News for 14 July 2013

All the news for Sunday 14 July 2013

Grassick winner extends Scotland's winning run

Chris Grassick

Scotland Senior Men made it seven wins in a row this afternoon with a 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic in Prague. Kenny Bain and Chris Grassick were the goalscorers for Derek Forsyth's side.

Scotland Team Manager Eugene Connolly reflected on the win following the match, “The players and management team are very happy and satisfied with another win. We’ve won two out of two against a team who are ranked higher than us and will be competing in the European Championship next month.

“It’s now seven wins on the bounce so everyone in the camp is in good spirits. We’re particularly pleased with the players who have come into the squad and done very well. Derek [Forsyth] is delighted with the guys’ performances.”

Scottish marksman Kenny Bain scored his fourth goal in two games when his reverse stick shot opened the scoring for the visitors in the 13th minute.

Kenny Bain

The Scots took the narrow 1-0 advantage into the half-time interval, but it was the Czechs who struck back after the break, netting a rebound just in front of goal to make the scoreline 1-1 in the 42nd minute.

However, Scotland didn’t have to wait long to regain the ascendency when Chris Grassick finished off a penalty corner set-play in the 52nd minute to give the national side a 2-1 win.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Hill penalty stroke secures promotion for Scotland U18 Girls

Scotland U18 Girls have reached the final of the EuroHockey U18 Championship II after a hard-fought 3-2 win over Ukraine in Santander today and they will now face hosts Spain to contest the gold medal.

Claire Hill hit the winning goal from the penalty spot ten minutes from full-time to ensure that Head Coach Colin Clarke’s side will be guaranteed promotion to the EuroHockey U18 Championship two years from now regardless of the outcome in tomorrow’s finale.

The Scots fought back from being behind twice in the match with equalising goals coming from Waverley Miller and Emily Newlands to cancel out strikes from Ukrainian goalscorers Ohla Kurovska and Olha Hocharenko respectively.

Following his side’s victory, Scotland U18 Girls Head Coach Colin Clarke said, “The players showed grit and determination to overcome Ukraine, who defended resolutely, ensuring we secured promotion to the EuroHockey U18 Championship division.

“The girls know themselves they can perform better, as we did not meet our line objectives. However the squad came together and never gave up. This is an attribute they should be proud of.”

Captain Maisie Morris added, "Today was a tough match but our performance improved as the game went on. We pushed for goals and finally we got our reward late in the second half.

“The squad knows that we didn't perform to the best of our ability, however we have a chance tomorrow to go out and finish the programme on a high with a good performance against Spain."

Please visit the EuroHockey website for more information, including fixtures, results and pool standings.

Scotland U18 Girls: Megan Inch, Waverley Miller, Emily Newlands, Susan Graham, Katie Hibbert, Kerry-Anne Hastings, Alison Eadie, Maisie Morris, Laura Page, Kirsten Peters, Jennifer Mathieson, Jennifer Eadie, Jessica Ross, Camilla Brown, Claire Hill, Fiona Burnet, Emma McGregor, Rowan Sinclair.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Ireland U18s see off Poland to secure promotion

Graham Shaw's Ireland U18 Boys secured promotion back to the European A Division with a comfortable 4-0 win over hosts Poland in Gasawa today. Two goals in either half saw Ireland dispatch of their rivals with Harry Morris, Alex Burns, Michael Robson & Simon Wolfe all on target.

Ireland finish off the tournament vs Russia tomorrow and will look to secure a win to finish off a successful week.

Everyone at Irish Hockey wishes the squad all the bets for the final game and congratulates them on securing promotion with one game still to play.


14th July 2013 Ireland vs Russia, 12.30pm

Live streaming of both games will be available by clicking here

Irish Hockey Association media release

Up-Tuks upstage fancied Wanderers Jockeys at Elite Clubs in Durban

JONATHAN COOK at Riverside

The Riverside Elite Clubs Challenge kicked up a notch at a busy Riverside Saturday night.

A hurting UP-Tuks, who had lost 5-2 to Riverside on Friday night, were up against a buoyant Wanderers Jockeys, who had accounted for WPCC Badgers 3-2, but it was a case of marching to Pretoria as the university lads upset the fancied Johannesburg club 3-2.

After early cut and thrust, Wanderers won a penalty corner in the seventh minute but keeper Estiaan Kriek saved from Jet Eustice.

In the 15th Tuks introduced a move down the left with Tim Guise-Brown prominent before Stephen Cant came close to opening the scoring.

The pace of the game increased, if that was possible, as both sides sought to break the deadlock, and Tuks earned a great chance in the 22nd minute through the first penalty corner of the match, which Emile Odendaal sent soaring into the roof of the net (1-0).

Wanderers pushed hard for the equaliser before half-time and with five minutes left the in-form Migs da Graca was instrumental in winning a PC, but the opportunity was lost. A minute later (31st) James du Plessis scored a superb goal with a snap-shot from the edge of the strike zone executed at lightning-quick speed (1-1).

The game threatened to boil over as rivalries flared, umpires Ant Topham and Warren Love having their hands full, but the score remained unchanged at the break.

Two minutes after the changeover (37th) the match broke wide open when the talented and underrated Richard Pautz was given time and space to smash the ball into the far side-netting for 2-1.

A stunned Wanderers Jockeys hit back to earn a PC but it brought no reward. The Jockeys survived some more tense moments and continued to work had to draw the scores level, but once again it was a fired-up Tuks that unleashed the next shot in serious anger – Guise-Brown bringing out a great save from SA U21 star Richard Curtis in goal for the Jockeys.

Then with 10 minutes left Tuks won a further PC but the low flick went low and wide of the near post. It did not stop them and the on-song Pautz finished in style for a 3-1 lead with eight minutes to go.

A Eustice pass through the crowded circle was deflected past the far post by Mike Heyink but the Jockeys kept charging hard and a PC with five left was brilliantly saved thanks to the stunning reflexes of Tuks keeper Kriek.

In the 67th Frankie Pretorius unleashed a 50-metre diagonal aerial to Odendaal on the right wing and the big man was very unlucky not to add to Tuks’ score after a delicate incision along the baseline.

Ricky West converted a Jockeys PC on full-time but the 3-2 final score to Tuks was a fantastic riposte to the disappointment of Friday night and leaves Wanderers with a tough 11 am date with Riverside Sunday, while the Pretoria lads will meet WPCC Badgers at 9 am.

SA Hockey Association media release

Riverside ride the wave but Badgers up for the challenge

JONATHAN COOK at Riverside

The key Riverside Elite Clubs Challenge match between Western Province Cricket Club Badgers and Riverside at a buzzing Riverside Sports in Durban North Saturday night saw fast and furious action in both strike zones from the outset.

The determined Badgers were going all-out to right the wrongs of Friday night’s 3-2 defeat by Wanderers while a win for Riverside – who beat UP-Tuks 5-2 Friday -would put them in the pound seats on the final day as the race for the R5 000 first prize reached its climax.

Host club skipper Mike Botha’s backhand was saved by Badgers keeper Mark Turner after seven minutes and midway through the first half (17th minute) Devon Stanton broke the deadlock to put the Badgers 1-0 up with a sizzling penalty corner drag flick into the bottom-right corner.

It looked like the pundits’ predictions were going to be overturned once again; this after the fancied Wanderers had been overturned 3-2 by UP-Tuks in the early game.

Riverside’s basics and overall cohesion were letting them down, although goalkeeper Gowan Jones kept them in the game by saving from Craig Hall in the 28th.

Taine Paton did his best to restore parity by winning a PC for Riverside seven minutes from half-time but the chance went awry. The home club in this Riverside Elite Clubs Challenge continued to press for the equaliser and umpire Tanja Schafer awarded another PC after a busy spell for Turner in goal, but again the opportunity went a-begging, and seconds before the half-time hooter the fleet-footed Gareth Mason undid his good work by blazing a shot past the far post.

Two minutes after the changeover (37th) a revitalised Riverside drew level from a penalty corner – a neat move between Wade and Taine Paton finished clinically by Karl Oftebro (1-1). Play continued at a frenetic pace and Sean Baxter forced Turner into a full-stretch save in the 48th.

Taine Paton was firing the engine room with his characteristic high-octane hockey and after sustained pressure the SA midfielder earned just reward in the 57th minute with a slashing shot on the backhand that rose at pace into the net to give Riverside a 2-1 lead.

The Badgers were far from done and with seven left Clive Terwin sent a power flick low past the wrong side of the near post off a PC. The Badgers also survived a heart-stopping moment at the other end but with 70 seconds left Andrew Cronje flashed in the equaliser off yet another PC (2-2) and almost spurred his side to victory by coming agonisingly close on the full-time whistle.

The outcome leaves the race for first prize wide open. The innovative points system that awards three points for a win, two points for a draw with goals, one point for a 0-0 draw and a bonus point for four goals or more, sees Riverside on six points, Wanderers on three points, Tuks on three points and WPCC Badgers on two points going into the finale Sunday.

Wanderers have a tough 11 am date with Riverside Sunday, while the Pretoria lads from Tuks will meet WPCC Badgers at 9 am.

RESULTS & FIXTURES after Day two

Friday: Riverside 5 UP-Tuks 2; WPCC Badgers 2Wanderers Jockeys 3.

Saturday: Tuks 3 Wanderers 2; Riverside 2 WPCC 2.

Sunday: WPCC vs Tuks (9 am); Riverside vs Wanderers (11 am).

SA Hockey Association media release

Hockey hazards

Pakistan's hockey team is in clear and present danger of missing out on a spot for the World Cup 2014, which will be played at The Hague. After having failed to qualify for the quadrennial spectacle following its dismal seventh-place finish at the recently-concluded World Hockey League semi-finals in Malaysia, Pakistan will have to win September's Asia Cup to make the cut for the World Cup. A failure would mean Pakistan not taking part in the World Cup for the first time since 1971 when the tournament was first held.

This is a huge come down for a country that has won a record four world hockey titles. But it's not entirely unexpected.

Pakistan's hockey decline, which began in the mid 1980s, has experienced noticeable acceleration in recent years with the team flopping in major events like the 2010 World Cup in India where it crashed to a last-place finish as well as back-to-back editions of the Olympic Games in Beijing and London.

There are a variety of reasons behind the downfall, including a shrinking player base, mismanagement and the game's fading popularity in a country that (still) calls hockey its national game.

Politics within the national hockey fraternity has added to the sport's woes as it has failed to grow despite the fact that the federal and provincial governments have dished out hundreds of millions of rupees to the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) during the last four years.

It is unfortunate that despite the fact that the PHF is currently run by former hockey stalwarts who have been enjoying unprecedented government support, the game has failed to receive a much-needed boost.

The current set of PHF officials should now be shown the door and concrete steps must be taken to make sure that competent persons are brought in to take charge of national hockey affairs.

Hockey – once a source of pride for our nation – has over the years become a source of embarrassment. There is a desperate need for a change in the script otherwise the damage to Pakistan hockey will be beyond repair.

The News International

Michael Nobbs' sacking a correct move by Hockey India, says Dilip Tirkey

After Michael Nobbs ouster, the 35-year-old legend has firm faith in the abilities of MK Kaushik as a chief coach.

Hockey legend and a Member of Parliament Dilip Tirkey has said that sacking India men's hockey coach Michael Nobbs is a right move and the combination of Roelant Oltmans and MK Kaushik will do wonders for Indian hockey.

Nobbs was shown the door after India finished 6th in the recently concluded eight-nation World Hockey League. During the London Olympics in 2012, the India team finished last in the 12-team event.

The Australian was appointed as head coach in June 2011 and his contract was till the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Just 48 hours after his sacking, former India coach MK Kaushik was appointed to assist High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans in the Asia Cup in Malaysia next month.

Oltmans has been promoted as the chief coach for the upcoming eight-nation Asia Cup from August 24 to September 1. Kaushik has coached both men's and women's teams in the past before retiring as Deputy Director of Sports, Government of Haryana.

"I think the removal of Nobbs is a right step on the part of Hockey India. It is also fine to give High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans the additional charge as the chief coach. He did a good job as the coach of the Dutch and Pakistan teams," Dilip Tirkey told The New Indian Express.

Under Kaushik's coaching, the India men's team won its last major international tournament, a gold in the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok. An Arjuna awardee in 1998, Kaushik also guided the Indian eves to a bronze medal at the Doha Asian Games in 2006.

"MK Kaushik is also a capable coach. I believe, in the present situation the combination of Oltmans and Kaushik can do a good job for India," Tirkey added.

The Rajya Sabha Member also says the pressure will be on out-of-form India but the team can prepare well as there is still a month's time for the tournament.

"India will be under tremendous pressure due to poor form. But the players and the coaches should take it as a challenge and try to win the title. There is still one month's time in hand and we can prepare well. I feel India can win the Asia Cup and qualify for the 2014 World Cup," said Tirkey, who has represented India in 412 matches.

NDTV Sports

HC pulls up hockey body for hearsay, poor performance

President of State hockey Rekha Bhide had petitioned Bombay High Court challenging Hockey India’s recommendation that she be sacked

Sunil Baghel

India fared poorly at the World Hockey League, held recently in Rotterdam

On Wednesday, Hockey India (HI) came in for a serious admonishing from the Bombay High Court (HC) over the poor performance of the national team in the recent past.

Expressing anguish over their performance at the World Hockey League in Rotterdam, where India finished fifth, and referring to the sport’s glorious past, a divisional bench of Justice V M Kanade and Justice K R Shriram remarked, “You choose incompetent people and the net result is reflected in the poor performance of the national team.”

The court was hearing a petition filed by 57- year-old Puneite Rekha Bhide — an Arjuna awardee, an Olympian and former captain of the women’s hockey team at the top level.

The petition challenges a recommendation by an inquiry committee that she be removed from the post of president of Hockey, Maharashtra as well as vice-president of Hockey, India — the apex body governing men and women's hockey in the country. Bhide who is currently in Delhi to attend a Hockey India meeting said,“I have a n executive body meeting on Thursday morning. I will give details after that. All I know is they dont want players as part of the federation. ”

An HI inquiry committee’s report submitted in May this year indicts Bhide for being biased towards an umpire as he belongs to a minority community. The bench has now directed HI to maintain status quo so far as posts held by Bhide are concerned. The court had last month directed HI to restore her name as vicepresident on its website.

The court expressed its displeasure over the use of ‘hearsay’ as evidence to allegedly target Bhide and oust her from the body. “Somebody overhears something and you remove that person from the post,” the bench told HI counsel Birendra Saraf. “We are extremely unhappy with the way this matter is being handled,” the court added.

According to Bhide’s petition, she was being targeted as she had objected to the appointment of a foreign national as chief coach of the Indian men’s hockey team, against the wishes of HI Secretary General Narinder Batra and that was the sole reason for initiating the inquiry against her.

The petition says that in June last year, at the HI executive body meeting, the issue of appointing the coach was to be discussed. As she had to go for a tournament, Bhide had forwarded her opinion via mail taking strong objection to the appointment of a foreign national as coach of the national team, it adds. But, eventually a foreign coach was appointed and an inquiry was initiated against her for completely false and baseless allegations.

The petition says that the inquiry against her was initiated on a complaint filed by an umpire called Firoz Shaikh. The inquiry report says that Bhide had used unconstitutional language about him. The report added that “in order to avoid and strictly discourage any discrimination and dislike on the ground of race, creed, caste or religion,” she be removed from all posts she currently holds. It also recommended that she be banned for a year from in HI activities.

Her counsel Niranjan Mogre submitted that conclusions of the inquiry committee were based on hearsay and that too on the basis of statements given by two office bearers of Hockey Maharashtra, allegedly interested in her ouster from the sporting body.

However umpire Firoz Shaikh insists that Bhide passed an offensive comment. “She made a communal comment at me which I had brought to the notice of the Hockey Maharashtra officials. Later. in the same week she rejected my appointment as umpire for the junior nationals in Pune,” he alleged .

They don’t want players as part of the federation. I will have the details after the executive body meeting on Thursday  - Rekha Bhide

Pune Mirror