubais Al Shar’s 35th minute penalty corner conversion.

India reworked its strategy and pushed from the left flank to score three quick goals in the second half. Rupinder and Raghunath found the mark again and Mandeep registered his first international goal within seven minutes of resumption.

However, Oman again got back some hold over the game to dry up the goals for the home team until Thimmaiah completed his brace in the 60th minute. Gurjinder made it 9-1 in the closing stages of the match.

The results:

Ireland 13 (Michael Darling 12, Peter Brown 14, Phelie Maguire 23, Christopher Cargo 31, 55, Eugene Magee 34, Conor Harte 41, 58, Shane O’Donoghue 45, Alan Sothern 60, 64, 66, William Mccabe 63) bt Fiji 0; Bangladesh 3 (Mohd. Mamunur Rahman Chayan 5, Mohd. Moinul Islam 34, Pushkor Khisa 50) bt China 2 (Yubo Na 11, Mi Ji 27); India 9 (V.R. Raghunath 3, 40, Rupinderpal Singh 14, 38, Nithin Thimmaiah 16, 60, Dharamvir Singh 20, Mandeep Singh 42, Gurjinder Singh 65) bt Oman 1 (Mohammed Hubais Al Shar 35).

The Hindu



Relaxed India is good enough for 9-1 against Oman

s2h team


A brace of goals each from Rupinder Singh, VR Raghunath and Nitin Thimmaiah helped India to beat Oman 9-1 today in the Hockey World League.

Dharamvir, and debutants Gurjinder Singh and Mandeep Singh accounted for the remaining Indian goals.

Oman played well in patches and got a couple of penalty corners out of which it struck before the first half.

Oman converted the penalty corner through Mohamed Hubais AL Shar in the 35th min of the match.

India and Oman are not regulars in international hockey. The previous occasion both played in India was on the same ground during the 1982 Asian Games. India won them comfortably 10-0.

India's best performance against Oman was 11-0 achieved a month before at Doha Asian Champions Trophy.

India somehow could not better both the results, and was at times on backfoot in the match which otherwise was one-sided insofar as scoreboard was concerned.

Stick2Hockey.com



India thrash lowly Oman 9-1 in one-sided encounter

NEW DELHI: The result was a foregone conclusion. It was not about who would win, but about what the margin of victory would be.

Major Dhyanchand National stadium on Wednesday witnessed yet another mismatch when Indian men recorded their second win of the Hero Hockey World League - this time against Oman. The margin was 9-1. It followed India's 16-0 thrashing of Fiji on Monday.

From Oman's perspective, the number of goals conceded would not have bothered them much. They would have been happy to get the chance to play against some of the top players in the world and learn from them. Oman are ranked No. 40 in the world.

The match was so one-sided that one would not have been surprised had goalkeeper PR Sreejesh taken a coffee break during the game. He spent most of the 70 minutes watching the action on the other half of the field.

The only time he was tested was when Oman earned a penalty corner and scored towards the end of the first half through Mohamed Hubais.

That the rushing Indian defenders did not stop the grounded shot, like they did a little while ago during Oman's first penalty corner, surprised many. Perhaps it surprised Sreejesh too.

India could have easily scored another half a dozen more, but they did not go all out. VR Raghunath, Rupinder Pal Singh, Nithin Thimmaiah scored two goals each with Dharamvir Singh, Mandeep Singh and Gurjinder Singh scoring one each.

Bangladesh earlier stunned a higher-ranked China 3-2 while Ireland defeated Fiji 13-0.

The Times of India



India maul Oman 9-1 to record second win in Hockey World League

NEW DELHI: Vice-captain VR Raghunath, Rupinder Pal Singh and Nithin Thimmaiah scored a brace each to guide India to a resounding 9-1 win over minnows Oman and register their second straight victory in the men's Hero Hockey World League Round 2 on Wednesday.

Raghunath (3rd minute, 40th) and Rupinder (14th, 38th) converted two penalty corners apiece while Nithin (16th, 60th) scored his two goals through field efforts.

Dharamvir Singh (20th), debutant Mandeep Singh (42nd) and another penalty corner specialist Gurjinder Singh (65th) were the other goal scorers for the hosts at the floodlit Major Dhyan Chand Stadium.

Mohammed Hubais Al Shar scored the consolation goal for Oman.

Ranked 21 places ahead of the 36th ranked Omanese, the Indians went into the match as favourites and expectedly controlled the proceedings from start to finish.

Oman's attacks were few and far between but whenever opportunity came their way, they lacked quality to trouble the Indian defence.

It didn't take too long for India to open the scoring as Raghunath converted the hosts' first penalty corner in the third minute.

It was raining goals for India as Rupinder doubled the lead in the 14th minute from another set piece before Nithin made it 3-0 two minutes later, scoring from close range after pouncing on a loose ball.

A diving Dharamvir also registered his name in the scoresheet after gently tapping in Mandeep's pass from a difficult angle four minutes later.

Oman, however, pulled one back in the 35th minute from a penalty corner through Al Shar, whose low drag-flick beat Indian goalkeeper P R Sreejesh all ends up to go into the breather trailing 1-4.

The Indians continued in the same breath after the change of ends and pumped in two more goals in a span of two minutes when Raghunath and Rupinder converted two more penalty corners to stretch India's lead.

Debutant Mandeep was not to be left behind as he scored his first international goal in the 42nd minute.

Nithin then scored his second goal of the day in the 60th minute with a fierce hit from top of the circle before Gurjinder converted a penalty corner five minutes from the hooter to hand India the big win.

By virtue of this win, India are atop the standings with six points from two games. The Indians will next play 15th ranked Ireland on Thursday.

In earlier matches of the day, Ireland thrashed lowest-ranked Fiji 13-0, while 40th ranked Bangladesh stunned 18th ranked China 3-2.

India's chief coach Michael Nobbs was not too happy with his wards performance and said they need to iron out a few grey areas ahead of the tough matches in the tournament.

"We won big today but we didn't concentrate much on our structure. There was a time when our nine players were in Oman's half. We can't afford to do that against top teams of the world," he said.

Nobbs was also impressed with neighbours Bangladesh's stunning victory over higher-ranked China on Wednesday.

"I was mighty impressed by Bangladesh's performance. They had exceeded expectations."

The Times of India



Ireland hit Fiji for 13

Ireland's World League 2 campaign continued today with a comprehensive 13-0 win over Fiji in New Delhi, India following Monday's 5-2 victory over Bangladesh to open the tournament. It was a special day in particular for two of Ireland's Green Machine as Eugene Magee became the record caps holders for Ireland earning his 164th cap while Banbridge's Peter Brown scored his first International goal at this level.

In truth, the result was never in doubt today as Ireland raced into a 5-0 lead in the first half through goals from Darling, Brown, Maguire, Cargo and fittingly new Irish record caps holder Eugene Magee. It has been a tough few days for Fiji, beaten 16-0 by Ireland's next opponents India on Monday and facing a Green Machine today in confident form. Ireland were in control of the game from the off and had 58% of the possession in the opening period. The Green Machine could have gone into the break with a much healthier score line than 5-0 had the team managed to convert any of the 5 penalty corners awarded to them in the first half of action.

Ireland's second half performance was equally efficient and more success with their penalty corners allowed the Green Machine to rack up more goals to add to their goals tally. For the second time in two days Pembroke Wanderers' Alan Sothern grabbed a hat trick while teammates Cargo, O'Donohue, McCabe and Conor Harte twice, found the goals the Green Machine's play deserved.

It was a comprehensive victory but Ireland will be under no illusions that much sterner tests await them starting tomorrow vs. hosts India before tough games vs. Oman & China.

Ireland coach Andrew Meredith was pleased with his side's performance & goals ratio today given the difficult circumstances some of his squad have faced in India this week ‘I'm very pleased with the result, while the three points is the most important thing, scoring 13 goals is rare in an international match.  Credit to the midfielders and strikers for creating a lot of opportunities and having a high percentage of positive outcomes. Individually there were some much more consistent performances, which were exceptional in the circumstances that 5 players had been ill in the last 24hrs.'

Speaking following the game new Ireland record caps holder Eugene Magee shared his joy of today's result ‘Great result and great way to celebrate my 164th cap. We're looking forward now to a hard game against India tomorrow'

The Green Machine return to action in New Delhi for their third World League 2 game vs. India at 14:30 Irish time tomorrow

Ireland Starting XI: Fitzgerald, Jackson, Gormley, C. Harte, Loughrey, Cargo, Magee, McCabe, Watt, O'Donoghue, Carson

WORLD LEAGUE 2, New Delhi, India


Ireland 13 (Darling, Brown, Maguire, Cargo x2, Magee, C. Harte x2, O'Donohue, Sothern x3, McCabe)
Fiji 0

Irish Hockey Association media release



Magee Becomes Most Capped Ireland International

Irish midfielder Eugene Magee today became the most capped player in the history of Irish Men's Hockey following his appearance vs. Fiji. Magee was level on 163 caps before today's game with previous record holder Stephen Butler who retired in March 2010.  Eugene has scored 38 goals in his 164 appearances for the Green Machine and made his debut v Belgium in Dublin in 2005. Magee currently plays his Hockey in Germany with Krefeld Hockey Club having previously represented Banbridge Hockey Club.

Irish Hockey CEO, Mike Heskin congratulated Eugene Magee on this magnificent milestone today ‘I wish to congratulate Eugene Magee on the truly deserving honour of being recognised as Ireland's most capped Men's Hockey Player. It is a significant moment in any players life to pull on the Green shirt but to have pulled it on 164 times is a remarkable achievement. Everyone at Irish Hockey is proud of Eugene's dedication to the Green Machine and look forward to many more appearances in the Ireland shirt for him'

Irish Hockey Association media release



Fijian Team improves

Mereseini Marau In New Delhi India



The Fiji men's hockey team cheer on the women. Picture: PENI TOTOKA

THE national women's hockey team played a much better game against Russia despite losing 0-9.

And everyone agreed that Fiji's performance in their second match of the Hockey World League had improved from their first game.

Russia who lost in an upset to lower ranked Malaysia 1-3 in their first match dominated the game against Fiji.

Captain Melba Nautu said the girls were learning on a very fast pace and hopefully they would bag a win from this league.

"This game was a bit better," she said.

Youngest player 14-year-old Tiara Dutta said in their first game against Japan, they were not out of their comfort zone, that's why they were unsettled.

"This second game we played well," she said.

Coach Shaun Corrie said the girls had learnt from their first game.

"They're starting to put up strong defence and they started contesting," he said.

Corrie had hoped his team would have scored some good goals yesterday. The players had couple of knocks from the Russian girls yesterday.

"There were a lot of high balls from the Russians."

Dual international Soko Salaniqiqi was stretched off the field on the 9th minute after she was hit on her knee. But Soko went back in after that.

Nautu had to be taken out of the field after a hit on her elbow. Tessa Harman got hit on her ankle. All the women's team had a rest day yesterday.

The Fiji Times

 



A major setback

Mereseini Marau In New Delhi India



Fiji women's hockey players Soko Salaniqiqi is attended to by her teammates during their match against Russia. Picture: PENI TOTOKA

Fiji's women's player Camellia Tikoisuva is unlikely to play against India today because of a knee injury.

Coach Shaun Corrie said the team faced a major setback because Tikoisuva was in the starting line up.

"She twisted her knee during our warm up, so she wasn't able to play," he said. "She's been monitored by our medical team but right now it is unlikely.

"This is really hard for us."

Corrie said they were keeping their fingers crossed that Tikoisuva, who has represented Fiji in nine internationals, would recover in time for their remaining games.

Playing against Russia with a lot of high balls did not help in the national team's campaign.

Captain Melba Nautu received a hit to her elbow and so did Tessa Harman with a knock on her ankle.

"Hopefully those players would be ready to play in our next game.

"We are hoping we don't get any more injuries," Corrie said.

The team had acclimatised and were now getting used to playing in the Delhi cold weather.

The side remained winless and knew that their game against India today would be an interesting one.

"We are looking forward to playing against India."

Corrie thanked all their families, friends and the nation for their support.

"The girls are doing their best," he said. "We are thankful to the support and the sacrifice they made for us."

Fiji will play against India at 11pm today.

The Fiji Times



When Oman shone with silver at Singapore

K Arumugam


Oman is the top team in the lower half of the six-team pool here in the Hockey World League, and they are so in the Asian hockey hierchy too. They are 36th in the global ranking

However, when they train well, get opportunities they prove their worth. One such occasion was AHF Cup in 2008. The event was conceived to provide exposure to needy countries and also qualifiers for the Asia Cup and Asian Games.

That time in Singapore Oman won the Silver, and the sequence is as follows:

Oman hockey team was its good form when it took the field in the Asian Hockey Federation Cup in 2008. It had just acquired a foreign import in Alan Sinclair as coach.

Oman, led by Al Shibli Samir -- who is at present in Delhi to take part in the ongoing Hockey World League Round 2 – the team was in Pool B with Sri Lanka, Hong Kong China and Thailand.

Oman started their campaign well against Sri Lanka, a regular in the Asia Cups unlike Oman which often misses out every continental tournament , striking four goals within 45 minutes. However, it caved in thereafter to conceded three goal, but gained full points in the end.

Next was Hong Kong China, a side full of Indian origin players. Oman won 3-2. The last goal it conceded was struck in the last minute.

Oman faced Thailand, which surprisingly offered good resistance. In fact, Oman was trialing 1-2 till the 52nd minute. Bait Jindal struck to equalize and then another goal three minutes before the hooter gave a false indication that the match was one-sided.

With all win record, Oman faced the hosts Singapore in the semifinal.

Oman, as happened in the first two matches, built up good lead 2-0 within 14 minutes, and without comfortably sailed into the semis. Singapore’s lone goal came a minute before the hooter.

Final was an anticlimax for Oman, losing to Bangladesh 1-6.

However, the Silver, that came in long time, turned out to be the silver lining for the country which is passionate about football.

Four members of the Silver Squad are here. They are Al Balushi Abdul Jabar, Al Saadi Salah Nasser, Al Shibli Samir Baliyas and Al Hasani Mahmood Salim.

SOME FACTS ABOUT PRESENT OMAN TEAM
CAPTAIN: Al Shilbi Samir Haliyas
MOST CAPPED PLAYER: Al Shilbi Samir Haliyas
LEAD GOALKEEPER: Al Balushi Abdul Jabar
COACH: Oliver Kurtz (Germany)
FIH RANKING: 36

Stick2Hockey.com



SA midfield maestro Austin Smith riding the wave all the way to Rio!

JONATHAN COOK



South Africa's Gregg Clark (head coach), Dave Staniforth (goalkeeper coach), drag-flick king Justin Reid-Ross and midfield maestro Austin Smith after the Ranchi Rhinos' Hockey India League triumph.

South Africa's Gregg Clark (head coach), Dave Staniforth (goalkeeper coach), drag-flick king Justin Reid-Ross and midfield maestro Austin Smith after the Ranchi Rhinos' Hockey India League triumph.

Fresh from winning the first-ever Hockey India League (HIL) with his franchise team the Ranchi Rhinos, the Western Province playmaker can’t wait to get to Rio de Janeiro to join his green and gold SA team-mates for the World League Round 2 event in the Brazilian metropolis.

“I cherish every moment I play for South Africa and as our men’s programme has been limited in the past year I’m looking forward to getting back into the green and gold and qualifying for the third round [semi-finals] of the World League,” Smith said from his home base in The Netherlands Wednesday, where he plays for Den Bosch in the world’s toughest club competition, the Hoofdklasse.

The London 2012 Olympic Games SA captain has led his country 62 times from a national record 109 Test match caps but will not be skipper in Rio, the job going to Rhett Halkett of Northern Blues – and he says it is always an uphill battle for the sponsor-less team when it comes to preparation for big tournaments.

“It’s the age-old problem with the team, arriving under-prepared with a new group [of players]. So yes it’s going to be difficult but the senior guys will need to step up and take more responsibility. In the past we have not done enough to fill the gaps with new players coming in.”

With the first match, against Brazil, next Wednesday, there are a few days for the team, who arrive in Rio over the weekend, to settle in. Smith, who has a club game on Sunday, arrives Monday morning, which will give him two days with the team before Wednesday’s WLR2 opener.

And what was the HIL like?

“It was an amazing experience to play alongside players who I’ve only ever played against, along with the local Indian guys, who made us feel right at home,” says the 27-year-old, who made his SA debut in 2004 against Canada in Pretoria at age 18. “The hardest part was the travelling, 23 flights over the five weeks. The 14 games were slightly easier to manage as only five foreigners [out of the 10 per team] were allowed on the field at any time so it meant we didn’t all play every game.”

Smith loves HIL. “The concept is brilliant and I can only see it doing wonders for hockey. The semi- finals and finals were on our home ground in Ranchi so naturally our support was immense. The passion of Indian supporters is something you are only used to hearing for the opposition so to be on the ‘right side’ of the cheers and applause was something pretty unique! There were people in the trees and neighbouring rooftops trying to get a glimpse of the game, truly incredible scenes in Ranchi!”

HIL’s future? “Bigger and better. There is almost certainly going to be another franchise next year along with some minor changes but all in all I think it will just become more popular.”

Were the sponsors happy? “Ours certainly were,” says the double Olympian. “Having chatted to most of the players from the other teams it seems the majority of the owners were very happy, yes, and rightly so with the numbers of views the games got from around the world.”

Smith’s many fans will be hoping he can transfer the Midas touch to the SA team in Rio.

SA Hockey Association media release



Star-studded Terengganu get green light to play in elite league

KUALA LUMPUR: Debutants Terenganu have been given the green light to play in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL), which begins on March 22.

Terengganu have managed to convince the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) of the strength of their team by submitting their list of players.

Among the national players who will play for them are Mohd Shahrun Nabil, Tengku Ahmad Tajudin, Azlan Misron, Ismail Abu, Jivan Mohan, Mohd Ameerullah Abdul Aziz, Mohd Fitri Saari and Khairulnizam Ibrahim.

MHC competition committee chairman M. Gobinathan (pic) said that in the past that they allowed teams like Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) and Yayasan Negri Sembilan to play in the top flight based on the strength of their teams.

“However this is not a blanket approval as the closing date for registration is March 2 and if we find that Terengganu have altered their line-up then they will have to play in the lower division. There are no two ways about this.”

Gobinathan also said that the teams must register a minimum of 16 players by March 2 and will be given until March 15 to finalise their foreign imports which is limited to six per team.

The MHL will be played on a carnival-style format with seven teams in the Premier Division having to play matches in Ipoh, Kuantan and Johor Baru besides matches in Kuala Lumpur.

The seven teams in the Premier Division will play at home and away format are defending champions KL Hockey Club, Tenaga Nasional, Sapura, Maybank, Nur Insafi, UniKL and Terengganu.

Division One will also have seven teams in the fray – Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI), Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS), Sunday 20/30, SSTMI Juniors, MBI Anderson, Uniten and Uitm.

“At the moment it will be a one-round format for the the Division One league. We will discuss with the team managers in a dialogue on Friday on the possibility of playing a home and away format as well so as to enable them to play more matches,” added Gobinathan.

The MHL will begin after the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh from March 9-17 with the final slated for May 12.

The Star of Malaysia



Kelantan aim to be first Division Two team to make semis

By AFTAR SINGH


Out: Kelantan will be without key midfielder Mohd Ashraf Mohd Noor (left) for their quarter-final match against MBI-Anderson. Out: Kelantan will be without key midfielder Mohd Ashraf Mohd Noor (left) for their quarter-final match against MBI-Anderson.

KUALA LUMPUR: MSS Kelantan hope to become the first team from Division Two to reach the MHC-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League semi-finals.

No teams from Division Two have ever reached the last four in the knockout stage for the Milo Cup overall title.

Division Two runners-up MSS Kelantan will face MBI-Anderson, who finished fourth in Division One, in the first-leg quarter-finals at the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh tomorrow.

The return leg will be played in Kuala Terengganu on Sunday, as Kelantan’s hockey pitch is not suitable to host a game.

MSS Kelantan coach Hamzi Shaari said that they have received a favourable draw and believe that they have the ability to turn the tables on the MBI-Anderson.

“I have seen the Ipoh team in action and I think we have a chance to beat them.

“My players are in high spirits and they have vowed to give their best to qualify for the semi-finals,” said school teacher Hamzi.

Hamzi, however, said that they would have to reshuffle their midfield in the absence of key player Mohd Ashraf Mohd Noor, who is serving a two-match suspensions for collecting a red card after hitting a Politeknik KPT player with a hockey stick in the Division Two semi-finals match last Friday.

Ashraf has already served one match against KL Sports School in the Division Two final last Sunday.

In the final, despite taking the lead MSS Kelantan lost 2-1. It was their first defeat in MJHL league in 10 matches.

Hamzi said that they have to be more tactical in their match and also need to have variation in their penalty corners in the first leg in Ipoh.

“It is always tough to play an away match and we hope to hold them in Ipoh and go all out against them at home on Sunday,” said Hamzi.

MSS Kelantan will be relying on top scorer Mohd Saufian Othman, who has scored 12 goals in 10 matches, to deliver in the first-leg.

The Star of Malaysia



Scottish Hockey Acting Chief Executive confirmed

Scottish Hockey today confirmed that Pam Scott will take over as acting Chief Executive following the resignation of Robert Heatly MBE. The appointment will take effect from 8 March.

Denis Robertson-Sullivan, Chair of the Scottish Hockey Board, said, “As our current Development Manager, and having previously served as member of the board, Pam has an intimate and strong knowledge of the organisation, specifically in regards to its plans to move the office to the new hockey facility in Glasgow. The board considered her the logical appointment given the short timeline to the Glasgow move.

“The board does not consider it imperative to make an permanent appointment immediately and has complete confidence in Pam’s ability to lead Scottish Hockey over the next eight months. Once the organisation has settled in its new location, the Board will consider the post in September and decide on the next course of action.”

Pam Scott, Acting Chief Executive, said, “My objective is ensure a smooth transition for the organisation as it prepares for the imminent move to Glasgow this summer and I will be working with the Board to ensure that the operational aspects of this project are delivered effectively.

"It is reassuring to know I have the full support of both the Board and our staff following my appointment.

“I would also like to thank Robert Heatly for his continuing support and wish him well in the future.”

Before joining Scottish Hockey, Pam Scott was Scottish Manager for SkillsActive. SkillsActive is the Sector Skills Council for the leisure industry and its purpose is to ensure that the leisure industry is influential in the education and training that is offered by colleges and universities who are preparing the future leisure workforce.

Pam has also been Leisure Strategy and Service Planning Manager with Aberdeen City Council, Chief Officer (and set up) the Paths for All Partnership, a charity created by Scottish Natural Heritage to negotiate local path networks for walking, riding and cycling with landowners and farmers, and Senior Development Officer with the Scottish Sports Council with responsibility for sports development and local authorities.

Bill Robson will take over as acting Development Manager following Pam Scott's appointment.

Scottish Hockey Union media release



England Hockey is recruiting for six new positions

Following the recent success of England Hockey’s funding bids, which have secured more than £27.5m from Sport England and UK Sport, England Hockey is expanding.

2012 saw an extra 30,000 people pick up a stick, over 630,000 watch hockey at the Riverbank Arena and the Great Britain women’s team win an Olympic bronze medal. With some exciting prospects already on the horizon for 2013 and beyond, including a recent nomination for the Sports Industry Awards’ Governing Body of the Year, England Hockey is looking to expand its team to take on an ambitious 2013-17 strategic plan.

The following positions are now being recruited:

Communications Manager
The Communications Manager will be responsible for managing EHB’s own communication channels and leveraging external media to grow the England Hockey brand, deliver relevant information to England Hockey customers, heighten engagement with the hockey community and increase the visibility of the sport.

Partnerships Manager
Reporting to the Commercial and Membership Director, the Partnerships Manager will provide and ensure the timely and high quality provision of marketing services for England Hockey’s Commercial Partners.

Clubs and Facilities Officer
The Clubs and Facilities Officer will be responsible for delivering EHB’s aims and objectives related to clubs and facility development.

Executive Assistant
The Executive Assistant will provide first class support to the CEO and Executive Directors in the day to day running of the organisation.

IT and Business Systems Officer
The IT and Business Systems Officer is responsible for reviewing, managing and developing EHB’s IT systems and hardware, in line with the IT Strategy.

England Hockey Board Media release



Investec Women's Cup semi final draw


University of Birmingham, Investec Women's Cup Winners 2011-2012

The draw has been made for the semi finals of hockey’s Investec Women’s Cup.

Eight time winners of the Cup Bowdon Hightown face a tricky away tie against high flying Buckingham whose 100% record at the top of the Investec Women’s Conference West will ensure the northerners take no chances against their lower league opponents. The two sides met in the competition back in 2008 where Bowdon Hightown ran out 6-2 winners en route to lifting the silverware, but this will be the first time that Buckingham host the Cheshire club.  Buckingham will be looking to cause an upset and reach the final for the first time.

The second semi final is a repeat of the 2000 Women’s Cup Final. That clash 13 years ago saw Bristolians Clifton emerge 4-2 winners over Jane Sixsmith’s Sutton Coldfield. The tie was Sutton Coldfield’s only ever appearance in the final and they will be hoping to make it a memorable year by reaching the Investec Women’s Cup Final, building on their appearance at the indoor Maxifuel Super Sixes Finals at Wembley Arena last month.

For their part, Clifton will hope to secure their first appearance in a cup final since 2005, when they lost to Leicester. There is little to choose between the two sides with Clifton currently sixth and Sutton Coldfield seventh in the Investec Women’s Premier Division. They have drawn both of their league encounters this season.

The Investec Women’s Cup semi finals will take place on Sunday 24 March with the final taking place at Beeston Hockey Club in Nottingham on Saturday 27 April.

University of Birmingham (pictured above) won the Investec Women's Cup in 2012.

Investec Women’s Cup Semi Finals
Ties to be played Sunday 24 March


Buckingham v Bowdon Hightown
Clifton v Sutton Coldfield

England Hockey Board Media release