News for 15 April 2013

All the news for Monday 15 April 2013


Black Sticks save best for last in Four Nations

The Black Sticks women finished the first Four Nations tournament in style beating Korea 3-0 in the final at the ITM Hockey Centre in Whangarei yesterday.

The Kiwis certainly saved their best performance for last, putting on a clinic on both attack and defence.

It was a fast start from both sides but New Zealand took control late in the first half and scored two goals in quick succession thanks to Sian Fremaux and Katie Glynn to go into halftime up 2-0.

The momentum stayed with the Black Sticks in the second half with Fremaux sealing success with her second goal of the game.

Black Sticks head coach Mark Hager was pleased with his side's resilience in the final, having lost to Korea 4-3 earlier in the tournament.

"It was our best performance by far in all of our four games," he said.

"Our ability to control play was pretty good and we dominated large periods. Every player had a good game today.

"The pleasing thing is that we've kept improving and we now go into a new tournament. We have five new players coming in so it's a fresh start for us again."

Earlier Argentina overcame USA 3-0 to secure third place.

With the first tournament complete the teams now head to the Gallagher Centre in Hamilton where leg two begins on Wednesday with the finals to be played in Tauranga next weekend.

Results:

Yesterday: New Zealand 3 (Sian Fremaux 2, Katie Glynn) Korea 0. HT: NZ 2-0;  Argentina 3 (Delfina Merino, Giselle Juarez, Sofi Maccari) USA 0. HT: Argentina 3-0.

Saturday: Korea 4 (Da Rae Kim, Seul Ki Cheon, Mi Hyun Park, Hye Lyoung Han) Argentina 3 (Delfina Merino, Daniella Lucia Sruoga, Maria Noel Barrionuevo) HT: Korea 2-1; New Zealand 5 (Anita Punt, Krystal Forgesson, Kayla Sharland, Sian Fremaux, Petrea Webster) USA 0. HT NZ 1-0.

Stuff



Beeston crowned Champions


Beeston celebrate 2013 Men's title

Beeston were crowned as champions of the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League after beating Surbiton 5-1 in the final at Reading Hockey Club on Sunday. The Nottinghamshire club took home the £2500 winner’s cheque and Adam Dixon, NOW: Pensions Player of the Season lifted the prestigious trophy.

Beeston were runaway leaders of the Premier Division, comfortably making it through to the Finals Weekend and qualifying for Europe. They were taken to a sudden death penalty shuffle by Reading in the semi-finals on Saturday but, after coming through that test, they shone once again as they faced Surbiton.

Martin Jones gave Beeston the lead on nine minutes, collecting the ball before thrashing his shot into the roof of the goal from inside the D. Beeston soon doubled the advantage as a great ball played across the front of the goal was tapped in by Ollie Willars in the 14th minute. Straight from the restart, Surbiton opened their account as James Tindall found the target with a neat reverse stick shot. Beeston soon re-established a two-goal lead. Although Surbiton keeper David Kettle got a pad to Craig Boyne’s shot, he couldn’t keep it out and Beeston went 3-1 up.

There was still more to come from Beeston and goal machine Simon Egerton finally got his name on the scoresheet as he found the bottom corner to make it 4-1 at the break. Although Surbiton came out all guns blazing in the second half, Beeston held firm and didn’t offer them a way back into the game. Then, with two minutes left on the clock, Boyne hit his second and Beeston’s fifth to seal the title.

After the win, Beeston goalkeeper George Pinner said: “After topping the league table this was our game to lose coming into today but this was a great result and it gives us a lot of pleasure. Surbiton have been the in-form team since Christmas so we knew it would be tough today. But we played well and it’s great to come through with victoryand take the title. The Beeston fans have been fantastic and it’s so good to have so many of them down here this weekend.”

David Ames won the Man of the Match Award as voted for by the media.

Surbiton will be hoping their women’s team will go one step better in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Finals at Reading Hockey Club next weekend.

England Hockey Board Media release



Reading beat Canterbury to Euro spot


Canterbury v Reading - Simon Mantell

An explosion of goals in the final eight minutes saw Reading beat Canterbury 4-0 in the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey Championship third place play-off, and secure their place in European competition next season.

Reading took the lead after 11 minutes when Darren Cheesman smashed a shot into the roof of the goal.

Although Reading controlled the opening stages of the match, Canterbury created plenty but couldn’t force the ball into the goal.

Canterbury started to press forward more and more as the match wore on but neither team could find a decisive goal.

That was until the 62nd minute when Craig Peel was given too much time at the top of the D and he fired in to make it 2-0 to Reading.

Then, with three minutes remaining, Reading scored twice more in quick succession with Harry Slater and then Simon Mantell finding the target to put the game beyond Canterbury.

“It was a much improved performance from us today and we’re absolutely delighted to secure our place in Europe next season,” said Simon Mantell.

“The support we’ve had down here at Reading has been brilliant all season, especially over the weekend.

“I want to give a special mention to Rhys Joyce and Tom Bertram who were playing in their final games for Reading today before retiring.”

England Hockey Board Media release



Top flight hockey for Wimbledon & Sheffield Hallam


Sheffield v Wimbledon, Jonny Kinder and Phil Roper

Wimbledon beat Sheffield Hallam 2-1 to finish top of the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Promotion Tournament table and secure a spot in the top flight next season.

And despite the loss Sheffield Hallam’s superior goal difference over Cardiff & UWIC sees them also gain promotion to the NOW: Pensions Premier Division as runners-up.

Wimbledon enjoyed early pressure but Sheffield’s defence stood firm until the 24th minute when a slick move ended with Johnny Kinder’s neat finish to make it 1-0.

The London side continued to push forward and won a succession of penalty corners but couldn’t find a second goal.

However, after the break they did create some breathing space when dazzling individual skills from John Harris saw him fire home on 40 minutes.

Sheffield knew that they would be promoted if they could keep Wimbledon from winning by five goals but there was no sign of a defensive mentality from the Yorkshire side and they went looking for a way back into the game.

Their attitude paid off with five minutes left on the clock as Mike Shaw stepped up to rifle the ball in from a corner to make it 2-1.

Wimbledon held on to take all three points but both teams could celebrate knowing that they had done enough to secure promotion.

Sheffield Hallam’s Phil Roper said afterwards: “It’s fantastic to get to play in the NOW: Pensions Premier Division next season. It wasn’t quite the result we wanted today, but given the result of the other game we knew going in that we were almost there.

“Our ambitions as a club are big over the next four or five years - we’ve worked really hard to get to where we are and we can’t wait to play the top teams next season.”

And Ben Dando, captain of Wimbledon, commented: “We’re absolutely ecstatic. We pulled it together and it’s been a fantastic day for us. We went into yesterday’s game feeling confident so it was hard to take the loss, but to come back today in the way we did was testament to our team and the season we’ve had.

“We’re a really ambitious club, and we’re looking to push for Europe in the future in we continue to build on the success we’ve had in the last few years.”

Promotion Tournament table (Sunday, April 14 2013)

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Diff

Pts

Wimbledon

3

2

0

1

9

7

2

6

Sheffield Hallam

3

1

1

1

8

6

2

4

Cardiff & UWIC

3

1

1

1

7

9

-2

4

Southgate

3

1

0

2

6

8

-2

3

England Hockey Board Media release



Cardiff relegate Southgate


Cardiff v Southgate Robin Lovegrove

TWO goals in the final ten minutes saw Cardiff & UWIC fight back from behind and beat Southgate 2-1, maintaining their hopes of playing in the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Premier Division next season.

Their victory means that, if Sheffield Hallam beat Wimbledon, Cardiff will join the Yorkshire side in the top flight next season.

Late goals from Richard Howson and Robin Lovegrove were enough to leave Southgate relegated, having led for much of the game and soaked up some intense pressure from their rivals.

John Sterlini had given Southgate the lead after just six minutes when he diverted a shot into the goal from a feed by Dan Shingles, and they held that lead until mid-way through the second half.

Cardiff & UWIC turned up the pressure with some good attacking play, and they finally got the breakthrough they were looking for when Howson deflected in on 61 minutes.

Southgate tried to hit back, and thought they had done so shortly after, but the goal was disallowed having hit an attacker’s body.

Instead, it was Cardiff & UWIC who scored next, Lovegrove finishing off an aerial ball to take the lead.

A frantic final six minutes saw Southgate push hard for a way back into the match, but Cardiff held out for a crucial victory.

“It was always going to be a cagey affair,” said Cardiff & UWIC captain Jimmy Devney. “It was disappointing to concede early on, but great to fight back and take the victory which I think we deserved in the end.

“It was a great second goal and we had a much better second half. Now we just have to wait and see how the other result goes to find out if it will be Premier Division hockey for us next season.”

England Hockey Board Media release



Beeston crowned hockey champions

Beeston have been crowned champions of the Men’s Hockey League Championship after yesterday beating Surbiton 5-1 in the final at Reading Hockey Club.

They were runaway leaders of the Premier Division, comfortably qualifying for the play-offs but Beeston were taken to a sudden death penalty shuffle by Reading in the semi finals on Saturday.

But after coming through that test, they shone once again as they faced Surbiton.

Martin Jones gave Beeston the lead on nine minutes, after hitting the ball into the roof of the goal from inside the D.

And Beeston soon doubled the advantage as a great ball played across the front of the goal was tapped in by Ollie Willars in the 14th minute.

Straight from the restart, Surbiton opened their account as James Tindall found the target with a neat reverse stick shot.

Beeston soon re-established a two-goal lead. Although Surbiton keeper David Kettle got a pad to Craig Boyne’s shot, he couldn’t keep it out and Beeston went 3-1 up.

There was still more to come from Beeston and Simon Egerton finally got his name on the scoresheet as he found the bottom corner making it 4-1 at the break.

Although Surbiton improved in the second half, Beeston held firm and didn’t offer them a way back into the game.

With two minutes left on the clock, Boyne hit his second and Beeston’s fifth to seal the NOW: Pensions League Championship.

After topping the league table this was our game to lose coming into today but this was a great result and it gives us a lot of pleasure.

Surbiton have been the in-form team since Christmas so we knew it would be tough. But we played well and it’s great to come through with victory and take the title.

The Beeston fans have been fantastic and it’s so good to have so many of them down here this weekend.

– George Pinner, Beeston goalkeeper


ITV Central News



Sheffield Hallam hit the big time


Sheffield's Phil Roper, right, is challenged by Wimbledon's John Kinder. Pic: Ady Kerry/PA Wire

Sheffield Hallam hockey club made it a weekend to remember after winning promotion to the NOW: Pensions Premier Division.

The Abbeydale Park-based club have been promoted after coming through the play-offs at Reading Hockey Club’s Sonning Lane ground.

Sheffield Hallam needed to finish in the top two of a group of four, which also included Cardiff, Wimbledon and Southgate.

Last weekend a comfortable 3-0 win over Southgate in the first of their three play-off games had put Sheffield Hallam in a confident frame of mind for matches on Saturday and Sunday.

Phil Roper starred for the Sheffield Hallam on Saturday as they drew 4-4 with Cardiff.

Roper scored all four of his team’s goals.

And when Cardiff beat Southgate in the first match on Sunday it meant that Sheffield Hallam could afford to lose their game yesterday against Wimbledon.

Despite going 2-0 down after 40 minutes Sheffield knew that they would be promoted if they could keep Wimbledon from winning by five goals.

But there was no sign of a defensive mentality from them and they went looking for a way back into the game.

Their attitude paid off with five minutes left on the clock as Mike Shaw stepped up to rifle the ball in from a corner to make it 2-1.

Sheffield Hallam star Roper said: “It’s fantastic to get to play in the NOW: Pensions Premier Division next season.

“It (the Wimbledon defeat) wasn’t quite the result we wanted, but given the result of the other game we knew going in that we were almost there.

“Our ambitions as a club are big over the next four or five years - we’ve worked really hard to get to where we are and we can’t wait to play the top teams next season.”

In other matches Beeston were crowned as champions of the Premier League after beating Surbiton 5-1 in the final and host club Reading beat Canterbury 4-0 to finish third and secure their place in European competition next season.

The Star



Another three points in the bag for KLHC



Defending champions KL Hockey Club continued their relentless march towards winning the TNBMHL League title by blanking out pre-season title hopefuls Terengganu HT 4-1 at the National Hockey Stadium.

The win puts them four points clear at the top from their nearest challengers Maybank as the teams have four more matches to play each before completing the league fixtures.

KLHC had a poor start to the game as their moves were easily read aand they gave too much respect to the east coast side by pulling numbers into defence. And that allowed Terengganu the ;lion share of possession.

Even the two penalty corners awarded to KLHC in the 5th and 18th minutes did not yield any result from the normally effective Muhammad Imran. But score KLHC did, and it came in the 24th minute through Mohd syamim Mohd Yusof in the 24th minute.

Terengganu hit back by forcing two penalty corners in the 30th and 31st minutes but they could not even get a shot on target and KLHC punished them as Chua Boon Huat scored with his trademark reverse stick in the 32nd minute to give the defending champions a 2-0 lead going into half time.

Upon resumption it took KLHC only six minutes to add to the scoreline, as Umar Bhutta cut in from the right before squaring it for Akhtar Ali who scored with a heft hit.

Kevinder Singh made it 4-0 in the 46th minute, finishing off a neat move initiated by Syamim and KLHC were on a roll. Though Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tg Jalil pulled a goal back in the 59th minute, Terengganu failed to get their game going.

And they could well be in further trouble as action moves to Penang next weekend.

Official MHL site



UniKL tame Sapura as Maybank struggle



UnIKL scored a sensational upset when they defeated Sapura 2-1 while Maybank had to depend on a goal twenty seconds from time to snatch all three points in a 4-3 win over Nur Insafi Warriors.

The wins were crucial for both teams as UniKL needed the points to boast their chance of a top six finish while for Maybank it was more crucial as it allowed them to stay within striking distance of league leaders KL Hockey Club.

Maybank were awarded a penalty in the 11th minute but Nasir Ahmad dived low to his right to push the attempt from Muhammad waqas around the post to deny his fellow Pakistani.

But Waqas was not to be denied in the next minute as he  deflected in a cross from Azrul Affendy Bistaman to give the Tigers a 1-0 lread.

Rather then build on the lead, maybank allowed Nur insafi back into the game and the Penang side were almost on level terms in the 16th minute but Rahimi Baharom failed to get the better of Hafizuddin Othman in the MNaybank goal.

However Nur Insafi got the equaliser in the 17th minute through Ahmad Ridwan Zainal Abidin who was fed a perfect pass by Shahzad Amir.

Maybank went 2-1 ahead in the 42nd minute when Jiwa Mohan burst through the centre unchallenged to slot home. Hpwever four minutes later Ridhwan was on hand to steer the ball into goal to put Nur Insafi on level terms yet again.

A yellow card to Nur Insafi's Nur Hrsikesa Thaitchana Murthi in the 49th minute was followed by a penalty corner and it was easily tucked away by Jiwa Mohan to give Maybank a 3-2 lead.

Nur Hrsikesa atoned for his mistake in the 56th minute when he converted a penalty corner to make it 3-3. However Shakeel Abbasi scored the winner just seconds from time to give Maybank all three points.



Sapura had beaten UniKL in the first round match In Kuantan last week and were favoured to win this time around as well. But the youngsters from UniKL were undeterred by reputations and ran Sapura to the ground with their superior fitness.

UniKL took the lead in the 21st minute through Mohd Noor Faeez Ibrahim when he converted a penalty corner. It was his eight goal of the MHL, with seven from penalty corners and another from a penalty stroke.

Taufik Abdul Hamid put UniKL 2-0 ahead in the 59th minute after being put through S. Selvarajoo. But Sapura reduced the deficit in the 62nd minute when Faridzul Afiq Mohamad scored from apenalty corner.

" If we can play like this all the time, then I am confident we can make the last eight. It is this kind of spirit that I seek from the players and I am glad that they delivered under pressure," said UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj.

Official MHL site



Title can well be decided in Penang



The TNBMHL goes into its penultimate weekend as so far as the league title is concerned and there is really not much to separate the teams at the moment as the matches move up north to Penang.

Hence the situation will be clearer, at the top of the table as well as the bottom, for one team will miss out on the knockout stage for the TNB Cup, that has now been rescheduled to May 1 and May 3 due to the general elections on May 5.

Table toppers KL Hockey Club have a dicey weekend as they will be up against Nur Insafi Warriors on Friday and title contenders Maybank on Sunday. Maximum points from these two matches will virtually assure them the league title as Maybank will be seven points adrif with only six to play for. Thus KLHC could well be crowned champions again with two matches to spare.

"We are not looking at the title just yet as we are taking it one match at a time. The trip north is tricky for it can change everything. At the moment we are the favourites but one dropped match will mean those below us will have an opportunity to jump above us," said KLHC team manager George Koshy.

"We cannot take Nur Insafi lightly as they took both TNB and Maybank to the brink before losing out and they have been improving from match to match. And then Maybank have proven their ability and the manner in which they defeated TNB shows that Maybank is the team to beat this season.

"Taking things for granted can be dangerous hence I have advised my players not to think of the title just yet and remain focussed on the task of getting maximum points from our matches in Penang."

KLHC not only have some good foreign players in their ranks but have also got the players to gel. Even without Waseem Ahmad in midfield against Sapura on Friday, they managed to retain control of the midfield.

KLHC have proven that they have players who can score goals as a total of 11 players have contributed towards their 34 goals that they have scored thus far. Leading their chart is Akhtar Ali with 8 goals while Muhammad Imran has scored 7 goals thus far. But Akhtar needs to avoid a green card on Friday in order to be on the pitch this Sunday against Maybank.

Maybank who are second spot, thanks to their 4-3 win over TNB last Saturday can reignite the challenge for the league title if they get the better of KLHC in the 4.00pm match on Sunday.

Coached by the wily Wallace Tan, Maybank have shown that they are an all round team as they could do without key players, as evident in the match against TNB where they played without Pakistani Muhammad Irfan who had picked up eight demerit points.

With Jiwa Mohan and Muhammad Irfan just one green card away from a one match suspension, Maybank will have to thread carefully against a resurgent UniKL side whom they play on Friday.

UniKL having beaten Sapura last Sunday to move up the table seem to be relishing matches played on Sunday's as they have notched up three wins in their Sunday matches - against Nur Insafi, Terengganu HT and Sapura.

"We will try to get at least three points in Penang in order to finish in the fourth spot of the standings. This will give us a seeded position for the quarterfinal draw. But we are on track of a top four finish, and we just need to play using our heads rather then playing blindly at times," said UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj.

For Sapura, their defeat at the hands of UniKL was a bitter one, and they learnt a very important lesson, never take a win for granted. Their lackadisical approach towards the match proved to be their folly and Sapura will need to play to their ability in order to regain the fourth spot.

Players on cards watch ( one green card for suspension of matches)

Akhtar Ali (KLHC), Jiwa Mohan (Maybank), Muhammad Irfan (Maybank), Nurhrikesa Thaitchana Muruthi (Nur Insafi Warriors), Thung Wei Chua (Terengganu HT), Muhammad Azammi Abadi (TNB), Norhizzat Sumantri (TNB), Meor Muhammad Azuan Hassan (UniKL).

Leading Goal Scorers:

Faisal Saari (TNB) - 10 goals
Khasif Ali (Sapura) - 9 goals
Akhtar Ali (KLHC) - 8 goals
Mohd Noor Faeez Ibrahim (UniKL) - 8 goals
Muhammad Imran (KHLC) - 7 goals

Official MHL site



KLHC closer to title

By FADHLI ISHAK


KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) edged closer to the Malaysian League Premier Division title when they eased to a 4-1 win against Terengganu at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

KLHC opened the scoring in the 24th minute through a Mohd Syamim Mohd Yusof strike and added to their tally eight minutes later when Chua Boon Huat calmly slotted home from close range.

The defending champions continued dominating the match in the second half. Pakistani Akhtar ALi scored from open play in the 41st minute and went 4-0 up thanks to a Kevinder Singh goal just five minutes later.

Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil, however, gave his side some consolation when he scored with a powerful drive which gave KLHC goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin no chance in the 59th minute.

KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj, who warned his charges against complacency before the match, said he was happy with his players' performances yesterday.

"We do not take any team for granted and I am happy with the consistency of our players," said Dharmaraj.

"There are still another four games left and we will continue performing well and stay focused."

Meanwhile, Maybank kept their title hopes alive with a hard-fought 4-3 win over bottom of the table side Nur Insafi, also at the National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Maybank, who beat TNB 4-3 on Saturday, opened the scoring through Muhammad Waqas of Pakistan in the 12th minute after he guided a Azrul Affendy Bistaman cross into the net.

Nur Insafi, however, pulled level via an Ahmad Ridwan Zainal Abidin field goal just five minutes later.

An unmarked Jiwa Mohan put Maybank back in the lead in the 42nd minute only to see Ahmad Ridhwan equalise for Nur Insafi in the 46th minute from open play.

Jiwa again gave his side the upper hand when he slotted home from a penalty corner in the 50th minute but the game looked headed for a draw when Nur Hrsikesa Thaitchana Murthi scored from a penalty corner in the 56th minute.

Maybank's Shakeel Abassi of Pakistan, however, gave the Tigers' maximum points when he smashed home the winner 20 seconds from time.

UniKL strengthened their claim for a spot in the knockout stages with a surprise 2-1 win over Sapura.

UniKL's Mohd Noor Faeez Ibrahim scored his team's opening goal through a penalty corner in the 21st minute. Taufik Abdul Hamid then put them 2-0 up after being put through onto goal by S.Selvarajoo in the 59th minute.

Sapura's Farizul Afiq Mohd pulled one back for his side through a penalty corner in the 62nd minute but it was not enough to salvage the match. The loss is Sapura's second in a row after losing 3-2 to KLHC on Friday.

New Straits Times



KLHC thump hapless Terengganu to stay top

By S. RAMAGURU



Chua: Scored for KLHC Chua: Scored for KLHC

KUALA LUMPUR: Defending champions KL Hockey Club maintained their four-point lead in the Premier Division after beating Terengganu 4-1 at the National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

The KLHC side are on course to retain their Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) title after securing 22 points with four more matches to go. Maybank are their nearest challengers with 18 points after eight matches played.

KLHC also remain the only unbeaten team in the Premier Division.

It was a stroll for the champions as they scored two goals in the first half for a buffer.

Mohamed Syamin Yusof scored a field goal in the 24th minute and Chua Boon Huat added the second in the 32nd minute.

Akhtar Ali scored the third goal in the 41st minute followed by Kelvinder Singh five minutes later. Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin replied for Terengganu in the 59th minute.

Earlier, Pakistani forward Shakeel Abassi was the saviour for Maybank when he scored a field goal in the last minute to sink a gritty Nur Insafi 4-3.

The win gave the Tigers 18 points and took them three points ahead of third-placed Tenaga Nasional.

Maybank, who defeated Tenaga 4-3 on Saturday, held the lead thrice and each time poor defending gave way for Nur Insafi to equalise. Just as the match was about to end, Shakeel raced in to the D and slammed home a field goal, which ensured full points.

Maybank coach Wallace Tan said that having to play back-to-back matches took a toll on the players.

“But we are thankful that Shakeel managed to get the winner. It is always about staying ahead in the standings and the three-point gap with Tenaga is a welcome relief,” said Wallace.

“We take one match at a time. As I have said many times, we need to convert the chances to win matches. It was tough but to be fair, Nur Insafi are an improved side. They just allowed one goal against Tenaga and today you could see they have the ability to play good hockey,” he added.

Mohamed Waqas gave Maybank the lead in the 12th minute while Jiwa Mohan added a brace (42nd and 50th). For Nur Insafi, the opening two goals came from Ahmad Ridhwan (17th and 46th minutes) while Nur Hrsikesa scored the third (56th).

At the opposite pitch, Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) moved into fourth place when they defeated Sapura 2-1 for their third win in the league.

Mohamed Noor Faeez scored the opening goal in the 21st minute from a penalty corner while Mohamed Taufik Hamid added the second (58th).

Sapura managed to reduce the deficit in the 62nd minute off Faridzul Afiq but the goal failed to spur them on.

The Star of Malaysia