News for 05 March 2013

All the news for Tuesday 5 March 2013


USA & Scotland big winners on Day 1

Chile also triumph as Women’s World League R2 gets underway in Rio



Action between USA and Brazil at the women's World League Round 2 competition in Rio de Janeiro. (Photo: FIH / Caio Ely)

USA, Chile and Scotland all recorded clean sheet victories on the opening day of action in the Women’s World League Round 2 competition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The results all went according to the FIH World Rankings, with top seeded USA (World Ranking: 10) storming to a convincing 6-0 victory over host nation Brazil (51) in the day’s opener before Chile (18) were made to work hard to earn a 2-0 win over 50th ranked Uruguay.

Scotland (19) made light work of Trinidad & Tobago (27) in the final match of the day, with the Europeans dishing out a 7-0 thrashing to ensure that they topped the table on goal difference at the end of Day 1. More information about the matches can be found below.

USA 6-0 Brazil

The clash between tournament favourites United States and underdogs Brazil was certainly a game of two halves. In the first period the USA struggled to find any real form and were held to a goalless draw at the interval, but in the second they opened up and scored six times without reply.

The first half was one of frustration for Craig Parnham`s squad. They had all the pressure but were restricted to only a handful of clear-cut chances by a Brazilian side that defended well in depth with goalkeeper Lisandra de Souza producing a series of fine saves.

United States should have taken the lead inside the opening three minutes but Michelle Kasold missed the target following a superb pass into the circle. The Brazilian goal lived a charmed life, with a penalty corner shot being saved on the line before Jill Witmer missed an open goal. The outstanding De Souza ensured that the teams went into the break at 0-0 when she denied efforts from Claire Laubach and Rachel Dawson late in the half.

There was an obvious sigh of relief when the favourites opened their account five minutes into the second half, with Laubach`s powerful penalty corner drag flick finding the net via the keeper`s pads. Following a series of goalmouth scrambles, USA grabbed a second in the 47th minute when an initial shot on goal hit the foot of a defender only for the umpire to play advantage, allowing Melissa Gonzales to slam home the rebound.

The USA quickly added a third and fourth goals to their tally, with Katie Reinprecht scoring a clever deflection in the 51st minute before Katie O’Donnell got in on the act when she brilliantly divert a cross from Rachel Dawson into the roof of the Brazilian net

With five minutes remaining, Claire Laubach added a fifth against the tired Brazilians with another penalty corner drag flick, with the scoring being completed by Torrie Albini who tapped in from close range following a fine run from Katie O’Donnell.

Chile 2-0 Uruguay

Chile fulfilled their second place seeding in the tournament and deserved their 2-0 victory against Uruguay, but they made slightly heavy weather of the occasion against their spirited South American rivals.

The game started perfectly for Chile, opened their account inside the first three minutes when Andrea Greene forced home a cross from the right by Carolina Garcia.  Chile dominated the majority of the play, but Uruguay showed great potential on the counter-attack without troubling Chilean keeper Claudia Schuler.

There were a couple of chances at either end, with Chile hitting the post while Uruguay`s first real opportunity went straight at the goalkeeper.  Chile scored their second midway through the half, with Josepha Villalabeitia who rolling the ball into the net following a great save from Uruguayan keeper Rosanna Passele, Chile had further chances to increase their lead but the excellent Passele blocked everything that was thrown at her.

Chile continued to dominate possession in the second half, although four penalty corners came to nothing and a flashing reverse stick shot sailed over the bar. However, Uruguay created some chances of their own complacency started to creep into the Chilean defence. Chile goalkeeper Schuler was brought into action when Uruguay won their first penalty corner of the match, saving the first shot before the rebound was fired wide of the target

As the game seemed to be drifting to an inevitable conclusion, a late Uruguay attack saw a goal-bound shot heading towards the net, but the consolation goal was denied when the final hooter sounded just before the ball crossed the line.

Scotland 7-0 Trinidad & Tobago

In temperatures of close to 40 degrees it was Scotland who turned on the heat with a convincing 7-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago, a result that puts them top of the pool on goal difference.

Scotland made a brilliant start to the game, applying intense pressure to their West Indian opponents before Nikki Kidd sent a low drag flick past the Trinidad goalkeeper for 1-0. 

Midway through the half the Scots went 2-0 up when Vikki Bunce, who had earlier hit the side of the goal with a rasping effort, dived in to finish off a fine piece of place from Sunsan McGilveray.

Trinidad rarely posed any threat to the Scottish goal as the Europeans continued to dominate their opponents, and it came as no surprise when Kidd created a third goal, with Ali Bell being on hand to force home from close range in the 23rd minute. Three minutes later, Bell claimed her second goal of the match and Scotland’s fourth before a late surge from T&T saw them when a trio of penalty corners, all of which were cleared by the Scottish defence.

The Scots notched a fifth early in the second half thanks to a powerful low strike at a penalty corner from Catriona Ralph, and more seemed to be on the cards before tiredness kicked in and the standard of play deteriorated.   However, Scotland rediscovered some energy late in the game to grab sixth and seventh goals from Kidd and Holly Cram to seal a comfortable victory.

FIH site



7-up for Scotland


(Ali Bell on target for Scotland in Rio, credit: Pedro Monteiro)

Scotland notched a magnificent seven in Rio de Janeiro against Trinidad & Tobago in the opening pool match of the second round of the FIH World League today, a result that puts them top of the pool.

Goals from Nikki Kidd (2), Ali Bell (2), Vikki Bunce, Holly Cram and Cat Ralph gave Scotland Head Coach Gordon Shepherd's side an excellent start in their quest to qualify for the next round of the world level competition.

In soaring temperatures that reached 40 degrees on the pitch, the Scots got off to a perfect start when intense early pressure led to a penalty corner and Edinburgh University’s Nikki Kidd sent a low drag flick past the Trinidad goalkeeper to make it 1-0 to Shepherd’s side.

Midway through the first half, the national side doubled their advantage; the opening was created by Milne Craig Clydesdale Western’s Susan McGilveray, her pass eluded the Trinidad defence and a diving Vikki Bunce pushed the ball home.

Trinidad posed no threat at all as Scotland continued to dominate and it was no surprise when they went three goals up. The goal was created by Kidd and Ali Bell was on hand to push home the rebound to make it 3-0.


(Scotland and Grove Menzieshill attacker Ali Bell got a double against Trinidad & Tobago, credit: Pedro Monteiro)

Three minutes later Scotland grabbed their fourth goal of the game. A penalty corner initially broke down when Edinburgh University’s Sam Judge deflected shot went for a corner. Bell picked up the side hit and placed her shot past the keeper to give Scotland a 4-0 lead at half-time

Early in the second half, Shepherd’s charges notched a fifth goal with a powerful low strike at a penalty corner from vice-captain Catriona Ralph.


(Scotland & Milne Craig Clydesdale Western defender Cat Ralph celebrates, credit: Pedro Monteiro)

Scotland continued to press in a wave of continuous attacking moves and Morag McLellan, Judge and Bunce all came close to adding to the tally.  Kareena Marshall had a good chance but put the ball over the bar after a Bunce shot was saved by the keeper.

As the heat began to take its toll in the closing stages, a cross from Nikki Lloyd eluded Judge but Kidd picked up the scraps and fired a fierce low shot past the goalkeeper to make it 6-0. In the final seconds, the Scots made it seven, as a cross from Lloyd was deflected high into the net by Holly Cram.

In the other pool matches, favourites USA beat underdogs Brazil 6-0 in the end after a frustrating goalless first half. The second game saw Chile make somewhat heavy weather of disposing of a spirited Uruguay side 2-0.

Please visit the FIH World League Round 2 website for more information on the match schedule, results and pool standings.

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Scotland spanks T&T hockey women 7-0

Nigel Simon


T&T women’s team made a losing start to their campaign in Second Round qualification of the FIH World Hockey League, going under 7-0 to world 19th ranked Scotland at the Deodoro Field Hockey Centre, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, yesterday.

Scotland, which qualified for the second round of the competition as third placed finishers in its Round One World League European qualifying group on goal-difference behind Belarus and Italy got off to a fast start as the “Calypso Stickwomen” with Nikki Kidd beating goalkeeper Petal Derry after only four minutes for a 1-0 lead.

The Alanna Lewis-skippered 27th world T&T women’s team ranked 27th in the world advanced had advance to the second round of qualification after ending third in the six-team Round One qualification series at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua, last November with nine points behind fellow qualifiers Canada (15 pts) and Uruguay (12 points) and managed to stem the flow of the Scottish women until the 17th minute when Vikki Bunce made it 2-0.

Alison Bell then scored two more field goals in the 23rd and 26th minute for Scotland which had victories over Turkey (12-1), Czech Republic (5-1), Belarus (2-1) and France (4-0) in the previous qualification series to lead 4-0 at the half.

Seven minutes into the second-half, Catriona Ralph banged in a fifth item for the Europeans while Kidd (65th) and Holly Cram, three minutes from full time rounded off the scoring to push their team to the top of the six-nation round-robin table with three points, the same as USA and Chile, but ahead on goal-difference.

In yesterday’s two early matches, Claire Laubach scored a second-half brace to lead tenth ranked USA past 51st rated host, Brazil 6-0, while 18th ranked Chile defeated 50th ranked neighbours, Uruguay 2-0.

Today, is a rest day for the women who will return to action tomorrow with T&T, which had victories over Guyana (5-0), Venezuela (5-1) and Barbados (7-0) while they suffered defeats against Uruguay (0-2) and Canada (0-4) in Round Two at home facing Pan American rivals Chile from 10am.

In tomorrow’s opener at 8 am, USA faces Uruguay from 8am while Scotland and Brazil conclude the second day of competition from 2.30pm. At the end of the round-robin series the two highest finishers will secure places in round three.

Tournament fixtures:
Yesterday:

USA 6 (Claire Laubach 40th, 59th, Melissa Gonzalez 47th, Katie Reinprecht 51st, Katie O’Donnell 55th, Lauren Pfeiffer 65th) vs Brazil 0
Chile 2 (Andrea Greene 3rd, Josefa Villalabeitia 19th) vs Uruguay 0
Scotland 7 (Nikki Kidd 4th, 65th, Alison Bell 23rd, 26th, Vikki Bunce 17th, Catriona Ralph 42nd, Holly C Ram 67th) vs T&T 0

Tomorrow:
USA vs Uruguay, 8 am
Chile vs T&T, 10 am
Brazil vs Scotland 2.30 pm

Thursday:
Brazil vs Chile, 8 am
Scotland vs USA, 10 am
T&T vs Uruguay, 2.30 pm

Saturday:
T&T vs Brazil, 8 am
Chile vs USA, 10 am
Uruguay vs Scotland, 2.30 pm

March 10:
USA vs T&T, 8 am
Scotland vs Chile, 10 am
Uruguay vs Brazil, noon.

The Trinidad Guardian



Parnham coaches Team USA to 6-0 victory over Brazil

Parnham, Wold and Witmer make debut with Team USA




RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Craig Parnham, making his debut, coached the U.S. Women’s Field Hockey Team to a 6-0 victory over host Brazil on day one of competition of the International Hockey Federation’s World League Round 2 tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The six team, round robin tournament will run through Sunday, March 10 with the top two teams automatically advancing to World League Round 3.

“We had a pretty solid performance today,” said Parnham. “It was important for us to get a good result and the victory today was certainly what we wanted. It was difficult conditions even with the early (9:00 a.m.) start. In the first half we were just finding our way and getting familiar with the new systems. The second half was much more encouraging and I thought we did a great job and really started to play some nice stuff. Patience we used in the first half paid off in the second and to start the tournament with three points is a good result.”

Although controlling the match from the start, Team USA was unable to capitalize on opportunities inside the circle in the first thirty-five minutes of play. However, the U.S. wasted no time lighting up the scoreboard in the second half.

Claire Laubach (Centreville, Va.) jumpstarted the scoring in the 38th minute, using her reliable drag flick to record Team USA’s first goal on a penalty corner. Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) and Katie Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) struck next, tallying a field goal apiece. Team USA capitalized on their fifth penalty corner with a direct shot from Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.) and a redirect into the net by Katie O’Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa.). By the 55th minute, the U.S. had a comfortable 3-0 lead over Brazil and continued creating scoring opportunities.

Laubach logged her second goal of the match using the same drag flick that put Team USA on the board and Lauren Pfeiffer (Mount Laurel, N.J.) finished off the scoring with a field goal in the final minutes.

Brazil was unable to generate much offense resulting in no action for Jackie Kintzer (Robesonia, Pa.) in goal.

U.S. captain Lauren Crandall (Doylestown, Pa.) said there was not a big difference between the first half and second half besides getting better outcomes in the circle.

“In the first half we held a lot of the possession but only came away with two corners and we knew that we needed to improve on that in the second half. We needed someone on the forward line taking control and taking advantage of the opportunities created and we did a much better job at that in the second half,” said Crandall.

Aside from Parnham making his debut, University of North Carolina’s standout freshman Emily Wold (Freehold, N.J.) and University of Maryland’s junior Jill Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.) competed in their first competition wearing the national team jersey today. Both are members of the under-21 squad and have represented the United States with the junior teams in the past.

“I think wearing the Team USA jersey on the national level is a dream for a lot of people. Today was really special and really exciting to be able to represent our country on the highest level and come away with a win,” said Wold.

“You’re playing with the best in the world. It was an awesome moment and great to get our first win in the tournament,” Witmer said.  

The U.S. will face Uruguay in the early match at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 6.

USFHA media release



SA hockey men must produce or bust against Chile Tuesday

JONATHAN COOK in Rio de Janeiro



South Africa's Jonty Robinson (from left), captain Rhett Halkett, goalkeeper Rassie Pieterse and Jethro Eustice keep a close eye on a Trinidad & Tobago player during one of the lads in green and gold's three wins to date in Rio. Photo: LU VALLIATI

The South Africa men’s hockey team’s stirring performance in patches yet ultimately disappointing 4-2 defeat by world number 10 Argentina at the Deodoro in Rio de Janeiro Sunday has meant they have to beat Chile in the last round Tuesday in order to qualify for the World League semi-finals in Malaysia in June.

The 2 pm SA time WL Round 2 clash Tuesday is a winner-takes-all affair as Chile are also on nine points. Although SA have a better goal difference of 19, that counts for nothing in this tournament format.

A draw in regulation time and one point each is not good enough for SA, as the match then goes into a penalty shootout with the winners earning a bonus point, which would leave SA on 10 points and Chile on 11 points.

SA head coach Charlie Pereira, reflecting on the loss to Argentina, said the two soft goals in the first 10 minutes were crucial, as was an umpiring decision.

“We have got to defend in front of such skilful strikers, not behind them, while the penalty stroke we should have been awarded at 2-0 down also cost us dearly,” said Pereira.

SA were 3-0 down at one point early in the second half after another soft goal but fought back to 3-2.

“We had Argentina very worried but our inexperience in defence, three players in their first tournament and two with very few caps, was tough and they scored again,” said the SA coach.

“Argentina probably have 100 Test caps on average to our 30, they have been together a long time and won the Junior World Cup not too long ago as well as the Champions Challenge last October.”

This SA team was only selected 31 days ago, with a new coach and management staff, and have only been together for two weeks as a team.

This Argentina side have much the same players from the London 2012 Olympic Games while SA only has nine from LOG2012.

Plus striker Craig Haley could not play (since the first game due to a fever) so SA have only had five and not six field players on the rolling substitutions bench (plus number two goalkeeper Gowan Jones) and being one field player short has meant less rest time, with SA visibly tiring near the end.

“Our basic skills under pressure let us down, which put further pressure on us, and we have to minimise that against Chile,” Pereira added.

SA Hockey Association media release



Hockey men target positive finish

Nigel Simon


Buoyed by their 4-3 win via a sudden-death penalty shootout against USA after a 1-1 draw for their first win of the Second Round of FIH World Hockey League qualifiers on Sunday, T&T senior hockeymen squad will be eager to end the tournament on a high against host Brazil at the Deodoro Field Hockey Centre, Rio de Janeiro, from 2.30 pm.

Currently, the 34th world ranked “Calypso Stickmen” led by Darren Cowie are fifth on the six-team table with two points from four matches after losing their other matches against Argentina (9-2), Chile (4-0) and South Africa (10-2).

However, the Brazilians, ranked 33rd in the world, have not feared any better and are bottom of the standings without a point after suffering defeats against South Africa (9-0), Argentina (10-0), USA (5-0) and Chile (3-1).

T&T will also enter the match with good memories of its last meeting with the “Samba Stickmen”, an 8-1 trumph at the 2007 Pan American Games at today’s venue led by a beaver-trick from out-of-favour Wayne Legerton and England-based Kwandwane Browne, who are both not with the team.

Prior to the T&T/Brazil clash, South Africa and Chile, joint second on the table with nine points each will lock horns from 8am with the valuable second place finish up for grabs while South American champions, Argentina only needs a draw in its 10am meeting with USA.

At the end of the series, the top two teams will advance to the Third Round or the World League men’s semi-finals, which will take place in Rotterdam, Holland from June 13 to 23, and in Johor Bahru, Malaysia from June 29-July 7.

Today’s fixtures

Chile vs South Africa, 8 am
Argentina vs USA, 10 am
Brazil vs T&T, 2.30 pm.

The Trinidad Guardian



Black Sticks off to winning start in Malaysia


Andy Hayward (copyright www.photosport.co.nz)

The Black Sticks Men have won their first of two tests against Malaysia 3-2 as they prepare for the Sultan Azlan Shah Tournament starting this weekend in Ipoh, Malaysia.

Although the two Malaysia games count as official test matches, head coach Colin Batch is using it to focus on tactics, test combinations and acclimatize to the conditions prior to the tournament. 

“Having just arrived, we were affected by the heat and travel, so it was about staying positive and rising to the challenge. And I think it was an opportunity well taken by the players as we build towards Azlan Shah this weekend,” says Batch.

The Black Sticks only played with 15 players last night due to late arrivals from Jared Panchia and Kane Russell who had been at the Junior World Cup Qualifiers in the Gold Coast and also Blair Hilton from Europe.

There are nine players in this team that have less than 10 caps, and all except three players are aged 23 or younger.

“This tournament is a chance to develop some of the younger players and give those training hard the opportunity for international competition,” says Batch. 

In last night’s game, the Black Sticks started each half well but found themselves under some pressure at times.

The first goal came in the 22nd minute from Andy Hayward  - a spectacular flick that went high into the right hand corner of the goal. Malaysia responded with a field goal three minutes later. But it was short lived, as Hayward scored his second when the ball went high into the left hand side of the net, despite the keeper getting a glove to it. Hayward almost got a hat trick on half time, but was denied the opportunity.

In the second half, New Zealand made an error in defence early on and Malaysia made the most of it, deflecting a shot in front of Hamish McGregor, who could do little to stop it.

The third goal came in the 65th minute when Isaac Staples disrupted the right half winning a free hit. Jacob Smith, who had a strong game, took the free hit with urgency, counter attacked and found Shay Neal who alluded the keeper and floated a ball back across the front of the goal and Smith duly tapped it in.

Debutants Nick Ross and Cory Bennett made solid contributions to the game. Other stand out players were Marcus Child, Jacob Smith, Shay Neal, Captain Dean Couzins and Isaac Staples.

The Black Sticks play their second game against Malaysia at 1am tomorrow. The Sultan Azlan Shah Tournament starts on Saturday and we will face Pakistan, Malaysia, Korea, India and Australia.

RESULTS
New Zealand 3 (Andy Hayward x2, Jacob Smith)
Malaysia 2 (Saari Faizal, Abdul Jalil Tengku Ahmad Tajudin).
HT: 2-1 New Zealand

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Black Sticks beat Malaysia


Andy Hayward. Photo / File

The New Zealand men's hockey side won the first of two tests against Malaysia 3-2 last night (NZT) as they prepare for the defence of the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament starting in Ipoh, Malaysia, this weekend.

Although the two Malaysia games count as official test matches, Black Sticks coach Colin Batch is using them to get them ready for a tournament they won last year.

"Having just arrived, we were affected by the heat and travel, so it was about staying positive and rising to the challenge. And I think it was an opportunity well taken by the players as we build towards Azlan Shah this weekend,'' Batch said.

The Black Sticks played with only 15 players last night due to late arrivals from Jared Panchia and Kane Russell who had been at the junior world cup qualifiers in the Gold Coast and also Blair Hilton who was travelling from Europe.

There are nine players in this team who have less than 10 caps, and all except three players are aged 23 or younger.

``This tournament is a chance to develop some of the younger players and give those training hard the opportunity for international competition,'' Batch said.

In last night's game, the Black Sticks started each half well but found themselves under some pressure at times.

The first goal came in the 22nd minute from Andy Hayward - a spectacular flick that went high into the right-hand corner. Malaysia responded with a field goal three minutes later but Hayward scored his second when the ball went high into the left-hand side of the net, despite the keeper getting a glove to it. Hayward narrowly missed grabbing a hat-trick on halftime.

New Zealand made an error in defence early in the second half which Malaysia made the most of, as Abdul Jalil Tengku Ahmad Tajudin deflected a shot past Hamish McGregor who could do little to stop it.

Jacob Smith, who had a strong game, scored the winner in the 65th minute when Shay Neal alluded the keeper and floated a ball back across the front of the goal for Smith to tap in.

The Black Sticks play their second game against Malaysia at 1am tomorrow (NZT). The Sultan Azlan Shah tournament starts on Saturday with New Zealand taking on Pakistan, Malaysia, Korea, India and Australia.

New Zealand 3 (Andy Hayward 2, Jacob Smith), Malaysia 2 (Saari Faizal, Abdul Jalil Tengku Ahmad Tajudin). HT: 2-1.

The New Zealand Herald



Black Sticks claim warm-up victory

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE



WARM-UP VICTORY: Black Stick Andy Hayward has shown good form ahead of the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament in Malaysia. JASON OXENHAM/Fairfax NZ

The Black Sticks Men have shown good form ahead of the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament in Malaysia, beating the hosts 3-2 in the first of two warmup tests.

Coach Colin Batch is using this mini-series to focus on tactics, combinations and acclimatize to the conditions prior to the tournament.

"Having just arrived, we were affected by the heat and travel, so it was about staying positive and rising to the challenge," Batch said.

"And I think it was an opportunity well taken by the players as we build towards Azlan Shah this weekend."

The Sultan Azlan Shah tournament starts on Saturday and New Zealand play Pakistan, Malaysia, Korea, India and Australia.

The Black Sticks only had 15 players to use last night due to the late arrival of Jared Panchia and Kane Russell who had been at the Junior World Cup Qualifiers on Australia's Gold Coast, and also Blair Hilton from Europe.

There are nine players in this team that have fewer than 10 caps, and all except three players are aged 23 or younger.

"This tournament is a chance to develop some of the younger players and give those training hard the opportunity for international competition," Batch said.

In last night's game in Ipoh, the Black Sticks started each half well but found themselves under pressure at times.

The first goal came in the 22nd minute from Andy Hayward - a spectacular flick that went high into the right-hand corner of the goal. Malaysia responded with a field goal three minutes later, but the parity was short-lived, as Hayward scored his second when the ball went high into the left-hand side of the net, despite the keeper getting a glove to it.

Hayward almost got a hat trick on half time, but was denied.

In the second half, New Zealand made an error in defence early on and Malaysia made the most of it, deflecting a shot in front of Hamish McGregor, who could do little to stop it.

The third goal came in the 65th minute when Isaac Staples disrupted the right half, winning a free hit. Jacob Smith, who had a strong game, took the hit quickly, counter-attacked and found Shay Neal who eluded the keeper and floated the ball back across the front of the goal where Smith duly tapped it in.

Debutants Nick Ross and Cory Bennett made solid contributions with other stand-out players being Marcus Child, Jacob Smith, Shay Neal, Captain Dean Couzins and Isaac Staples.

The Black Sticks play their second game against Malaysia at 1am tomorrow.

New Zealand 3 (Andy Hayward x2, Jacob Smith), Malaysia 2 (Saari Faizal, Abdul Jalil Tengku Ahmad Tajudin). HT: 2-1 New Zealand .

Stuff



New Zealand edge Malaysia

New Zealand defeated Malaysia 3-2 in the first of their two Test Matches at the MPMBB Hockey Stadium in Malacca this evening.

New Zealand were without Phil Burrows, Shea McAleese, Nick Haig, Richard Petherick Brad Shaw, Simon Child, Nick Wilson and Steven Edwards , some of whom whom were left out to give the youngsters a chance while others were committed to clubs in the European League.

Debutants Cory Bennett, Nick Ross and Isaac Staples gave a good account of themselves as did Baljit Singh whose place in the Azlan Shah Cup will only be decided after the match on Tuesday.

But Ismail Abu, who was in contention for the final 18 is definitely out as he has failed to recover sufficiently from his injury.

Malaysia were trying out players in different positions but still should have done better in the semi circle as they only had one penalty corner in the entire 70 minutes while the forwards were one step slower whenever an opportunity presented itself.

It was a hesitant start by both teams who opted to play the waiting game for the other to make unforced errors.

New Zealand then started the offensive but not before Chua Boon Huat squandered a sitter as a cross from the right by Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin eluded the entire back line and left Chua infront the goal, but he muffed it.

New Zealand were awarded a penalty corner in the 21st minute and Andy Hayward sent in a flick into the roof of the Malaysian goal giving Roslan Jamaludin no chance whatsoever.

That woke the Malaysian team from their slumber and they launched an onslaught that yielded an equaliser through Faisal Saari after a goal mouth melee in the 24th minute.

But another Andy strike from a penalty corner in the 33rd minute gave the Kiwis a halftime lead.

Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin deflected in a cross by Marhan Jalil to make it 2-2 in the 47th minute. Although

The bar stood in the way of Andy in the 51st minute as his attempt bounced off with Roslan beaten all the way.

Malaysia were awarded a penalty corner late in the game but Mohd Razie Rahim could not get his shot off the ground.

Though Malaysia finished strongly, they just could not put the ball into goal and the draw was a fair result of proceedings.

But New Zealand scored in the 68th minute Shay Neal in the 65th minute to snatch boasting rights ahead of the Azlan Shah Cup.

Malaysian Hockey blogspot



Kiwis down Malaysia in friendly

NEW Zealand beat Malaysia 3-2 in their first Azlan Shah Cup warm-up match at the Bukit Serindit Stadium in Malacca yesterday.

The Kiwis are the defending champions and Malaysia will play another friendly with them today before heading for Ipoh for the tournament proper starting on Saturday.

The other teams in the Azlan Shah Cup are India, Pakistan, South Korea and Australia.

Malaysian coach Paul Revington has selected 16 players, with two to be named after the Kiwi friendlies.

New Zealand took the lead off an Andy Hayward penalty corner in the 21st minute, but Faizal Saaro scored a field goal three minutes later for Malaysia to draw level.

Howard again scored a penalty corner goal in the 33rd minute but right after the break, Malaysia went on the offensive and this time, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin drew the hosts level in the 37th minute.

However, Shay Neal scored the winner in the 65th minute.

New Straits Times



NZ edge Malaysia in first Test match

By PERCY D'CRUZ


MALACCA: Defending Sultan Azlan Shah Cup champions New Zealand edged Malaysia 3-2 in the first clash of their two Test matches at the Bukit Serindit Hockey Stadium here last night.

The Black Sticks drew first blood with their first penalty corner in the 21st minute with Andy Hayward firing past Roslan Jamaluddin. But Malaysia managed to draw level three minutes later when Faizal Shaari fired home a long Fitri Saari pass from an acute angle.

Two minutes before the break, Hayward was again on target to give the Kiwis a 2-1 lead.

The Malaysians, however, fought back to equalise in the 39th minute when Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Abdul Jalil netted home from an Azlan Misron cross.

Just when a draw looked imminent, Tarrant Blair popped up with the winning goal in the 65th minute.

The Star of Malaysia



Kate Walsh set to take on world again

By Graham Wilson



Kate Walsh is a three-time Olympian

AS HER Great Britain team-mates go into international retirement, there seems nothing to stop Kate Walsh from still making a huge impact.

When the three-time Olympian, 32, is not representing athletes’ interests for the British Olympic Association, she is praising the new wave of youngsters coming into the England set-up and promoting tickets sales for the Investec World League, an eight-nation tournament in Chiswick, London, from June 22-30.

So big was demand for 12,000 tickets yesterday, the England website immediately crashed, but is back up and running now.

Walsh scored the only goal from a penalty corner for Reading to beat champions Leicester 1-0 as they moved into second place in the Investec League, with Canterbury still top after a 4-0 win over Clifton.

Walsh said: “I made myself ask the question of whether to retire but it wasn’t in my heart. You are a long time retired.

“I still enjoy the training and still have aspirations to win medals – I want to win gold at the European Championships and the World League at home.”

Daily Express



Investec World League tickets on sale


Fan celebrating

Be the first to get your hands on tickets to the hottest international hockey event of the year - the Investec World League in London.

 

  • Relive the magic, see your bronze medal winning Olympic stars live
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  • The Fun Zone for the kids keeps the whole famliy entertained between matches
  • Grab a beer and a bite to eat and relax with friends
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England Hockey Board Media release



Pakistan to play hockey in India after 7 years

LAHORE: Pakistan's hockey team will tour India next month after a nod from New Delhi for the first five-match series between the South Asian rivals in nearly seven years, official said on Monday.

The tour is expected to improve sporting relations between both nations following the Pakistan cricket team's India visit in December -- the first series after a gap of five years.

India had suspended all sporting ties with arch-rival Pakistan after the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai blamed on Pakistan-based militants, which left 166 people dead.

Officials from Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and Hockey India met on the sidelines of an Asian Hockey Federation meeting in Malaysia last week before finalising the tour.

PHF secretary Asif Bajwa hailed the revival of the series as "a big step".

"It will help field hockey of both countries and will give fans of both countries a good opportunity to witness exciting hockey," he told a press conference.

Pakistan will cross the border next month and play matches in the cities of Ranchi, Lucknow, Delhi, Mohali and Jalandhar between April 5-15.

The Indian team will pay a return visit and play five matches in Lahore, Faisalabad, Karachi and Sialkot from April 23, said Bajwa.

The two teams are also due to face each other in the Azlan Shah hockey tournament to be played in the Malaysian city of Ipoh from March 9-16.

Pakistan and India last played a bilateral hockey series in 2006 -- three matches in each country. Pakistan won three and lost one while the remaining two were drawn.

Both countries have won 11 Olympic hockey titles between them and ruled the Games arena for decades, with India winning eight and Pakistan three.

But both have slumped at the international level in the last few years as Pakistan finished a poor seventh at the London Olympics last year where India ended at their worst 12th and last.

India's snooker team is also due to visit Karachi to play a series from March 7-10.

The Times of India



Indo-Pak bilateral series schedule released

KARACHI: The eagerly awaited bilateral series between Pakistan and India has been confirmed as the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) announced the schedule of  the series which will be held in two phases next month.

According to a PHF media statement, the greenshirts will first travel to India for a five-match series while India will begin their return trip a week after the first leg.

The first leg will be played from April 5 to 15 with Ranchi, Lucknow, New Delhi, Mohali and Jalandhar announced as host venues. India will play in Karachi, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Lahore from April 23 to May 2

The development came following talks between top PHF  and Hockey India officials on the sidelines of a recent Asian Hockey Federation meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

The Express Tribune



Tie-up pays huge dividends

JHL: Other teams should emulate SSTMI-Tenaga partnership

By Jugjet Singh


THE Junior Hockey League (JHL) was so predictable that Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) should have been handed both the titles right after the fixtures were drawn up.

But SSTMI, also known as Thunderbolts, should not be denied glory for they did not have it so rosy in the early days when they were known as Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS).

As BPSS, they did not have the resources to hold on to their players after Form Five, as money was the big factor which drove their best to Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) big spenders.

"We were just another struggling side as we kept grooming players but could not hold on to them after they finished schooling.

"But now, with Tenaga Nasional's backing, we have produced results in the last four seasons," said SSTMI coach Wan Roslan Wan Rahman.

Money and a good coaching set-up have seen UniKL Young Guns and Thunderbolts sharing the titles since 2010, with Petaling Jaya City Council (PJCC) sneaking in to finish second in the league this season.

But Thunderbolts are fast breaking free of the chasing pack with three consecutive league titles, as well as claiming the double back-to-back.

When asked about his take on this season, Wan Roslan said: "The gap between Division One and Division Two teams is getting bigger and bigger.

"And even in Division One, the challenge from traditional rivals like Bukit Jalil is fizzling out."

BJSS hold the distinction of seven consecutive league titles from 2003 to 2009, and were double champions in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

They are now whipping boys, as they do not have the financial strength to hold on to players.

Wan Roslan's sentiments were shared by UniKL Young Guns coach K. Embaraj, a third-time unlucky Milo Cup finalist.

"There used to be at least four teams who had quality players in the past, but now, we are left with only two sides while the rest are struggling because the talent pool is shrinking fast," lamented Embaraj, a former international.

Both UniKL and SSTMI Thunderbolts also play a feeder role for their senior sides, with SSTMI grooming players for Tenaga Nasional.

"It is a win-win situation, where we groom the players with help from Tenaga, and then supply talent for their MHL side.

"This year, two of our players will see action with Tenaga in the senior league, and this augurs well for the country as well," said Wan Rahman.

Money, and affiliation to a strong sponsor, is what the rest of the JHL teams should start hunting for from today.

If not, next year's season will also see UniKL, who will have 15 players eligible from this season, and SSTMI hogging the headlines again.

New Straits Times



MHC need to do more to make MJHL more relevant

By S. RAMAGURU


KUALA LUMPUR: The MHC-MILO-NSC Junior Hockey League (MJHL) is dying a slow death.

A record 27 teams may have signed for the 2013 season. But, in terms of quality, only two teams lived up to expectations. They, however, could only do so much to keep the tournament afloat.

SSTMI-Thunderbolt won their second double in as many years with Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) their biggest rivals.

Nothing, however, has changed in the last three years, Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) made an attempt to try and win one of the titles this time but fell flat on their face in the end.

Now, how do one go about getting quality out of these teams and making the MJHL relevant again?

It’s all about money and the teams getting sponsorships to help them out financially.

Thunderbolt went that way and it turned them into a championship outfit.

They started playing in 2000 under the Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS) banner. And they were nowhere near the all-conquering Bukit Jalil Sports School who bagged 13 titles in a span of nine years.

Then in 2010, BPSS combined with Tenaga Nasional and took on the Thunderbolt name. They never looked back since then, winning the league title in 2010 and 2012 and three overall titles from 2011 to 2013.

Thunderbolt coach Wan Mohamed Roslan said a sponsor was the best thing to happen to them as it gave them the financial clout to keep their best players after their schooling days.

“Now, we also act as a feeder to the Tenaga Nasional team in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL). We made the right move to have a sponsor. It would have been difficult for us to keep our star players after they completed their education. Now, we can have them until pre-university days. This is what teams need to do to get the quality that they desire. I have no doubt about it.”

UniKL coach K. Embaraj agreed that the MJHL is fast becoming a two-horse race and lacking in quality.

“It is clear in the last few years we are seeing the league being dominated by a few teams. Three in the early 2000, now by two teams. This is not good as we are not having the quality that is required to keep it relevant,” said Embaraj.

The two coaches urged MHL teams to adopt the MJHL teams and help them develop over the years.

“It will be a win-win situation. The junior teams will get the funding required to keep their development going and keep their good players. At the same time, the juniors will progress and eventually continue playing in the senior league. And there is also a good chance that they get top-notch coaching as well,” said Embaraj.

Besides the poor quality of the games, the standard of umpiring also came under fire.

MBPJ made a protest after the second leg quarter-final defeat to SSTMI Juniors and claimed that the umpiring was way below par.

Said MBPJ assistant team manager Zainal Abidin Ismail: “The technical committee need to look into the standard and rectify the problem. Efforts must be made to educate and help develop our umpires. So, I hope the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) will act and treat the issue seriously.”

The scheduling of the matches was also done haphazardly with teams not being informed of the changes. And, sometimes, the fixtures were changed at the last minute.

For the MHC, they need to put their ear to the ground and listen to the teams’ grouses.

Things should be done properly if they want the teams to put up a better show in future. Otherwise, the MJHL, is sure heading for a doom.

The Star of Malaysia



Hockey strategies

Mereseini Marau, In New Delhi India


THE Fijian national hockey teams will have to work on a strategy on how to play the full 70 minutes of a hockey match because their performance in the second half has been killing them.

And they identified penalty corners as their Achilles heel.

National coach Hector Smith Sr said they made the right choice by going to play in the Hero Hockey World League Round 2 in New Delhi.

Smith and the national teams arrived back into the country last Friday after participating in the tournament where they played against top teams they only read about and watched on television.

Apart from that, Smith said that the penalty corners were hurting them the most.

"Most big teams like India are going for penalty corners."

"Penalty corner is common in international hockey."

"It is hurting us, it's our Achilles heel."

Smith said there was no room for being stationary on the field.

"Playing in international level and we see the intensity and continuity of the game."

Smith said they had learnt a lot from their outing in India.

"But if there's any disappointment, it's going back home without a win."

Smith said his team did very well.

"We managed to get into other teams net, only Ireland we didn't get into their net," he said.

Smith said the outing was a change from their norm where they only got to play other teams from the Oceania region.

"Here we get to play with other high ranked teams within one tournament. I'm glad we came because the experience we get from here is something that we appreciate," Smith said during an interview in New Delhi.

"We never had any chance to play any international teams until now. Before the only international teams we played against were Australia and New Zealand. But for this tournament, we had big teams like Ireland, India, China and Bangladesh."

Smith hoped this would be the first of the many international outings they would have.

The Fiji Times