All the news for Thursday 19 April 2018
Commonwealth Games gives teams much to ponder
The XXI Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia was the last major tournament for many of the participating nations at this year's Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup, London 2018. As such, it was the ideal opportunity for the players to experience the atmosphere of a big international occasion and to challenge themselves in the testing conditions of a multi-sport event.
We spoke to three players who between them have amassed hundreds of caps and a fair amount of medals. On this occasion, Anita McLaren of New Zealand was sporting the gold medal, Australia’s Emily Smith wore a silver medal around her neck and Maddie Hinch of England was holding a bronze medal.
In less than 100 days, the three teams will be lining up with 13 of the other top teams in the world to contest the greatest prize of all, the Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup.
For host nation England, the prospect of a home championship is incredibly exciting. Maddie Hinch, England and Great Britain’s goalkeeper and the current FIH Goalkeeper of the Year, summed up the importance of home support.
“The crowds here in Gold Coast have been 5,000 strong, with a lot of them against us. We have been looking around and trying to imagine what it will be like in London. We will have 15,000 people, with the majority of them supporting England. The thought of it sends a real shoot of excitement through me and I can’t wait to get out there this summer.”
While the support will most definitely be at its most vociferous when England take to the pitch, both Australia and New Zealand have a large fan base in the UK and can expect them to turn out in force.
Anita McLaren has played in London many times. “We love playing in London, it is a beautiful city and the hockey facilities are excellent. There is a big Kiwi contingent so we always get a lot of support. You look up and see these pockets of ‘black’ [the official colour of the New Zealand team] in the crowd and you can hear them doing their best to outshout the other supporters.
“And when we are not playing England we get a lot of English support too, which is great,” added the Black Sticks striker.
The Commonwealth Games has given the teams plenty to think about as their preparations gear up towards the London event.
For Australia captain Emily Smith, the experience of playing in front of large, noisy crowds in the Gold Coast was a really important part of her team’s preparations. “A lot of girls have never played in front of these sized crowds before. The pool games are great, they give us a chance to practice our processes and play our game but then the grand final comes around and the extra pressure is huge. It is something that is hard to replicate in training so to have that experience here is really important.”
Australia lost to New Zealand in the final, but the pain of that defeat was something that the Hockeyroos will now use in their preparations. “We will put that feeling under our belt," says Smith. "The disappointment we are feeling now will be a huge motivator for the next couple of months. When we don’t want to do those few extra sprints or things aren’t going well, then we will make sure we use this memory to keep us training hard.”
For Hinch and her England teammates, the important thing was to ensure they finished the Commonwealth Games with a win. To do that, they overturned the pool results to defeat India 2-1. “It was incredibly important that we won our final match at the Commonwealth Games (for bronze) especially after our last tournament where we lost our third/fourth match,” says Hinch.
“As a group, we needed to learn how to win that last game when you are all knackered and need to dig deep. The match wasn’t pretty but it was important to turn things around against India.”
Both Smith and Hinch concede that goal-scoring is something they must improve before they arrive in London. England showed a worrying lack of success from penalty corner conversions, while Australia created huge numbers of scoring opportunities but failed to put them away.
On the other hand, Smith points out that Australia went through 300 minutes of Commonwealth Games action without conceding a goal, while Hinch maintains that the England defence is “world class”.
McLaren was more reticent when discussing her team’s strengths and weaknesses. “No-one is ever perfect, so there will be heaps we will be working on. But we will be stepping up our game,” she said firmly. With that promise and the confidence gained from their Commonwealth Games success, McLaren and her Black Sticks will be certain to be one of the favourites to lift the trophy in London.
Black Stick Pippa Hayward says she couldn't watch penalty shootout
The Black Sticks have beaten their gold medal hoodoo – so where to now for this young team? SCOTT BARBOUR/GETTY IMAGES
Talk about a team player. Black Sticks midfielder Pippa Hayward was an emotional wreck for the duration of the Commonwealth Games – and not just while her side was playing.
Hayward, 27, said being a part of this year's New Zealand campaign was like no other tournament she had been to. It felt like the Kiwis were all in it together, she said.
It's history now that the Black Sticks women won gold for the first time, belying the perception from the New Zealand sporting public that they couldn't breaking the hoodoo.
Pippa Hayward was one of the standout midfielders throughout the Black Sticks Commonwealth Games campaign. GETTY IMAGES
"It's definitely something we are aware of that many have this perception that we can't handle those big moments. But I think it takes a lot to win those games."
It certainly did. The semifinal came down to the wire with the Black Sticks and England in yet another penalty shootout. The Black Sticks emerged triumphant thanks to some clutch hockey from Anita McLaren and captain Stacey Michelsen before being too strong for Australia in the gold medal match.
Hayward admits shootouts are nerve-racking and probably something she would rather not go through again.
"It was awful, absolutely awful. I hated it and I couldn't even watch it. I was hiding the whole time.
"I take my hat off to the five girls [who had penalty shots] because we know what people think of us in that situation."
Hayward wasn't just nervous during her team's matches, but also during the bowls, squash, the cycling and just about any event the Kiwis were in the finals. Win or lose, the tears would come.
"I was in tears the whole time. I was an emotional wreck the whole time. I have never cried so much."
Hayward was a standout performer in the midfield throughout the tournament. She didn't put a foot wrong and as the week went on she become more important to the strength of coach Mark Hager's side.
She made several starts on the Gold Coast, but also came off the bench with fresh legs to make her own special impact.
She says there is a real belief growing in the team that they can beat any nation on the day and when they now face their Australia rivals they no longer see them as superior, just competitive.
"Over the course of the last ten years we have slowly but surely progressed and we are getting closer and performing better. The players are now getting the confidence and it shows on the field.
"They [Australia] also don't have a Stacey Michelsen which helps."
After the big golden high, it is back to the drawing board for the Black Sticks, who will now focus on the next important tournament, the Hockey World Cup, in London starting in late July.
The Black Sticks are a chance to collect a medal. But Hayward knows this is going to be a harder pool of teams compared with the Commonwealth Games, with all of Europe's super powers in the mix.
For now, she will continue her studies in law while eyeing up the World Cup later this year, but she says retirement and a new career is something she does have planted firmly at the back of her mind.
"I'll know when I am ready. To be honest, it is definitely something that comes up because you want to do other things and have a family. I'll know when I am ready, I am not a huge planner and a go with the flow sort of person. But as a female it is something you've got to think about more."
Canada women’s hockey on the crest of ‘something great’
By The Hockey Paper
Canada beat South Africa to make history (PIC: Yan Huckendubler/CGC)
Canada captain Kate Wright believes the women’s side is beginning to show signs of “something great” after ending the Commonwealth Games in fifth place, their best showing at the event.
Canada, a relatively young side, finished with two wins, two draws and a defeat, leaking only three goals as they beat South Africa to hurdle the sixth place which had previously been the highest Commonwealth finish by any Canadian team since 1998.
“This was a great showing from our team, and now it really feels like the beginning of something great,” said Wright. “We stuck to our game plan all tournament and it was really nice to see where we measure up.
“I think we belong in the medal round with the best countries in the world. We’re definitely proud of how we played but we’re not satisfied. We want to make sure, next time we come up against those top countries, we’re beating them. It’s that simple.”
In a women’s tournament which produced few goals – even for finalists New Zealand and Australia – Wright admitted that Canada will aim to overturn a statistic which saw them fail to score in the opening three matches.
“We did a lot of things well this tournament but we really struggled with actually putting the ball in the net,” Wright said.
“We’ll get straight to work adjusting small things with our attacking circle play and see if we can fix that.”
Conversely, Wright also praised Canada’s defensive unit, including goalkeeper Kaitlyn ‘Rocky’ Williams.
“She has worked so hard over the past few years to get where she is now. We’re so proud of her and were lucky to have her back there,” Wright added. “She stood on her head for us. She’s just so dominant back there.”
Meanwhile, the men’s national team finished in eighth spot and will now prepare for the World Cup in December, their next big tournament.
The Hockey Paper
Shahbaz believes Pakistan hockey improving gradually
Says players need to learn and deliver at international level
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Olympian Shahbaz Senior terming Pakistan hokey team’s performance satisfactory in the Commonwealth Games has said that more sincere efforts will put in to get better results.
Talking to The Nation, Shahbaz said: “Pakistan team played well in the entire Commonwealth Games matches but the one against India was of greater significance, which green shirts managed to draw after a long time and long sufferings at the hands of arch-rivals.
“But I am surprised by the statements of a few certain individuals for their childish statements. Pakistan team’s morale was low and we have not been able to win against India for the last five matches in a row. I feel it was a huge achievement by the boys who held arch-rivals. Considering the fact that we are lying at 13th in the world, I feel seventh position is not a bad result. Of course, we can’t expect Roelant Oltmans to deliver over the night results and take national team to the podium,” he added.
He said head coach Oltmans has submitted report and chalked out different areas, where there is a dire need to work on. “Our target was Asian Games not Commonwealth Games, but Oltmans did well in the Commonwealth Games too. He has identified areas where the players lack and need to improve with proper training and guidance well before Asian Games.
“We are starting the national camp at Abbottabad and let me assure all that we are very serious about hockey. These players just want to play and get a few benefits but they don’t know the importance of representing Pakistan. When I was a player, our biggest desire was delivering for our country and winning laurels for it.
“But now the things are different. The players have to work hard on their fitness levels and they must understand the importance of winning big matches. During our days, we had super fit stamina as we used to play for 70 minutes, while the current players have to play only 15 minutes and they have luxury of resting in between. Actually they hardly have to play for 5 minutes in the quarter, so they improve their stamina, which will help them excel,” he added.
Shahbaz said in the past, the national team lost against Canada with heavy margins and now they have beaten the same opponent. “We are trying to bring a world top physical trainer to improve physical condition of the players. The players have skills but they lack hockey skills and match temperament. They need to be passionate for hockey if they want to become top players of the world. They also have to change their priorities. When players are going to play in different leagues, they earn good amount, so we are trying our best to launch Pakistan Hockey League soon which will help players earn at least Rs 1 million annually, which will not only change their financially position but also provide them opportunities to play alongside international players. It will surely benefit Pakistan hockey a great deal.
“Oltmans mentioned in his report that the players don’t have hunger for victory, they don’t know switching of positions and they also don’t have potential to deliver till the end. GPS system is very important, which provides each and every detail from heart beat of physical condition of the player, he wants a GPS expert and also needs a trainer, who may operate GPS till December. The body language of the players is another area to look at, as they can’t control straight ball, confidence level is low while players want tours and small benefits, they need small victories to change their mentality,” he added.
“We have identified areas and trust me, we are working on all areas. We never wanted to get joy-rides and waste precious money, our performances are gradually improving and hiring of international to class coach is a clear indication that federation is dead serious to take Pakistan hockey back to old glory days heights and I once again assure all that we will not let any stone unturned till we achieve the glory,” Shahbaz concluded.
U.S. Women's National Development Squad Tour Roster Named for Upcoming Chile Test Series
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Since the announcement of the 2018 U.S Women’s National Development Squad in January, the team has had multiple training camps up and down the East Coast, including one this past weekend. Following this extensive camp in Lancaster, Pa. that included scrimmages against two collegiate teams, the U.S. Women’s National Development Squad coaching staff has confirmed the tour roster that will travel to Santiago, Chile to compete in a four-game test series against Chile’s Women’s and U-19 Women’s National Team from May 15-24.
The players have worked very hard in their training sessions and I am very pleased that the Development Squad will have this opportunity to gain international game experience and play strong competition," said Jun Kentwell, U.S. Women's National Development Squad Head Coach. "It is important that they are exposed to playing at this level and different styles of play to prepare them for the next step to the USWNT."
To help the Development Squad become a cohesive unit and prep for their tour to South America, USA had their first training camp February 19-20 in Spring City, Pa., followed by competing as two teams in the Big Apple Indoor Tournament from March 3-4 also in Spring City, Pa., where the teams finished first and second respectively. Next, they traveled to Charlottesville, Va. from March 23-25 where the team had a few training sessions that included a scrimmage against the University of Virginia’s Cavaliers team. This past weekend they trained some more and scrimmaged both the University of Connecticut and University of Maryland’s college teams. These competitions helped the Development Squad staff narrow down the selections who will make the trip to Chile to gain further international experience.
U.S. Women’s National Development Squad vs. Chile Series Schedule:
Saturday, May 19 3:00 p.m. ET
Sunday, May 20 3:00 p.m. ET
Tuesday, May 22 10:00 a.m. ET
Wednesday, May 23 10:00 a.m. ET
U.S. Women’s National Development Squad vs. Chile Series Roster:
Mary Beth Barham (Fairfax, Va.), Kelsey Briddell (Wilton, N.Y.), Anna Dessoye (Mountaintop, Pa.), Danielle Grega (Kingston, Pa.), Alexandra Hammel (Duxbury, Mass.), Karlie Heistand (Hamburg, Pa.), Alexa Hoover (Collegeville, Pa.), Jess Jecko (Sauquoit, N.Y.), Carrera Lucas (Brooklandville, Md.), Kelly Marks (Elverson, Pa.), Emily McCoy (Lititz, Pa.), Erin McCrudden (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.), Erin Menges (Richmond, Va.), Alyssa Parker (Woodbine, Md.), Kasey Tapman (Annapolis, Md.), Casey Umstead (Green Lane, Pa.), Carissa Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.), Katie Walsh (Louisville, Ky.)
The non-traveling alternates are Elena Curley (Louisville, Ky.) and Taylor Blood (Hampton Falls, N.H.). The U.S. Women’s National Development Squad is led by head coach Jun Kentwell and assisted by Mark Atherton and Andrew Griffiths.
The U.S. Women’s National Development Squad accounts for the transitional phase between the U-21 USWNT and the senior USWNT. Many athletes are no longer eligible to compete in college or have aged out of being on the junior national teams.
“It’s great for the Development Team to have the opportunity to play against Chile and gain valuable international experience," said Janneke Schopman, USWNT Head Coach. "I am keen to observe how the players and team perform and show me and the staff how close they are to play in the U.S. Women’s National Team.”
The U.S. Women’s National Development Squad will have final technical camp at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa. from April 27-29 before they embark on their journey. For more information regarding the USWNT Development Squad vs. Chile Series, including results and coverage throughout the event, visit the official event page.
USFHA media release
Canadian Masters Rosters set for 2018 World Cup
Four Canadian masters teams bound for Spain this summer
A trip to the Spanish coast in June and July? Doesn’t sound too bad. But these Canadian masters hockey athletes aren’t going for the sun and beaches. They’ll be on the hockey pitches in Terrassa and Barcelona playing in the Masters World Cup competitions. Field Hockey Canada is thrilled to be sending teams in four different divisions to Spain this summer: The Men’s 60+ national team will be playing in the WGM Grandmasters World Cup from June 20-30, 2018 in Barcelona. The Men’s 50+, Women’s 50+ and Women’s 55+ teams will then take the field July 27-August 5th at the IMHA Masters World Cup in Terrassa.
All four teams have spent the better half of a year assembling their rosters, locking in coaches and managers and preparing themselves for competition. Already in 2018, all four squads have had opportunities to practice and compete on the Family Day weekend and on the Easter long weekend. With the summer fast approaching, the teams are gearing up for competition on the world stage.
The women’s teams have acquired two great coaches. Cara Jay is from Victoria, BC where she boasts a 30-year playing and coaching career. A provincial and national level player and a four-time CIS champion with the Vikes, Cara brings a wealth of playing and coaching experience to the table. She is the head coach of the Women’s 50+ masters team this summer. Sarah Moody is a UK transplant. She played youth national, university and club hockey in England and since moving to Canada has focused on coaching. Most recently, Sarah lives in Kelowna and coaches the Okanagan Mission School and assists with the community squad as well. Sarah is locked in as the coach of the Women’s 55+ contingent heading to Terrassa this July.
On the men’s side, the teams have secured long-time community members John Sacre and Don Paterson to lead the two teams to Spain. John will be at the helm for the Men’s 50+ team. He brings with him a wealth of experience at the national level both as a coach and player. He was previously the junior development coach for Field Hockey Canada and has coached at the provincial, national and club level. The only thing left on the list: A Masters World Cup coaching stint! Don Paterson will be acting as coach and manager for the 60+ division squad. Don has an incredible history of coaching, playing and contributing to the Canadian field hockey community. He grew up playing his hockey in Edinburgh, Scotland and has since played in the masters division for both Canada and Scotland. He has served as FHC’s vice president of the board, the men’s high-performance director and was a recipient of the BC President’s Cup for services to hockey. Needless to say, the 60s are in good hands moving towards the WGM World Cup in June in Barcelona.
More information on how to follow the teams’ progress will be available shortly.
VIEW THE TEAM ROSTERS HERE
Field Hockey Canada media release
Scotland U18 Girls come out on top against Poland
Following on from a recent series win against their Welsh counterparts, Scotland U18 Women faced Poland in a three match tournament. Scotland had great success in their first game winning 2-0, however, both teams were equally determined to come out on top and carried an intense showdown throughout the rest of the weekend.
Game 2 – Scotland 1-1 Poland
After a nervy opening spell in the first encounter, Scotland started the second match much more positively.
After some promising attacks, the opening goal soon arrived when Emily Dark intercepted the ball by the touchline and fed Kirsten Cannon, who smashed the ball low into the far corner from the top of the circle.
Scotland continued to look dangerous throughout the first half and had the ball in the net again before half time, however it was pulled back for a penalty corner by the umpire, and the young Scots were unable to convert the resulting opportunity as the Polish keeper saved well from Olivia Bell’s drag flick.
Despite dominating proceedings again in the second half, Scotland failed to fashion many clear-cut scoring opportunities in the third quarter, snatching at those they did manage to create and lacking any real quality, At the other end, it took some brave defending and a smart save by keeper Rachel Strachan to keep out a close range reverse stick effort as the Poles gave notice of their threat, which the Scots had so far done well to limit to an occasional foray into their defensive half.
A momentary lapse of concentration defending a sideline ball allowed the Poles to force an equaliser, as the ball into the circle was deftly deflected past the despairing Strachan. Scotland continued to put pressure on the visitors, and from successive corners they first had a shot ran down and then a chance just scrambled wide, and in the end they were unable to find the winner.
“I thought we moved the ball well and controlled the game,” said head coach Keith Smith. “The girls worked extremely hard in order to establish that control from the first minute, but in the end it was a valuable lesson that at this level they also need to work smart. In the second half the anxiety in the crowd spread to the pitch and we ended up chasing an outcome rather than trusting our principles. The final game will be a great opportunity to practice handling those sorts of pressures.”
Photo by Mark Pugh
Game 3 – Scotland 8-1 Poland
Scotland put the frustration of the previous evening behind them convincingly, as they ran up an emphatic 8-1 victory in the final game of the series. Once again, it was the young Scots who were quickest out of the traps, and it took just 3 minutes for them to open their account when Georgia Jones beat two defenders on the halfway line and raced into the circle. After drawing the goalie, she was able to play in Rachel Bain who stroked the ball into the empty net.
A few minutes later, Emily Dark weaved her way into the D and calmly slotted a reverse edge shot past the keeper. The young Scots continued to make all the running, with Jones, Olivia Bell and Jenny Walls coming close to adding to the tally. Just before half time, Georgia Smith had the ball in the net from a penalty corner deflection, although the goal was disallowed after the initial shot was adjudged to have been too high.
Scotland had been pressing the Poles hard throughout the game and maintained that tempo in the third quarter where they were rewarded for the endeavours by 3 goals in 4 minutes. Erin Stevens deflected the ball high into the net after more good work by Jones, and seconds later Bain claimed her second following Eve Pearson’s midfield surge. The fifth came from a rebound at a penalty corner, with Bronwyn Shields able to force the ball over the line from close range in the resulting scramble.
Energised by that flurry of goals, the Scots continued to harass the Polish defence in the final quarter and added a sixth early the period as Lexi Sabatelli deflected home a well-worked corner routine. Soon after Sabatelli was sent sprawling by a combination of keeper and defender as she looked set to add another, and from the resulting penalty stroke Emily Dark made the scoreline 7-0. Ellie Wilson then rounded off the scoring for the home side, firing home from a penalty corner. The visitors weren’t done yet however, and with just seconds left, they scored a consolation with a powerful reverse stick finish.
“I was impressed by how well we coupled our workrate with some mature decision-making,” said head coach Keith Smith. “We made life very difficult for a good side with our intensity and willingness to win the ball back, and we posed a much more potent attacking threat throughout, which was a major improvement from the previous match. These games and the Wales series have been invaluable for the girls in gaining experience of different systems and styles of play, and how to adapt our game accordingly, and they can be pleased with how they’ve coped with the challenges of both.”
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Rhinos on the up and up
As a matter of fact, it is their maiden title since the club’s inception.
By Kasozi Balikuddembe
Rhinos and Kampala in action
There is a wave of optimism in the Rhinos Hockey Club camp. Barely one year in the setup, Suzan Khainza and Co are counting their blessings!
In their own right, winning a title in the ladies category at the SMACK Open recently meant they had arrived. As a matter of fact, it is their maiden title since the club’s inception.
Superficially, they could initially be disregarded and written off for the fact that they are generally a bunch of young girls in a competitive environment crowded with seasoned players. But surely they are gaining their footing gradually and that is what matters at the moment.
At the Federation’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the fall of last month, the girls’ exclusive club officially acquired its membership under the federation, a sheer step towards longevity.
The club was formed in the desire to develop young talent as opposed to focusing on the seniors, an idea which was introduced by seasoned player Susan Khainza to Kampala Swans.
Rhinos'Susan Khainza in action against Kampala
The idea was however deemed unviable and hence Kainza and other like minded individuals started Rhinos and as expected the blues in the beginning were quite unavoidable.
With majority of team players strangers in top flight competition, the girls had a poor run in the National League last year.
Fast forward into this season, they are determined to make amends, and the SMACK Open trophy was quite a remarkable feat.
Keeping in mind that haste makes waste, Khainza is nonetheless treating the progress with caution.
“The girls no doubt need a bit of time to grow. I’m overwhelmed by the progress but then we should not rush things” Khainza, a co-founder said.
Now, with the league expected to start soon, the club is high on expectations as they continue to pursue glory.
The New Vision
SSTMI Thunderbolts League champions
Old La Sallians Association of Klang (OLAK) relegated to Division Two
By Jugjet Singh
KUALA LUMPUR: Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) Thunderbolts snatched the Division One Junior Hockey League (JHL) League title from Petaling Jaya City Council (PJCC) Tigers with a 0-0 draw yesterday.
PJCC, last season's League champions, were the only team in Division One which could steal a point from SSTMI who had won all their previous eight matches.
However, PJCC are a lowly sixth on the table with one match in hand.
"Even though we were held to a draw in our final match in the League, it's still satisfying to win the title without losing any of the nine matches. Now we look forward to defending our Overall title in the knock-out stage," said SSTMI coach Wan Roslan Wan Rahman.
The reason for the draw?
"Five of my players went for Youth Olympics training and when they came back, they were too tired to contribute. However, it was a sweet 'victory' to win back the League title from PJCC," said Wan Roslan.
On the lower end of the table, Perlis Young Lions won their first points of the season when they beat winless Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak) 4-3.
Olak face Sabah Sports School Resilient at the Pandamaran Stadium next, and win lose or draw, the former champions will be relegated to Division Two next season.
RESULTS -- Sabah SS Resilient 1 Anderson Thunderbolts 2, SMKDBL-UniKL 2 Pahang Sports School 4, PJCC Tigers 0 SSTMI Thunderbolts 0, BJSS Thunderbolts 3 STMI 1, Old La Sallians Association of Klang 3 Perlis Young Lions 4.
P W D L F A Pts
SSTMI THUNDER 9 8 1 0 49 4 25
ANDERSON THUNDER 8 6 1 1 21 8 19
PAHANG THUNDER 8 5 1 2 18 16 16
SMKDBL-UNIKL 8 5 0 3 20 16 15
BJSS THUNDER 8 4 2 2 34 13 14
PJCC TIGERS 8 3 2 3 17 17 11
SSTMI 8 2 1 5 12 22 7
SABAH RESILIENT 7 2 0 5 14 33 6
PERLIS 8 1 0 7 10 30 3
OLAK 8 0 0 8 7 43 0
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey
SSTMI-Thunderbolt wrap up MJHL Div One without a loss
By Aftar Singh
That’s mine: MBPJ Tigers’ Muhammad Ishraf Irsyad Alias (left) stealing the ball from SSTMI-Thunderbolt’s Muhammad Adam Ahmad Kamal during the Malaysian Junior Hockey League Division One match at the MBPJ Hockey Stadium yesterday. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star
PETALING JAYA: Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI)-Thunderbolt wrapped up the Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) Division One with a 100% record.
The Johor Sports School played to a 0-0 draw against Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) at the MBPJ Hockey Stadium yesterday.
SSTMI-Thunderbolt, who finished with 25 points from eight wins and a draw, are the only unbeaten outfit in the 10-team league.
SSTMI-Thunderbolt already secured the league title last week after winning their eighth consecutive match.
SSTMI-Thunderbolt coach Wan Roslan Wan Abdul Rahman, however, was unhappy with the players’ performance.
“We have been scoring goals in every match to win but today, my players were complacent in the last match.
“For the first time, we did not score a single goal. This is not good as we prepare for the knockout stage.
“My players didn’t play the match to win but instead took it easy because we already won the league title,” said Wan Roslan.
“I’m not too happy about their attitude in the game today. I want my players to continue to win to dominate the league.
“But the 0-0 draw against MBPJ is a bad reflection on us as it shows that we can be beaten in the knockout stage. They need to change their attitude for the knockout stage,” said Wan Roslan.
Anderson-Thunderbolt edged Sabah Sports School Resilient 2-1 at the Likas Hockey Stadium and look set to finish runners-up in Division One.
The Ipoh School have 19 points from eight matches and they will take on Pahang Hockey Academy (AHP)-SSJ-Thunderbolt in the last match on Saturday.
Pahang have 16 points but Anderson-Thunderbolt will still finish runners-up even if they lose as they have a better goal difference.
The Star of Malaysia
St Mary’s scoops prestigious hockey cup
The local school’s team last won this award back in 2007.
Photo: Cailynn Den Bakker
THE St Mary’s DSG Kloof first hockey team recently won the 2018 St Mary’s (Waverley) Investec Hockey Festival in its 19th year of play.
The local team beat 32 teams from across South Africa, Namibia and England during four days of fast-paced hockey.
The final was played in front of an estimated crowd of more than 2 000 hockey supporters.
St Mary’s fought to win this prestigious cup and knocked C and N Sekondêre Meisieskool Oranje (OMS) from the podium, a team which has won the last four years in a row. St Mary’s DSG, Kloof played 12 games, lost one, drew two and won nine.
In the semi-final against Herschel and the final against Collegiate went to a five-minute golden goal extra time and then eight second shootouts (where a player takes on the goalie and has to try and score within eight seconds).
The atmosphere during the final was electric with girls from both teams rising to the challenge and playing some outstanding hockey.
The final against Collegiate Girls’ High School was a close match with the score being 0 – 0 at the end of full time and still tied at the end of the extra five-minute golden goal period.
The eight-second shootout became the decider and the St Mary’s goalkeeper, Nicola Havenga, did a brilliant job at keeping out their first two shots.
The St Mary’s strikers, Leah Piggott and Cailynn Den Bakker, responded to the opportunity this created and made sure of their shots by beating the Collegiate keeper on her non-stick side and slotting their goals into the back of the net.
The last time St Mary’s DSG, Kloof won this tournament was when their coach, Kelly Reed (nee Madsen), was in the team in 2007.
“The team spirit, support and commitment shown by this team and coaches has been exemplary. Well done team,” said the school’s marketing and communications administrator, Lisa Abbott.
The Highway Mail