All the news for Monday 9 May 2011
Three teams unbeaten at Champions Challenge 2
Russia 0, Belgium 4:
Belgium earned its second win in as many games at the FIH Champions Challenge 2 after shutting out Russia, 4-0.
It was a battle between the 17th and 18th-ranked teams, but Russia was a far cry from their 18th position with the lopsided result. To be fair, the game was wide open until the 60th minute when Belgium put in three goals, including a penalty corner in the last minute of action, to pull out the victory. Until the surge, Belgium held a slim 1-0 advantage after Anouk Raes scored in the 23rd minute.
It looked like Russia simply ran out of gas in the last 10 minutes of action, conceding its second defeat of the event. That Russia is 0-2 is somewhat of a surprise given the fact that they came to Vienna as the third-seeded team in the eight-team field. Meanwhile, second-seeded Belgium is living up to all expectations.
Malaysia 4, Belarus 5:
Belarus continued to produce the most exciting and high-scoring games of this year’s Champions Challenge, earning a 5-4 win against Malaysia.
Much like its 4-3 win against Russia yesterday, it was another fight to the finish for Belarus, which survived the see-saw battle. Malaysia took the early 2-0 lead in the first 16 minutes, but Belarus countered with a trio of goals coming in a four-minute span to take a 3-2 lead. Yuliya Mikheichyk scored twice in the flurry and ended the game with three goals. Malaysia tied the game at three just before the break with a penalty corner.
Belarus took control in the second half, putting in two straight goals before the 51st minute to take it most commanding lead at 5-3. But once again, Malaysia had an answer with yet another penalty corner to pull to within one with six minutes remaining. Much like Russia, Malaysia’s comeback bid ultimately ran out of time as Belarus hung on for its second win.
Malaysia is winless in its first two games.
Canada 1, Chile 0:
Canada went from playing the lowest-seeded team at the Champions Challenge 2 yesterday to facing the top-seeded team today. It seems the opponent made little difference to the Canadians as the earned their second consecutive one-goal victory.
Kate Gillis was the Canadian hero, scoring the only goal of the game three minutes into the second half. It was a tight game throughout, but Canada clung to the slim lead and staved off the Chile offense as Azelia Liu earned the shutout in net.
19th-ranked Canada is now perfect in its first two games while #16 Chile has a win and a loss to their credit.
Italy 4, Austria 1:
Italy claimed its first win of this year’s Champions Challenge 2 with a 4-1 win over host Austria. The loss left Austria still looking for its first win of the event.
It was clear after the first half that Italy was the superior team. They held a 3-0 advantage after just 22 minutes of action. Two of the early Italian goals came on penalty corners. Alexandera Sandner got Austria on the board before the break, to make it a 3-1 affair at the half.
With the game well in hand, Italy’s offense slowed in the second half, putting in just one goal, coming with six minutes left, once again on a penalty corner. The goal was the last of the scoring for both sides as Italy cruised to the 4-1 win.
Tomorrow is a day off for all teams and will be followed by the last day of preliminary round action on Tuesday.
To view all match sheets and tournament information, click here
FIH Media release
CCII - Canada defeats Chile 1-0 in Game 2
Canada moved to the top of Pool B with a hard fought 2-1 win over Chile in the second day of the Champions Challenge II in Vienna. Prior to the match, Abigail Raye was recognized as today she will receive her 50th international cap. Abiwas presented flowers from coach Louis Mendonca.
Buoyed on by the addition of new fans, Diane Gillis and her mother, Canada played smart, structured hockey during the first half. Play was very equal during this time, with Canada earning a PC at 14‘, resulting in a shot on goal well stopped bythe Chilean goalkeeper. Chile responded with pressure later in the half, earning Penalty Corners at 27‘ and 33‘. Steph Jameson cleared the former afterthe initial shot was blocked in front of the goal, with Azelia Liu making a fine stop on the second corner.
Canada began the second half with strong pressure, resulting in a fine reverse stick goal by Kate Gillis at 38’ due to hard work and a great cross from the right side by Krissy Wishart. Chile responded immediately, earning a Penalty Corner at 40’,resulting in a shot well over the goal. A minute later, goalkeeper Liu made afine save after a strong, Chilean run.
Although play continued generally equal, Chile earned three Penalty Corners (50’ and two at55’). During the first, defender Sam Smith injured her ankle while defending the initial shot and was forced to leave the field. On the third PC, with the goalkeeper out of position, defenders Di Roemer and Steph Jameson cleared the ball off the line after a Chilean player had missed a chance at the open goal. Chile had one last gasp with a long corner at 63’, but Canada defended well and ranout the clock with the ball in their opponents’ end of the field.
Canada now has a Rest Day tomorrow, playing Italy on Tuesday with the knowledge that a win will put them first in Pool B.
Starting line-up: Azelia Liu, Steph Jameson, Sam Smith, Abi Raye, Di Roemer, Katie Baker, Tyla Flexman, Krissy Wishart, Kate Gillis, Jess Walkey, Thea Culley.
Substitutes: Dani Hennig, Hannah Haughn, Marian Dickinson, Katie Collison, Cailie O’Hara
DNP: Kaitlyn Williams, Sara McManus.
Field Hockey Canada media release
Kiwis hold the Koreans
New Zealand and South Korea played to a 1-1 draw in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup match tonight.
It was a fair result for both teams in what was a drab affair with most of the play centered in the midfield with goal scoring chances few in between.
For New Zealand the point would have been a welcome relief after their 2-4 opening match defeat at the hands of Pakistan on Thursday.
As for Korea, the point was valuable given that they are level on points with India and Australia, all three with four points as Great Britain and Pakistan lead the table with six points.
Korea were awarded a penalty corner in the 8th minute but despite having time, Yoon Sung Hoon sent his attempt sailing over the cross bar.
New Zealand was awarded their first penalty corner in the 18th minute. But Jang Jong Hyun was at the right place at the right time to send Andrew Hayward’s attempt around the post.
The Black Sticks came close yet again in the 21st minute but Blair Hilton sent his shot into the upright despite keeper Myung Ho out of position.
At the break both teams trooped off with honours even.
The breakthrough finally came in the 50th minute when Benjamin Collier scored from a cross on the left by Nicolas Wilson.
But the Koreans were undeterred and used the flanks to stretch the Kiwi defence. And from one such foray they were awarded a penalty corner in the 58th minute from which Jang Jong Hyun drew his team level with a low flick.
New Zealand was then reduced to 10 men as Blair Hilton was yellow carded in the 59th minute but Korea could not capitalize on the numerical advantage.
Official Sultan Azlan Shah Cup site
Pakistan fall to Great Britain
Three years ago at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Robert Moore scored against Pakistan in Great Britain’s 4-2 win.
And he was on the mark yet again, scoring the opening goal as Great Britain inflicted the first defeat on Pakistan in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh.
Great Britain defeated Pakistan 3-2 in an entertaining clash that had the fans at the edge of their seats.
Britain took the lead in the eight minute when the attempt by Moore crossed the line despite Waqas Akhbar attempting to clear it off the line.
Shakeel Abbasi missed a sitter in the 24th minute when a simple tap would have sufficed to beat Britain keeper Nicholas Brothers.
At the other end, Simon Mantell came close to connecting a cross from James Tindall with Imran Shah beaten at the far post in the 25th minute.
Pakistan finally got the breakthrough in the 31st minute as Sohail Abbas sent his penalty corner drag flick past a diving Brothers.
Britain started off strongly once again in the second half and Jonathan Clarke put them 2-1 ahead in the 39th minute.
Pakistan almost equalized two minutes later when Rehan Butt’s attempt beat the keeper but was cleared off the goal-line by Adam Dixon.
Clarke scored Britain’s third in the 63rd minute but Pakistan pulled one back in the very next minute via Abdul Hassem Khan to set up a grandstand finish.
But with Sohail failing to find the mark from Pakistan’s fourth penalty corner in the 67th minute, Great Britain walked off relieved and with three points in the bag.
Official Sultan Azlan Shah Cup site
India hold Aussies to a draw
India held reigning world champions Australia to a 1-1 draw at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament today.
It was a commendable result given the fact that Australia dominated proceedings but failed to make use of the chances that they created.
Australia created to early opportunities in the opening minutes. First it was Glenn Turner who picked up a loose clearance by India’s Rupinder Pal Singh in the 4th minute but saw his shot saved by Adrian D’Souza.
And two minutes later Jacob Whetton missed from six yards out, sending the ball over the bar with only Adrian to beat.
The opening goal eventually came in the 14th minute through Whetton who cut in from the left and put the ball past Adrian.
India was presented a golden opportunity to draw level in the 19th minute when skipper Arjun Halappa put Shivendra Singh through. But he failed to get the batter of Australia custodian George Bazeley.
The equalizer came in the 23rd minute via Rupinder Pal Singh who converted India’s first penalty corner of the match with a low drag flick on Bazeley’s right.
Though Australia were awarded three penalty corners in the first half, they failed to get a singe shot on target, perhaps affected by the fast drying pitch.
The Aussies, led by Turner, Simon Orchard and Jason Wilson were the early aggressors, closing down on the Indian defenders fast, forcing them into making mistakes.
And Indian skipper Arjun Halappa gave away a penalty corner in the 40th minute but Adrian pulled off a spectacular save from Brett Dancer’s drag flick.
Orchard had a chance to give Australia the lead in the 50th minute but failed to find the target from six yards out.
Official Sultan Azlan Shah Cup site
India holds Australia in Azlan Shah
An immaculate penalty corner by Rupinderpal Singh facilitated a 1-1 draw for India against Australia on Sunday in the Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament. India has four points from three matches.
In more than one way, it was a satisfying result. The Aussies were nowhere near their best. That should not take away the merit of India's show which was well programmed and executed. The accent strengthening the defence bastion where the hard working Mahadik produced a lion-hearted performance and deservedly gained the nomination for the Man-of-the-Match award.
Almost throughout Mahadik was unerring in his interceptions and tackles. True, there were many suspenseful moments inside the circle, but the Indian defenders headed by Mahadik were supported admirably by Vikram Pillay, Vikas Pillay and Gurbaj Singh.
Astute as ever, Arjun Halappa produced a handful of stunning passes for the forwards to take a strike. But sadly all of them did not work as neither Guruvinder Chandi nor Shivendra Singh was sharp enough to capitalise on the openings. Shivendra should have earned at least two goals.
The report will be incomplete without a tribute to the intrepid goal-keeping by Adrian D'Souza, who brought off a handful of saves, especially in penalty corners. Ric Charlesworth said the execution by the Aussies was ‘rusty.'
The Aussies held the dominance in the rival area thanks to the incisive movements conceived by Glenn Turner and Jason Wilson. Both the players had their moments inside the circle but it was the opportunism displayed by Jason Wilson that got the goal for Australia early in the first half.
Not long after came the equaliser for India by Rupinder from a penalty corner, the only one earned in the tie. Content to hang on to the verdict, the Indians held on gamely till the final minute despite quite a few things going against them.
A slew of umpiring solecism came in for criticism from both teams. A few of them were really perplexing. Both Ric Charlesworth and Harendra Singh expressed surprise over certain rulings in the encounter. Skipper Halappa was equally critical of the supervision.
Great Britain picked up the winning threads, recording a 3-2 victory over Pakistan.
The margin reflects the closeness of the contest which was in balance till the final minutes. Britain had the edge throughout, what with Pakistan not coming off good in penalty corners, except one in the five scored by Sohai Abbas for the equaliser.
Britain's attack was led well by Robert Moore who opened the accounts and he played a crucial role in helping Joathan Clarke get the next two also. Goal-keeper Nicholas Brothers deserves a special mention for his work.
The results: Australia 1(Jason Wilson) drew with India 1 (Rupinderpal Singh); Britain 3(Robert Moore, Jonathan Clarke 2) bt Pakistan 2 (Sohail Abbas, Haseem Khan); New Zealand 1 (Benjamin Collier) drew with Korea 1 (Jong Jang Hyun).
Monday's matches: Australia vs Pakistan (1.35 p.m.); Great Britain vs New Zealand (3.35 p.m.); India vs Malaysia (5.35 p.m.).
Australia gutted after India steal a point
By Jugjet Singh
INDIA held World No 1 Australia to a 1-1 draw in the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh yesterday but for coach Rick Charlesworth, it was a defeat.
"We lost! I mean the draw was just like a defeat for us as we had five penalty corners and could not score while they only had one and scored," said Australia coach Charlesworth.
His India counterpart Harendra Singh was pleased with the draw but was peeved by the overall poor umpiring in the tournament.
"We drew a crucial game because the umpiring was not up to standard," said India captain Arjun Halappa.
"I fail to understand. We have seven strong teams here with four already qualified for the Olympics but still the best umpires were not selected for the tournament," said Harendra.
"This is not good because team management, players and coaches have worked hard to get ready for this tournament, but as you can see, both Australia and India were punished by poor umpiring today (yesterday)."
India were trailing by the 14th minute when Jacob Whetton scored a field goal, but they equalised off Rupinder Singh's penalty corner attempt in the 23rd minute. It was his fourth goal of the tournament after a hat-trick against Britain.
India will play hosts Malaysia today and Harendra said: "It will be a difficult match but I believe we have a good chance as my team have started playing for the full 70 minutes in the last two games."
Malaysia will play without skipper Madzli Ikmar, who suffered a compound fracture to his cheekbone in the bruising match against Australia.
In another entertaining match yesterday, Britain beat a fighting Pakistan 3-1 with the goals from Robert Moore (eighth) and Jonathan Clarke (39th, 63rd).
The Pakistan goals were scored by Sohail Abbas (31st) and Hassem Khan (64th).
Meanwhile, South Korea and New Zealand played to a 1-1 draw in the third match.
Benjamin Collier gave New Zealand the lead in the 50th minute, but Jang Jong Hyun equalised with a penalty corner attempt in the 58th minute.
New Straits Times
India manage to hold Australia 1-1 despite jittery defence
IPOH ( Malaysia): A resolute India rallied to hold world and Olympic champion Australia to a 1-1 draw, riding on Adrian D'Souza's brilliant goalkeeping in their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup match in Ipoh on Sunday.
India's defence showed frayed nerves throughout the encounter but the defending champions managed to emerge with a 1-1 draw. Jacob Whetton (14th minute) and Rupinder Pal Singh (22nd minute) were the ones who hit on target in the exciting match.
The Indian defence allowed Australia to dominate the game, conceding two soft penalty corners and repeatedly gave away the ball to the Australian strikers, but D'Souza played an outstanding game to keep the rivals at bay.
The 1-1 score-line will give satisfaction to the Indians, coming in the first encounter with Australia after the 8-0 drubbing in the final of the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi seven months ago.
Like India, the Australian lineup was also without half a dozen players from the senior squad, but the Aussies set the pace in the game and maintained complete domination in the initial 15 minutes of play, when India just managed to make one foray into the rival territory.
India's fumbling defence seemed to create pressure on themselves, but they still hung on grimly to keep the score level and were aided by the wayward shooting of the Australian strikers.
A weak clearance by Rupinder Pal Singh saw the Indian goal come under pressure in the third minute, but he managed to recover ground to deflect out Glenn Turner's feeble shot.
Three minutes later, D'Souza padded a Jason Wilson shot past the jittery defence.
Australia forced their first penalty corner in the ninth minute, but fumbled in the set-piece attempt.
The Indian goal again came under pressure in the 13th minute following deep defender Dhananjay Mahadik's mis-pass, but Australian striker Turner failed to capitalise on a clear opening.
The sustained pressure earned Australia the lead in the 14th minute when Jacob Whetton sent a firm drive into the boards moving across from the right wing.
India first had a look at the rival goal in the 19th minute, when Shivendra Singh found himself in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper, but his feeble shot was easily cleared.
India equalised on their maiden penalty corner in the 22nd minute, which was awarded for Jonathan Charlesworth's foul on Ravipal Singh to stop him form breaking into the scoring zone.
Rupinder Pal Singh continued his fine show, following up his hat-trick against Britain with a fine grounded drag-flick that beat the goalkeeper to sound the boards and injected life into the Indian side.
Not able to make good clearances, the Indian defenders conceded two penalty corners in the space of four minutes, but D'Souza defended stoutly to pad away the balls, once anticipating the set-piece to thwart the pass back to striker who came in from the goalline.
India had another opening in the 31st minute, but Shivendra failed to capitalise on Rishan Minz's cross from right.
In the second session, the Indians broke through a few times, and even saw Gurvinder Singh Chandi failing to hit a sitter in the 60th minute as the ball drifted across the goalmouth.
Australia forced two more penalty corners in the second session, the last one in the 65th minute when Rupinder was sent off for a foul, but they failed to get past goalkeeper D'Souza.
India's poor trapping and clearance continued in the second half. Captain Arjun Halappa, playing deep inside India's own half, fumbled in receiving a pass when standing along on top of the circle to concede a penalty corner in the 39th minute.
Halappa was shown the green card in the 42nd minute when pointing something out to the umpire.
It was not just the Indians' defence that was fumbling. The two umpires were often signaling fouls in different directions at the same time. The umpiring drew criticism from both coaches.
Australia got a clear look at the Indian goal in the 50th minute when Turner picked up a misdirected pass between Indian defenders and squared the ball to Jason Wilson who shot wide with only the goalkeeper in front.
India played the last five minutes with 10 men, and packed the scoring zone to deny space to the Australian strikers.
The Times of India
Kookaburras dominate India but fail to convert opportunities
The Kookaburras have dominated India in game two at the Azlan Shah Cup but have failed to convert their many opportunities, resulting in a 1-1 draw in Malaysia tonight.
Following a similar trend to their first game of the tournament against Malaysia in which they won 2-1, the Kookaburras controlled the majority of play but with key goalsocrers such as Grant Schubert, Des Abbott and Jamie Dwyer missing from the line up they were unable to get reward for their play.
Despite having several more penalty corner attempts and dominating the circle penetrations (35 to 5), the Kookaburras sole goal came from 19 year old Jacob Whetton who scored his first international goal in only his second match.
The Kookaburras controlled the play from the opening whistle, with Glenn Turner and Whetton having two genuine chances in the first six minutes that were not converted.
After taking the lead at the 14 minute mark and controlling the game, India scored a goal against the run of play at the 23 minute mark from their first penalty corner attempt, while Australia were unable to get a shot on target from any of their three penalty corner attempts in the first half.
The Kookaburras again started the second half full of attack, forcing India into making many mistakes with their solid defence, but once again were unable to make India pay on the scoreboard despite great chances including a shot from Simon Orchard in the 50th minute that failed to find the target from close range, with the score remaining 1-1 at full time.
Despite the draw the Kookaburras showed some great signs in general play and continued to get game time into its younger players with the likes of key players Jamie Dywer, Mark Knowles, Rob Hammond, Eddie Ockenden and Luke Doerner not competing in this tournament.
Their next match will be played against Pakistan at 6.05pm on Monday 9 May.
Kookaburras 1 India 1
Goals – Aus Jacob Whetton 14m FG, Ind Rupinder Pal Singh 23m PC
Hockey Australia media release
High-flying Oz hit the Indian wall
It was the toughest 70 minutes of play for the team in this competition so far. And I am glad we managed to draw against Australia. I would say it was a fair result. The Australians did manage a lot more attacks and created more chances. They were very aggressive, as usual, and managed to create a lot of space. They came hard at us and there was none of the sloppiness we saw against Malaysia.
I had said before the tie against Australia — the world and Olympic champions — that the most important thing against them would be to remain focussed and concentrated for the entire 70 minutes. Unfortunately, for the first 10-15 minutes, there was complete lack of focus and concentration on our part; there was no hard running and the marking was poor. As captain, I must take the blame for that. We are fortunate the Australians did not manage to score in that period.
What a break
The break gave us time not only to regroup but also to refocus. The difference in our game was evident after that.
There were chances and we came close to scoring more than once.
I am glad we could absorb the pressure till the end of the match and prevent Australia from scoring again. Our defence has been a concern but today it stood out.
The youngsters in the team had perhaps the most stringent test of their careers. Most of them are not used to playing at this pace or level and against Australia, though they appeared a little clueless, I am proud they did not lose their nerves.
But the standout feature was the umpiring. Indians are said to always crib about decisions but I will not do that today. I don't need to, because whatever happened on the field was there for all to see.
I must make a special mention of our goalkeeper, Adrian D'Souza, here. If not for him, the pressure on us would have been much more. He is very experienced and he proved today why he is considered world class.
I had said that it would not be an easy game for either side; the team that wins will have to earn it. I am happy the draw has proved me right.
Great Briatain beat Pakistan at Azlan Shah Cup
Great Britain beat Asian Games Champions Pakistan in their third match at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup on Sunday thanks to a goal from Wimbledon's Rob Moore and a brace of strikes from Reading's Jonty Clarke.
Coach Jason Lee was looking for a reaction from his players following Friday's disappointing defeat to India and he got it within the opening ten minutes. Good work by Simon Mantell along the baseline prompted a melee in the Pakistan circle and Rob Moore was on hand to scramble the ball home from close range.
Following the goal, Pakistan won a series of penalty corners but Reading goalkeeper Nick Brothers was in good form to deny expert flicker Sohail Abbas from the first two.
Brothers could do little about the third though just after the half hour mark when Abbas found his range, hitting the back of the goal low to the goalkeeper's right.
Great Britain played better than they had against the Indians and four minutes into the second half Reading forward Jonty Clarke deflected the ball home to put Great Britain back in front.
Under pressure from Pakistan, GB remained calm and as the game entered it's final stages Clarke added a crucial third to give the British men a vital two goal cushion. Diving onto a cross from clubmate Iain Mackay, Clarke connected at the back post to put Great Britain 3-1 up with seven minutes remaining.
Defending an unbeaten start to the competition, Pakistan were not about to lie down and Great Britain were grateful to Beeston's Adam Dixon for a goal line clearance after Nick Brothers was beaten by a bobbling shot from Shakheel Abassi.
Pakistan did pull a goal back through Haseem Khan Abdul a minute later when he fired home powerfully from eight metres out, leaving Brothers with no chance and setting up a nervy final period. But, showing plenty of resilience in the final minutes, Great Britain held on to the lead to win 3-2.
Jason Lee, Head Coach, said afterwards, "It's a very open tournament. We're here to develop as a squad but we'd also like to win the cup if we can."
Great Britain take on New Zealand on Monday.
Great Britain 3 (2)
Rob Moore 8 (F)
Jonty Clarke 39, 63 (F, F)
Pakistan 2 (1)
Sohail Abbas 31 (PC)
Haseem Khan Abdul 64 (F)
Squad v Pakistan
Nick Brothers (GK) [Reading]
Alastair Wilson (Def) [Beeston]
Richard Mantell (Def) [Reading]
Iain Lewers (Def) [Loughborough Students]
Niall Stott (Def) [East Grinstead]
Glenn Kirkham (Mid) [East Grinstead]
Adam Dixon (Mid) [Beeston]
Rob Moore (Mid) [Wimbledon]
James Tindall (Fwd) [Surbiton]
Jonty Clarke (Fwd) [Reading]
Matt Daly (Fwd) [Surbiton]
Richard Spingham (Def/Mid) [Reading]
Simon Mantell (Fwd) [Reading]
Iain Mackay (Mid) [Reading]
Dan Fox (Def) [Hampstead & Westminster]
Richard Alexander (Def/Mid/Fwd) [Surbiton]
Did Not Play
James Fair (GK) [Cannock]
Richard Smith (Def) [Loughborough Students]
Great Britain Hockey media release
Pakistan go down to Britain but stay at top of standings
No way: India’s Saravanjit Singh trying to beat an Australian player during their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup match in Ipoh yesterday. — Bernama
IPOH: Pakistan’s unbeaten run in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament came to an end when they lost 2-3 to Britain yesterday.
But Pakistan still lead the standings on better goal difference than Britain. Both have six points from three matches.
The Pakistanis went into the match yesterday with two strong wins over New Zealand and South Korea but despite dominating the second half, they ended up as losers.
Britain took the lead in the eighth minute through Robert Moore off a field attempt but Sohail Abbas equalised for Pakistan with a penalty corner conversion in the 23rd minute.
Jonathan Clake regained the lead for Britain in the 39th minute and then against the run of play, he scored again in the 63rd minute. Haseem Khan reduced the deficit a minute later but it was too late to save the match.
Earlier, world champions Australia and India played to a 1-1 draw to stay in contention for a place in the final.
It was the second match for Australia and they have four points. India also have four points but they have played a match more. In their previous matches, India lost to South Korea and defeated Britain while Australia achieved their win over Malaysia.
Australia took the lead in the 14th minute when Jacob Whetton, making his international debut, fired home a field goal.
India earned their first penalty corner in the 23rd minute and Rupinderpal Singh, the hat-trick hero in a 3-1 win over Britain, scored to take his tally to four goals.
The Australians drew nought from five penalty corners in the match and their coach, Ric Charleswoth, was not happy with the result.
“It was a disappointing result for us. We are here to win but it shows here that the players are rusty as they have not played competitive hockey for a while,” he said.
“We will get better and hopefully maintain a winning form. Our penalty corner executions are poor and we need to improve on this greatly.”
India coach Harinder Singh said that it was a good result for them and would add confidence to their game.
“I am pleased with the performance of the young players and this result is good, considering that we played the world champions,” he said.
But Harinder was not satisfied with the standard of umpiring.
“It was poor. I certainly think that there is a need for them to be more consistent in their decisions. I would think that in a top-class tournament like this, the umpiring standard should be much higher.”
In the last match of the day, South Korea and New Zealand shared points in a 1-1 draw.
The Kiwis scored through Benjamin Colliers in the 50th minute while the Koreans found their goal from a penalty corner hit taken by Jang Jong-hyun in the 58th minute.
The Star of Malaysia
Great Britain edge Pakistan 3-2 in Azlan Shah Cup
Dawn.com Sports Desk
Pakistan squandered many chances and were defeated 3-2 by Great Britain, marking their first defeat of the tournament so far. -AP/File Photo
KARACHI: Pakistan’s two-match winning streak was brought to an end on Sunday as they squandered chances and lost to Great Britain 3-2 at the Azlan Shah stadium in Ipoh, Malaysia.
Great Britain opened the scoring in the 8th minute through Robert Moore. After that, Pakistan struggled to create chances in the first half, with Shakeel Abbasi missing a chance to equalise in the 24th minute.
Simon Mantell came close to making it 2-0 for Great Britain in the 25th minute but his shot was saved by Pakistani keeper Imran Shah.
Pakistan’s first penalty corner came in the 27th minute and the opportunity was wasted but soon enough, Sohail Abbas scored the equaliser for Pakistan through their second penalty corner in the 31st minute.
In the second half, Great Britain once again took the lead over Pakistan through Jonathan Clarke in the 39th minute.
Pakistan got another chance to equalise but the shot from the penalty corner was saved by Great Britain’s keeper, while Umar Bhutta also missed a sitter for Pakistan in the 55th minute.
Great Britain increased their lead in the 63rd minute as Clarke scored his second goal and the score stood at 3-1. Pakistan quickly caught up and made the score line 3-2 as Abdul Haseem Khan scored in the 64th minute.
Pakistan were given another penalty corner in the 67th minute but failed to convert it into a goal as Sohail sent it wide.
Pakistan defeated New Zealand and South Korea in the first two matches with impressive performances and will now face Australia on May 9.
India vs Australia
Earlier, India and Australia’s match ended in a 1-1 draw.
World champions Australia were held to a 1-1 draw by India thanks to a superb defensive performance against a second-half onslaught from the world’s leading team.
Both teams now have four points after a win and a draw, but the Indians have played a game more, losing to South Korea.
Just six months ago India were thrashed 0-8 by Australia in the Commonwealth Games final in New Delhi and Australian coach Ric Charlesworth said the result was disappointing.
“But I am not surprised… India played good hockey but I think we too were responsible as we did not take our chances,” he said.
It was a resilient performance by India who had to absorb tremendous pressure in the second-half as the Australians pushed for victory after being pegged back from a 14th minute lead.
Australia created early opportunities with Glenn Turner and Jacob Whetton having good shots at goal saved by India’s Adrian D’Souza.
The Aussies took the lead through Whetton, who scored with a field goal after dribbling into the D.
India had several chances but the best opportunity came in the 19th minute when Shivender Singh missed the final touch.
But Indian pressure paid off in the 23rd minute, equalising from their first penalty corner.
Rupinderpal Singh, who scored three penalty goals in the match against Britain, flicked home the ball for his fourth goal of the tournament.
Australia, the World Number one, responded by going on the offensive, dominating play for much of the second-half. But the Indians managed to hold out for the draw, ably clearing the ball from defence.
Both teams were unhappy with the umpiring claiming it was inconsistent and that decisions had gone against them.
Hanif hopes Pakistan excel at Olympics
By Our Sports Reporter
LAHORE: Chief selector Olympian Hanif Khan has said Pakistan have bright chances of earning a place on the victory-stand in next year’s Olympic Games in London.
“Our real target is the Olympic Games and if Pakistan will manage to earn fourth place in the upcoming Champions Trophy (in India in December), then I can say that we will be on the victory-stand at the Olympics,” Hanif, who was here to watch the semi-finals of the third National Junior Championship, told reporters on Saturday.
Hanif said he will finalise the team for the Olympics after the Champions Trophy.
About the future of senior players, he reiterated that only fit players could maintain place in the national team.
“Every senior player will be given a fair chance until he maintains his fitness for international matches,” Hanif said.
“We have examined fitness of the seniors in the last training camp and they all were fit and that is why they were picked in the national side for the (ongoing) Azlan Shah Cup,” he said.
He said the future of Pakistan hockey was safe and a good number of alternates of the seniors were available.
“Whenever the seniors fail to prove their fitness, we can change them as their replacements are available with us,” he added.
He praised the performance of the national team in the Azlan Shah Cup, at Ipoh, Malaysia, and said beating New Zealand and South Korea by a good margin (4-2) was a good sign, showing improvement in the standard of Pakistan’s game.
“We managed to beat New Zealand after losing many times and it is good for our hockey. It is also the result of good combination of senior and junior players,” he said.
He said seniors were supporting juniors to score and hopefully they would continue this trend in future.
Tuaranga duo help Black Sticks earn a 1-1 draw with Korea
Tauranga duo Steve Graham and Andy Hayward turned in fine performances to help the Black Sticks earn a 1-1 draw against South Korea in their second match at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia on Sunday (8 May 2011).
Goalkeeper Stephen Graham pulled off a string of excellent saves in a man-of-the-match display, whilst defender Andy Hayward, celebrating his hundredth appearance, put in an encouraging display that saw one of his trademark penalty corner drag flicks win a penalty stroke that was missed by the umpire.
For the Black Sticks, it was a much improved team performance after the disappointing 4-2 defeat to Pakistan in their first match of the tournament. The Black Sticks worked hard throughout the match to play with relentless commitment and put the Koreans under heavy pressure. It was a very physical game with both sides not shying away from challenges and it was Korea, defending champions after sharing the 2010 title with India, who created the first chance in the seventh minute with Kang Moon Kyu blazing a penalty corner flick high over the crossbar.
From the Black Sticks only penalty corner of the match in the 18th minute, Andy Hayward’s drag flick hit a defender’s foot on the line but Hayward’s chance of celebrating his hundredth appearance with his 34th international goal was ruined when the Korean infringement was missed by the umpire.
In the 20th minute, Wellington’s Blair Hilton, earning his fiftieth cap, went closest to breaking the deadlock. After neat approach work from Arun Panchia and Nick Wilson, Hilton’s rasping effort unluckily rebounded off the post and Korea scrambled the ball away.
It was a see-saw match that saw both sides throwing everything at the opposition with Otago’s Blair Tarrant particularly prominent, winning several excellent tackles, but no side could find the net in the first half and the teams went into the interval goalless.
In the second half, Taranaki’s Ben Collier opened the scoring in the 49th minute. Excellent approach work from Nick Wilson saw him dribble into the circle beating several players along the baseline before sending the ball across the face of the goal to give Collier the simplest of tap-ins. It was Collier’s eleventh international goal and they won’t come much easier than that. It was just reward for the hard-working Collier, though, who only seconds earlier, had been instrumental in winning a crucial tackle in the Black Sticks circle to prevent Korea from scoring and then sprinted the length of the field to get on the end of Wilson’s pass.
Korea pushed hard for the equaliser and won several penalty corners and on three occasions, goalkeeper Steve Graham flung himself across his goal to make fine saves. From Korea’s fourth penalty corner in the 58th minute, Jang Jong Hyun’s flick low into the corner just eluded the despairing dive of Graham to equalise for the Koreans.
In the closing minutes, both sides created half chances but a 1-1 draw was a fair reflection of the balance of the match and leaves the Black Sticks needing to secure a victory over the British in their next match of the tournament on Monday to get into contention for a place in the medal matches on the final day. At the conclusion of the match, Steve Graham was awarded the man of the match award by the Malaysia media for his excellent display. In the other matches played tonight, Australia drew 1-1 with India, whilst Great Britain beat Pakistan 3-2 in an entertaining match.
Tomorrow (Monday 9 May 2011), the Black Sticks take on Great Britain in a crucial match at 1805 (Malaysia time). Many of the British players will be keen to get revenge for the dramatic penalty stroke loss to the Black Sticks in the bronze medal match at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi last year. In other matches played tomorrow, Australia face Pakistan at 1605 and India meets Malaysia at 2005.
On Monday 9 May, the Black Sticks plays its third match of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup against against Great Britain (1805 Malaysian time) and then entertains hosts Malaysia on Wednesday 11 May (1605 Malaysian time), India on Thursday 12 May (1805, Malaysian time) and Australia on Saturday 14 May at 2005 with the classification matches taking place on Sunday 15 May.
Hockey New Zealand Media release
Black Sticks draw 1-1 with South Korea
New Zealand remain winless at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia after drawing 1-1 with South Korea.
Following their 4-2 opening loss to Pakistan on Thursday, the Black Sticks were keen to notch success against lower-ranked opponents at the seven-nation tournament.
They controlled play in the first half but it wasn't until the 50th minute that they hit the front through Ben Collier.
They were unable to make further headway and the South Koreans then countered quickly and scored with 12 minutes remaining through Jang Jong-hyun from a penalty corner.
The game was a relatively uninspiring affair, with few chances created by either team, leaving the Black Sticks languishing somewhat ahead of their next match, against Great Britain tonight.
The British ended Pakistan's unbeaten run with a hard earned 3-2 victory, leaving the Asian side with a slender lead at the top of the standings.
Both teams have six points from three matches, but Pakistan are ahead on goal difference.
In an earlier match, world champions Australia were held to a 1-1 by India thanks to a superb defensive performance against a second-half onslaught from the world's leading team.
Both teams now have four points after a win and a draw, but the Indians have played a game more, losing to South Korea.
New Zealand 1 (Benjamin Colliers 50) South Korea 1 (Jang Jong-hyun 68)
Australia 1 (Jacob Whetton 14) India 1 (Rupinderpal Singh 23)
Britain 3 (Robert Moore 8, Jonathan Clarke 39, 63) Pakistan 2 (Sohail Abbas 31, Abdul Haseem Khan 64)
Malaysia hoping for change of fortune against India after two defeats
By S. RAMAGURU
Staying focussed: Beng Hai needs his boys to be at their best if they are to beat India.
IPOH: After suffering two defeats, Malaysia are desperate to find their winning ways and will be hoping that their fortunes in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament will turn when they play against India today.
But the Malaysians, who have a top-four target to achieve, are under no illusion as to the task that awaits them at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium.
India are still smarting from a 2-3 defeat by Malaysia in the Asian Games semi-finals in Guangzhou last November and will be out to exact revenge.
“The Indians will be well motivated for this match,” said Malaysia coach Tai Beng Hai.
“We have to be at our very best. Otherwise our chances to notch a win will be dim. I am sure that our players too have the motivation to prove that the win in Guangzhou was no fluke.
“We have always played well against India and there is no reason to think that we cannot do it again.”
Malaysia go into the match without their inspirational captain, Mohamed Madzli Ikmar, who has a fractured cheekbone.
And Mohamed Izzat Rahim appears to be the most likely players to team up with Mohamed Razie Rahim, Baljit Singh and Mohamed Shukri Mutalib in the Malaysian backline. Malaysia can also take heart from the good showing of goalkeeper S. Kumar.
But the one area that they have to improve on is the execution of the penalty corners. Malaysia have yet to make a conversion from the battery, which has Razie as the regular flicker and Faizal Saari as the back up.
In the forwardline, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin is enjoying good form and has scored both of the goals for Malaysia in the 1-3 defeat by Britain and 1-2 loss to Australia.
“It has not been a good start for us and I feel that we could have come away with at least a point against Australia,” said Beng Hai.
“Still we have to put those defeats behind us and look at the coming match with greater confidence. The players are doing relatively well. They can play better and will have to work continuously on improving their game.”
India coach Harinder Singh said that they were more confidence now after the 3-1 win over Britain.
“The players are improving and we have some good young players in the ranks. But Malaysia are not going to be easy to beat,” he said.
“Yes, we want to beat Malaysia but it is not just about revenge. We have to keep winning if we want to make the podium. So we will be at our best.”
India have a new penalty corner flicker in Rupinderpal Singh. They also have youngster Diwakar Ram, who is equally good at the set-piece moves.
But their strength lies with playmaker and skipper Arjun Halappa. The experienced midfielder has the ability to rally his players well.
Malaysia will have to keep up their performance to a high level like they did against Australia to put their challenge in the tournament back on track.
But it has to be for the whole duration of the match and not just in patches.
The Star of Malaysia
Umpires to the fore in Ipoh
The Azlan Shah hockey tournament has been going on without break for almost 20 years. Every year, they manage to get some of the best teams in the world for what generally happens to be the season-opener international competition for most teams.
At times some teams bring their B side; often, they are full-strength. What remains an issue is the umpiring. The worst example of awful umpiring was seen during the India-Australia match on Sunday. It was a perfect example of how bad umpiring can ruin a perfectly good and competitive match.
At least thrice during the match, there was confusion when both on-field umpires gave different decisions. At one point, Korean umpire Shin Dong Yoon indicated carrying on play while Dutch umpire Roderick Wijsmuller signaled an advantage for Australia. As a result, players from both sides could not understand what to do.
The worst was in the dying minutes of the match, when India defender Rupinder Pal Singh dived to clear the ball. Umpire Yoon signaled a foul, which was acceptable, then asked for play to restart. But then Wijsmuller not only yellow-carded Rupinder – who had scored the equalizer for India – with six minutes to spare, he also awarded Australia a penalty corner! One fails to understand how one umpire could change a decision even as play has already restarted, that too without consulting the other on-field umpire!
The match saw horrible umpiring, especially from Wijsmuller. The violation that saw Rupinder carded and Australia getting a PC was identical to another, earlier one committed by Brent Dancer against SV Sunil. What happened after that was a farce. Wijsmuller almost took a yellow card out of his pocket, then called Dancer close, gave him an oral warning, and put the card back! It was a scene rarely seen in international hockey. Most interesting was, both the umpires in this game were supposedly neutral – that is, not from any of the seven teams in competition here.
There are some who claim, or gossip as it were, that any match that Australia plays will get decisions in its favour because they somehow are awesome in reputation, least of all to please the Tournament Director, Dallas Riseley, an Australian. That may be stretching it too far but there is no doubt that the TD’s report at the end of a competition does matter when the umpires are up for review to be promoted.
This is not the first time atrocious umpiring has raised its head here. India coach Harendra Singh, though visibly upset by the horrendous and clearly biased umpiring, refused to comment on individual cases. Instead, he asked for use of more technology. “I can’t understand why when we have the technology we refuse to use it. Improvement in level of game must happen in all fields -- not only from the players and coaches but also umpiring,” he said. It is something that the FIH needs to answer.
Harendra also said that when the top seven teams in the world are playing here and at least five of them are playing their almost full side, why can’t the umpires also be from the top level. None of the umpires officiating in this tournament are from the elite panel of FIH.
Round 3 Results - Women's Australian Hockey League
Women’s Australian Hockey League – Round 3 from Sydney and Adelaide
Tasmanian Van Demons 4 Canberra Strikers 1
Goals: TAS Sofie McLeod 29m FG 42m FG, Emily Wilson 37m PC 42m FG ACT Meredith Bone 70m PC
Full match report:
Victorian Vipers 2 NSW Arrows 1
Goal scorers: VIC Claire Messent 1m FG, NSW Kellie White 58m FG, Renee Trost 69m PC
Full match report:
OAMPS Southern Suns 3 def OAMPS Queensland Scorchers 2
Goals – OAMPS Southern Suns – Karri McMahon ( PC 22nd min) Brooklyn Buchecker (FG 45th min) Clarissa Eshuis (PC 70 min) OAMPS Queensland Scorchers – Madonna Blyth (PC 31 min) Kandice Olivieri ( FG 55 min)
Full match report:
WA Diamonds 8 def Darwin Airport Resort Territory Pearls 0
Goals – WA Diamonds – Sian Nelson (FG 6th min) Caitlin Pascov (FG 17th min) Katy Symons (FG 37th min) Shelly Liddelow (PC 47th min) Kobie McGurk PC 57th min, PC 62nd min) Katelyn Smith (PC 59th min) Kate Denning (PC 64th min)
Full match report:
Hockey Australia media release
Faisalabad win PHF Junior Super Hockey League
LAHORE: Faisalabad thrashed Lahore 5-2 in the final to win the 3rd PHF Junior Super Hockey League at the National Hockey Stadium here on Sunday. Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary general and former Olympian Muhammad Asif Bajwa was the chief guest at the prize distribution ceremony. Faisalabad received the winning trophy and cash prize Rs600,000/-. Runners-up Lahore pocketed cash award of Rs400,000.
Faisalabad were leading 1-0 at half time. Scorers for Faisalabad: Bilal Qadir (3rd minute), Dilber Hussain (23rd minute), Waseem Abbas (57th minute) and Mohammad Rizwan (68th and 70th minutes). Lahore: Mohammad Fahad (52nd minute) and Arslan Sherazi (64th minute).
In a classification match for third spot, Multan defeated Sialkot 7-6 on penalty strokes after the match remained 3-3 after full and extra times. It is interesting to note that Sialkot were leading 2-1 at lemon break. Scorers for Multan: Mohammad Osama (29th minute), Hafiz Zohaib (36th minute), Asif Aslam (65th minute), Faisal (two goals on penalty strokes), Mohammad Arslan and Mohammad Zeeshan (one goal each on penalty stroke). Sialkot: Ali Butt (21st and 33rd minutes), Mohammad Sabir (54th minute and penalty stroke), Mohammad Suleman (penalty stroke and Azfar Yaqoob (penalty stroke).
Cash prize of Rs25,000 of best player was awarded to Bilal Qadir of Faisalabad. Third position cash prize Rs300,000 went to Multan. Also present at the prize distribution ceremony were tournament director Rana Mujahid Ali, chief selector Abdul Hanif Khan, selectors Arshad Ali Chawdhry and Khalid Bashir and former Olympians Khawaja Zaka-ud-Din, Anjum Saeed, Saleem Sherwani, Mohammad Akhlaq, Danish Kaleem and Ahmed Alam.
The Daily Times
TBSS land maiden title
By Ajitpal Singh
TBSS players celebrate after beating MSSPP-USM 4-1 yesterday at Tun Razak Stadium. — Picture by Osman Adnan
TUNKU Besar Secondary School (TBSS) captured their first Junior Hockey League title by overcoming MSSP-USM 4-1 in the Division Two final at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday.
TBSS earned RM7,000 for their effort while MSSP-USM received RM5,500. Johor defeated Malacca High School 3-1 to finish third.
Muhd Shair Arif and Muhd Irsyaduddin Abu Yazizi scored in the sixth and 10th minutes, respectively to give the Tampin side an early 2-0 lead.
However, MSSP-USM reduced the deficit through Muhd Rahimi Iskandar Baharom's field attempt in the 13th minute.
In the second half, the Penang side attacked in numbers but in the process, left holes in defence which allowed TBSS ample space upfront.
Muhd Shair scored his second in the 60th minute for TBSS before Muhd Syabariq Shamsuri extended their lead nine minutes later.
TBSS and MSSP-USM, together with six Division One teams, will compete in the knockout stage for the overall title which starts on Friday.
"I am very happy with the result. It is our first major title in the league. We took it easy after taking a 2-0 lead but luckily we managed to hold on to add two more goals in the second half," said TBSS manager M. Vivekananda yesterday.
TBSS will face Bandar Penawar Sports School-Thunderbolts while MSSP-UPM will play Division One champions UniKL in the quarter-finals (overall).
"We will start as underdogs in the quarter-finals. Our boys are scoring a lot of goals through field attempts but lacking in terms of earning penalty corners. We need to work on that," added Vivekananda.
RESULTS -- Final: TBSS 4 MSSP-USM 1
3rd/4th placing: Johor 3 Malaca High School 1
New Straits Times
Tunku Besar win Division Two title in style
We are the best: Tunku Besar Secondary School players celebrating after winning the Malaysian Junior Hockey League title at the Tun Razak Hockey Stadium in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. They beat MSS Penang-USM 4-1 in the final.
KUALA LUMPUR: Tunku Besar Secondary School clinched the Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) Division Two title in style with a 4-1 win over MSS Penang-USM at the Tun Razak Stadium here yesterday.
The Negri Semilan team will return to Tampin with RM7,000 in prize money while the Penang side will take home RM3,500.
Tunku Besar showed superiority in finishing their attacking runs and all their goals came from field attempts by Muhammad Shair Arif (6th, 60th), Muhammad Irsyaduddin Abu Yazizi (10th) and Muhd Syabariq Shamsuri (the 69th).
The Penang side also got their consolation goal off a field attempt by Muhammad Rahimi Iskandar Baharom in the 13th minute.
Both teams will be promoted to Division One and they will also play in the knockout competition for the overall title, which begins on May 13.
Tunku Besar will be up against BPSS-Thunderbolts in the quarter-finals while MSS Penang-USM will play against Division One champions UniKL.
Tunku Besar manager M. Vivekananda said: “I’m very happy with this result. We have reached our target of gaining promotion and winning the title. But the quarter-finals will be a different ball game. It will be tough against an experienced and good side like BPSS-Thunderbolts.”
The Star of Malaysia
AHF-MHC Academy launched
The AHF-MHC Hockey Academy was launched by His Royal Highness Sultan Azlan Shah in a brief but historic ceremony in Ipoh this morning.
FIH President Leandro Negre had during his visit ti the Academy termed it at an unprecendented effort by a continental federation and the first of such an academy in the world.
With renovations costing RM890,000 set to be completed in the next few months, the AHF-MHC Academy will play host to numerous courses, in the field of technical, coaching, umpiring and management to help Asians improve their knowledge in order to improve the standard of hockey.
AHF Secretary General, Tan Sri Dato Seri P. Alagendra paid tribute to HRH Sultan Azlan Shah for his vision and guidance in making the Academy a reality.
"It was at the Azlan Shah Cup last year that Tuanku mooted the idea of having an institution where hockey knowledge could be distributed to hockey officials for their improvement and benefit," said Alagendra in his speech.
"Today is a proud day for Asian hockey, for under the guidance and inspiration of His Royal Highness, the dream has come true.
"The Academy is now ready, able and more then capable to serve the needs of Asian hockey. And the 32 graduates of the first course held here is testimony to that fact."
A committee under the Chairmanship of MHC Vice President cum Perak Hockey President Dato Rahim Mohd Ariff was established and met 12 times over the past year to meet the deadline of having the academy up and running before the 20th edition of the Sultan Azlan shah Cup.
"The academy will assist 32 national associations of Asia to improve the quality and increase the number of hockey officials in asia," said Alagendra.
"It will cater for coaches, technical officials, umpires and management officials. Experts in these important segments of hockey will be brought to the academy to assist Asia in achieving greater heights."
The AHF-MHC Academy is located at a site adjacent to the Sultan Azklan Shah stadium.Work has already commenced on the site with several government agencies providing cooperation.
When completed, the Academy will be able to house 100 people.
Official Sultan Azlan Shah Cup site
Reivers Upset Inverleith to take District Plate
The Scottish Activcity District and Reserve Cup Finals took place at Peffermill today, with four matches going the distance to penalty stroke competitions. The result of the day was surely Reivers’ 9-8 penalty stroke victory over Inverleith in the District Plate final.
In the Men’s Reserve Plate final, Aberdeen GSFP III triumphed 4-1 over Western Wildcats IV on pitch 2. It was the Wildcats who took the lead, with a goal from a penalty corner by Khalid Bashir in the fifteenth minute, before Williams equalised for Aberdeen just before half time. Two goals from High Cruickshank and a penalty corner strike from captain Murray Bissett enabled the Aberdonians to take the plate back north.
Meanwhile, the Men’s Reserve Cup final between AMN Hillhead III and Erskine Stewart’s Melville FP III served up a classic encounter. The Glasgow outfit stormed into a two goal lead early on with strikes from William McKechnie and James Ross, before they were pegged back level by the former pupils with two goals from Malcolm Pentland and Mark Warner. ESM then struck twice, with Richard Happer and Warner getting his second of the match, to take a 4-2 lead, before Hillhead made it 4-4 with two smartly taken goals from Scott Bissell and Stuart Caldow, resulting in the match going to penalty strokes. Goalkeeper David Kivlichan was the hero for the Edinburgh side, making two penalty saves in a 4-3 shoot-out win for ESM.
In the Women’s District Plate final, Erskine Stewart’ Melville FP II met Aberdeen Ladies. ESM took the lead through a goal from Suzi Ridley before Cassie Henderson levelled for Aberdeen after half time. With the match going to penalty strokes after finishing 1-1 at full-time, it was the team from the Granite City who took the plate, Aberdeen Ladies winning the stroke shoot-out 4-1.
The Women’s District Cup final was a tight, closely fought affair with Milne Craig Clydesdale Western II and Giffnock Ladies A battling it out for the trophy. With the sides deadlocked at 0-0 for the entire match, the destination of the cup was settled in another penalty stroke competition. Giffnock contrived to miss three of their attempts on goal, Kirstin Stobo the heroin in goal for Milne Craig Clydesdale Western II, whilst Bethan Mann, Jenny Eadie and Karen Thomson netted their penalties in a 3-1 victory.
The men’s District Plate final witnessed Inverleith II take on Reivers, with yet another match going the distance to a penalty stroke competition. The sides ended up level 3-3 at full time, Andrew Bells, Scott Girvan and Graham Lofthouse notched goals for Reivers, whilst Steven Gray, Tom Barton and Chris Bird scored for Inverleith. Remarkably, the shoot out finished 9-8 to Reivers, with Stephen Young making the vital save to record a win for the team from the Borders and a famous victory.
The day’s finale witnessed Grange II facing AAM Gordonians II in Men’s District Cup final. AAM Gordonians stormed to a 2-0 lead at half time with goals from Neil Paterson and Neil Rankin. The Aberdonians started the second half strongly, pulling away from the Edinburgh with a third goal from Jaimen Jetwa. Grange hit back with a strike from Andrew Graham but it wasn’t enough in the end to stop the cup heading north with AAM Gordonians.
Scottish Hockey Union media release