News for 04 August 2013

All the news for Sunday 4 August 2013

USA claim 7th place at the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup

Russia take 15th place with a shoot-out win over Ghana

USA defeated South Africa 4-2 in the seventh place play-off. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

Team USA celebrated a deserved 4-2 victory over South Africa to reach the seventh place at the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach. In the match for 15th place, Russia claimed victory after taking Ghana into their second shoot-out in as many days.

Placement 7-8: South Africa v USA 2-4 (1-2)

South Africa were put under immediate pressure as Team USA went for an early goal and they got it. Marie Elena Bolles opened the scoring on 15 minutes when deflecting a shot coming from outside the circle. But South Africa stepped up the pace of play forcing their first penalty corner on 28 minutes and converted. After the first shot was saved, Liné Malan managed to follow up and hit the ball towards goal, where Nicole Walraven was waiting to deflect it into the net. However, USA went ahead 2-1 on a penalty corner goal from captain Laura Gebhart. The halftime score was 2-1 in favour of the US girls.

The teams set up a competitive second half that saw scoring opportunities either side. Despite there being no goals, the second half was full of good hockey and both goalkeepers (Lauren Blazing on the US side and second half substitute Nicole La Fleur for South Africa) impressed with their handling. On 60 minutes Nikki Parsley got her name on the scoresheet on the US’s third goal, firing in a penalty corner. The US girls added another goal soon after, when Emma Bozek scored from a penalty corner on 68 minutes. However, South Africa did not give up and Tarryn Glasby pulled another one back to a 4-2 score. 

Voices after the match:

Steve Jennings, coach USA: “I think it was a very hard game. We knew South Africa was going to be tough the whole time and we just tried to stick the game as much as possible. In the second half we scored some great goals, which finally separated the teams. This allowed us to finish the game like we wanted to. I think we did a great job here in Mönchengladbach. We tied with the best ever finish of the U.S. in Junior World Cup history. I think three wins and three losses against some of the best teams are okay. It was a great tournament and the organisation was incredible. The girls loved to play in this stadium, they loved the atmosphere.” 

Lindsey Wright, coach South Africa: “It was a very competitive game. We knew this before because the USA are a good hockey team. What you learn from losing is that you do better next time. It has been a great tournament, congratulations to Deutscher Hockey-Bund and thanks for hosting us! Every moment for my girls is a great moment. I hope that they learned a lot at this tournament and that they are able to take it home.”

Placement 15-16: Russia v Ghana 1-1 (0-1) 3-1 PSO

After a early goal for Ghana through Elizabeth Opoku, the two teams were equal opponents for the remainder of the first half and into the second. There was much jousting in midfield but few circle penetrations, and neither team could put its stamp on the match.

Midway through the second half, Natalia Kondratyeva put away the equalizer from a crowded circle, and both teams tried to gain the deciding advantage afterwards but no more goals couldbe scored during the 70 minutes, and the match went into a shoot-out - Ghana's second in the event after yesterday's against Belgium. Russia did not miss on the first three rounds, while Ghana could only convert one, and after both teams' takers missed on the fourth round of attempts, the Russian team was declared the winner.

With this victory, Russia take 15th place in the tournament, while Ghana cannot avoid the red lantern despite a marked improvement in their performances throughout the course of the event - the Ghanaian team best demonstrated the kind of learning opportunity participation in an international event can be for teams that don't regularly have the chance to play opponents from different parts of the world.

FIH site

New Zealand set up a 9th place play-off match with Germany

Belgium defeat Ghana 4-3 on penalties to reach the 13th place play-off

New Zealand celebrated a deserved 4-1 win over China. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

New Zealand celebrated a deserved 4-1 victory over China to qualify for the 9th place play-off match at the Women’s ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach. The Junior Black Sticks will now face host nation Germany, while China join Korea in the 11th/12th classification match. Earlier, Belgium had defeated Ghana 4-3 on penalties to join Canada in the 13th/14th place play-off match. Ghana will take on Russia in the 15th/16th classification.

9-12 Placement: China v New Zealand 1-4 (0-2)

New Zealand started into the first half with real fire. They had various good chances early on but could not score from them. The Junior Black Sticks also forced five penalty corners but none of them were productive. New Zealand eventually took the deserved lead on 25 minutes when Julia King scored from open play. Her team doubled the score one minute later after another penalty corner. The ball finally came to Sian Fremaux who smashed it into the goal. New Zealand completely dominated the first half and could have easily led with a bigger margin than 2-0.

The Junior Black Sticks kept up their pace for the entire game. With 20 minutes remaining on the clock, Philippa Symes got her name on the scoresheet to give New Zealand a convincing 3-0 lead. Shortly after, Rose Keddell scored from another penalty corner extending the lead to 4-0. The young Chinese girls struggled to keep up with the bigger and stronger Junior Black Sticks, but they fought hard despite the score. China were able to pull one back when Lui Yuyue’s penalty corner shot was deflected by a defender.

Voices after the match:

Chris Leslie, coach New Zealand: “We are really excited to play Germany, it will be a hard competition. I’m sure they want to win the game as much as we want to win it. Our motivation is to finish ninth.”

Jennifer Story, team-captain New Zealand: “I think we definitely improved but we would have deserved to be in the top eight. We have had a few disappointments along the way. It will be tough playing Germany with their home crowd but we will show our best. I know that there will be a lot of German fans tomorrow but our Kiwi fans will do as well.”

13-16 Placement: Ghana v Belgium 1-1 (1-1), 3-4 PSO

The beginning of the match saw Ghana coming up with two counter-attacks, driven by Elizabeth Opoku. However, the Belgian goalkeeper Elena Sotgiu made sure that nothing gets past her. Belgium took control of the game midway through the first half forcing five penalty corners in quick succession. Four of them failed until the Red Cheetahs finally capitalized thanks to Pauline Leclef. Ghana struck back seconds before halftime through Queensilla Shaibu who converted the rebound of Ghana’s first penalty corner shot to level the score to 1-1.

After the break Ghana’s goalkeeper Joana Adjei prevented Belgium from taking the 2-1 lead with an outstanding save against Silke Steenackers. The Red Cheetahs were close to scoring again when a penalty corner shot was blocked by Janet Adampa. Belgium went for the winning goal but Ghana’s defence stood strong.

As the score remained tied at 1-1 after 70 minutes of play, the game was decided in a penalty shoot-out competition. The winning goal was scored by Belgium’s Silke Steenackers who converted the 12th attempt securing Belgium's first win in this tournament.     

Voices after the match:

Silke Steenackers, Belgium: “The first victory feels really good. Tomorrow we want to win again, we don’t want to finish 14th. We just need to believe in us. We are a very young team, so we are still growing and raise our level game by game.”

Malou Blank, goalkeeper Belgium: “We had big pressure until the end and it was very hard. We are very proud now. Tomorrow we want to beat Canada, we will give everything to finish this tournament with a win.”

Edmund Odametey, coach Ghana: “We played a couple of shoot-outs before, so we have a bit of experience. It was a great experience for the girls. Although we lost a lot of games here, I can see a lot of improvement in our game.”

FIH site

Junior Black Sticks set up clash with Germany

This morning’s 4-1 win over China has set up a playoff for ninth place for the Junior Black Sticks Women at the Hockey Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach, Germany.

The Junior Black Sticks will now face host nation Germany at 1.30am on Monday (NZ time), while China join Korea in the 11th/12th classification match.

The Kiwis played well for the full 70 minutes, creating a glut of great scoring opportunities and defending strongly.

Head coach Chris Leslie was pleased with the end result, and said focus had now shifted to trying to finish the tournament on a high with a big effort against Germany.

“We are really excited to play Germany, it will be a hard competition. I’m sure they want to win the game as much as we want to win it. Our motivation is to finish ninth.”

Team captain Jenny Storey echoed the sentiment of her coach.

“I think we definitely improved but we would have deserved to be in the top eight. We have had a few disappointments along the way.

“It will be tough playing Germany with their home crowd but we will show our best. I know that there will be a lot of German fans tomorrow but our Kiwi fans will make some noise as well,” Storey said.

The Junior Black Sticks opened the scoring against China in the 25th minute with Julia King netting a field goal. The score doubled just one minute later when Sian Fremaux crashed a goal in from a penalty corner.

With 20 minutes remaining on the clock, Philippa Symes added to the score sheet before Rose Keddell scored from another penalty corner to blow the score out to 4-0.

China were able to pull one back late when Lui Yuyue’s penalty corner shot was deflected into goal by a defender.

The Junior Black Sticks are part of the Owen G Glenn Future Black Sticks Programme which offers international competition, training camps and quality coaching experience to the next generation of Black Sticks.


Junior Black Sticks 4: (Julia King, Sian Fremaux, Philippa Symes, Rose Keddell)
China 1: (Lui Yuyue)
Halftime: NZ 2-0

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Dutch fight back in 3–3 thriller

England men v the Netherlands day 2 of NOW Pensions Nations Cup

The Netherlands fought back from two goals down to earn a 3-3 draw with England at the NOW: Pensions Nations Cup.

In the second match of the NOW: Pensions Nations Cup, the Netherlands were forced to play catch up as they fought back from two goals down to earn a 3–3 draw against England. Reading’s Tom Carson was on target twice and the Dutch put the ball into their own goal to give the hosts a score of three, but Hofman [two] and Jonker were both on target for the Netherlands to earn their side a share of the spoils.

Speaking after the game, England Head Coach Bobby Crutchley said, “I think there was a lot of improvement today, we were in control for about 50 minutes of the game, which against the Dutch is probably as good as it gets. In the last 20 minutes I think we stopped playing a bit and allowed them back at us, although even in that period we still created chances where we could have taken the game.”

Crutchley added, “The Netherlands obviously have a lot of attacking threat and they could have taken it at the end, however, for long periods we deflected the pressure and we just need to get that consistency for a full 70 minutes. We're working hard on our team play and looking at how we can be more threatening to our opposition as a unit; I think with a 3-3 draw today against a side as good as the Netherlands we achieved that, but there is still plenty for us to work on.”

After losing 2 – 1 on Thursday, England started the stronger side, creating opportunities and dominating the opening period of play. After 12 minutes England deservedly took the lead as captain Barry Middleton fired the ball across the circle for Reading’s Tom Carson to net his second goal of the tournament.

England worked tirelessly, pressurising the Dutch defence and forcing them to make mistakes. They nearly doubled their lead with a well worked penalty corner routine, but Iain Lewers, well placed at the back post, just couldn’t get his stick to the ball. In front of their home crowd the hosts continued to create goal scoring opportunities, but were unable to capitalise and the score remained 1–0 going into half time.

It took until the 41st minute for the Netherlands to make their break through. After a penalty corner was initially broken down by England, some clever play from the Dutch attack saw the ball played to Rogier Hofman on the baseline, who fired his effort in front of goal. Middleton at the far post had little time to react and was unfortunate as the deflection found its way into England’s goal.

Moments later, England restored their lead. From the push back they broke down the left hand side and as the ball was struck across the circle into the danger area it was deflected off a Dutch stick for an own goal to make it 2-1.

England had the momentum and in the 46th minute Carson scored his second of the match, this time from a penalty corner. A Lewers injection was trapped by Harry Martin who set the ball for Carson to place his shot low to the left hand corner past an outstretched Pirmin Blaak in the Dutch goal.

At 3-1, and with 25 minutes to go, the Netherlands turned up the pressure on England. Strong stick skills inside the circle from Robbert Kemperman found Hofman who slotted the ball home to score his second and make it 3–2. With just nine minutes remaining the Dutch equalised as a cross ball found its way through the English defence to Constantijn Jonker who lifted his stick to tap home past George Pinner in England’s goal.

With the score level at 3-3 a nail biting final nine minutes of play ensued and despite the Netherlands relentless attacks they were unable to capitalise. In the dying seconds, Euro Hockey League’s all time top goal scorer, Jeroen Hertzberger, almost snatched the winner, with a reverse stick effort but he fired wide and England hung on and the score remained locked at 3-3.

Speaking after the game, Reading's Tom Carson reflected on scoring two goals and stepping up to international hockey, "We're disappointed not to win after being 3-1 up, but today was definitely an improvement on Thursday's performance. Scoring is what I want do as a forward; playing in that role you get chances and you want to put them away, so I’m pleased I was able to do that today. It's a big step up playing international hockey, but I've worked really hard and hopefully the results are starting to pay off.”

The 3-3 draw means England will be looking to take a victory tomorrow, with a favourable goal difference, to lift the NOW: Pensions Nations Cup in front of a home crowd. The match starts at 14:30, with England’s U21 men playing their final match beforehand at 12:00 in Wakefield. Tickets are available on the gate.

Tom Carson 8, 46 (FG, PC)
OG 42

Rogier Hofman 41, 49 (FG, FG)
Constantijn Jonker 61 (FG)

England Hockey Board Media release

England U21s 5 (2) – (0) 1 Malaysia U21s

The second match of the NOW: Pensions Nations Plate saw a dominant England U21 side come away with a 5 – 1 victory against their Malaysian counterparts. Rob Farrington slotted home a well worked penalty corner routine and a powerful reverse stick strike from Nick Bandurak gave England a 2 – 0 lead going into the break.

The home side continued as they had left off in the second half and were soon 3 – 0 up when Andy Bull fired straight down the middle from a penalty corner. Malaysia pulled a goal back through Aminudin Mohd Gaffar but an own goal and a clever finish from Joe Sharp gave England a 5 – 1 victory and means they are one game up in the series after their 3-3 draw on Thursday.  With the series advantage, England sit in a favourable position going in to the final match tomorrow at 12:00.

England Hockey Board Media release

Day 5 EuroHockey Youth Championships Round Up

We had an exciting penultimate day of action at the Electric Ireland EuroHockey U18 Girls Youth Championships with two vital Pool C games early in the day followed by an afternoon of high quality semi-final hockey.

In the opening game of the day, Russia registered their first win with an impressive 6-1 victory over Wales to put them right back in contention to survive in Pool C with 3 points on the board.

In the second game, Belgium brushed Ireland aside 4-1 to confirm their top division status and leave Ireland on level pegging with Russia, on exactly the same points & goal difference. The two sides now face each other tomorrow in a winner takes all game to determine their fates.

In the first Semi-Final of the day, Germany blew France away with 9 unanswered goals to set up a mouth watering Electric Ireland EuroHockey U18 Girls Youth Championships Final against Netherlands who came back from 1-0 down vs England to seal a comprehensive 6-1 victory.

Tomorrow's Fixtures are as follows:

9:00 Wales vs Belgium (Pool C)

11:00 Ireland v Russia (Pool C)

13:00 France v England (Bronze Medal Match)

15:00 Germany v Netherlands (Gold Medal Match)

Updated Pool Tables, Fixtures & Match Sheets following today's results can be found by clicking here

Irish Hockey Association media release

Ireland fall to Belgium at EuroHockey U18s

In the penultimate day of action at the Electric Ireland EuroHockey Youth Championships Ireland went down to Belgium 4-1. It leaves them with a must win game tomorrow against a Russian side who brushed aside Wales 6-1 in the opening game of the day.

Coach Richie Malone would have wanted his side to bounce back after the disappointment of losing out on a semi-final berth earlier in the week but Ireland got off to the worst possible start when they lost possession from push-back and conceded a penalty corner with only 30 seconds gone. A sweep from the slip found Simons unopposed in front of goal and she deflected high into the net.

Five minutes later it was two as Dauw was left with too much time and space on the right and her cross found Ronquetti who slotted home first time. The games frantic start settled slightly with Ireland mounting better pressure but unable to create any chances. Belgian were able to outlet with poise and found free midfielders leading into space.

With 8 to play Belgium won their third corner and a sweet strike by Duquesne left Ireland 3 goals down with 8 to play in the half.

Ireland's response was positive and three minutes later great play on the left by Thom found Carey who unleashed an unstoppable reverse stick effort past de Mude in the Belgian goal to make it 3-1.

A penalty corner won on the half time hooter was wasted by Ireland as the injection failed to find an Irish stick. Half time Ireland 1 Belgium 3.

Ireland made a positive start to the second half as they went in search of a second, but a corner effort from Gleeson was struck wide. Belgium had corners of their own and McFerran was kept on her toes. Carey and Chambers posed threats for Ireland going forward but were left to rue missed opportunities in front of goal.

Indeed, it proved costly as Belgium retained their three goal lead when a hefty Gray challenge in the circle conceded a penalty corner. A first time deflection by Simons on the left found the corner as she scored her second of the game to make it 4-1 with 17 minutes left to play.

Belgium's number 9 Peeters was given a yellow card shortly after which provided Ireland with more space around the back. A left to right transfer eventually found Duncan free in the circle but she was unable to get a clean shot away and a free out was given.

With time running out in the game Ireland won a corner and what would have been slight consolation for the girls came to nothing, as Ireland once again failed to convert their chances.

Irish Coach Richie Malone will be disappointed with the result but must now refocus and look ahead to his sides must win game against Russia at 11am tomorrow.

Ireland 1 (Carey)
Belgium 4 (Simons x 2, Duquesne, Ronquetti)

Ireland Starting XI: McFerran (GK), O'Donnell, Gleeson, Chambers, Grieve, Thom, Hawkshaw, Maguire, Twomey, Carey, McGirr (C)

Irish Hockey Association media release

Dutch defeat for England U18 Girls

England Under-18 Girls will play France in the bronze medal match on Sunday, after losing out 6-1 to the Netherlands in the semi finals of the EuroHockey Youth Championship in Dublin on Saturday afternoon.

Sevenoaks’ Lily Elliott gave England the lead in the 14th minute when she scored from a penalty corner, but the Netherlands were building pressure and just two minutes later they had levelled with Ginella Zerbo scoring from open play.

They took a 2-1 lead after 21 minutes with Tess van Ramshorst on target, and they led 3-1 at the half time break with Zerbo scoring again on 28 minutes from open play.

English hopes of hitting back in the second half were high, but the Netherlands continued to dominate and added a fourth goal on 39 minutes through Fabienne Roosen.

The fifth Dutch goal came on 57 minutes from Frederique Matla, and their final goal came on 65 minutes, Zerbo completing her hat-trick with a field goal.

Head Coach Andy Bradshaw said afterwards: “We were very pleased that we took the lead, but the frustrating thing in the first half way that we were the architect of our own downfall in a couple of the goals and having taken the lead we just didn’t look after the ball enough.

“Once the Dutch started playing they dominated, and we just didn’t keep the ball well enough.

“In the second half they certainly raised their level, whereas we’ve played some tough pool games and we came up against a Dutch side in full flow.

“We now have to pick the girls up and prepare for the Bronze match against France which will be a tough match but we’re confident that we can get a result and finish on the podium.”

Sunday’s battle with France for the bronze medal starts at 1pm.

England Hockey Board Media release

History against Malaysia

By Jugjet Singh

THE Malaysain senior hockey team have never won a gold medal at an international tournament, save for the Sea Games.

And that is why they will be shooting for the stars when they set foot on the Azlan Shah Stadium pitch in Ipoh on August 24 for the Asia Cup.

For the record, the best finish in the Asia Cup -- incepted in 1982 -- was a bronze medal in 2007 in Chennai, India. Other editions saw Malaysia finish fourth, or worse.

Pakistan and South Korea have been champions thrice while India have won the biennial event twice.

Coach Paul Revington, as optimistic as ever, will find the going tough from the semi-final onwards as Malaysia are with Pakistan, Japan and Taiwan in Group A.

In Group B, the semi-finalists are easy to pick as India and South Korea are expected to dominate over Oman and Bangladesh.

The Asia Cup offers a single ticket to the World Cup, and for Malaysia to achieve it, they will have to break with tradition.

"As usual, I might sound repetitive but we will take one match at a time and the end target if of course to lay our hands on the gold medal," said Revington.

Malaysia's record against Asian teams is also dismal in the Asian Games where they only seven bronze and one silver to show.

And in the newly incepted Asian Champions Trophy, Malaysia ended third on both occasions behind India and Pakistan.

The team will be named on Tuesday.

New Straits Times

Participating countries not to increase in 2014 WC: FIH

NEW DELHI: The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has turned down former Indian captain Dilip Tirkey's proposal for increasing the number of teams in next year's World Cup.

Tirkey had written to FIH president Leandro Negre requesting him to increase the number of participating countries in next World Cup to be held in the Netherlands next year. Negre, however, said it is not possible for them.

"Your idea is in line with the FIH strategic plan and wishes. The FIH full agree to increase the number of team nations participating in the World Cup final and in this line the FIH Executive Board took, some month ago, the decision to have 16 teams for the World Cup in 2018," Negre said in his letter.

"Also you have to understand that this increase of teams is not possible for the coming World Cup 2014," he added.

"First because the FIH published in time the regulations to be qualified for the World Cup 2014. The FIH has to be fair to everybody and it is not possible to change the rules less than one year before starting this World Cup," he said.

"Second when the FIH ask for bids was under some conditions and we sign a contract with the organisers. At this stage it is not possible to change the conditions with them without breaking the contract with high economical implications for the FIH," He further said.

Former full-back Tirkey, who has a record 412 caps, said the participation in the World Cup is not much given the widespread popularity of the game.

"More than 130 countries are member countries of FIH. In the present format only 12 countries from different zones are selected to participate in the World Cup which is very less and that's the reason I wrote to the world body," he said.

"In football and Cricket the number of participants was increased gradually keeping in view the popularity of game," he added.

The Times of India

Foreigners cannot yield results for Indian sports: Pillay

PUNE: Foreign coaches can never yield results for Indian sports, feels former hockey captain Dhanraj Pillay, who said the key to success lies in empowering and nurturing local trainers.

Pillay, who was here to select promising athletes for testing and training at MEDSPORT HSPRI -- India's first privately-owned Sports Medicine Research Institute --, said the trainers in India are as good as any of their foreign counterparts.

"Our country does not understand the value of local trainers. We keep running after foreigners. Hockey India feels foreign coaches can give results. We are wasting money on foreigners, almost Rs 6 lakh. Foreigners cannot give results, it is 110 per cent sure and I say this with experience of over 25 years," Pillay said.

"To add to this the foreigners have the audacity to criticise India when they are asked to leave. We don't need coach who dictates, we need somebody who understands the players," he explained.

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Padma Shri awardee selected 10 state and national medallists of Maharashtra, who would be tested and trained at MEDSPORT HSPRI.

Sportspersons from swimming, boxing, shooting, wrestling, weightlifting and cycling have been picked for the programme.

"It is good to see an institute that helps a common man identify his athletic potential. I did not have endurance in my time but not everyone could realise that. These details are important and through MEDSPORT, an athlete can get a fair idea of his potential," he said.

Pillay said he would himself seek help and assistance from MEDSPORT HSPRI for the hockey players and teams that he is presently training.

The Times of India

Himachal to hold Dhyan Chand hockey meet in September

SHIMLA: The Himachal Pradesh government will organise the Major Dhyan Chand Memorial Hockey Tournament for Under-25 men at the Indira Sports Stadium in Una next month, an official said on Saturday.

Presiding over the Himachal Pradesh Sports Council meeting here, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh approved the tournament.

The sports stadium in Una is the second astroturf hockey field in the state after the Rajeev Gandhi High Altitude Training Centre in Shilaroo in Shimla district.

The chief minister also gave approval for setting up a shooting range here, a government spokesperson told IANS.

Youth services and sports principal secretary V.C. Pharka said the sports department would be organising International Paragliding Championship (Category-II) and Open Himalayan Championship at Bir-Billing in Kangra district in October.

The Times of India

New Zealand National hockey at Blake Park

Tauranga Hockey is hosting a round of the Ford National Hockey League’s opening weekend which will see two clashes being played between Midlands and Auckland at Blake Park Sunday week.

On behalf of Midlands Hockey, Tauranga Hockey will be hosting both men’s and women’s hockey matches between the two clubs – with Midlands encompassing the Bay of Plenty in its intake region.

But a number of Tauranga players feature in both teams – including men Andy Hayward, Stephen Graham, Lincoln Churchill, Craig Fowler, Luke Coxhead and Abir Mukherjee; while Gemma Flynn, Sam Charlton and Rose Keddell are in the women’s teams.

The women’s clash begins Sunday, August 11, at 1pm, followed by the men’s game at 3pm.

“We would love our locals to come out wearing orange in support of the Bayley’s Midlands Teams,” says Tauranga Hockey Association manager Clyde du Toit, who says the Midlands teams will be practising on the Blake Park turfs this Tuesday night at 7.30pm.

“I have made it known to Midlands Hockey and Hockey NZ that I want to host some really good games,” says Clyde. “A big plus is our two wonderful new turfs.”

The second day (round 2) of the opening weekend is all Tauranga will see of this year’s national hockey league. Midlands men’s and women’s teams also play North Harbour on Saturday, August 10, at North Harbour.

Following the regionally-played first two rounds during next weekend, the full tournament is played at North Harbour from August 17-25.

“Unfortunately, we won’t have another NHL game this year,” says Clyde. “We will just keep asking, I’m in the process of chatting with Hockey NZ about next year.

“We will wait and see what happens, but at least I’m having that conversation, and they love coming down here. It’s not hard to convince people to come down to the Mount for a week or a weekend.”

Entry to the matches will be by gold coin donation.

All four teams playing next Sunday feature a number of Black Sticks players and overseas international players. The games are expected to showcase a high level of skills and make for two very exciting games to watch, says Clyde.

Sun Live

Low Turnout to Mar Proposed Zimbabwe Hockey Tourney

By Augustine Hwata

THE proposed Inter-Provincial Hockey Tournament set for Bulawayo next weekend is likely to be a very low-key event amid indications that only three teams are certain to take part. Khumalo Hockey Stadium is expected to host the inter-pros on August 10 and 11 but only Bulawayo, Harare and Masvingo are making strong indications of fielding teams to what is supposed to be one of the major events on the Hockey Association of Zimbabwe calendar.

HAZ vice-president Humphrey Chigwedere yesterday said Mashonaland Central had pulled out of the event, leaving this year's inter-provincials to be contested as a tri-tournament.

"We are going to host the inter-provincials at Khumalo and this event is supposed to attract all the provincial teams, but in this case we should be having only three teams.

"Each province is supposed to field a men and women's team for this competition. Mashonaland Central have pulled out because they cannot raise funds for the trip," said Chigwedere.

After the inter-pros, Chigwedere said, HAZ will end their field season by holding the HAZ Cup which will coincide with their general meeting on September 7. "The HAZ Cup is also one of our premier events where all the top clubs from each province fight for the national club championship.

"I think Hockey Enthusiastics won from Harare League and Hippo Valley should be coming from Masvingo.

"Because the provinces are not very active, we do not anticipate all provinces to field teams but we should be inviting all stakeholders to a general meeting after the competition.

"The meeting should make headways with regards to our strategic plan for next year. Right now we do not have a strategic plan in operation and that is one reason why we are failing to partner some corporates for our activities.

"We failed to send a team to Kenya for the Africa Cup of Nations and now we have to take stock of our field hockey season.

"Our current problem is that we tend to shy away from public attention, yet we are facing challenges and few people may come to know of our plights," said Chigwedere.

During the general meeting, elections will not be on the agenda, but the HAZ executive is mandated to co-opt a female player as a representative of the athletes' commission to replace Prince Mwale, whose term of office is expiring.

Former hockey star Jugraj Singh injured in police-mob clash

AMRITSAR: Former Indian hockey player and ace defender Jugraj Singh, who is now a deputy superintendent of police (DSP), was injured along with other policemen when they were attacked by a hundred-strong mob near Kathunagal village on Saturday.

Jugraj, known for his rocket-like drag flicks, station house officer Preetinder Singh and a couple of other policemen were injured after they were attacked with bricks and swords.

Protesters turned violent after being cane-charged by the police. The angry protesters had blamed the police for allegedly shielding a youth who was accused of attacking a schoolgirl with the intentions to kill. They had blocked the Amritsar-Pathankot highway.

Police resorted to cane-charge and also fired in the air to disperse the angry mob, who wanted the youth to be handed over to them.

Sarpanch of Kotla Tarkhana village Balwinder Singh said a youth, later identified as Sewa Singh, came to his house to save himself from an angry mob carrying swords and bricks.

Singh said he locked his house and informed the police to arrest the boy.

The Times of India