All the news for Thursday 19 February 2015
Azerbaijan thrash woeful Kenya in Olympics qualifier
By BRIAN YONGA
Glennis Namasake during a training session at City Park Stadium on February 7, 2015 in preparation of the 2016 Rio Olympics qualifiers in Uruguay. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Kenya finally took to the pitch at the World League two series but fell 5-0 to Azerbaijan in their final Pool B match on Tuesday night at the British School Grounds in Montevideo, Uruguay.
This was the national women hockey team's first game at the competition after failing to honour their opening two matches against Trinidad and Tobago and France.
It is still unclear why the second game against France was not played.
Azerbaijan - the highest ranked team in the competition - dominated the game scoring all their goals in the first half including a hat-trick from Farida Mammadova.
Anastasiya Tsyganska and Lyubov Druzhinnia also got their names on the score sheet for the Eastern European side in the one-sided Olympics qualifier.
The Azerbaijanis, ranked 29th in the world, came into the match on the back of two wins after thrashing Trinidad and Tobago 5-1 and overcoming France 3-2.
It took them only six minutes to take the lead as Mammadova slotted past Kenyan keeper Cynthia Onyango to start what seemed like a procession from the onset.
The second arrived seven minutes later with the striker proving a handful for Kenyan defenders as she grabbed her second. She went on to complete her hat-trick, taking her tally at the event to five.
The defeat means Kenya finished bottom of their Pool with no points with Azerbaijan top with nine points followed by France on six points while Trinidad and Tobago finished in third place with six points on an inferior goal difference.
Jos Openda’s charges have a chance to redeem themselves when they take on hosts Uruguay in the quarterfinals on Friday 1am Kenyan time. The tournament rules sees all the teams advance to the last eight where they will play teams from the other pool.
Kenyan striker Pauline Naise said the team suffered from lack of match fitness and were punished for not converting their chances but noted the team still has a chance to do well in the qualifiers.
“It was a challenging and fast match, our opponents took their chances and that proved to be the difference," Naise told FIH website.
"The first half was slow because we had not gotten into the momentum but we improved in the last two quarters,” she added.
Azerbaijan v Dominican Republic (5.30pm)
France v Mexico (8pm)
Italy v Trinidad & Tobago (10.30pm)
Uruguay v Kenya (1 am)
Daunting task as Kenya battle hosts Uruguay
By Elizabeth Mburugu
Kenya Flavia Mutiva (l) as Ghana Elizabeth Opoku blocks the ball when they played World League round one at Citypark ,Nairobi. Kenya won 1-0. ON 06/09/14 PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE
The national women's hockey team faces an uphill task as they play hosts Uruguay in the quarter-finals of the ongoing International Hockey Federation (FIH) World League Two in Montevideo today.
The Kenyan girls lost to world number 17 Azerbaijan 5-0 to finish at the bottom of group B, thereby booking a quarter-final date with pool A top finishers Uruguay.
This will be the second match for Kenya as they did not play their first two matches - one against Trinidad and Tobago and the second against France.
This is a must-win match as the competition is now in its knock-out stage and a loss will lock Kenya out of main title contention. Kenya's failure to play their two matches saw them finish the group stage without a point.
Faridah Mammadova, who was the star of the match, scored a hat-trick in a match that the Asians dominated from the first minute. She announced her team's intentions to win in the sixth minute through a field goal. Seven minutes later, she converted a penalty corner for her second goal.
Lyubov Dhruzhinna scored their third goal in the 28th minute, Anastasiya Tsyganska made it four seconds later. Mammadova beat Kenya's goalkeeper Cynthia Onyango for the third time in the 34th minute to seal her hat-trick and help her team make three wins out of three matches.
The Kenyan girls composed themselves in the second half to contain and keep away the goal-hungry Azerbaijanis.
In other matches, France trounced Trinidad and Tobago 3-0 to finish second in pool A and book a quarter-final tie with Mexico who finished third in pool B. Mexico suffered a 5-0 beating at the hands of hosts Uruguay in their last group encounter.
Italy will take on Trinidad and Tobago in another quarter-final match. Italy finished second in group A with seven points. Trinidad and Tobago were third in Group B with three points courtesy of Kenya who handed them a walkover.
Bottom in group A, Dominican Republic take on the tournament's top-ranked team and pool A winners Azerbaijan in the last quarter-final match.
The Standard Online
Delhi hold Wizards to a 3-3 draw
Wizards fight back to hold Waveriders
Uttar Pradesh Wizards players celebrate a goal. File photo: Rajeev Bhatt
Three goals in as many minutes of the final quarter dashed Uttar Pradesh Wizards’ hopes of going top of the table as it had to settle for a draw against Delhi Waveriders in its last league match of the Hero Hockey India League here on Wednesday.
With both teams already confirmed for the semifinals, there was not much at stake. However, there was no let up in the teams’ intensity.
Leading 2-0 at one point, UPW looked set for an easy victory before the host raised the level in the last 15 minutes. UPW fought back to draw 3-3 and take two points from the game.
With this, UPW climbed to 32 points to remain third on the table while DW remained fourth with 25 points.
Two in two
After being on the backfoot for a major part of the game, DW scored twice in two minutes through Matt Gohdes and Simon Child to go ahead 3-2 in the 51st minute.
Both goals were more due to defensive lapses by UPW, which had managed to stave off several attempts till then.
Despite a flurry of attacks early on, DW was unable to get past P.R. Sreejesh under the bar. UP finally went ahead in the 19th minute when V.R. Raghunath slammed past Nicolas Jacobi off a penalty corner. Jeroen Hertzberger tapped in a Pradeep Mor pass to make it 2-0.
That was before DW came back forcefully to almost take the match away from the visitor. But Raghunath again scored in the 52nd minute to help level scores.
The scores: Uttar Pradesh Wizards 3 (V.R. Raghunath 2, Jeroen Hertzberger) drew with Delhi Waveriders 3 (Andrew Hayward, Matt Gohdes, Simon Child).
Delhi hold Wizards to a 3-3 draw
UP Wizards players celebrate a goal against Delhi Waveriders during their HIL match in New Delhi on Wednesday.
New Delhi - Delhi Waveriders produced a block-busting fourth quarter performance to lay the base for a 3-3 draw against Uttar Pradesh Wizards in their final home fixture here on Wednesday.
The Waveriders came from two goals down against a spirited Wizards to secure their berth in the semifinals of the HIL with 25 points from 10 games.
After a feisty and physical first quarter ended scoreless, the second and third periods were outstanding, consisting of three goals in quick succession.
The Wizards started the run with a superb goal from VR Raghunath in the 20th minute, followed by another strike from Jeroen Hertzberger in the 34th minute. The Dutchman deflected in a cross from the right.
With the early lead, the visitors attacked more aggressively and maintained the pressure on the hosts. Bruised and battered, the Waveriders fought back with Andrew Hayward firing past the opponent goalie in the 45th minute to set up an exciting final quarter.
The hosts went on a rampage in the fourth period with two stunning goals from Australian Matt Gohdes and New Zealander Simon Child within a gap of one minute to take the 3-2 lead. The game was getting away from the Wizards until a powerful drag-flick from Raghunath salvaged a draw for the visitors.
Waveriders and Wizards play out 3-3 draw in final league game
NEW DELHI: Already assured of a place in the semifinals, defending champions Delhi Waveriders and Uttar Pradesh Wizards played out a 3-3 draw in their final league game of the Hero Hockey India League (HIL) on Wednesday.
VR Ragunath (20th minute, 53rd) converted two penalty corners for the Wizards while the other goal came from a field effort from Jeroen Hertzberger (34th).
For the Waveriders Andrew Hayward (45th) scored from a set piece while Australian Matt Gohdes (51st) and Kiwi Simon Child (52nd) scored two field goals.
Uttar Pradesh Wizards finished their league engagements with 32 points from 10 matches, the Waveriders accumulated 25 points from the same number of games.
Playing in front of home crowd, the Waveriders started on a bright note as just five minutes into the game the hosts got their first penalty corner but Rupinderpal Singh's effort was saved by wizards goalkeeper PR Sreejesh.
The Waveriders were again at the thick of things when Gurwinder Chandi's shot from skipper Sardar Singh's pass was brilliantly kept away by Sreejesh.
Seconds from the end of the first quarter, the Wizards earned their first penalty corner but failed to capitalise on the chance as both the teams failed to break the deadlock after the opening 15 minutes.
Five minutes into the second quarter, the Wizards won their second penalty corner of the match and this time Raghunath made no mistake to give the visitors the lead.
Pegged by the goal, the Wizards continued to dominate the and kept the pressure on the Waveriders with relentless attacks.
The Wizards doubled their lead in the third quarter through Hertzberger who guided in a Pardeep Mor pass from the right flank.
Down 0-2, the Waveriders pressed hard for goals and managed to score thrice in a span of seven minutes to take the upperhand hand in the match.
The Wavriders managed to pull one back in the 45th minute through a penalty corner conversion from Hayward to go into the fourth and final quarter trailing 1-2.
The Waveriders managed to equalise in the 51st minute through Ghodes, who scored a superb field goal after getting past two defenders and rival goalkeeper Sreejesh.
The Waveriders took the lead in the very next minute when Child scored a brilliant field goal.
In the very next move, the Wizards managed to draw level when Raghunath converted his second penalty corner of the day.;
Thereafter, both the teams tried hard for the winners but it was not to come.
The Times of India
Punjab Warriors to meet Dabang Mumbai in last league match
MOHALI: Having already booked a berth in the semifinals, Jaypee Punjab Warriors would be looking to sign off the league stage with a win against the bottom-placed Dabang Mumbai, who would be playing for pride in their last league match of the Hero Hockey India League on Thursday.
The two teams had earlier clashed in Dabang Mumbai's home ground, where the hosts had managed to hold the mighty Warriors to a 3-3 draw.
With an impressive performance in the League so far, the Warriors have enjoyed a successful spell and are regarded as one of the title contenders this season. Thirty points already in their kitty, if the Warriors win Thursday's game, they would add five more points to the tally.
The Jamie Dwyer-led team is expected to give a tough challenge to the opponents.
On the other hand, with a lone win and just 14 points, Dabang Mumbai have had a disappointing outing this season. The Valentin Altenburg coached team will only be aiming to end campaign with a win.
Head coach of Punjab Warriors, Barry Dancer said he would want his boys to put their best foot forward on Thursday, even though its an inconsequential match.
"This is our last game before we enter the semifinals. The team has been performing really well and despite a loss in the previous match against Ranchi Rays, we have shown improvement in all areas. The boys are confident and I am sure they will play to their best and put up a good match for the home crowd tomorrow," said Dancer.
The Times of India
Wanderers face continental competition in Vienna
Dundee Wanderers will hope to translate success domestically to the European stage. Photo Credit: Duncan Gray
Indoor champions Dundee Wanderers will pay a visit to Vienna this weekend to compete in the EuroHockey Indoor Club Champions Trophy, with the Taysiders harbouring hopes of promotion to the Club Champions Cup in 2016.
Securing a place in the continent’s elite indoor competition next year means finishing in the top two positions in a round robin single pool format featuring six other teams, including hosts SV Arminen (AUT), Royal Antwerp HC (BEL), HC Rotweiss Wettingen (SUI), HAHK Mladost (CRO), HC Ritm-Azot Grodno (BLR), and Ards Ladies HC (IRL).
Vikki Bunce's firepower will be a real asset for Wanderers in Europe. Photo Credit: Duncan Gray
The Dundonians narrowly missed out on promotion from the competition in Siauliai, Lithuania last year, losing out to a last gasp goal against English champions Reading in their final match, so will be aiming to go at least one better in this season’s event.
As Scotland’s newly crowned indoor champions in 2014/15 season, Wanderers’ motivation is further enhanced by the fact that they will be the nation’s representatives next season too.
Please visit the EuroHockey Indoor Club Champions Trophy website for more information.
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Belgian league returns with big Ducks and Daring battle
The Belgian league returns with a bang this Sunday with EHL sides Waterloo Ducks hosting Daring in a battle between second and third place.
Both are on 28 points after 13 rounds of matches and will be keen not to lose any ground on leaders Leuven who are two points better off in the rankings. The Ducks finished their warm-up to the second part of the season with a tie against Royal Wellington on Wednesday night.
For Leuven’s title push, they play Racing Club de Bruxelles who will be short of a quartet of players who are on international duty with Chris Cargo, Conor Harte and Alan Sothern with Ireland and Scott Tupper with Canada as they prepare for World League 2 in San Diego, USA.
Royal Leopold currently occupy the fourth playoff place on 25 points and are bouyed by a midweek warm-up 1-0 win over Braxgata, thanks to a goal from Arthur Verdussen. They trabel to Orée on Sunday for their return to competitive action.
Fifth place Dragons will aim to close the gap to the leaders when they go to Herakles.
Euro Hockey League media release
Holcombe target play-off place
Holcombe goalkeeper Maddie Hinch in action v Buckingham, Credit Andy Smith
With six teams still aiming to cement their place in the top four, Holcombe travel to Leicester on Saturday with the aim of staking their claim for a place in the play-offs at the Investec Women’s Finals Weekend.
Holcombe currently occupy the crucial fourth spot in the table, but with three other teams within two points of them they still have work to do if they are to keep their title hopes alive.
“We’ve not had the greatest run of form recently, so we’re expecting a tough challenge at Leicester,” said Holcombe coach Kevin Johnson. “It was tough at our place earlier in the season, and we burgled an equaliser late on to draw 2-2.
“We were pleased to get a win at Beeston last weekend – that was the first time I’ve been able to pick from a full squad since the first game of the season and when you have a couple of key players unavailable it’s difficult.
“A number of our squad are still getting used to the Investec League, let alone the Premier Division. But we’re realistic – the play-offs wasn’t our aim at the start of the season, so we don’t feel any particular pressure.”
Holcombe moved up to fourth following their 4-1 win over Beeston last weekend, but a Leicester win this weekend could see them switch places. Reading also moved up the table after beating Bowdon Hightown on Saturday. They are level on points with Holcombe in fifth, albeit having played an extra game, against Clifton. This game was scheduled for Saturday but Reading are in European Indoor action in Lithuania this weekend.
The University of Birmingham are also challenging for the play-offs, and they head to leaders Surbiton on Saturday, while the bottom two – Beeston and Buckingham – face a crucial match against each other in their hopes of avoiding the drop.
In the Investec Conference West, bottom team Cheltenham host promotion-chasing Swansea City in an important match for both clubs. Elsewhere, leaders Slough are at home against Trojans.
Top plays bottom in the Investec Conference North, with Cannock at home against leaders Wakefield and both teams desperate for the points for very different reasons. And former leaders Brooklands Poynton head to Ben Rhydding as they look to keep pace with Wakefield.
Second-placed Sevenoaks take on Maidenhead at Holly Bush Lane as they endeavour to chase down Investec Conference East leaders East Grinstead, who entertain bottom of the league Horsham.
Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, February 21 2015)
Investec Premier Division
Beeston v Buckingham 12:00
Bowdon Hightown v Canterbury 13:45
Leicester v Holcombe 14:00
Surbiton v Univ of Birmingham 14:00
Investec Conference West
Bristol Firebrands v Gloucester City 12:00
Isca v Stourport 12:00
Oxford Hawks v Olton & West Warwicks 12:00
Cheltenham v Swansea City 12:30
Slough v Trojans 12:30
Investec Conference North
Liverpool Sefton v Whitley Bay and Tynemouth 12:30
Loughborough Students v Univ of Durham 12:30
Kendal v Sutton Coldfield 12:30
Ben Rhydding v Brooklands Poynton 13:30
Cannock v Wakefield 14:00
Investec Conference East
Bedford v Wimbledon 13:00
East Grinstead v Horsham 13:30
Chelmsford v Harleston Magpies 14:00
Ipswich v St Albans 14:00
Sevenoaks v Maidenhead 17:00
England Hockey Board Media release
Siti's back on the hockey turf just eight months after having a baby
By Aftar Singh
Siti Rahmah Othman can play in the midfield or forward. She has 70 international caps with Malaysia thus far.
KUALA LUMPUR: Nothing fazes Siti Rahmah Othman. Not even motherhood.
The 29-year-old returned to training with the national women’s hockey team last month – just eight months after giving birth to a baby boy last June.
The passion for hockey is just too great for her to ignore.
“Although I have an eight-month-old baby to care for, I just can not give up the sport ... I have been playing it since I was 10 years old,” said Siti, who has named her son Ariiq Rayqan.
Siti, who has represented Malaysia since 2004, believes that she still can contribute to the sport as “I am experienced and can play in midfield and the forward line”.
“I also have some unfinished business with the national team, having missed out on four major tournaments – the Myanmar SEA Games (in December 2013), World League Round One in Singapore (last June), Glasgow Commonwealth Games (last July) and the Incheon Asian Games (last September),” said Siti, who last featured for Malaysia in the Asia Cup at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil in September 2013.
“I wouldn’t have made a comeback if not for my husband (Amir Shahreen Mubin) and my in-laws ... they’ve always supported me when it comes to playing hockey for the national team.
“I’ve been training for six weeks now and I’m confident I will get to feature in the World League Round Two in New Delhi from March 7-15,” added the Penangite, who has 70 international caps thus far.
Malaysia qualified for the Round Two in New Delhi after emerging as champions in Round One in Singapore last year.
For Round Two, world No. 21 Malaysia are the second highest ranked team after world No. 13 India.
Malaysia are in Group B with Russia, Singapore and Kazakhstan. Group A comprises India Poland, Ghana and Thailand.
The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) have set a top-two target for the women’s team in New Delhi in a bid to qualify for the World League Semi-Finals in Belgium and Argentina in June.
National coach Mohd Nasihin Nubli said that Siti had been training hard and that her services are needed in the absence of skipper Nadia Abdul Rahman, who is expecting her first child.
“Siti’s presence will further boost our chances of finishing among top two in New Delhi,” he said.
There are 30 players in the training squad and the final 18 will be named next week.
The national team will leave for New Delhi on March 3 and play a friendly against India on March 5. They will open their campaign against Kazakhstan on March 7.
The Star of Malaysia
Scottish Hockey was saddened to learn that Jack Fraser, member of Gordonians Hockey Club, passed away on Thursday 12 February.
A Vice-President of the club, and father of long-serving members Peter and Martin, Jack was an honorary life member of Scottish Hockey and was a recipient of many awards to recognise his great contribution to hockey.
A player, umpire, North District president, North District Convenor and for the last 40 years, the region’s press officer reporting, collating and submitting fixtures and results to the Press & Journal right up to his last days.
Indeed, Jack loved to get calls from all the clubs on match days to record the results and scorers and hear how the matches had gone. Until a year or two ago, which was well into his 80s, he could be seen happily taking notes at Countesswells or Rubislaw as he watched the sport he loved.
Jack played in goal for Aberdeen Academy FPs in the 1950s and 1960s, and went on to become an excellent umpire for the District in the 1970s and 1980s.
Jack was also a great supporter of Gordonians over so many years and even managed, with his wife Mary, to go to several European Cup Winners Cup tournaments where he wrote and faxed reports to the Scottish press association.
North District was extremely lucky to have Jack serve it so well over so many years and he will be greatly missed.
Scottish Hockey President Martin Boag said, "Jack was a stalwart of Scottish hockey, having served the sport in numerous ways throughout his lifetime. He was a true gentleman and will be greatly missed by all involved in our sport. Our thoughts are with Mary and her family at this sad time."
Jack’s funeral will take place on Wednesday 25 February at 1pm at Ferryhill Church, Fonthill Road, Aberdeen AB11 6UD
(with thanks to Gordonians Hockey Club for information)
Scottish Hockey Union media release