News for 25 November 2013

All the news for Monday 25 November 2013

Hockeyroos win in warm-up

Smith & Parker help Hockeyroos to 2-1 win over Las Leonas

Georgie Parker celebrates

The Hockeyroos began their last week of preparation for the World League Finals with a 2-1 win over hosts Argentina in an uncapped practice match in Tucumán on Monday morning (Sunday evening in Argentina).

First half strikes from Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW) and Georgie Parker (Adelaide, SA) put the Australian women two goals ahead at half time before the experienced Carla Rebecchi pulled one back for Las Leonas in the second half.

Speaking after the game, Hockeyroos head coach Adam Commens was pleased with the way his side played and said he expects further improvement as the week goes on. “It was a good effort by our players,” said the Olympic bronze medallist. “It was a good win after a long flight and some hard training session sessions, particularly given that we lost Casey Eastham in the first half and played without Teneal Attard.

“It was a typical practice match and I would expect that we’ll be better by the time tournament comes around and we’re over our jetlag. But, I would also expect Argentina to play better in the real thing.”

Eastham sat out the second half after being struck on the foot at a penalty corner in the first period but is expected to recover. Teneal Attard missed the match as she continues her recovery from a hamstring injury in time for the start of the tournament.

The Hockeyroos take on England in their second warm-up match at 6:00am AEDT / 3:00am AWST on Wednesday (4:00pm local time on Tuesday).

The Hockeyroos get their World League Finals campaign underway in a rematch against Argentina on Sunday morning (11:00am AEDT / 8:00am AWST). That match will be shown live on the International Hockey Federation’s YouTube channel and on delay on ABC 1 in Australia.

Hockey Australia media release

Wimbledon beat Beeston in NOW: Pensions Premier Division

Ali Brogdon celebrates after scoring in their 3-2 win over Beeston. Photo David Kissman

IN-FORM Wimbledon became the first team this season to beat leaders Beeston in the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Premier Division, winning 3-2 at Highfields on Sunday.

Newly-promoted Wimbledon took the lead when Johnny Kinder guided the ball home in the 21st minute. Chris Proctor pulled one back for Beeston just four minutes later, but Kinder restored Wimbledon’s lead before the break with a goal on 31 minutes.

Ali Brogdon (pictured) forced the ball in to make it 3-1 to Wimbledon with four minutes to go. Sam Ward narrowed the deficit for Beeston in the final minute but it was too little too late and Wimbledon held out.

East Grinstead left Sheffield Hallam with a 5-3 win, courtesy of a brace from David Cordon and goals from Niall Stott, Andy Bull and Mark Pearn. Sheffield Hallam’s scorers were Liam Ansell, William Root and Gavin Byers.

Just behind East Grinstead are Reading who looked to be heading for a loss after finding themselves 3-0 down to Canterbury. Michael Farrer, Ross Gilham-Jones and Ben Allberry had given Canterbury the lead but then Tom Carson pulled one back for the visitors.

Canterbury did score another through an own goal but strikes from Chris Cargo, Richard Mantell, Darren Cheesman and a last-gasp Jonty Clarke shot saw Reading take a 5-4 win.

Surbiton stay fourth after a 2-0 victory over Hampstead and Westminster – James Gall and Geoff Mccabe both on target.

In the other game of the day, Cannock beat Loughborough Students 3-2. Martin Ebbage and Robbie Smith had put Cannock in front before goals from Loughborough’s Chris Griffiths and Dominic Bowden levelled the scores. Nick Bandurak hit the winner for Cannock with minutes remaining.

Southgate still lead the NOW: Pensions Conference East after a narrow 2-1 win over third-placed Teddington. Simeon Bird and Rick Gay grabbing the goals for them.

Brooklands are still top of the NOW: Pensions Conference North but the standout result of the day was Leek’s 7-0 win over Deeside Ramblers. Ben White and Richard Cordon both bagged a brace with James Gough, Ed Stanhope and Tobies Mueller also getting in on the action.

NOW: Pensions Conference West leaders Team Bath Buccaneers needed a late goal to beat Havant in a 3-2 contest. Tim Davenport and Jack Betenson had already scored for Bath but James Speke and Craig Duffy’s goals for Havant tied the game. But Betenson poked home with three minutes remaining to snatch victory.

NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League (Sunday, November 24 2013):

NOW: Pensions Premier Division:
Beeston 2, Wimbledon 3; Cannock 3, Loughborough Students 2; Canterbury 4, Reading 5; Hampstead and Westminster 0, Surbiton 2; Sheffield Hallam 3, East Grinstead 5.

NOW: Pensions Conference East: Brighton and Hove 0, Old Loughtonians 2; Bromley and Beckenham 4, Richmond 2; Cambridge City 2, Holcombe 4; Oxted 3, St. Albans 0; Teddington 1, Southgate 2.

NOW: Pensions Conference North: Bowdon 3, Belper 1; Khalsa (Warks) 4, West Bridgford 4; Leek 7, Deeside Ramblers 0; Olton & West Warwicks 1, University of Durham 1; Wakefield 0, Brooklands MU 3.

NOW: Pensions Conference West: Cardiff & Met 3, Cheltenham 1; Guildford 1, University of Exeter 6; Havant 2, Team Bath Buccaneers 3; Indian Gymkhana 5, Fareham 0; Isca 1, University of Birmingham 2.

England Hockey Board Media release

Wimbledon and Johnny Kinder end Beeston unbeaten run with fine win on the road

By Rod Gilmour

Tight lines: Johnny Kinder (left) handed Wimbledon huge win away to Beeston

In-form Wimbledon surprise leaders with Kinder double

NOW: Pensions Men's Premier Divisions

Beeston 2 Wimbledon 3

Runaway leaders Beeston were denied a 10th consecutive win thanks to a brilliant defensive display by newly-promoted Wimbledon, who scored their fourth successive victory.

Having recovered from a hamstring injury, Johnny Kinder netted twice in 10 minutes towards the end of the first half to set Wimbledon on their way in the midlands.

Beeston surged forward in the second-half before Ali Brogdon sealed the points. League top-scorer Samuel Ward scored a late consolation in the dying seconds as Wimbledon held on.

Elsewhere in the division, Reading looked to be heading for defeat after finding themselves 3-0 down to Canterbury, before a last-gasp Jonty Clarke strike secured a fine 5-4 win.

East Grinstead left Sheffield Hallam with a 5-3 victory, courtesy of David Cordon’s brace. Meanwhile, Cannock beat Loughborough Students 3-2. Nick Bandurak hit the winner for Cannock with minutes remaining.

Quote of the day

“Ali Brogdon had his best game to date for Wimbledon and deserved the winner.” Ben Marsden, Wimbledon player/coach

Investec Women's Premier Division

Reading miss star players as Clewlow lifts Canterbury top

Canterbury 1 Reading 0

An “outstanding day of hockey” for the hosts. Buoyed on by 200 juniors as the women’s team opened up this double header Sunday before the men's side, Canterbury topped the table after carving out a tight win.

The Kent outfit were indebted to Mel Clewlow’s penalty corner in an evenly-matched first-half. Rivals Reading, missing five regulars to England duty in Argentina, attacked with intent after the break but failed to break down Canterbury’s stout defence.

Meanwhile, Surbiton’s fine run continued with a battling 2-0 win over Clifton thanks to two goals in the last seven minutes. Bowdon Hightown are four points behind Surbiton after a 4-1 win on the road against Olton and West Warwickshire. Sutton Coldfield breezed past Beeston 3-0, stalwart Jane Sixsmith scoring for the second week running.

Quote of the week

“It wasn’t pretty hockey from both sides, but this was an extremely hard-fought win.” Jen Wilson, Canterbury coach

The Telegraph

Connecticut blanks Duke 2-0 to earn program's third national championship

The Huskies earned their first title since 1985. Connecticut Athletics

NORFOLK, Va. – Connecticut defeated Duke by a score of 2-0 to earn the program’s third national championship at Old Dominion on Sunday afternoon. The Huskies cap their season on the highest possible note with a record of 21-4, while Duke finishes its season at 17-7.

Duke earned the game’s early corner attempts but Sarah Mansfield denied three shots off the corners and the Husky defense played relentlessly to keep the game scoreless.

UConn used two first-half goals to open up a 2-0 lead against the Blue Devils, with both goals resulting from penalty corners. The Huskies capitalized on their second corner of the afternoon to record their first tally. Roisin Upton launched a shot that Duke keeper Lauren Blazing turned aside, but the rebound squirted to an open Hunnable in front of the cage. She popped in her 23rd goal of the season to break onto the scoreboard at 23:05.

Connecticut struck again with 5:36 remaining in the first half. Anne Jeute resulted in another UConn corner as time wound down before the intermission. Hunnable received the ball on the corner and ripped a hard, low shot to the lower right corner of the goal. Mckenzie Townsend positioned herself perfectly in front of the goal with her stick on the turf to redirect the shot up and over Blazing for a 2-0 UConn lead.

Connecticut nearly increased its lead in the second half, as Chloe Hunnable continued her hot play on the offensive end. Hunnable nearly tipped a Chrissy Davidson free hit into the back of the cage but her redirect went just wide. Moments later, Hunnable let rip a shot that clanged off the crossbar and out of play.

Duke called a timeout with 8:54 to play in the hopes of solving Sarah Mansfield, but could not find the key to the senior goaltender. Mansfield finished with five stops for Connecticut while her counterpart, Lauren Blazing, recorded three saves in the net for Duke.

Marie Elena Bolles, Chloe Hunnable, Roisin Upton, Chrissy Davidson, and Sarah Mansfield were all named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team.


UConn field hockey team wins national championship

Chloe Hunnable and Mckenzie Townsend scored as the UConn women’s field hockey team won the NCAA national championship in a 2-0 victory over Duke Sunday at Norfolk, Va.

It was the third national championship for the Huskies, who finished the season 21-4.

Duke earned the game’s early corner attempts, but UConn goalie Sarah Mansfield denied three shots off the corners and the Husky defense kept the game scoreless.

UConn used two first-half goals to win the title, both goals resulting from penalty corners. The Huskies capitalized on their second corner of the afternoon to record their first tally. Roisin Upton launched a shot that Duke keeper Lauren Blazing turned aside, but the rebound squirted to an open Hunnable in front of the cage. The junior popped in her 23rd goal of the season to break onto the scoreboard at 23:05.

UConn struck again with 5:36 remaining in the first half. Hunnable received the ball off a corner and ripped a hard low shot to the lower right corner of the goal. Townsend positioned herself perfectly in front of the goal with her stick on the turf to redirect the shot up and over Blazing for a 2-0 lead.

Marie Elena Bolles, Hunnable, Roisin Upton, Chrissy Davidson, and Sarah Mansfield were all named to the All-Tournament Team for their exceptional performances in UConn’s NCAA run.

The New Haven Register

Pakistan fortifying nerve for India challenge

By Fawad Hussain

KARACHI: It will not be a walk in the park for the Pakistan junior hockey team, with the contest for the Junior World Cup title to be held in India.

Acknowledging the tough challenge ahead for the youngsters, the team management has arranged lectures, besides the training drills, to bring mental toughness in players at the training camp that is underway in Lahore.

Pakistan and India are not enjoying the best of relations and the strained ties have affected sports in recent months.

Several Pakistan athletes had to go through bizarre experiences, for instance the send-off to hockey players prior to the Hockey India League, and then an ordeal with the Pakistan women’s team, who were confined to the stadium’s vicinity in Cuttack during the Cricket World Cup earlier this year.

“It will be a tough experience for the boys,” admitted Pakistan junior team’s head coach Manzoorul Hassan while speaking to The Express Tribune.

“Former Olympians and captains like Akhtar Rasool and Shahnaz Sheikh gave tips to the players by sharing their experience of high pressure games. The aim is to bring mental toughness in the players.”

The Junior World Cup, featuring 16 teams, will be played in New Delhi from December 6-15.

Final squad to be named on Nov 26

The former Olympian added that the probables’ training was also in full swing and the final squad for the tournament will be announced on November 26.

It may be mentioned that Umer Bhutta, who is also a regular member of the senior team, is tipped to be named captain of the team.

The Express Tribune

Akhtar Rasool elected PHF president unopposed

Akhtar Rasool. -Photo by Sara Faruqi/

LAHORE: Olympian Akhtar Rasool and Rana Mujahid were elected unopposed as president and secretary respectively of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) for a term of four years, said the PHF election commissioner on Saturday.

Arshad Ansari, PHF chief election commissioner, told reporters that the last date for submitting the nomination papers for the two seats was Nov 23 (until 5:00pm).

However, as no individuals except Akhtar and Mujahid filed the nomination papers to contest election for the posts of president and secretary, they had been elected unopposed, Arshad added.

However, Arshad said, the elections for the other PHF positions would be held in Islamabad on Monday as per the schedule.

He further said the PHF Women’s Wing elections would be held in Islamabad on Sunday night. As only Khushbakht Shujaat and Tanzeela Aamir filed the papers for the posts of chairperson and secretary of the wing, both of them were expected to be elected unopposed.

It may be mentioned here that various prominent former Olympians like Islahuddin Siddiqui, Shahnaz Sheikh, Samiullah Khan along with others had termed the PHF elections bogus. Due to this factor, it seems, no competition in the elections was witnessed.



Mujahid to retain secretary’s post at PHF

Akhtar Rasool will return to the game’s fraternity as president of PHF. PHOTO: ONLINE

KARACHI: Olympian Akhtar Rasool, who resigned as head coach after the national team’s failure to reach the 2014 World Cup, will return to the game’s fraternity as president of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF).

PHF’s elections for next term’s four-year tenure will be held in Islamabad on Monday. However, it has already been established that Rasool will take the top post as no individual filed papers to contest elections for the office.

Likewise, Rana Mujahid, who was appointed as the interim PHF secretary after Asif Bajwa’s resignation, is also set to retain his post after being elected unopposed.

The Express Tribune

KL in desperate fight for last four berth

DEFENDING champions Kuala Lumpur will face a do-or-die mission today to qualify for the semifinals when they battle Sabah in the Boys' Group A of the MHC-Milo-NSC Under-14 Hockey tournament in Kuala Terengganu.

Even though KL beat Sarawak 3-0 yesterday, Sabah opened the Group A standings by beating Perak 3-1. Perak had beaten KL 4-2 earlier in the tournament.

"As you can see, we lost to Perak, while Sabah beat Perak. So we can't take our last pool match for granted, and my boys will have to bring out their best to play in the semi-finals and defend out title," said KL team manager Ali Sulaiman.

Ali said he was not making excuses, but they lost the Perak match to weather, and a water-logged pitch.

"We were unlucky that it rained heavily during the match, and when we played, the pitch was water-logged and my players could not move the ball well while the Perak boys looked like they were more comfortable playing on a heavy pitch.

"Against Sabah, hopefully it does not rain again, and my players also need to make sure they don't miss sitters like in previous matches."

In the Boys' Group B, it is also an open affair with hosts Terengganu, Malacca, Johor, Selangor and Pahang still in the hunt for the two knockout slots.

RESULTS -- Boys' Group A: Perak 1 Sabah 3, Kuala Lumpur 3 Sarawak 0, Kedah 1 Penang 0.

Group B: Johor 2 Pahang 7, Terengganu 2 Selangor 2.

Girls' Group A: Terengganu 0 Malacca 1.

Group B: Negri 6 Kelantan 0, Johor 0 Penang 6, Kedah 2 Selangor 5.

TODAY -- Boys' Group A: Perlis v Sarawak, Perak v Penang, Kuala Lumpur v Sabah.

Group B: Malacca v Pahang, Negri v Selangor, Johor v Kelantan.

Girls' Group A: Terengganu v Kuala Lumpur, Malacca v Sarawak.

Group B: Kelantan v Johor, Kedah v Penang, Selangor v Negri.

New Straits Times

Sabah upset Perak to remain in the hunt

by S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: Sabah pulled off a major upset in the MHC-Milo-NSC National Under-14 hockey championships when they defeated former champions Perak 3-1 in the boys’ Group A match at the Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium in Kuala Terengganu on Sunday.

Despite the win, Sabah remain third in the group with 10 points from five matches. Perak still lead the group with 12 points.

Six-time champions Kuala Lumpur easily defeated Sarawak 3-0 to stay in second spot. They are also on 12 points but with an inferior goal difference.

Perak are likely to make the semi-finals. It is the Sabah-KL match that will be crucial on Monday. Sabah must win while a draw for KL is good enough to make the last four.

Sabah coach Zulkifli Zainal was elated to see his team rise to the occasion to stun Perak. Now, he is counting on his team to get the better of KL.

“We have beaten Perak and now we must go all out against KL. It is a do-or-die battle for us,” said Zulkifli.

It was Perak who took the lead against Sabah. Alief Sabron scored a field goal in the 23rd minute for his 14th goal in the tournament.

Sabah, however, stormed back to score three times in the second half to chalk up a surprising win. Shello Silverius equalised in the 53rd minute while Mijhajir Abdul Rauf scored a brace in the 58th and 62nd minutes.

In Group B, hosts Terengganu became the first team to qualify for the semi-finals after a 2-2 draw with Selangor.

Terengganu completed their group fixtures with 13 points. Malacca and Pahang will battle it out for the other last four berth.

Pahang put themselves in contention for a place in the last four after a 7-2 win over Johor to move to third spot with nine points. Malacca are second with 11 points. Both teams meet on Monday with Malacca needing a draw to confirm their last four berth.

In the girl’s category, Kuala Lumpur have virtually sealed their semi-final berth in Group A.

They have nine points and play second-placed Terengganu, who are on six points, in their last match on Monday.

In Group B, Kedah and Penang are the favourites to reach the last four.

The Star of Malaysia