News for 29 April 2013

All the news for Monday 29 April 2013

Nanscawen reaches 100 caps, McMahon nets 1st goal

Hockeyroos go down 3-1 to Korea in Perth

In a match that saw Victorian Georgia Nanscawen become the youngest woman to reach 100 international appearances for the Australia, Karri McMahon’s (SA) first international for Australia was not enough to see the Hockeyroos over the line on Sunday as they went down 3-1 to Korea in Perth.

An enterprising start saw the Hockeyroos create three good opportunities to take the lead inside the opening ten minutes but it was the visitors that broke the deadlock after quarter of an hour through Cheon Seul Ki from a penalty corner. Five minutes later the Koreans were two up through Park Mi Hyun; the captain grabbing her third of the series from close range after Toni Cronk’s initial save.

McMahon’s goal from a 23rd minute penalty corner flew into the net via the pads of the goalkeeper to half the deficit and things might have been very different had Anna Flanagan’s drag flick not cannoned back off the top of the post two minutes later.

Instead, it was Korea who found the back of the net shortly after half time through Cheon’s second of the game; a high penalty corner flick into the top right corner.

Head Coach Adam Commens said afterwards, “This has been a really worthwhile series. We’ve learnt a lot about our team and our players. We will need to be more consistent if we want to climb up the world rankings over the coming months in the lead up to the World League.”

Of the match, Commens added: “We created more than enough chances in the first 15 minutes but Korea is the type of team that you can’t afford to get behind. We showed yesterday we have the ability to score goals but today we struggled. We’re looking for more consistency up front and some more leadership and authority in defence, although we’re still missing Jodie Schultz, Jayde Taylor and Kobie McGurk from our London 2012 Olympic defence.”

Jade Close had Australia’s first sight of goal in the opening minutes but her effort was deflected to safety. Moments later the ball hit the back of the Korean goal but with no touch inside the circle the match remained 0-0. Karri McMahon then saw her first penalty corner effort blocked only for Close to send a tomahawk shot wide of the far post.

At the other end, Toni Cronk pulled off an important block from Cheon Seul Ki but the forward was not to be denied a minute later when she flicked low across goal from Korea’s second penalty corner. Park doubled the lead in the 20th minute before McMahon stepped up to fire home her first senior international goal. Madonna Blyth and Flanagan, with her effort against the post, also came close to equalising before the break.

Despite conceding the third goal Australia looked in control for much of the second half but with the Korean defence sitting deep, clear cut chances were limited to a couple of shots well saved. Flanagan saw another flick saved by the Korean substitute goalkeeper Jung Hea Bin, who tipped the ball over the bar with her stick, while Kellie White’s shot on the turn was kicked to safety.

Acclaiming Georgia Nanscawen’s remarkable journey to 100 caps, Commens added: “It’s an outstanding effort. She’s an incredible talent who continues to grow. She was one of our best players throughout the series, very consistent in these four games. She gave us a real target to aim for up front.”

Nanscawen made her debut aged 17 against South Africa on 28 May 2009. At 20 years and 336 days old she became the youngest Hockeyroos player to reach the 100 match milestone. The previous youngest 100-cap Hockeyroo was Karen Smith, who reached the century in 2000 aged 21.

Karri McMahon 23 (PC)
KOREA 3 (2)
Cheon Seul Ki 15,40 (PC,PC)
Park Mi Hyun 20 (F)

Hockey Australia media release

Five to debut for Kookaburras against Korea

Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth will hand five players their senior international debuts this week when Australia’s men’s hockey team welcome Korea to Perth Hockey Stadium.  Jeremy Edwards (TAS), Tyler Lovell (WA), Andrew Philpott (VIC), Tom Wickham (SA) and Matthew Willis (NSW) will all make the step up during the four match series.

Beginning on Friday evening, the matches represent the Kookaburras’ first competitive action since returning from Malaysia in March with a record seventh Sultan Azlan Shah title.

Naming a group of 27 athletes, Charlesworth explained: “The games against Korea represent a selection trial ahead of our trip to Europe for the World League competition in June. The series presents us with a good opportunity to increase the depth of our squad as we look further ahead to the Oceania Cup, the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the World Cup and beyond.

“All five of our debutants have been selected because they have shown good form in training and for their clubs over the past month.”

For Edwards, Philpott and Lovell in particular the call-ups represent a rapid progression to the senior side. Excellent performances in the Australian Hockey League last year earned Edwards and Philpott their places in the Kookaburras development program while Lovell, who has never played junior international hockey, impressed in the uncapped International Super Series in Perth in November 2012.

Tom Wickham and Matthew Willis have both played for Australia A previously as AIS scholarship holders but missed out on selection to the Kookaburras’ senior Olympic training squad in 2011. 

Of the squad that won the Azlan Shah Cup, 15 members will play in the Korean series, including three who debuted in Malaysia: Daniel Beale (QLD), Josh Miller (NSW) and Dan Mirecki (VIC).

The Kookaburras are missing seven regulars with European club commitments but welcome back some of their more experienced names in Jamie Dwyer, Liam De Young, Glenn Turner, Kiel Brown, Russell Ford and Jason Wilson. For triple Olympic medal winner De Young the series represents a return to international hockey for the first time since helping Australia to a bronze medal playoff victory over Great Britain at London 2012. Tristan Clemons (WA) returns to the senior side for the first time since October 2011.

The Kookaburras and Korea drew 3-3 on their previous encounter and Charlesworth expects a tough assignment in Perth, adding: “Korea are a very good team. They were our most difficult opposition in the Azlan Shah tournament.”

Ranked eighth in the world, Korea are coached by former Germany and Malaysia coach Paul Lissek, who spent time as a consultant to the Kookaburras prior to and during the 2012 Olympic Games.

All four matches between the Kookaburras and Korea will be streamed live on the Hockey Australia website at

Kookaburras v Korea Fixtures, 3-9 May, Perth Hockey Stadium
Game 1 Kookaburras v Korea – Friday 3rd May 2013 – 7:00pm WST
Game 2 Kookaburras v Korea – Sunday 5th May 2013 – 4:00pm WST
Game 3 Kookaburras v Korea – Tuesday 7th May 2013 – 5:30pm WST
Game 4 Kookaburras v Korea – Thursday 9th May 2013 – 5:30pm WST

Kookaburras Squad v Korea, 3-9 May
(Listed alphabetically by surname)

Athlete (Hometown) Caps/Goals
Chris Bausor (Perth, WA) 10/0
George Bazeley (Melbourne, VIC) 62/0
Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD) 5/1
Kiel Brown (Toowoomba, QLD) 125/3
Nick Budgeon (Launceston, TAS) 6/2
Joel Carroll (Darwin, NT) 79/2
Andrew Charter (Canberra, ACT) 38/0
Tristan Clemons (Bunbury, WA) 2/0
Liam De Young (Brisbane, QLD) 284/33
Tim Deavin (Launceston, TAS) 64/3
Jamie Dwyer (Rockhampton, QLD) 291/185
Jeremy Edwards (Hobart, TAS) 0/0
Russell Ford (Eltham, VIC) 120/45
Matt Gohdes (Rockhampton, QLD) 67/20
Rob Hammond (Townsville, QLD) 221/26
Tyler Lovell (Perth, WA) 0/0
Josh Miller (Goulburn, NSW) 6/2
Dan Mirecki (Melbourne, VIC) 6/1
Trent Mitton (Perth, WA) 36/9
Andrew Philpott (Melbourne, VIC) 0/0
Glenn Simpson (Melbourne, VIC) 81/14
Glenn Turner (Goulburn, NSW) 87/65
Jacob Whetton (Brisbane, QLD) 28/9
Tom Wickham (Adelaide, SA) 0/0
Matthew Willis (Tamworth, NSW) 0/0
Jason Wilson (Kingscliff, QLD) 82/26
Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA) 7/1

Hockey Australia media release

2013 Trans Tasman Masters Challenge

North Harbour Hockey Centre , Auckland May 8th - 12th.


In 1997, recognising the need for an International competition for Australian Women’s Veterans teams, Jeanette Slade OAM and Caroline Wood representing the then Women’s Hockey Australia Association, were instrumental in negotiations with New Zealand in establishing an event between the 2 countries.

The Trans Tasman Masters Challenge was established as a bi-annual 3 test series and began in May 2000. The first event was held in Auckland at North Harbour with 6 teams, consisting of a Women’s team from each Nation competing in 35’s, 40’s and 45’s age groups.

In Brisbane 2002 the event expanded to 12 teams with the inclusion of 50’s Women and 45’s and 55’s Men’s age groups. In 2004 the Challenge continued with 12 teams competing in Wellington NZ. In 2006 in Hobart there was further expansion to 16 teams with the inclusion of a Men’s 40’s and 50’s division. In 2008 in Hamilton NZ the competition remained with 16 teams across the 8 age divisions and in 2010 in Newcastle a Women’s 55’s division was included with a total of 18 teams contesting the event.

After the 2010 challenge in Newcastle the scheduling of the event was changed to the “odd year” sequence to avoid clashes with potential IMHA tournaments. In 2013 we return to North Harbour, Auckland with the inclusion of a Men’s 60’s division totally 20 teams into the challenge. The Women’s 60’s age group will play an Invitational tri-series that will run in conjunction with the Trans Tasman event. The same rules will apply however results will not be included in the overall country championship. Inclusion of the 60’s women in the 2015 or future challenges will be considered by the Masters Councils of both nations.

Previous Results

2010 - Newcastle, Australia  
Women     Winners          Men         Winners
35’s         New Zealand       
40’s         Australia         40’s         Australia
45’s         New Zealand    45’s        Australia
50’s         Australia         50’s         New Zealand
55’s         Australia         55’s         Australia
Overall Championship Winner - Australia

2008 - Hamilton, NZ   
Women      Winners       Men      Winners
35’s        Australia
40’s      New Zealand    40’s       Australia
45’s      New Zealand    45’s       Australia
50’s        Australia        50’s      New Zealand
55’s        Australia
Overall Championship Winner - Australia   

Hockey Australia media release

Scots lose out to England in warm-up games

Scotland Men continued their preparations for the FIH World League Round 2 in Paris with two warm-up matches against England at Lillieshall this weekend.

The Scots lost out 5-1 yesterday, with Wei Adams getting the goal for the national side, while they went down 6-2 to their English today. Kelburne's Alan Forsyth and Grove Menzieshill's Gavin Byers were the Scottish scorers.

Scotland Team Manager Eugene Connolly said, "The players competed for long periods of the games against England and these matches were excellent preparations for the FIH World League in Paris starting a week on Monday."

Scottish Hockey Union media release

CALA Edinburgh & Watsonians win U16 National League Play-Offs

CALA Edinburgh and Watsonians were the winners of the U16 National League Play-Off Finals at Peffermill yesterday.

CALA Edinburgh defeated Watsonians 2-1 in the Girls final, while Watsonians ran out 4-1 winners against Grange in the Boys final.

Watsonians faced Inverleith in the first of the U16 Girls semi-finals. Joanna Prentice gave her side the lead in the 11th minute before two goals from Ellis Smith in the 35th and 45th minute sealed Watsonians’ place in the final.

In the second semi-final, CALA Edinburgh fell behind to Clydesdale Western following an Alice Sherwood goal in the 9th minute.

However, the capital outfit were soon level in the 15th minute through Hanna McKie. Amy Costello gave CALA Edinburgh the lead at 2-1 in the 40th minute before Rebecca Jones made the game safe at 3-1 six minutes later.

The final between Watsonians and CALA Edinburgh was a close contest; Constance Lathe opened the scoring for CALA in the 8th minute but Prentice equalised for Watsonians shortly before half-time to make it 1-1 in the 26th minute.

A tight second half ensued with defences repelling attacks from both sides but it was CALA Edinburgh who sealed a narrow 2-1 victory after a Claire Hilton winning goal in the 54th minute.

CALA Edinburgh U16 Girls

Meanwhile, in the U16 Boys semi-finals, Watsonians advanced to the final courtesy of a 4-0 win over local rivals Inverleith. Sean Horgan grabbed two goals either side of strikes from Ben King and Royce Miller.

Grange cruised through their semi-final against Clydesdale with a 10-1 victory over the Glasgow side. A hat-trick from Hamish Kelman, doubles for Jamie Hogarth and Blair Fraser, plus goals for Alex Egerton-King, Sam Galloway and Cameron Devine wrapped up a comfortable win. Chris McFadden got Clydesdale’s consolation.

In the final, Watsonians opened the scoring against Grange in the 15th minute through Horgan, before Alex Boyd doubled their advantage in the 32nd minute.

Grange pulled one back through Jack Hogarth six minutes later to make it 2-1, but a strike from Rob Speirs in the 53rd minute and a second goal for Horgan in the 56th minute  to make the final scoreline read 4-1 gave Watsonians the silverware.

Watsonians U16 Boys

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Cookstown and Lisnagarvey scrape into Irish Hockey League semi-finals

Pembroke and YMCA make big efforts but just fall short

Stephen Findlater

Alan Sothern: hat-trick for Pembroke

Despite Pembroke and YMCA’s best efforts, Cookstown and Lisnagarvey scraped through to the semi-finals of the Irish Hockey League despite losing 3-2 respectively on Saturday in the last round of group matches.

In both cases, the losing bonus point garnered by the Ulster sides was enough to edge out their Leinster rivals who needed to run up big wins to have any hope of advancing.

YM were the ones to come closest to their target, giving Garvey a huge fright when they went 3-2 up with nine minutes to go with Stephen Parker and Jamie Tobin swapping the lead into their favour after Steven Arbuthnot and Stuart McNeice had given the northern side the balance of power.

It gave them a glimmer of hope of getting the three-goal win they required and they threw everything at it, swapping out their goalkeeper Iain Walker for an extra outfielder.

But no further goals came while Lisnagarvey almost killed off the tie when James Lorimer’s drag-flick against an unpadded goalkeeper was deflected onto the crossbar.

It meant they joined Banbridge as the side to progress from Pool B and they go on to meet Monkstown in the semi-finals.

Banbridge eased to top spot in the pool with a fifth straight win, seeing off Glenanne 2-1 in a low-key affair while Railway Union landed a 4-2 win in Cork against C of I, setting themselves up nicely for tomorrow’s Neville Cup final against Pembroke.

In Pool A, Monkstown dropped points for the first time in the competition when William Edgar and Andy Williamson struck in the second half for Annadale to earn a 2-2 draw.

Pembroke, meanwhile, were set the target of winning by five in Cookstown’s newly renamed Steelweld Park and they had a glimmer of hope when Alan Sothern scored twice in the first half to see them go 2-1 up at half-time.

But they were pegged back when Jon Ames volleyed in a shoulder-high effort and while Sothern completed his hat-trick – bringing his season’s tally to 54 – Cookstown took second spot.

The Irish Times

Big scores on day one of SA U21 men's and women's IPTs

Sunday saw some lopsided results on day one of the South African U21 Men’s and Women’s Interprovincial Hockey Tournaments at Tuks in Pretoria and Queensmead in Durban respectively.


Kaspersky Southerns (Gauteng) (3) 5 (Georgina Crisp, Lanne Rossouw, Claudette Nepgen, Catherine Morris, Kerry Trebble) Namibia (1) 2 (Dunell van Taak, Marcia Venter)

Northern Blues (1) 4 (Jacinta Jubb 3, Lilian du Plessis) Free State (0) 2 (Izelle Lategan, Shevaun Botha)

North West (7) 17 (Tiffanie Jones 5, Sinalo Jafte, Schani Moore 2, Amore de Wet, Mariska Fourie 2, Lenthea Kamffer 2, Jessica de Bruyn-Smith, Own Goal, Stephanie Baxter, Carissa Vorster) Eastern Gauteng 0

Western Province (6) 12 (Quanita Bobbs 2, Tarryn Glasby 3, Toni McCann 3, Jenead Brodell 2, Taryn Mallett, Catherine Winter) Kaspersky Wits (Witwatersrand) 0

KZN Inland (2) 4 (Vicki Jonker 2, Confidence Mashau, Caitlyn Seegers) WP Peninsula (2) 3 (Ashleigh Ratcliffe, Rhoni Gericke, Ruby Liebetrau)

Eastern Province (2) 2 (Tristian Schroder, Demi Harmse) KZN Coastal Raiders (0) 1 (Stacey Hiron)


KZN Coastal Raiders (5) 9 (Ross Hetem 3, Andrew Manson 4, Richard Pentecost, Dayne Naidoo) Eastern Gauteng 0

Kaspersky Southerns (Gauteng) (3) 5 (William van de Velde, Lloyd Nicholson 2, Gerald Mpopo, James du Plessis) North West (2) 3 (Esek Mbekeni, Ruan de Jong, De Wet Coetzen)

Western Province (0) 3 (Marc Fourie 2, Jaco Olivier) Eastern Province (1) 2 (Jason Bigara, Kyle Dean-Davidson)

KZN Inland (5) 11 (Mzamo Cele 2, Zamo Ngubo, Damian Kimfley 3, Philip Smerdon 3, James Gearing, Dumi Mncwango) Namibia (0) 1 (Baggio Karigub)

Free State (2) 4 (Shelton Mollentze, Nic Wanliss, Dylan Swanepoel, Petrus Erasmus) WP Peninsula (1) 4 (Michael Daly, Chad Conlon, Frank Slabbert, PJ Wentzel)

Northern Blues (7) 14 (Grant Glutz 7, Emile Odendaal, Keegon Nicol, Ross Gonsalves, Andrew Buckley 2, Stephen Cant 2, ) Kaspersky Wits (Witwatersrand) 0

SA Hockey Association media release

Railways and Jharkhand cruise through

Lalremruati scores for Punjab in the only competitive match of the day

Uthra Ganesan

Commendable effort: Haryana expectedly beat SAI (left) espite a valiant fightback from in the second half. Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

The quarterfinals of the National women’s hockey championship played out on expected lines here on Sunday.

Three of the four teams reaching the semifinals — Railways, Jharkhand and Haryana — won their games by comfortable margins.

The fourth team, Punjab, was lucky to advance, getting past a fighting Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy (MPHA) 2-1 at the Guru Govind Singh Sports College.

In the process, Punjab also avenged its loss to MPHA last year, in a penalty shootout, at the same stage.

In the semifinals, Railways will clash with Jharkhand while Haryana will play Punjab. The final may well end up being a repeat of 2012, when Railways beat Haryana for the title. On form, though, Jharkhand is capable of causing an upset and Railways would do well to be cautious.

The only competitive game of the day was Punjab vs MPHA, and the teams looked set for an encore before Lalremruati scored her and the team’s second goal in the dying minutes of the game. Till then, Punjab had looked a team in disarray, unable to find the target upfront.

The fact that Punjab missed at least four open chances to score, messed up an equal number of penalty corners and even wasted a penalty stroke — and still came out victorious — may make it look like it was the dominant team, but the teams were evenly matched on the ground.

The MPHA girls played an intelligent game. Preeti scored the opening goal for MPHA, minutes after Punjab’s Monika had hit a penalty stroke wide. With Reena Khokhar and Reena Katariya combining well to create several chances upfront, the MPHA girls were accurate with their short passes but could not break through the Punjab defence.

Earlier, Jharkhand muscled past Karnataka — impressive in the league stages for its energetic game, but strangely lethargic on the day — 7-1 while Haryana managed to beat Sports Authority of India 4-1 despite a valiant fightback from SAI in the second half.

The first match of the day saw star-studded Railways predictably thrash Uttar Pradesh 6-1. Jasjeet Kaur got two goals.

The results (quarterfinals):

Railways 6 (Jasjeet Kaur 2, Amandeep Kaur, Roselin Dung Dung, Laurenua Kerketta, Binita Xess) bt UP 1 (Pratibha Chaudhary).

Haryana 4 (Jyoti Sharma, Narinder, Monika Dahiya, Bharti) bt SAI 1 (Binita Kindo).

Jharkhand 7 (Sarita Lakra 2, Shilwanti Minjur 2, Ebha Kerketta, Mukta Mundu, Nisha Rani Aind) bt Karnataka 1 (Chaitra KC).

Punjab 2 (Lalremruati 2) bt MPHA 1 (Preeti).

The Hindu

Maybank take runner up spot

Maybank lifted their game at the right time to inflict a 4-2 defeat over Sapura that gave them the vital three points to snatch the TNBMHL Premier Division runner up spot at the National Hockey Stadium.

The win by the Tigers renders the match between Tenaga Nasional Berhand against Terengganu HT of academic interest and the bankers move into the semi finals by virtue of finishing second

It was a tremendous achievement by Maybank given the fact that the last time they achieved success by winning was in 1994 when they won the league and overall titles while in 1995 Maybank were the league champions.

They were however league runner-up in 1999, a good 14 years ago.

But victory was not easy to come by for Maybank as they trailed to a Dangerous Lee goal in the 8th minute before drawing level through a penalty corner converted by Muhammad Irfan in the 18th minute.

Maybank then took the lead in the 41st minute with Shakeel Abbasi getting his name on the scoring charts only for Sapura to draw level with Mohd Razali Mohd Zulkifli scoring five minutes later.

But Maybank were not to be denied as two goals through Muhammad Waqas ( 57th minute) and Shakeel (69th minute) ensured them of a podium finish after a hiatus of 18 years.

"It is definitely a great sense of achievement but we have no time to think of it as the knock-out competition starts in ten days time for us," said maybank team manager Abdul Rahim Musa.

"We aim to make the finals and as such we need to keep our focus on the challenges ahead. I am proud of the achievement of the team and I must credit the coaches and players for their hard work."

Meanwhile the young UniKL side defeated Nur Insafi Warriors 4-2 and more importantly Mohd Noor Faeez Ibrahim notched up two goals to take his personal tally to 13 goals in the MHL, tying the top spot with Khasif Ali of Sapura.

Faeez opened scoring for UniKL in the 9th minute through a penalty corner before Mohd Fitri Ismail doubled the score in the 19th minute. A penalty stroke converted by Faeez in the 57th minute gave UniKL a comfortable 3-0 lead.

But their game went to shambles as Nur Insafi pulled two goals back through brothers Nur Mushawir and Nur Hrikesa in the 59th and 65th minutes respectively.

Taufik Abdul Hamid made sure of the three points in the 68th minute.

In the final match of the day, TNB defeated Terengganu HT 4-3 to finish third in the standings while Terengganu finished fifth.

TNB shot into the lead in the 2nd minute through Mohd Shahril Saabah before Mohd Amin Rahim converted a penalty corner in the 10th minute to double their advantage.

However Terengganu reduced the deficit in the 15th minute by Azlan Misron. Fitri saari then converted their eight penalty corner in the 48th minute to make it 2-2.

TNB awoke from their slumber to slot in two quick goals, through Azammi Abadi ( 49th minute) and Norhizzat Sumantri ( 51st minute) to lead 4-2.

Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tg Jalil reduced the deficit for Terengganu in the 62nd minute.

Official MHL site

Maybank finish second

PREMIER DIVISION: Make amends for Friday's loss by beating Sapura


KLHC celebrate their success as champions.

MAYBANK bounced back from their 4-3 defeat to Terengganu on Friday to beat Sapura 4-2 in their final league match this season and secure the runners-up position in the Malaysian Hockey League Premier Division at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

Sapura were first to get on the scoresheet through Dangerous Lee in the eighth minute but Maybank put themselves on even terms with a Muhammad Irfan penalty corner 10 minutes later.

The Tigers then took the lead in the second-half through Shakeel Abassi in the 41st minute only for Sapura to level through Mohd Razali Mohd Zulkifli just five minutes later.

Maybank, however, put the match out of Sapura's reach when Muhammad Waqas and Shakeel both found the back of the net in the 57th and 69th minutes.

Maybank manager Abdul Rahim Musa said he was happy that the team managed to clinch the runners-up position in the league, which gives them the privilege of going straight into the semi-finals of the TNB Cup which starts later this week.

"I am quite happy with the performance today (yesterday) as we showed a lot of improvement compared to the game against Terengganu," said Abdul Rahim.

"The boys played exactly to instructions and also managed to fix the defensive mistakes we made in our last game.

"It is definitely a great sense of achievement (to finish second) but we have no time to think of it as the knock-out competition starts in 10 days time for us."

Maybank received RM50,000 for their second-place finish in the league. Champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club took home RM70,000 while third-placed Tenaga Nasional took RM40,000 for their effort.

Meanwhile in other matches yesterday, Tenaga Nasional, who needed Maybank to drop points against Sapura, had to settle for third despite winning 4-3 against Terengganu while UniKL clinched a 4-2 win over Nur Insafi.

New Straits Times

Maybank whip Sapura in final league match


The KL Hockey Club players and officials celebrate after the prize giving ceremony in Bukit Jalil yesterday. — SHAARI CHE MAT / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Maybank came good in their last match to finish runners-up in the Premier Division and earned a bye in the quarter-finals of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

In a match they needed to collect full points, the Tigers defeated Sapura 4-2 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

It was the Pakistani brigade that made the difference for the Tigers. Shakeel Abassi scored a brace while Mohamed Irfan and Mohamed Waqas contributed the other two goals. Sapura scored through Engku Abdul Malek and Mohamed Redza Maadun.

Maybank will now move straight into the semi-finals for the overall title along with champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club.

KLHC, who were crowned champions last weekend, received their league trophy yesterday and the RM70,000 prize money. The Tigers collected RM50,000 while third-placed Tenaga Nasional received RM40,000.

The other four finishers in the Premier Division will play in the two-leg quarter-finals, which will be held on Wednesday and Friday.

In the draw made after the last preliminary round match yesterday, Tenaga were placed in the bottom half with Maybank while Sapura were in the top half with KLHC.

In the quarter-finals, Tenaga will play Terengganu while Sapura will clash with Universiti Kuala Lumpur.

Coach Wallace Tan was glad to see Maybank secure a bye in the quarter-finals.

“It was a tough outing. I’m happy with the runners-up spot. That is long overdue.

“The last time we finished in the top two was in 1995. That is almost an 18-year wait.

“In 1999, we finished second but that was for the overall title.

“This is a breakthrough for us and we must look forward to the next round now,” said Wallace.

In Division One, champions UiTM and TNB Thunderbolt were the teams given a bye in the quarter-finals.

In the last eight match-ups, Sunday 2030 are drawn to meet SSTMI while Uniten-KPT will meet MBI.

The Star of Malaysia

Ground closure delays Fijian hockey season start

Zanzeer Singh

THE closure of the hockey ground in Nadovu has forced the Lautoka Hockey Association to delay the start of its season.

Lautoka hockey president Ernest Coffin said they were supposed to begin the club games this month.

He said the delay should not affect their schedule.

"It is good to see the ground undergoing maintenance. It is no sense playing on a surface which is not suitable. We are grateful to the Lautoka City Council for closing the ground to carry out maintenance work.

"It has been closed for three weeks. I believe it should be ready in a couple of weeks. There is a possibility of hosting the Fiji Games hockey matches in Lautoka. It will be a big boost if we could get the event here. We will be looking at staging weekly tournaments and will be inviting teams from Nadi and Ba."

The Fiji Times