News for 22 April 2013

All the news for Monday 22 April 2013

Argentina win Four Nations final in Tauranga

7 times World Player of the Year Luciana Aymar beats Charlotte Harrison. Photo credit:

The Black Sticks have been defeated by Argentina 5-1 in the final of the Four Nations tournament at Blake Park in Tauranga tonight.

Argentina were in fine form today scoring four goals in the first half and at times leaving New Zealand scrambling in defence.

“They were just quicker than us everywhere on the field tonight, they were much more dominant in the first half. At 4-1 I thought maybe we were in for a chance of a comeback, but when they got the fifth goal it was just too much of a lead,” says Hager.

“Argentina had ten goal scoring opportunities and scored five of them - we just let them run through the middle of the field, their midfielders were just too good for us tonight,” says Hager.

“The positive is that we have used the tournament to change players around and it has answered some questions regarding selections. Tournaments like this help us to expose some more players to so they know what’s needed at that next level,” says Hager.

Seven time FIH world player of the year Luciana Aymar was influential in tonight’s game putting on a show for the local Argentinean supporters in the crowd.

Aymar helped her side with the first goal after a brilliant pass to the outside of the circle was picked up and deflected in by Delfina Merino. She set up the second goal which was tapped in by Carla Rebecchi and then in front of the goal, she scored the third one herself. A defensive error from New Zealand at the top of the circle, lead to Merino bagging one more before half time.

In the second half, New Zealand got one back when captain Kayla Sharland took a shot from the top of the circle and up and coming player Cassandra Reid was there to deflect it in. Although the Black Sticks picked up the pace and played with more urgency, the lead the Olympic silver medallists had was too much to claw back and it was Giselle Juarez who scored the fifth and final goal.

As the final whistle sounded, the skies opened up, the lightning began and the Argentinean supporters ran on to the turf to celebrate and dance in the rain with their ‘Las Leonas’ heroes.

Having seen players during the Four Nations and tested combinations, head coach Mark Hager will soon name his side for the World League Semi-Final which is to be held in June in Rotterdam.

Third place went to the USA who played an exceptional game against Korea, nil-all at half time they went 1-0 up after Michelle Kasold cleverly weaved through defenders in the circle and Lauren Pfeiffer tapped it in. 

Replays of today’s games and the goal highlights can be watched here.

The Black Sticks won the first leg of the Four Nations beating Korea 3-0 in the final in Whangarei last weekend. For results from all the games during the Four Nations Tournament click here.

Argentina (Delfina Merino x2, Carla Rebecchi, Luciana Aymar, Giselle Juarez) New Zealand 1 (Cassandra Reid). HT: 4-0 to Argentina
USA 1 (Lauren Pfeiffer) Korea 0. HT: Nil-all

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Timid NZ well outclassed

By David Leggat

New Zealand bookended their two Four Nations tournaments with their poorest performances, according to assistant coach Greg Nicol.

Having won the first tournament in Whangarei a week ago, New Zealand lost the final of the second tournament, belted 5-1 by world No2 Argentina in Tauranga yesterday.

They were 4-0 down at halftime, having conceded far too much space and possession and from that point it was always a stretch to get back in the contest once Argentina had the bit between their teeth.

"Argentina came out fighting, wanting to win, they had more energy than us, beat us to the ball," former South African striker Nicol said last night. "We were probably a bit timid and when you give a quality side like Argentina as much space and chances as we gave them in the first half, it's bloody hard to come back."

The Argentine show was run by their champion attacker Luciana Aymar, who with her teammates was mobbed by Argentine fans at the final whistle in a torrential thunderstorm.

She scored one goal, after a long run starting wide on the right. As the world No3 Black Sticks' defence parted like the Red Sea, Aymar strode through to grab her chance.

She set up another goal with a long, raking pass and the seven-time world player of the year was the top act on the park.

"She is something special," Nicol said. "A lot of people talk about her getting old and retiring but she certainly showed retirement is not something she's interested in. She cut us open a fair few times. She's still class."

Argentina's goals came from Delfina Merino, with two, Carla Rebecchi, Aymar and Giselle Juarez, while New Zealand's response was from Cassandra Reid.

New Zealand began the first tournament with a 4-3 loss to Korea. In between there were some strong performances, notably the 3-0 win over the same opponents to win that Whangarei final and a 2-1 win over Argentina in the far north.

The aim of the tournaments was to help select the squad for the World League semifinal in Rotterdam in June.

The squad will be named late this week. The players, after a week off, will be back in training before flying to England on June 1. They have three warmup internationals against England before travelling to the Netherlands.

In the playoff for third and fourth, the 10th-ranked United States surprised with a 1-0 win over eighth-ranked Korea. The only goal came from Lauren Pfeiffer.

New Zealand beat Korea 5-1 on Saturday, after heavy rain led to a halt at 0-1. The delay did striker Katie Glynn no harm, as she bagged four goals upon the resumption, with the other coming from Olivia Merry.

The New Zealand Herald

Black Sticks lose out to Argentina in final


The Black Sticks have crashed to a surprise 5-1 loss to Argentina in the final of the latest Four Nations women's hockey tournament at Mt Maunganui tonight.

Argentina were in fine form, scoring four goals in the first half and at times leaving the home side scrambling in defence at Blake Park.

"They were just quicker than us everywhere on the field tonight, they were much more dominant in the first half," Black Sticks coach Mark Hager said.

"At 4-1 I thought maybe we were in for a chance of a comeback, but when they got the fifth goal it was just too much of a lead.

"Argentina had 10 goal scoring opportunities and scored five of them - we just let them run through the middle of the field, their midfielders were just too good for us tonight."

Hager said the tournament had allowed him to change players around and answer some questions regarding selection.

"Tournaments like this help us to expose some more players to so they know what's needed at that next level."

Seven-time FIH world player of the year Luciana Aymar was influential, putting on a show for the Argentine supporters in the crowd.

Aymar helped her side with the first goal after a brilliant pass to the outside of the circle was picked up and deflected in by Delfina Merino. She also set up the second goal which was tapped in by Carla Rebecchi and then in front of the goal, scored the third one herself.

A defensive error from New Zealand at the top of the circle, led to Merino bagging one more before halftime.

In the second half, New Zealand got one back when captain Kayla Sharland took a shot from the top of the circle and up-and-coming player Cassandra Reid was there to deflect it in.

Although the Black Sticks picked up the pace and played with more urgency, the Olympic silver medallists' lead was too much to claw back before Giselle Juarez scored the fifth and final goal.

As the final whistle sounded, the skies opened up, the lightning began and the Argentine supporters ran on to the turf to celebrate and dance in the rain with their heroes.

Third place in the tournament went to the United States who played an exceptional game against Korea to win 1-0.

The Black Sticks won the first leg of the Four Nations, beating Korea 3-0 in the final in Whangarei last weekend.


U.S. Women's Team wraps up Four Nations with 1-0 victory over Korea in bronze medal match

Pfeiffer's goal sends U.S. to 1-0 victory over No.8 Korea in final match of Four Nations Tournament

TAURANGA, New Zealand – Team USA created an unbreakable fortress of defense against No. 8 Korea to secure third place in the second round of the Four Nations Tournament with a score of 1-0. Although Korea was awarded numerous corners in the first and second half they were unable to convert the opportunities into goals due to an outstanding performance from U.S. goalkeeper Alesha Widdall (Whitney Point, N.Y.).

“It was a very gritty performance,” said U.S. midfielder Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.). “Alesha came up huge in cage, we were able to put one on the board and that was enough to get by. I think we learned a lot over the course of the tour and we grew. We still have a lot of growing to do but we're better for the performances that we have had in New Zealand."

Coming into the second half even, 0-0, the U.S. turned up the intensity placing patient pressure on Korea’s attacking line until the ball was fumbled and Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, N.C.) recovered the ball and carried it into the circle. Kasold dished the ball to her right to connect with Lauren Pfeiffer (Mount Laurel, N.J.) who found the back of the net scoring the lone goal of the match in the 48th minute. 

"I am very pleased to finish with a win,” said head coach Craig Parnham. “The group has worked hard over the past couple of weeks. This has always been an opportunity to test some of our younger and inexperienced players against some of the best teams in the world. There is so much to learn but it has been a valuable experience and we look forward to continuing to develop our players."

In the second half of the Four Nations Tournament, the U.S. fell to Korea 5-0 in the opening match, followed by a relentless performance against New Zealand falling just 1-0.Team USA then fought Argentina to a 1-1 draw in third match and finished the tournament with an impressive victory against Korea. Argentina defeated host New Zealand, 5-1, in the final last night.

The Four Nations roster included 13 athletes with less than 10 caps. Parnham stated this tour provided the U.S. with the opportunity to look at a wider, youthful group of players in a different environment than the norm and it was valuable experience for the future development of these younger players.

The U.S. will head back to London this summer for the World League Semi-Final and an opportunity to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. Prior to the World League Semi-Final, Parnham will announce a new U.S. squad following the Women’s National Championship in Norfolk, Va. next month.

USFHA media release

Team USA’s relentless spirit earns hard-fought draw against Argentina at Four Nations Tournament

U.S. tied Argentina,London silver medalists, 1-1, in the third match of the second Four Nations Tournament in Tauranga

Tauranga, New Zealand – In a gripping, buzzer-beater finish the U.S. Women’s National Team tied world ranked No. 2 Argentina, 1-1, in the final match of the second Four Nations tournament in Tauranga, New Zealand. The game began with one-way traffic leading to Team USA’s defensive circle and ultimately earning Argentina a penalty corner within the first few minutes of the game who withheld any coy ball play from the starting whistle, attacking the net with tenacity. Team USA goalkeeper No. 31 Jackie Kintzer (Robesonia, Pa.) absorbed the direct shot and kept U.S.’s defense patient with pressure against Argentina’s frontline.

"It's always a great competition,” said Kintzer. “They bring their best game when they play against us, and we bring our best game against them. It's always a battle and a fun game to play in. We held our own in the beginning and picked up momentum at the game went on. We could have gotten a win but were happy to end in a tie today. We are constantly getting better each game."

With two minutes left in the first half, Argentina’s No. 12 Delfina Merino exposed a pocket in U.S.’s defense and drove to the baseline to deliver a low reserve chip to the left corner of the USA cage closing the first period. Heading out of halftime down 0-1, USA’s attack utilized its speed and intensity to gain waves of momentum. The ball flew from end line to end line while the seconds wound down to the last minute of play in the last half. A penalty corner was awarded to Team USA where no. 8 Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.) fired a direct shot from the top of the circle, zipping past Argentina’s corner unit and into the back of the cage with 33 seconds left in the game. The game concluded in a 1-1 tie, a result displaying growth and relentlessness for the young U.S. squad.  Previously in the Four Nations Tournament the U.S. had fallen to Argentina twice.

"It was a stronger performance today,” said U.S. Head Coach Craig Parnham. “The group looked more organized on defense and it was good to see us create more opportunities than in previous games. We showed great character in the second half and were awarded with a late penalty corner."

USFHA media release

Scotland dispatch six past Belgium select

Allan Forsyth

Two goals each for Ian Moodie and Dan Coultas, plus strikes from Gordon McIntyre and Alan Forsyth gave Scotland a comprehensive 6-0 win over a Belgium select in Waterloo today.

The Scots made it two wins from two games against the Belgians this weekend and a pleased Scotland Team Manager Eugene Connolly said, “Both Derek [Forsyth] and I are very happy with the results this weekend and we’re delighted with the team’s performances both today and in yesterday’s encounter.

"We didn’t expect to win so comprehensively today but this was a Belgium ‘A’ side effectively. However, they made our goalkeeper work with four excellent saves so it wasn’t all one-way traffic.

“We face an England side at Lillieshall next weekend and we know that the matches will present a stiffer challenge to the players. However, it’s been a very good weekend in Belgium and the team can take plenty positives forward to next week and the upcoming FIH World League competition.”

Scotland opened the scoring in the 14th minute through Western Wildcats’ Ian Moodie before Beeston’s Gordon McIntyre doubled the advantage shortly before half-time (28’) to give the Scots a 2-0 cushion at the interval.

Gordon McIntyre

Penalty corner expert Dan Coultas then stroked home two set-piece efforts in the 53rd and 58th minutes to give Derek Forsyth’s side a commanding 4-0 lead going into the final stages of the match.

Dan Coultas

Moodie then grabbed his second of the match to make it 5-0, the midfielder using his composure to calmly place the ball past the on-coming Belgian goalkeeper in a one-on-one contest. Kelburne marksman Alan Forsyth then rounded off the scoring shortly before the full-time hooter to give his side an excellent 6-0 win.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Reading crowned Investec Champions

Reading women celebrate 2013 Investec title

In a reversal of last year’s result, Reading were crowned Investec Women’s Hockey League Champions after beating Leicester in dramatic fashion at their Sonning Lane base on Sunday.

The win earned them the coveted title, £2,500 of prize money from sponsors Investec and top spot in Europe. Leicester take the runners-up spot and a cheque for £1,500.

Level at 1-1 after normal time and extra time, Reading won two-nil on penalty shuffles to spark scenes of jubilation at their home ground, with Olympians Kate Walsh and Alex Danson the only players to keep their nerve and score in the shootout. Sarah Ellis was fantastic in Reading’s goal saving four times from Leicester.

Emma Thomas had given Reading the lead after 52 minutes, scoring from a penalty stroke after Sam Quek had forced a deliberate foul.

They appeared to be heading for victory, but Vanessa Hawkins scored with the very last strike of normal time to force the match into silver goal, five minutes each way.

With both sides desperate not to concede there were no further goals, forcing the match into a shootout of penalty shuffles.

Nerves got the better of both sides, but it was the experienced heads of Danson and Walsh who found the net and won the title and the £2,500 winners cheque, to go with the place in Europe they secured by beating Canterbury in Saturday’s semi final.

Reading captain Emma Thomas said: “It’s been an amazing weekend and after a great performance yesterday we came out today really hoping to coming away with a result and it’s absolutely fantastic to be champions.

“Typically our games against Leicester lack goals, and this was no exception today, but all credit to Leicester for coming back and forcing the extra time and shoot out. I think we just had a little bit more grit at the end to finish it off and Sarah Ellis was brilliant in goal to make the saves against Nic, Vanessa and Chloe.

“This event has been absolutely fantastic. Having the support of Investec and getting the winners cheque is incredible. This will help pay for us to go out to Europe next summer and we want to represent British hockey at its best out there.”

And player of the match Sam Quek added: “It was always going to be a tough game against Leicester and they pushed us right to the last second. It’s a bonus to get player of the match, but I think we all deserved this today, it was a real team performance.”

England Hockey Board Media release

Canterbury beat Surbiton 3-2 in third place play off

South African, Jade Mayne (centre) celebrates scoring one of her two goals.

Canterbury came from behind to beat Surbiton 3-2 in the Investec Women’s Hockey League third place play-off on Sunday.

Just ten minutes in, Ellen Barnes struck a shot which was deflected into the roof of the Canterbury goal to give Surbiton the lead.

Jade Mayne soon got Canterbury back on terms with a neat tap in from a well worked move.

But straight from the restart, Amy Bryant restored the lead for Surbiton as she unleashed a thumping shot from the edge of the D.

After the break, Canterbury once again pulled level when Mayne scored her second, this time with a superb reverse stick shot.

Finally, with eight minutes remaining, Canterbury completed the comeback as Sarah Kerly lifted an excellent shot over the Surbiton keeper to make it 3-2.

Afterwards, Canterbury’s Grace Balsdon said: “Obviously yesterday was disappointing for us but after the game we regrouped and turned our focus back to today and getting the result and we are really pleased with outcome.

“It was a tough match, Surbiton are a great side and been very competitive since coming up to the Premier Division.”

And Susannah Townsend of Canterbury and GB added: “With Canterbury next season, we have some great youngsters coming through and we will be looking to get a few more players in to bolster our attack and defence and to build our strength in depth. We hope to be back next year and hopefully clinch this spot in Europe.”

England Hockey Board Media release

Beeston secure Investec Premier Division place

Sophie Robinson celebrates scoring a hat-trick for Beeston in the Investec Women's Finals Weekend

Beeston guaranteed themselves top flight hockey next season when they beat Harleston Magpies 6-1 in their final game of the Investec Women’s Hockey League play-offs at Sonning Lane, Reading, on Sunday.

Despite going behind to an early strike from Harleston’s Hayley Toleman, Beeston hit back to lead 2-1 at half time, and a hat-trick from top scorer Sophie Robinson (pictured) helped the Investec Conference North winners secure their place in the Premier Division for next season.

Beeston’s captain Hollie Webb said: “It's such an amazing feeling and I'm not sure it's sunk in yet. We've been together as a team for two years and it's so good to have achieved this today after last season's disappointment in the Play-Offs.

“I want to thank our supporters and our families. They travel all over the country with us to every single game so this victory today is as much for them as us.”

And Sophie Robinson, who scored a hat-trick for Beeston, added: “We've had such a good season and it feels so good to finally get to Premier Division hockey.

“I've been with Beeston for years and there's been a lot of hard work to get here and it's great to finish with a hat-trick in the last game as well.

“Now I'm really looking forward to seeing if I can score a few more next season against the top Premier sides and I can't wait to battle it out against sides like Leicester in a Midlands derby.”

Toleman’s goal came after just two minutes, but their lead was short lived as Meg Byas scored the very next minute for Beeston.

Hannah Wraith scored a cracking goal on 29 minutes from the edge of the circle to put Beeston 2-1 ahead at the break, and Robinson made it 3-1 on 49 minutes from open play.

Ellie Watton scored the fourth from a penalty corner, and seconds later Robinson bagged her second goal before completing her hat-trick with a rocket of a shot from a tight angle on 65 minutes.

England Hockey Board Media release

Buckingham win, but Olton stay up

Buckingham's Zoe Shipperley v Olton

Investec Conference East champions Buckingham beat Premier Division outfit Olton & West Warwickshire 2-1 in the final play-off match at Sonning Lane on Sunday.

But it was not enough for them to secure a spot in the top flight, with Olton hanging on to second place in the play-off table on goal difference.

Lucilla Parkes gave Olton and West Warwickshire the perfect start with a deflection at a 10th minute penalty corner, but Buckingham were back level in the 24th minute, Zoe Shipperley (pictured) scoring – again from a deflection at a penalty corner.

The scores remained unchanged until deep in the second half, when Lorraine Campbell gave Buckingham hope with a 64th minute goal.

Buckingham needed to win by three clear goals and they went in desperate search of more, but Olton’s defence held firm and they did just enough to preserve their place in the Investec Premier Division.

Captain of Olton and West Warwickshire, Naomi James said: “It has been a long hard season and although we were disappointed in the outcome today we knew we had done the hard work in the first two games to keep us safe.

“It’s great to stay up in the Premier Division but hard luck to Buckingham who gave everything today. We just managed to keep them at bay and hold on to our place.

“It’s obviously disappointing that we didn’t go out with a win, but we will go away now and build on this for next year so we don’t end up back here again.

“The support from our fans has been amazing this weekend and we’re looking forward to celebrating with them.”

England Hockey Board Media release

KLHC are Champs, again

When the TNB Malaysian Hockey League got underway, many had written off defending champions KL Hockey Club, especially when they lost six national players to Terengganu HT.

But champions are made and not born, and with that in mind, manager George Koshy and coach K. Dharmaraj started building the team again and in that process made some intelligent signings, especially foreign players.

That was not all for even the youngsters turned out to be key players in their quest to retain the titles they had won. And today part of that journey for redemption was completed when KLHC defeated Maybank 4-2 to retain the TNBMHL league title at the USM Stadium in Penang.

What made it more impressive was the fact that KLHC has retained the league title with two matches to spare and for Koshy, this is the first step.

"It is always good to win and more importantly play well in the process. No doubt that we were written off but I guess that only spurred the players to play better and as a result we have the league title in the bag," said Koshy.

"But we are not about to take our foot off the pedal as we intend to keep the momentum going and play our best team in the remaining two matches. The knockout stage is a totally new ball game and we will take it one match at a time.

"It was a very competitive league and really it is always difficult to defend a title. I am proud of what the players have done but there is still unfinished business as so far as I am concerned."

Indeed the celebrations by the KLHC players were muted and Chua Boon Huat summed it up: " We have to forget the win and focus on defending the TNB Cup."

For Maybank coach Wallace Tan, the failure to land the league title was a disappointment but all is not lost.

"We have to try win the runner up spot and to do that we need to win the remaining matches. It was a good performance today but we failed to make use of the chances that we created," said Wallace.

KLHC took an early lead as Muhammad Imran converted a penalty corner in the 3rd minute. A brilliant reverse stick hit by Akhtar Ali in the 15th minute doubled KLHC's advantage.

But a deflection by Imran past his keeper Roslan Jamaluddin gave Maybank a lifeline in the 26h minute. And seconds before te halftime hooter, Shakeel Abbasi put Maybank on level terms.

KLHC were undeterred ad went 3-2 ahead through Muhammad Umar Bhutta in the 48th minute before Muhammad Najib Hassan made sure of the title with a goal in the 61st minute.

Official MHL site

TNB edge UniKL

Tenaga Nasional Berhad edged UniKL 1-0 to keep their hopes alive of finishing second in the Premier Division of the TNBMHL at the USM Stadium in Penang this evening.

The win puts TNB a point behind current second placed Maybank at 18 points with two league matches each to be played next weekend in Kuala Lumpur.

Despite the win it was hardly an impressive display from a team that fired blanks despite having the likes of Faisal Saari, Firhan ashaari and Amir Farid, in what is deemed as the best attacking forwardline in the MHL

It took a goal from seasoned campaigner Mohd Madzli Ikmar in the 47th minute to secure TNB the win and they must surely be worried with their poor display in the two matches up north as the were beaten 3-1 by Sapura on Friday.

UniKL can hold their heads high despite the defeat as they held their own against top notch players of their opponents are were never overwhelmed in a match where they could have collected at least a point had they been sharper.

"I guess it can be considered as a good performance despite losing. We had several chances but I suppose the players lack composure in the semi circle and this can only get better after gaining the necessary experience, said UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj.

"It is never easy playing TNB but the gap is getting closer and that is important as the players have started believing."

Official MHL site

KLHC nab league crown in style after taming Tigers


Party time: KLHC players celebrate after securing their third straight Malaysia Hockey League Premier Division title at the USM Stadium in Penang yesterday.

GEORGE TOWN: Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) lifted the Malaysia Hockey League’s Premier League crown with two matches to spare yesterday.

The defending champions snuffed out second-placed Maybank’s challenge with a 4-2 win at the USM Hockey Stadium to pick up the RM70,000 top prize.

KLHC have 28 points compared to Maybank’s 19 after 10 matches in the seven-team league.

Muhammad Imran gave KLHC a flying start by hitting home a penalty corner after only three minutes. Twelve minutes later, Akhtar Ali cracked home a reverse stick shot for a 2-0 lead.

KLHC, however, let their guard down and the Tigers stormed back with two goals in nine minutes.

KLHC’s Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor (left) in action against Maybank yesterday. — GARY CHEN/The Star

Muhammad Imran netted an own goal past goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin in the 26th minute and playmaker Shakeel Abassi made it 2-2 by hitting home a rebound.

Maybank came out strongly after the breather but poor finishing let them down.

Muhammad Umar Bhutta then made it 3-2 for KLHC in the 48th minute. And in the 61st minute, it was over for the Tigers when Muhammad Najib Hassan sounded the board.

KLHC team manager George Koshy was all smiles when the hooter sounded.

“We knew it would not be easy to beat Maybank.

“They had a tough and punishing match against Universiti Kuala Lumpur (Maybank drew 2-2) on Friday. It took the toll on them as they were visibly tired in the second half against us,” said Koshy.

In another match, third-placed Tenaga Nasional bounced back from Friday’s shock defeat to Sapura with a 1-0 win over Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) 1-0. Tenaga now trail Maybank by one point as they chase for the runners-up spot.

The Star of Malaysia

MHL may implement rule change for penalty corners during knockout stages

By S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) technical committee are mulling over a possible rule change for the knockout stage which starts on May 1.

The rule change involves the time taken by the teams when executing the penalty corner during a match. Currently, it is found that teams take more time than usual as the defenders have to put on additional safety gear each time a penalty corner is taken.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) recently came out with a 45-second limit ruling for a penalty corner to be executed by a team. It is already implemented at international level.

“We discussed the matter on Saturday. We need to consult the teams and explain the ruling to them before implementing it in the knockout stage,” said MHL technical committee chairman M. Gobinathan.

He added that introducing the ruling would be advantageous to the national players, especially when they compete in international tournaments.

“There are some plus points in going for this rule change. This rule will be implemented if the team officials agree to it,” he said.

Meanwhile, the draw for the knockout stage will be held on April 28.

The quarter-finals will be held from May 1-3 while the semi-finals will be staged from May 10-12. The final is on May 19.

The semi-finals and final will be held at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

The Star of Malaysia

Railways in quarterfinals of 3rd Hockey India Women Nationals

LUCKNOW: Jasjeet Kaur struck five gaols as star-studded Railways mauled Tamil Nadu 16-0 to enter the quarterfinals of the 3rd Hockey India Senior Women National Championship at Major Dhyan Chand Stadium on Sunday.

Besides Jasjeet, who scored in the 7th, 9th, 19th, 37th and 41st minutes, the other goal-getters in the Pool A match were Binita Xess (23rd, 44th, 51st), Th Ranjita (31st, 53rd), Joydeep Kaur (14th), Apoorva (30th), Jamila Bano (45th), Laurenua Kerketta (47th), Rosalind L Ralte (58th).

In the other match, Himachal Pradesh thrashed Tripura 12-0 in Pool G.

Goal scores for Himachal Pradesh were Nisha (10th, 13th, 44th), Sonia II (19th, 22nd, 69th), Pooja (23rd, 57th), Dimple (26th, 33rd), Sonia I (67th) and Ritu (31st).

In pool E, Andhra Pradesh got walkover from Arunachal Pradesh. In Pool C, Jharkhand defeated Goa 17-0.

The Times of India

James keeps Army hockeymen perfect

Nigel Simon

Nigel Providence, right, of Notre Dame steals the ball from Defence Force’s Jovan Woodward in their T&T Hockey Board Men’s Championship match at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua on Saturday. Defence Force won 2-1. Photo: Anthony Harris

Marcus James continued his rich vein of form by scoring with a minute left on the clock to lead Defence Force to a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Notre Dame in their T&T Hockey Board Men’s Championship Division clash at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua on Saturday night.

Following defending champions Petrotrin 5-3 win over Paradise at the Dwight Yorke Stadium, Training Field, Bacolet, earlier in the day, to share the lead, the “Teteron Stickmen”, who blanked Corona Fatima 6-0 in its opener followed by a 5-1 whipping of Paradise a week ago were eager to regain the outright lead.

However at the end of the first-half in an evenly matched contest with the Dames, they trailed to a 34th minute penalty from national player Shaquille Daniel, the son of national rifle shooter and Olympian Roger Daniel.

On the resumption, Defence Force led by Nicholas Wren took the match to the Dames and eventually drew level courtesy of an own-goal by national captain Darren Cowie and with a minute left in the match, James banged home a field goal to hand his team its third win from as many matches to lead with maximum nine points.

In the Women’s Championship Division, Daniella Martin’s 21st minute field goal was enough to hand Malvern a 1-0 win over bitter rival, Shandy Carib Magnolias.

The Malvernites who were hammered by table leaders Harvard Maritime Checkers 5-0 now join Magnolias on three points from two matches, but with an inferior goal-difference, and three points behind Checkers.

On Saturday over at Bacolet, Checkers won for a second straight match, 3-1 over Paradise with Mindy Charles, Brittney Hingh and an own goal accounting for their tally while Brandy Leith netted Paradise’s lone item.

Selected Results

Saturday April 14:

Men’s Championship:

Defence Force 5 (Marcus James 14th, 67th, Nicholas Wren 3rd, Mickell Pierre 48th, Brian Burrows 64th) vs Paradise 1 (Dwayne John 39th)

Trinity Men:

Paradise 3 (Desmond Arthur 13th, 37th, Jarel Thompson 31st) vs Defence Force 2 (Brian Burrows 8th, 24th)

Wednesday April 17:

Trinity Women:

Magnolias 2 (Gabby Permell 25th, Samantha Olton 53rd) vs Malvern 1 (Margaret Hinds 68th)

Thursday April 18:

Trinity Men:

Police 2 (Thomas Richards 56th, 62nd) vs Fatima 0

Friday April 19:

Mixed Veterans:

QPCC 5 (Richard Govia 3, Gary Griffith, Rob Wyatt) vs Police 0

Saturday April 20:

Under-19 Girls:

Paradise 1 (Kellese Graham) vs Checkers 1 (Marianna Mata)

Malvern 6 (Mia Mitchell 4th, 30th, 64th, Kaya Edwards 34th, 46th, Rachel Davis 53rd) vs Paragon 2 (Gabrielle Thompson 22nd, Genneil Pope 46th)

Trinity Women:

Paragon 1 (Therese Sobers 44th) vs Petrotrin 0

Men’s Championship:

Defence Force 2 (Darren Cowie o.g 47th, Marcus James 69th) vs Notre Dame 1 (Shaquille Daniel 34th pen)

Women’s Championship:

Malvern 1 (Daniella Martin 21st) vs Magnolias 0

The Trinidad Guardian

Cops skin Sharks to keep crown


Kenya Police hockey team players led by their captain Oliver Ombala (centre) savour their glory after winning the Vaisakhi tournament following their 1-0 victory over Green Sharks at Nairobi’s City Park Stadium on April 21, 2013. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kenya Police won their third pre-season tournament when they edged out Green Sharks 1-0 to retain the Vaisakhi hockey tournament title on Sunday at Nairobi’s City Park Stadium.

Telkom Orange also claimed a pre-season hat-trick, beating Vikings 1-0 in the women’s decisive match of the round-robin tournament.

Kenya Police lethal striker Moses Cheplaiti again stood out for the boys in blue, sneaking in the winner seven minutes into the second-half. Cheplaiti’s exploits saw the 2011 Kenya Hockey Union Premier League champions win the tournament three weeks after winning the KHU Super Eight crown.

Hat-trick man

Cheplaiti also scored a hat-trick as Police recovered from 0-2 down to floor reigning Premier League champions Nairobi Simba 3-2 in the Super Eight final. Police also won the inaugural Nairobi Hockey League title in February, with Cheplaiti and Oliver Ichenge each scoring in their 2-0 win over Wazalendo in the final.

On Saturday, Kenya Police stood firm against Nairobi Simba, beating them 2-0 to set up a scintillating final against Green Sharks, who floored Kenya College of Accountancy University 4-0 in the semi-finals. Felix Okoth and Samuel Wokila scored for Police in the semis while Leon Mogere, Kevin Simiyu, Felix Abdalla and Sammy Namoyo powered Green Sharks to the final.

It was a perfect warm-up for Police, who are seeking to recapture the Premier League title in the championships that get underway next weekend.

Jackline Mwangi Jow scored for Telkom in their victory against Vikings, which completed their clean run. They had previously handed Sliders and Strathmore identical 1-0 defeats, with Mwangi scoring both goals.

Daily Nation

Hockey 5s event takes place in Jaffna, Sri Lanka

The Jaffna District Hockey Association in Sri Lanka recently organised a tournament using the new Hockey 5s format, a version of the game which will be used at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

The competition in Jaffna featured six teams, with Yarl Star SC (B) finishing in first place ahead of second placed Old Golds SC and Yarl Star SC (A) who finished third. 

The Jaffna District Hockey Association regularly organises tournaments and coaching programmes, and are in the process of gaining support from the Government and the Sri Lanka Hockey Federation to help the development of the sport in the region.

The Hockey 5s format was recently trialled in the carnival atmosphere of the Hong Kong Easter Hockey 6s tournament and featured 25 current and former international players, including Australian superstar Jamie Dwyer, the five times FIH Player of the Year. 

Heavy rain resulted in the cancellation of one of the three scheduled match days in Hong Kong, but for the two days that were played, there was positive feedback from the organizers and full house of spectators. The games were played in three 10-minute periods on a smaller pitch which allowed for many goals to be on display.

The two games averaged more than 20 goals a game. With teams being allowed to score from anywhere on the pitch and high skill level of the players, it made for an exciting atmosphere. To read more about the Hockey 5s trial in Hong Kong, please click here.

FIH site

Dar Academy’s Largesse Knows No Limits

Ijaz Chaudhry

Dar family is easily the most glorious hockey family of Pakistan, figuring in each of the country’s three Olympic gold medal winning campaigns: Munir Dar (1960), his brother Tanvir Dar (1968), and Munir’s son Taqueer Dar (1984).

Disgusted with the steep decline of Pakistani hockey, the family decided to take the initiative. On Munir Dar’s suggestion, Taqueer Dar launched the Dar Hockey Academy in Lahore in 2006.

The Dar Hockey Academy picks the raw talent, not only from Lahore but also from other towns, and imparts training on modern lines.

The results are there to be seen. Since 2009, no Pakistani age group squad has left the shores of the country without a Dar HA Boy. The year 2012 saw not one but two academy players winning the full international caps.

To give the academy colts international exposure, Taqueer Dar, the president of the academy, has been arranging tours to leading European hockey nations since 2009. The Dar HA boys have thrice visited Holland, Germany and Belgium.  During these tours, the Dar HA won a number of friends, not only with their superb play but also with their wonderful behaviour.

During all these years, Taqueer Dar had been exhorting the hosts to visit Pakistan. Last December, a star studded Flying Dutch Veterans’ side was in Lahore.  The team had five former internationals plus two junior internationals. Apart from playing highly attended matches against the Dar academy, Aitchison College and Punjab Veterans, the Dutch veterans did a lot of sightseeing in the historic city of Lahore.                                                           

The reciprocal friendship has many facets.

The Dutch hockey friends have sent a shipment to Pakistan carrying a lot of hockey gifts. These include more than 600 quality hockey sticks of distinguished brands such as Dita and Grays, about 1200 gripper shoes for playing on the synthetic turfs, 25 goal keeper kits, among others.

All these items have been given free of cost by the manufacturers for the betterment of Pakistan hockey.

The Dar HA not only distributed the equipment among its own colts but many other hockey academies/clubs have also been among the recipients. The beneficiaries were not only from Lahore or the Punjab province, but the towns in other provinces of Pakistan also had a share in the hockey gifts from Holland.

These included important hockey centres of the Punjab like Vehari, Sheikhupura,Sargodha and Faisalabad. Outside the Punjab, Bannu, the biggest hockey nursery of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Larkana in Sind have been given the hockey equipment.

Over the last few years, the Pakistan Hockey Federation has obtained grants, from both the federal and provincial governments, worth hundreds of millions in rupees. Yet, it was the Dar HA who donated the much needed equipment to PHF’s own academy in Shahdara, in Lahore’s periphery.                                                    

Even one of Pakistan’s national teams has been the beneficiary of Dar HA’s largesse. Pakistan team recently won the under 16 Asia Cup in Singapore. One of the net minders of that side had been given the goal keeping kit by the Dar HA before the team left for the under 16 Asia Cup.                                               

As Taqueer Dar has often stated, “We are striving not for the glory of Dar HA but for the revival of Pakistan hockey”.

Ijaz Chaudhry writes on hockey and other sports. For more about him and his work, visit exclusive