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News for 19 July 2017

All the news for Wednesday 19 July 2018

USA, Argentina & Germany qualify for Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018

Argentina booked their tickets to the World Cup and the World League Final on Day 11 in Johannesburg. Copyright: FIH / Getty Images

Johannesburg, South Africa: It was women’s quarter-final day at the Hockey World League Semi-Final, with USA, Argentina, England and Germany all winning their matches to move into the competition final four as well as securing qualification for two of the sport’s biggest occasions.

For USA, Argentina and Germany, their respective quarter-final victories over Japan, Ireland and hosts South Africa earned them direct tickets to both the Hockey World League Final 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand and Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018. They will be joined in the Hockey World League Final by England, who beat India on Tuesday, with the line-up being completed by New Zealand, Netherlands, China and Korea, who recently claimed the top four positions at the Semi-Final event in Belgium.

Interestingly, England’s safe passage through to the final four in Johannesburg has a knock-on effect in terms of qualification for next year’s women’s World Cup. As hosts, England have already qualified, which means that the highest ranked of the two sixth placed finishers from the women’s Hockey World League Semi-Final events in Belgium and South Africa will now also be certain of a World Cup place. Italy (WR: 16), who finished sixth in Belgium, will be confirmed at the World Cup if the team that finishes sixth in Johannesburg are ranked below them.

In terms of the event semi-finals here in Johannesburg, the matches and timings have been confirmed. On Thursday 18th July, Germany will play Argentina at 16:45 South Africa Standard Time (UTC +2) with England and USA going head to head at 1900.

The quarter-final meeting between USA (FIH Hero World Ranking: 6) and Japan (WR: 11) was a nervy affair with both teams conscious it was winner takes all in terms of World Cup and World League Final qualification. Despite both teams having suffered inconsistency throughout the event, Japan and USA were resilient with their structure, cancelling each other out across the field. With very few goal scoring opportunities it took until the 42nd minute for USA to make the breakthrough. Michelle Vittese took the ball from a free hit into the circle and her shot deflected off Japan’s Mami Ichitani, deceived her ‘keeper. USA controlled the remainder of the game and despite a few nervy moments took the victory and a spot on both the Hockey World League Final 2017 and Hockey World Cup 2018.

“We came into this match on the back of two pretty rough games, and we knew that Japan have been playing really well in this tournament”, said USA’s Michelle Vitesse after the contest. “We did a lot of preparation ahead of this match because we knew it was going to be a really hard fought battle, so it feels really good that we fell back onto our cornerstones which is defensive intent, resilience and grit.” 

Argentina (WR: 3) showed why they’re one of the top teams in the world right now after grinding out a 2-1 win against a determined Ireland (WR: 15). Delfina Merino capitalised on a mistake by Ireland’s Nicci Daly, rounding both an Irish defender and their ‘keeper to slot in the first goal after 25 minutes. Julia Gomes doubled Las Leonas lead on the 40 minute mark through a penalty corner slotted low past the right side of Irish goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran. Ireland fought back however in the 43rd minute, halving their opponents lead thanks to a penalty corner from Roisin Upton. Argentina held on however to claim their tickets to Auckland and London for the World League Final and World Cup respectively.

World Cup hosts England (WR: 2) confirmed that they would also be heading to Auckland at the end of the year, overpowering India (WR: 12) 4-1 despite the absence of the influential but under-the-weather Lily Owsley. Giselle Ansley put England ahead from the penalty spot six minutes into the contest before captain Alex Danson doubled the advantage before the end of the first quarter. Susannah Townsend volleyed in a third in the 42nd minute, although India’s Eves gave themselves a glimmer of hope three minutes from the end when Gurjit Kaur netted from a penalty corner. However, England rounded of a solid performance with a open play strike from Hannah Martin, a goal that she richly deserved after being a consistent attacking threat. It was a extra special day for England defender Laura Unsworth, whose 200th international appearance was marked in winning style.

In the final match of the day, home favourites South Africa produced a monumental effort against Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallists Germany but it was not quite enough, with the European nation winning 1-0. As has been a constant throughout this, a huge crowd was on site to witness not just the match but also the 200th international appearance of South Africa captain Nicolene Terblanche. However, they were to leave disappointed as Camille Nobis scored the only goal of the game to help Germany secure their safe passage through to the World Cup and the World League Final. South Africa’s chances of World Cup qualification remain alive as they will compete in the 5-8 classification matches.

“Qualifying for the World Cup was our main aim for this year, so obviously we are delighted”, said Germany's Janne Muller-Weiland after the match. “It means a lot to us, to travel here and achieve that.”

On Wednesday 19th July, the quarter-finals of the men’s competition will take place, with a place at both the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017 and the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 on the table for the winners. At 11:15 South African Standard Time (UTC +2), Pool A winners Australia will take on Egypt, who finished fourth in Pool B before Pool A’s second ranked team Spain face Ireland, who finished third in Pool B, at 13:30. Pool B winners Germany go head-to-head with Pool A’s fourth placed team France at 15:45, with Pool B runners-up Belgium playing Pool A’s third place finishers New Zealand at 1800.

Women’s 9-10, 5-8 and Semi-Final line-up
Matches to be played Thursday 20 July 2017. All times South Africa Standard Time (UTC +2)

10:00: Poland v Chile (9-10)
12:15: India v Japan (5-8)
14:30: South Africa v Ireland (5-8)
16:45: Germany v Argentina (5-8)
19:00: England v USA (5-8)

FIH site

England, Argentina on course for showdown

JOHANNESBURG: England and Argentina moved closer to a Women's Hockey World League tournament final showdown in Johannesburg with contrasting last-eight victories Tuesday.

An early Giselle Ansley penalty-stroke goal set up the English for a comfortable 4-1 win over India at the University of the Witwatersrand astro turf stadium.

Argentina built a two-goal advantage en route to a 2-1 victory over gritty Ireland after a tense finish in which the losers lost green-carded captain Kathryn Mullan.

Germany edged wasteful hosts South Africa 1-0 and the United States overcame Japan by the same scoreline in the other quarter-finals.

Argentina face Germany and England meet the United States in the semi-finals Thursday and are favoured to contest the title decider three days later.

The semi-finalists are also guaranteed places at the 2018 Women's Hockey World Cup and will be joined by the nations finishing fifth and sixth in Johannesburg.

England captain Alex Danson was thrilled by the triumph over the Indians, who started poorly but had a good second quarter.

"A fantastic performance," was her summary of the match. "We were strong at the back, tight in midfield and counterattacked speedily.

"We played as a team against a very skilful Indian team and all of us are delighted to be through to the semi-finals."

Ansley and Danson gave the team ranked second in the world behind the Netherlands a 2-0 half-time lead that rare scorer Susannah Townsend extended in the third quarter.

Gurjit Kaur scored off a late penalty corner only for Hannah Martin to grab another goal for the victors in the final minute.

Argentina coach Agustin Corradini said he was "happy and proud" after the victory over the Irish, who were clearly second best on the day but never stopped trying.

"I am building a new team and the girls are growing individually and collectively with each match," he said.

Delfina Merino and Julia Gomes scored for the team ranked third in the world before Roisin Upton halved the deficit off a 43rd-minute penalty corner.

Camilla Nobis struck just before half-time to earn Germany a 1-0 victory over South Africa, who had sufficient chances to win.

Candice Martin, the two-goal heroine of a shock win against the United States at the weekend, was the chief culprit as she wasted several opportunities.

Nobis handed the host nation a lesson in clinical finishing by receiving the ball after a turnover on the edge of the "D", turning and slamming the ball into the net.

"Only the result mattered tonight," said Germany coach Jamilon Mulders. "It was our best performance of this tournament and our team deserve respect."

Young Erin Matson starred as the United States recovered from successive group defeats to edge Japan 1-0 through a third-quarter Michelle Vittese goal.

The Times of India

Germany get the tolerance & the only goal

by Ken Borland

South Africa went down 1-0 to Germany in their Hockey World League women’s quarterfinal at the Wits Astro on Tuesday night, in a game marred by the officials’ tolerance of the Germans’ over-robust play and their bumbling use of the video referral system.

After an evenly-contested first quarter, in which there were chances at both ends but SA goalkeeper Nicole la Fleur’s double-save at a short-corner was a highlight, the home side launched a promising attack which led to a short-corner as Sulette Damons’ good cross was met by Jade Mayne, whose reverse-sticks shot was saved but not without a penalty corner being conceded.

Bernie Coston was then barged over as she went for the deflection from the set-piece, an infringement missed by New Zealand umpire Kelly Hudson. But South Africa called for the video referral and Russian TV umpire Elena Eskina agreed that there had been an off-the-ball body tackle, but called for a card and a short-corner. Ordinarily, a card would be given for a deliberate offence and, being in the circle, that should lead to a penalty stroke.

Umpire Hudson then awarded the short-corner but did not issue the card, leading to confusion all round.

“We asked about the card and what the video umpire said, but the umpire just waved us away and said we must play on,” South Africa captain Nicolene Terblanche said afterwards.

The Germans were also extremely physical, often shouldering South African players off the ball, but the home side maintained their composure exceptionally well and certainly ensured the world’s seventh-ranked side were in a fierce contest.

“Germany are always physical and they won a lot of 50/50 balls, which are about who fights hardest. But we were very composed and stuck to our guns, I was very happy with how we reacted. We had control of the game in general and had enough chances to get a win out of it, but we just couldn’t turn them into goals,” South Africa coach Sheldon Rostron said.

Germany brought their typical measured, controlled approach to the game, but South Africa more than held their own as they too played mature, impressive hockey. Their build-up work was at times brilliant, but sadly the finishing touches were lacking.

With two minutes to go to halftime, Camille Nobis received the ball close to goal, swivelled and easily took La Fleur out of the game before flipping the ball into the empty goal to give Germany their 1-0 lead.

South Africa had more than enough chances to equalise, starting with one just a minute later when German goalkeeper Julia Ciupka dived to keep out the impressive Ilse Davids’ reverse-sticks shot from the top of the circle.

In the 41st minute, Damons just had the goalkeeper to beat, but lost control of the ball and was tackled by Ciupka, but the best chance of all fell to Candice Manuel, the heroine of the thrilling win over the USA that put South Africa into the quarterfinals.

Davids intercepted the ball in the German defence and passed to Manuel, who flicked over the advancing goalkeeper only to see the ball bounce wide of the open goal.

The German goalkeeper conceded another short-corner in the 54th minute, but with the ball bobbling about the goalmouth, the home side were just unable to scramble the ball into goal.

The Germans had a goal disallowed on review, umpire Hudson missing that the ball had come off the leg of an attacker, and the South Africans forced one last short-corner in the 59th minute and should have been awarded another but the ball was cleared.

The home side will now chase fifth spot and automatic qualification for the World Cup in London next year, with the gutsy Irish side the first hurdle to get over in that regard. The match will be played on Thursday, before the semi-finals between Germany and Argentina, and England and the United States.

Results: USA 1 (Michelle Vittese) Japan 0; Argentina 2 (Delfina Merino, Julia Gomes) Ireland 1 (Roisin Upton); England 4 (Giselle Ansley, Alex Danson, Susannah Townsend, Hannah Martin) India 1 (Gurjit Kaur); South Africa 0 Germany 1 (Camille Nobis).

Wednesday’s fixtures (men’s quarterfinals): 11.15 Australia v Egypt; 1.30 Spain v Ireland; 3.45 Germany v France; 6pm Belgium v New Zealand.


SA hockey women miss out on semis

by Karien Jonckheere

Germany celebrates to the disappointment of South Africa © BackpagePix

There was just one goal in it at the end, but the South African women’s team missed out on a semifinal spot at the Hockey World League after going down 1-0 to Germany in their quarterfinal at the Wits Astro in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

It really could have gone either way as the South Africans were far from outplayed by a side ranked six places above them in the world.

It seemed that, despite numerous excellent scoring opportunities, the home side just couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net.

There was also some controversy – with an umpire’s decision and subsequent video referral that could potentially have seen the awarding of a penalty stroke to the South Africans after Bernie Coston was taken out in the circle by a German defender.

It was not given though, despite the video umpire’s recommendation of a sanction against the player but SA coach Sheldon Rostron refused to pin the ultimate result on that decision.

“It seemed there was no personal penalty that took place and normally if there’s a personal penalty it should be a stroke so we weren’t too happy with the outcome and the decision. But regardless of that there was enough for us to be able to create and make more out of the game,” he said.

It was all level at the end of the first quarter. Both teams had their chances but equally both keepers did exceptionally well to prevent any change to the scoresheet.

Just one minute before halftime Germany got the breakthrough with Camille Nobis slotting one in for the 1-0 lead going into the break.

And though they threw everything at it, the SA side just couldn’t get the ball across the line in the second half.

“I think we aimed to have a lot of control and I think we did that quite well. It was just a little bit frantic again in terms of our build-up,” explained Rostron.

“I think there were enough indicators on the field that we were creating and getting what we wanted out of Germany and it was just a matter of us making sure that we consolidated those efforts and turned them into goals.

“Out of the performance I’m really pleased and satisfied but as far as the result we’re obviously not so happy with the outcome.”

Captain Nicolene Terblanche, who played in her 200th match for South Africa on Tuesday, added: “We had our opportunities and it was close – a couple of chances with the penalty corners too, which we didn’t use, which is disappointing.

“But the tournament isn’t over now. We want to end as high as possible so we will be fighting for that fifth place which is really important.”

A fifth place will earn the South Africans all-important automatic qualification for next year’s World Cup in England.

Meanwhile, in other quarterfinal matches played at the Wits Astro on Tuesday, Michelle Vitesse scored the USA’s only goal in her side’s 1-0 victory over Japan.

Argentina defeated Ireland 2-1 and world No 2 England beat India 4-1.

That means Germany will play Argentina in Thursday’s semifinals while England will take on the United States.

The beaten quarterfinal teams now go into the first of the fifth to eighth-place playoff matches – also on Thursday.

That’s where South Africa will take on Ireland at 2:30pm CAT (SA, GMT+2).

Poland will play Chile earlier in the day and India will face Japan.


Germany beats SA for place in semi-finals

South Africa’s national women’s hockey team lost to Germany in the quarterfinal of the FIH World Hockey League Semi-Finals.

With just more than a minute left before halftime Germany broke the deadlock when Camille Nobis scored. It was somewhat against the run of play with South Africa dominating most of the second chukka.

With two minutes left in the match Germany hit the back of the goal-box, but after a South African referral the goal was not awarded. Seconds later South Africa got another penalty corner but like the various other opportunities earlier in the final chukka the ball missed the target. Unlike the game against the USA the SA attack wasn’t as sharp and German defenders managed to keep the ball out of the goal-box.

Germany is 7th on the world rankings and SA 13th.

The first semi-final is between the USA and England and the second between Argentina and Germany.

South Africa will now play for the lower ranking positions 5-8.

All matches in the Hockey World League Semi-Final are played at the Wits Hockey Astro in Johannesburg. Twenty of the world’s best men and women’s national teams will take part in these Hockey World Cup 2018 qualifiers from 8 - 23 July.

Tickets for the event can be purchased online at http://hockeyworldleague.nutickets.co.za/HWL

SA Hockey Association media release

Just 1 Goal Separates Green Army From World Number 3

A defensive masterclass from the Green Army wasn’t quite enough to topple the world number 3 Argentina in today’s quarter final. But Ireland’s World Cup dreams are still very much in reach with a 5th place finish enough to book their spot at the tournament.

Argentina came out of the blocks firing with Mario Granatto sending a reverse strike across the face of goal and Rocio Sanchez’s effort saved by Ayeisha McFerran in the opening minutes. But Ireland settled into the game and Katie Mullan, leading by example as ever, set up the Green Army’s first chance with a ball to the waiting Deirdre Duke in the circle. Hannah Matthews was in inspired form throughout and sent a pinpoint pass to Nikki Evans on the edge of the circle but Noel Barrionuevo showed her experience in dispossessing the Irish. The game nestled into a tactical battle with Argentina enjoying the bulk of possession but rarely being allowed to create clear chances by the Irish defence. The opening goal came in the 25th minute and was more a result of Irish error than spectacular attacking. A mis-trap saw the ball fall to captain Delfina Merino who calmly rounded McFerran at the top of the circle to shoot into the open goal.

The Green Army adapted their structure as the second half began and looked to force the Argentinians onto the wing rather than their danger route down the centre. Argentina won the first penalty corner of the game and a powerful shot by Julia Gomes into the corner left McFerran with no chance. An incredibly disciplined Irish defence remained resolute and looked to create chances on the counter where possible. Anna O’Flanagan showed her strength when charging into the circle to win her sides first penalty corner in the 43rd minute. Roisin Upton was on hand to send one of her signature drag flicks past the diving Belen Succi to bring Ireland back into the tie. Matthews was again on hand to send the ball through the mid field to Mullan in the circle but she was swarmed by 3 defenders before releasing her shot. Ireland began to pile on the pressure and looked a match for the world number 3 as they won another penalty corner in the final few minutes. Shirley McCay, rock solid throughout, entered the game as kicking back, but the equalising goal wouldn’t fall for the Green Army. A monumental effort from the girls in green with composure in defence to the forefront; Argentina had 38 circle penetrations but Ireland only conceded 1 penalty corner and only allowed 5 shots on target throughout.

Speaking after the match head coach Graham Shaw said “We are obviously disappointed losing that game. We started a little tentative and allowed them to control too many phases in the first half. The second half was a lot better and we put them under a lot more pressure as a result. We are very confident going into the 5th-8th playoffs and looking forward to the challenge”. 

The Green Army now move into the 5th-8th place playoffs and will be in action on Thursday (July 20th) against either Germany or South Africa. 5th place will still guarantee the Green Army a spot at the 2018 World Cup. Fixture to be shown live on BT Sport.

Ireland men’s hockey team compete against Spain in their quarter final tomorrow (12:30pm Irish time), shown live on BT Sport. A win would guarantee Ireland a World Cup spot, a loss would put the Green Machine in the 5th-8th playoffs with 5th place still guaranteeing a World Cup place.

Hockey World League Semi Finals Johannesburg

Ireland 1 (Upton)
Argentina 2 (Merino, Gomes) 

Ireland: A McFerran, K Mullan (Captain), S McCay, E Tice, G Pinder, C Watkins, N Daly, H Matthews, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson, D Duke

Subs: G O’Flanagan, Y O’Byrne, N Evans, E Beatty, S Loughran, R Upton, L Colvin

Argentina: B Succi, M Cavallero, M Fernandez, D Merino (Captain), A Habif, M Granatto, F Habif, R Sanchez, L von der Heyde, N Barrionuevo, J Gomes

Subs: A Gorzelany, E Trinchinetti, A Alonso, M Campoy, M Ortiz, J Jankunas, M Mutio

Irish Hockey Association media release

Ireland denied in first World Cup shot but dream not over

Nicci Daly earned her 150th cap in the tie against Argentina. Pic: Getty/FIH

Ireland’s women pushed Argentina all the way but ultimately fell 2-1 to the world number three side in their Hockey World League quarter-final tie in Johannesburg, missing out in their first direct shot at World Cup qualification.

Shaw’s charges upset Las Leonas’ rhythm for long periods to give themselves a shot at a shock result down the closing stretch, making things difficult at most turns.

It was the second successive game that his side had come close to shocking one of the world’s top sides, coming two days after the Olympic champions – in their England guise – edged out Ireland 3-2.

For the first 25 minutes, Ireland put in a flawless defensive performance with Shirley McCay leading the troops, barricading the edge of their circle in the face of the world number three outfit.

But a pair of mis-steps in quick succession allowed Las Leonas to take the lead. Nicci Daly struggled to control a bouncing ball and Maria Ortiz stole in, her pass finding Delfina Merino whose turn wrong-footed both Yvonne O’Byrne and goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran who had raced out of goal to cover. It left a simple finish on her backhand for 1-0.

The second half followed a similar pattern with Argentina controlling the play, pinning Ireland back. Their lead was doubled in the 40th minute from the first penalty corner of the game, Julia Gomes picking a low line to the backboard.

It drew Graham Shaw’s side quickly out of their shell and they struck back in brilliant fashion, Roisin Upton scoring from Ireland’s first shot in anger. She nailed a drag-flick from a corner won by Anna O’Flanagan’s willing run down the right.

O’Flanagan won another corner with six minutes to go to give Ireland a major chance to equalise but this time, Upton’s shot was charged down.

Shaw swapped out goalkeeper McFerran in favour of an extra outfielder in an all-out bid to grab an equaliser and a shoot-out chance but Argentina held firm to take the narrow win.

“We started a little tentative and allowed them to control too many phases in the first half,” Shaw reflected on the outcome. “The second half was a lot better and we put them under a lot more pressure as a result. We are very confident going into the playoffs and looking forward to the challenge.”

Zoe Wilson attempts to put in a tackle on Delfina Merino. Pic: FIH/Getty

While this first route to a World Cup ticket has closed, there is still plenty at stake later this week in Johannesburg as they go into the fifth to eighth place playoffs. Fifth brings a guaranteed spot in London 2018 while even sixth or seventh could be enough depending on how the continental championships pan out later this year.

That series starts with a tie against South Africa on Thursday with India and Japan the other sides involved in these classification ties.

Wednesday is the men’s turn as they face Spain at 12.30pm (Irish time) in the same quarter-final scenario with victory bringing a ticket to a World Cup for the first time since 1990.

Hockey World League Semi-Final, quarter-final
Ireland 1 (R Upton)
Argentina 2 (D Merino, J Gomes)

Ireland: A McFerran, K Mullan, S McCay, L Tice, G Pinder, C Watkins, N Daly, H Matthews, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson, D Duke
Subs: Y O’Byrne, N Evans, E Beatty, S Loughran, R Upton, L Colvin, G O’Flanagan

Argentina: B Succi, M Cavallero, M Fernandez, D Merino, A Habif, M Granatto, F Habif, R Sanchez, N Barrionuevo, J Gomes
Subs: A Gorzelany, E Trinchinetti, A Alonso, M Campoy, M Ortiz, J Jankunas, M Mutio
Umpires: S Sutton (USA), H-Y Kang (KOR)

The Hook

World Cup bound

USWNT Defeats Japan in the Quarterfinals to Punch Tickets to World Cup & World League Final

Images courtesy of Rodrigo Jaramillo and Getty Images/FIH

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Heading into today’s match, two very important objectives were at stake. One was a guaranteed placement in the FIH Hockey World League Finalin Auckland, New Zealand at the end of the year and the second was a direct ticket to the 2018 women’s Hockey World Cup in London, England. The U.S. Women’s National Team faced No. 11 Japan in the FIH Hockey World League Semifinals quarterfinal game, stuck to their game plan and played solid collective defense to earn a 1-0 victory.

"Today was a game that we knew had to be there," said Janneke Schopman, USWNT Head Coach. "Yesterday's training was helpful, to get into the flow, to get connected and to start communicating, which is key for us. I think that is what we brought to the game today. I was very happy with the experienced players stepping up and by showing and taking the lead, you see the younger athletes actually follow."

With a lot on the line, both teams hit the field for the quarterfinal match ready to give it their all between the lines. Play at the start of the quarter switched possession for the first few minutes as play was held between the 25 yard lines. A good look came in the 7th minute for USA as Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.) got a backhand shot off that sailed over the goal. The remainder of the quarter saw multiple USA circle penetrations and a chance for Japan as they worked it into their attacking circle but the score stood at 0-0.

USA started the second quarter and resumed the high tempo eagerly looking to change the score line. Good play moving in out of the pockets would go unanswered for USA before Japan took possession the other way and earned their first penalty corner, after questioning the call and winning the referral, in the 19th minute. The first attempt was sent back to Japan’s inserter but USA goalkeeper Jackie Briggs (Robesonia, Pa.) was there to make the save. A second attempt was earned but solid defense by USA shut down the effort. USA would play the final minutes of the quarter in their attacking half, working the ball forward and gathering multiple circle entries and shots just off target. The halftime score was USA 0, Japan 0.

Keeping the pace from the first half, USA continued to move the ball into their attacking 25. Japan’s defense remained solid and sustained the pressure limiting USA's attemped to find channels behind. A close chance came for Japan in the 37th minute when a shot from the right baseline was absorbed by Briggs. Control quickly moved to the other end of the pitch as fast ball movement found Kat Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) in the right corner of the field where she sent a hard ball into the circle that was deflected toward goal but cleared by Japan’s goalkeeper Megumi Kageyama. Persistence paid off just a minute later when USA’s quick ball movement led to a Japan foot just outside the circle. Michelle Vittese (Cherry, N.J.) took the free hit quickly, shot a backhand which was tipped into the goal by a Japan defender to give USA a 1-0 lead to end the quarter.

With a goal advantage, all USA needed to do was display solid and smart defense in the final 15 minutes of play. Japan kept knocking at the door, but USA worked as a unit to limit those threats. A yellow card was awarded to USA’s Nicole Woods (Beverly, Mass.) in the 52nd minute and Japan pulled their goalkeeper, which gave them a two-player advantage. USA stayed calm and composed to secure the 1-0 victory.

"We played a very composed and structured game, not fancy and not as much flow or created opportunities to our attack," added Schopman. "The fact that we played and fought as a team, I think it was a deserved win."

"For us, especially with this young team, it's good for us to be playing in the semifinals in this tournament, and that we can also play in the [FIH Hockey World League] Final against all these top countries," continued Schopman. "That is key for us, we've never been in this tournament before and that is a testament to this team and how much they've worked."

A career milestone was reached in today’s match as midfielder Katelyn Ginolfi (Lewes, Del.) earned her 250th international cap wearing the red, white and blue. Once the youngest member on the team when she joined in 2003, veteran Ginolfi is a three-time Olympian and has been a core part of USA’s midfield and defensive unit throughout the years. She has a long list of achievements to her name having won five gold medals at international events including the 2008 Olympic Games Qualifier, 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games, 2013 FIH Hockey World League Round 2 and 2014 Champions Challenge.

Katelyn Ginolfi earned her 250th International cap

USWNT’s win today has moved them into the semifinal round on Thursday, July 20 against England at 1 p.m. ET.

USFHA media release

England put four past India in quarter-finals

England v India

England cruised to a 4-1 win in their quarter-final match with India at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals in Johannesburg.

Goals from Giselle Ansley, Alex Danson, Susannah Townsend and Hannah Martin sealed the convincing win as England booked their place in Thursday’s semi-finals.

England will face the USA and in reaching the final four England have also secured qualification for the World League Finals to be held in New Zealand in November. 

Straight from the start England looked to stamp their authority on the game pushing India deep into their half from the get go. This soon resulted in a flurry of penalty corners and although these converted, at England’s fourth penalty corner they were awarded a penalty stroke.

Having missed earlier in the tournament, Ansley stepped up and made no mistake, pushing her effort inside the right hand post where she had missed against Poland. England’s lead was soon extended. A fine flowing move down the right saw Susannah Townsend’s cross deflected into an Indian defender before Danson reacted quickest to spin and hammer home before the first break.

India responded in the second quarter showing some resilience after a tough opening. They began to exert pressure on the England backline and struck the post from a well worked penalty corner but a goal before the break eluded them. 

The third quarter was evenly contested between the sides with England happy to sit a little deeper with their two goal lead, however before the final break they grabbed a third goal in style. Martin collected the ball on the right before starting a weaving run which sent Indian heads spinning, her cross through the circle fell to Townsend who turned home first time. 

India did grab a consolation goal in the final fifteen minutes through Gurjit Kaur’s drag flick but England responded immediately to make it 4-1 as Martin passed into an empty net with India having elected for a kicking back.

England saw out the closing moments to ensure the win and progress to the semi-finals and book their place at the Hockey World League Finals in New Zealand later this year.

The semi-final against the USA will be shown live on BT Sport.

England starting XI: Maddie Hinch (GK), Giselle Ansley, Laura Unsworth, Hollie Webb, Anna Toman, Sarah Haycroft, Emily Defroand, Susannah Townsend, Nicola White, Alex Danson (C), Sophie Bray

Subs (Used): Shona McCallin, Zoe Shipperley, Grace Balsdon, Hannah Martin, Jo Hunter

Subs (Not used): Amy Tennant

England Hockey Board Media release

India women suffer 1-4 loss to England in quarter-final

India in action against England in the quarter-final of HWL Semi-Finals. Twitter.com/@TheHockeyIndia

Johannesburg: India suffered a 1-4 loss to England in the quarter-final of the Women's Hockey World League Semi-Final on Tuesday.

Drag flicker Gurjit Kaur (57th minute) was India's lone scorer, while Giselle Ansley (6th), Alex Danson (13th), Susannah Townsend (42nd) and Hannah Martin (60th) sounded the board for England.

India will next play the fifth to eighth placing match on 20 July.

England put India on the back foot in the first quarter when they won three back-to-back PCs which finally resulted in England being awarded a penalty stroke.

It was unfortunate for India when England appealed through a video referral that an Indian defender had crossed the goal line before the injector made the pass. This resulted in India losing a defender in the goal line.

Reduced to just three defenders and the goalkeeper, India did well to defend the PC but a foul was called when England attacker's shot on goal was obstructed by Deep Grace Ekka.

Giselle Ansley made no mistake in successfully taking the penalty stroke to fetch England an early 1-0 lead in the 6th minute.

They extended the lead in the 13th minute when Alex Danson put the ball past Savita making this her third goal of the tournament.

India began well in the second quarter, winning a PC in the 16th minute when Lilima Minz on the counter attack found England defender's foot in the circle. But the chance went begging with Anupa Barla missing a deflection off Rani's flick by inches.

India won another PC in the 28th minute and this time Anupa managed to get a deflection off Rani's flick but unfortunately hit the cross bar.

India went into the halftime with eight circle penetrations and three shots on goals while England made 11 circle penetrations with three shots on goal.

A defensive error in the third quarter lead to England converting a field goal in the 42nd minute through Susannah Townsend. This took England's lead to 3-0. India later won two short corners with less than three minutes to go for the hooter but couldn't make the opportunities count.

The final quarter saw India make some brave forays into the striking circle but without much success. India gave away a PC in the 49th minute but they survived the scare with Savita and Monika coming up with a good save.

A good referral on India's part won them a PC in the 57th minute and Gurjit struck a brilliant goal beating England goalkeeper Maddie Hinch.

England ended up scoring their fourth goal in the 60th minute through Hannah Martin to end the match 4-1.


Indian eves have to beat Cherry Blossoms to play in London Women World Cup (2018)

By B.G.Joshi (Sehore-Bhopal, India)

Not to select players on merit is a perennial problem of Indian Hockey (men and women both). In Johannesburg’s HWL, omission of Deepika Thakur and Anuradha Thokchom have cost dearly. 

Emerging penalty corner expert Gurjit Kaur was asked to take corner after wasting four. Now equation is that India has to beat Japan to get berth in World Cup (London-2018).Not to commit silly mistake and grab the opportunity in scoring goal will give way to London. Since hosts England has double qualification (hosts and semifinalist in Johannesburg) sixth placed team in Johannesburg will be in London. India (WR-12) have better ranking than Italy (WR-16) who have finished   6th in Brussels (Belgium) HWL (WCQ).Here are the statistical highlights of India-Japan ladies in international hockey:























Last Five







Last win: In  Antwerp HWL(2015),  India beat Japan  1-0  and have qualified for Rio  Olympics(2016)


Danny Kerry to miss remaining World League fixtures

Danny Kerry

England women’s team Head Coach Danny Kerry will not attend the squad’s remaining matches in the Hockey World League Semi Final due to being unwell.

In Danny’s absence, Assistant Coach David Ralph guided the athletes to a 3-2 win over Ireland on Sunday then a 4-1 victory over India. They now face USA in a semi final on Thursday, with Finals Day taking place on Sunday.

England Hockey Board Media release

T&T Hockey men in warm-up today

THE NATIONAL men’s hockey squad will continue its preparation for next month’s Pan Am Cup in the United States when the players take on a Trinidad and Tobago Hockey Board President’s XI in a practice match at Tacarigua this evening.

The game comes at the end of a two-week training camp and will afford national coach Glenn “Fido” Francis the opportunity to assess the knowledge gained by his squad during that exercise.

Trinidad and Tobago, drawn in Pool B of the Pan Am Cup along with Mexico, Canada and Brazil, will be travelling to the tournament in Lancaster, Pennsylvania without the services of seven of the players who wore the red, white and black when T&T hosted a World League Round Two group at the end of March.

Trinidad & Tobago Express

T&T Hockey coach: Team better prepared for Pan Am


National Hockey coach Glenn Francis is confident of a berth at the Hockey World Cup in India next year. His team is due to complete a highly intense live-in camp at the Hockey Centre in Tacarigua tomorrow. Tonight, he will put his lads through a rigorous practice match from 7 pm against some the of country’s best players, ahead of the Pan American Qualifiers scheduled for August 4-16 in Pennsylvania, USA.

T&T will play in Pool B alongside Canada, who has already secured a place at the World Cup, Brazil and Mexico. Pool A comprises world number one Argentina, Chile, United States and Venezuela. Francis said in spite of the inexperience in his camp, he believes they will make up for it in tactics, which former T&T ace turn English assistant coach Kwandwayne Browne has been working on for the duration of the camp. Brown, a much sought-after coach in the hockey world now, has been implementing a technological system of preparation used by all the top international teams, Francis said.

“It requires players to push themselves to the limit and coaches to monitor players’ output among other things,” Francis said. Browne will function as player/coach at the Pan Am, despite his work at the camp. Apart from adding experience, the ex Queen’s Royal College star will facilitate the local team with knowledge of their opponents internationally. The T&T team will be minus seven players that participated at the World Hockey League earlier this year, such as Mickel Pierre, who is expected to be on a promotional course with his employers—the T&T Regiment and Darren Cowie, expected to stay at home to iron out personal issues.

At the last Pan Am tournament four years ago the T&T team just missed out on a place at the world cup by finishing third, but Francis is cautiously confident this time around, saying the team has been jelling nicely under the new tactics of Brown and is a lot fitter.

The team will touch down in Pennsylvania on July 30 and will jump into action a day later with a practice match against Chile. They will also face Venezuela in another warm-up game on July 1 before facing the mights of the Canadians in their first qualifier on August 4.

The Trinidad Guardian

Scotland Women’s squad announced for test series against Russia

Kaz Cuthbert Photo by John Preece

The squad for Scotland women’s upcoming three-match test series against Russia has been announced. The series will see the teams meet for the first time since Scotland claimed victory over the Russians in the quarter-finals of World League 2 in Valencia.

The matches will be played in Glasgow at Titwood on Thursday 20 July at 7pm; Saturday 22 July at 2pm at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre; and Sunday 23 July at 10:30am also at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre.

These fixtures come as part of preparations for the Rabo EuroHockey Championships 2017 in Amsterdam on 18-27 August.

In Amsterdam Scotland have been drawn in Pool B against England, Germany, and Ireland as the Scots look to retain their status amongst the top European nations in European hockey.

As part of preparations Scotland will also face France in a three-match test series in Glasgow at the end of July, further details will be announced soon.

Scotland Women’s Head Coach Gordon Shepherd said:

“We are looking forward to what will be a tough series against Russia. They are a good side and when we beat them in Valencia we had to play very well to do so. These games give an opportunity to all our players to show why they should be selected for the Europeans in Amsterdam.

“We had a good level of performance in all five games at the World League Semi Finals in Brussels recently, but the players have been working hard since returning and on a few areas we want to improve - and I will be looking for this improvement against Russia.”

Game 1: Thurs 20 July 2017, 7pm, Titwood

Nicki Cochrane
Amy Gibson
Kareena Cuthbert
Nikki Lloyd
Amy Brodie
Becky Merchant
Becky Ward
Sarah Robertson
Robyn Collins
Fiona Bruce
Fiona Burnet
Katie Robertson
Heather Howie
Amy Costello
Kate Holmes
Charlotte Watson
Mairi Drummond
Sarah Jamieson

Game 2: Saturday 22 July, 2pm, Glasgow National Hockey Centre

Nicki Cochrane
Kareena Cuthbert
Becky Merchant
Becky Ward
Ali Howie
Sarah Robertson
Robyn Collins
Fiona Burnet
Bex Condie
Millie Brown
Lucy Camlin
Heather Howie
Amy Costello
Kate Holmes
Charlotte Watson
Lucy Lanigan
Mairi Drummond
Sarah Jamieson

Game 3: Sunday 23 July, 10:30am, Glasgow National Hockey Centre

Amy Gibson
Kareena Cuthbert
Nikki Lloyd
Becky Merchant
Becky Ward
Ali Howie
Sarah Robertson
Robyn Collins
Fiona Bruce
Fiona Burnet
Bex Condie
Millie Brown
Lucy Camlin
Katie Robertson
Heather Howie
Lucy Lanigan
Mairi Drummond
Sarah Jamieson

Further info on the Rabo EuroHockey Championship 2017 can be found HERE

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Fiji hockey boost

Zanzeer Singh

THE Fiji Hockey Federation has acquired the services of accredited Australian umpire David Sunderland to help lift standard of the match officials in the country.

Sunderland was present during the Fiji Secondary Schools Hockey League Nadi/Lautoka Ba playoffs at Nadovu Park on Saturday.

National coach Hector Smith said Sunderland was guiding the officials.

Smith said they wanted to set a pathway for the umpires.

"In previous tournaments there had been all kinds of protests so we are trying to get that out," he said.

"To see that the correct rules of hockey are implemented in the interest of the game, instead of being too technical with the flow.

"David from Perth knows the coaching system and grading. We are trying to teach people on the umpiring career.

"We can get them a local qualification and then an Oceania qualification and move on from there."

Meanwhile week one of action during the Nadi/Lautoka/Ba playoffs unearthed some new talents.

Sangam Sadhu Kuppuswamy Memorial College (SSKMC) was dominant in the girl's under-16 and U19 divisions.

Smith said there were many good matches but expressed disappointment with the condition of the grass turf.

"The first thing is the grounds were not prepared well," he said.

"There was long grass and it was difficult to play pushing hockey so there was a lot of hitting.

"But there is a lot of talent especially with the young boys from Ba and Lautoka.

"It was encouraging to get a good turnout.

"The competition will get tougher as it goes on."

The matches will continue this week.

The top four boys and girls teams from the U16 and U19 grades will qualify for the National Secondary Schools Hockey Championship in Levuka, Ovalau from August 14-16.


Girls U16: SSKMC 4 Xavier 0, SSKMC 3 Tilak High 0; Girls U19: Tilak High 0 Saint Thomas 3, SSKMC 1 Natabua High 0. Boys U16: Saint Thomas 0 Xavier College, Saint Thomas 1 Tilak High 5; Boys U19: Natabua 2 Ba Provincial 1, Saint Thomas 0 Tilak High 0.

The Fiji Times

Scotland U21 Men strike five to beat Italy in St Petersburg

It was an emphatic victory for Scotland U21 Men as they beat Italy U21 Men 5-1 in their second match of EuroHockey Junior Championship II in St Petersburg. The result put Scotland on three points in Pool B of the tournament with one game for the Scots against Russia remaining.

It was Italy who came out the traps quickly and secured an early lead through Luca Valentino from a penalty corner on five minutes.

After the shock opening Scotland settled into the match and began to press Italy high up the pitch.

Their first chance to issue a response to going behind came quickly through the award of back-to-back penalty corners. The first effort was well-saved low at the left post Alessandro Comello. The second penalty corner was flicked right at the goalkeeper who was solid and cleared the danger.

The Scots would soon be rewarded for their efforts. Rob Harwood levelled the scores from close range when he was found unmarked at the far post to sweep home.

A couple of minutes into the second quarter Scotland deservedly took the lead. Some good build up down the right found Kyle Gladwin stealing in ahead of the goalkeeper to put Scotland 2-1 up.

Almost immediately after Scotland going ahead Italy forced Douglas Gourley into making a great save to keep his side in front.

It prompted Scotland to up the pace of their attacks, and before long they were rewarded by a third goal. A stealthy surge down the left found Luke Cranney bearing down on goal. Cranney finished clinically to put Scotland 3-1 up with a bullet low shot into the bottom left corner. At 3-1 the Scots were flying.

The second half began with Italy enjoying possession but Scotland controlling the territory and looking very comfortable. The Italians were forced to pass from side-to-side just inside the Scots half.

Scotland would take over soon and their first opportunity of the second half came half way through the third quarter – a penalty corner was well charged down by an Italian defender.

The Italians fashioned an opportunity of their own with four minutes of the quarter remaining, a turning shot from the top of the D zipped wide of the right post to safety.

Gourley then sprang into action again for the Scots as Italy began to turn the screw but the keeper was out quickly to block.

Scotland upped the pace again and won a penalty corner just before the end of the quarter but were denied a fourth goal by an outstanding save low at the left post. Another penalty corner seconds later again brought out an impressive diving save to keep the score 3-1.

Scotland put the game to bed early in the fourth quarter. A penalty corner saw Harwood score his second and Scotland's fourth to make it 4-1 with a low drive past the goalkeeper.

As the game drew to a close the Scots were playing some silky hockey. It all came to a conclusion when Cammy Golden made it 5-1 with a lovely finish from a tight angle.

Scotland U21 Men’s Head Coach Graham Moodie said:

“I’m really pleased with the performance today. We improved on the Poland game in a big way and scored some really nice goals. I felt we controlled the game very well, even though we went behind early in the match, and the guys showed great character and ability to take charge of the match.

“We’re starting to play like we know we can. The game against Russia will be difficult, every game will be difficult, but we’ll prepare well and look to build on today’s display.”

FT - Scotland U21 Men 5-1 Italy U21 Men

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Scotland U21 Women draw with Czech Repeblic in Hradec Kralove

Kerry Anne Hastings Scotland u21. Photo by Duncan Gray

Scotland U21 Women drew with tournament hosts Czech Republic in their second match of EuroHockey Junior Championship II in Hradec Kralove.

The result leaves Scotland in third place on one point with one game remaining, and require a high-scoring victory against Turkey to have a chance of finishing in the top two of the group.

It was very tense in the opening quarter of the contest with both sides working hard to try and take control of the game. It was very warm and the initial battle cooled down towards the end of the quarter, which allowed Scotland to show more composure on the ball and play some slick hockey.

As the quarter came to a close Lorna Cruickshank had an opportunity to give Scotland the lead. The forward found herself bearing down on goal but her attempted lob was charged down by the goalkeeper and the Czechs survived.

The second quarter saw Scotland settle into the match and look comfortable in control of the play. Things were made much more comfortable early in the second quarter when Emily Dark opened the scoring for the Scots. Dark took the ball on around 25 yards from goal on the left and drove towards the D. Czech defenders tried to crowd her out but she was able to evade them, take the ball wide of the goalkeeper, and send a composed finish into the back of the net. 1-0.

A good contest in the third quarter saw the Czech Republic pull themselves back into the match when Anna Kolarova equalised on 37 minutes from a penalty corner. The goal came from a sloppy pass in defence, leading to conceding a penalty corner. Kolarova made no mistake with her strike from the top of the circle to equalise.

The game was there to be won in the final quarter as Scotland piled on the pressure in search of a winner. Fran Longeran was solid at the back and Kerry-Anne Hastings was positive enough to create things from deep, while Dark was a constant threat.

From a penalty corner, Dark drove the ball towards the backboard but the goalkeeper managed to get something on the ball and it appeared to hit the post player on the chest. The decision didn’t go Scotland’s way and Czech Republic survived.

The Scots had four penalty corners in a frantic end to the match but couldn’t convert any of them for a winner. Each of the efforts were run down, deflected wide, or not executed well enough to secure the vital winning strike.

In the end it finished 1-1 and the Scots face Turkey tomorrow at 14:45 with a high-scoring victory the target to try and take second spot in the group.

Scotland U21 Women’s Head Coach Neil Menzies said:

“It was a close game overall but given the number of chances we had we probably deserved to win, and if we’d shown more composure we might have got the winner. We were disappointed to concede the corner for the goal, it’s probably a debatable one, but we could also have done better defensively as well.

“The main positives were some of the performances, particularly Fran Longeran, Emily Dark and Kerry-Anne Hastings. A lot of players had good spells but those three really were unfazed by the occasion and handled the pressure well.

“We have to win and score goals tomorrow against Turkey, but we’ll play the correct tactics rather than blindly chase goals.”

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Under-18 girls keep rolling with Belgian win; U-16 boys draw with the Dutch

The Irish Under-18 girls produced another great performance to beat Belgium 3-2; the Under-16 boys also shone with a fine 1-1 draw with the Netherlands in their Six Nations tournament


Siofra O’Brien continued her hot scoring streak with two vital goals in Ireland’s 3-2 victory over Belgium U-18s. Belgium started the brighter of the two sides and from the first penalty corner rifled home to Jade Arundel’s stick side.

Although this was not in the game plan, Ireland were not deterred from their end goal – European domination. Within moments, Ireland were back in the game after some fine individual skill from Caoimhe Perdue down the right-hand channel, resulting in a penalty corner.

From the second phase, Christina Hamill pumped the ball back post on her open side where O’Brien got a crucial touch to guide home. In the third quarter, Belgium stepped up a gear and Ireland managed the phases well but couldn’t prevent another corner opportunity.

Belgium were again clinical, flicking into the stick side. Going into the final quarter, Ireland showed their physical superiority. They upped the tempo and gained large territory with Caitlin Sherin down the left hand side.

Belgium were still dangerous on the counter. Jade Arundel, Grace McLoughlin and Issy Delamer were able to mop up any Belgian threats.

Ireland had a number of corner opportunities won by Yasmin Pratt and Laura Foley. It was Issy Delamer’s flick that was deflected home once again by the in-form O’Brien on the back post. The sides were now level and Ireland went looking for a third immediately.

Holly Taggart and Katie Fearon were extremely solid in midfield, providing a fantastic outlet for the back four. The Belgians created some scoring chances, the biggest of which was dealt with by a cool, calm and collected Delamer, trapping a Belgian reverse on the line with the goal gaping.

Down the other end, Ireland created some pressure of their own through Katie McKee and Niamh Carey’s 3D skills. It was with five minutes to go that Ireland created some space down the left channel, turned out and found Delamer in space.

She fizzed a pass into the circle to Sophie MacDowell who provided the deftest of touches to lift the ball over the flailing keeper, 3-2 Ireland. With the timer ticking down, Belgium upped the pressure and opted for a kicking back but were unable to break down the Irish defence.

A second win from two games leaves Ireland top of the table. Man of the match was awarded to Hamill and Coach Stephen Arbuthnot hailed the performance as one of the best he’s seen from any Ireland side.

U-18 girls: Ireland 3 (S O’Brien 2, S McDowell) Belgium 2
U-16 girls (Wednesday): Ireland v Belgium, 11am


On the boys side, Ireland’s Under-16s produced a superb performance against the Netherlands, coming agonizingly close to victory in Nottingham.

The sides went scoreless for the first three quarters before Mount Temple’s Mark Duggan put Ireland in front with 12 minutes to go. The Dutch took their goalkeeper off with six minutes left and laid siege to the Irish goal in the closing phases, ultimately having a series of four penalty corners on the final hooter.

The fourth was eventually converted to end the tie at 1-1. The Dutch subsequently got a bonus point from the post-match shoot-out. The Under-18s, meanwhile, had a tough outing in a 7-0 loss to the Dutch.

U-16 Boys: Ireland 1 (M Duggan) Netherlands 1
Thursday: Ireland v Germany, 2.30pm
U-18 Boys: Ireland 0 Netherlands 7
Thursday: Ireland v Germany, 10am

The Hook

Late Greenwood goal helps England U18 Girls draw

England Under-18 Girls battled back from their opening day loss to record a hard-fought draw with hosts Spain in the Six Nations Tournament at Terrassa on Tuesday evening.

Goals from Izzy Petter and Rachel Greenwood gave England confidence as the game progressed, and left Head Coach Sarah Kelleher optimistic about their chances as the event progresses through the week.

“I’m very pleased in terms of how the girls stepped up their performance after a disappointing first game,” she said. “The intensity, effort and smooth momentum they showed really sets the tone for the rest of the tournament.”

Izzy Petter put England ahead with a deflection high into the net from an attack in the 29th minute.

Spain hit back with a deflection from Laura Barrios at a 39th minute penalty corner, and then took the lead through another penalty corner routine, this time from Sara Barrios in the 49th minute.

But England kept their calm, and Rachel Greenwood scored with another deflection at a penalty corner with four minutes left.

“They played some gritty but connected hockey, which gives us optimism ahead of Thursday’s game against Germany,” added Kelleher.

We’ve played the Germans three times recently and competed really well, so I think the girls will be very much up for it. They are a very good side but one who we can match.”

After a rest day on Wednesday, England Under-18 Girls are next in action on Thursday morning with a clash against Germany.

England Under-18 Girls (1) 2
Izzy Petter 29 (FG)
Rachel Greenwood 56 (PC)

Spain Under-18 Girls (0) 2
Laura Barrios 39 (PC)
Sara Barrios 49 (PC)

England Hockey Board Media release

Comeback battle not enough for England U18 Boys

England U18 Boys, July 2017

Trailing by four goals at half time, England Under-18 Boys battled back strongly in the last quarter but couldn’t quite catch their Spanish opponents who ran out 4-3 winners at Nottingham Hockey Centre on Tuesday evening.

The Spaniards dominated the first half of the game in the Six Nations Tournament, and were four-nil up with ten minutes left to play.

But England turned the screw and scored three goals from penalty corners and might’ve pushed the game into a shootout but for some desperate defending by their rivals.

“We made a very flat start to the game which allowed Spain to not only get into the game, but get well ahead,” said Head Coach Jody Paul. “Eventually the guys dug deep and a good attitude showed through in the fourth quarter to get us on the scorecard.”

Marc Reyne de Trincheria’s sixth minute field goal was followed soon after by a penalty corner strike from Marc Recasens Llobet. Marc Vizcaino Vallmitjana scored from open play on 36 minutes, as did his compatriot Jan Vall Turu on 48 minutes.

But England weren’t about to roll over.

Matthew Ramshaw scored from a penalty corner on 51 minutes, and England went in search of more goals.

A string of four penalty corners on 54 minutes finally resulted in Ramshaw doubling his tally, and three minutes later Tim Nurse – who had been the injector for Ramshaw’s last goal – got himself on the scoresheet from another penalty corner routine.

England piled forward in search of an equaliser, and might’ve done just that but for the Spanish goalkeeper pushing their shot wide at a penalty corner with seconds remaining.

After a rest day on Wednesday, England Under-18 Boys are next in action on Thursday afternoon when they take on the Netherlands at Nottingham Hockey Centre.

England Under-18 Boys (0) 3
Matthew Ramshaw 51 54 (PC, PC)
Tim Nurse 57 (PC)

Spain Under-18 Boys (2) 4
Marc Reyne de Trincheria 6 (FG)
Marc Recasens Llobet 12 (PC)
Marc Vizcaino Vallmitjana 36 (FG)
Jan Vall Turu 48 (FG)

England Hockey Board Media release

Shootout drama for England Under-16 Boys

England U16 Boys lineup, July 2017

A brace of goals from Archie Philips and one from Will Prentice helped England Under-16 Boys battle to a 3-3 draw with Spain in the Six Nations Tournament at the Nottingham Hockey Centre on Tuesday afternoon.

But Spain ultimately edged to victory, narrowly winning the shootout 3-2.

Spain’s Joan Dalmases gave his side the lead with a goal from open play in the first quarter, only for Philips to pull England back level on 23 minutes from a penalty corner.

The ball came to the top of the D, and the first flick was faked, only for a second effort to be deflected off Philips’ stick.

But the goals kept coming – four in a five minute spell – with Manuel Rodriguez scoring a minute later and Rafael Vilallonga adding another to put Spain 3-1 ahead on 27 minutes.

Philips grabbed his second goal on 28 minutes, again from a penalty corner headside deflection in similar style to his first goal. And then Will Prentice ensured England took a share of the spoils with their third goal on 45 minutes after a break down the left side and a shot low to the goalkeeper’s right.

Both sides battled hard for the final 15 minutes, and the Spanish actually had the ball in the net on one occasion, only for the umpire to rule it out as he had not seen a touch in the circle.

But England also created late chances, with Toby Stanley going close to grabbing a winner in the final quarter.

Matt Blood and Josh Gravestock scored for England in the shootout, but it wasn’t quite enough to grab the win.

“I was happy with the performance. I felt the team grew through the game against a Spanish side who always provide an element of unpredictability,” said Head Coach Mark Bateman. “It leaves us with three more games against team we know we can compete with.”

The team aren’t back in action now until Thursday afternoon, when they play Germany starting at 4pm at the Nottingham Hockey Centre.

England Under-16 Boys (2) 3
Archie Philips 23 28 (PC, PC)
William Prentice 45 (FG)

Spain Under-16 Boys (3) 3
Joan Dalmases 11 (FG)
Manuel Rodriguez 24 (FG)
Rafael Vilallonga 27 (FG)

Spain win 3-2 in shootout

England Hockey Board Media release

USIU aim fire on Badgers in men’s hockey league


Andrew Memo (left) of USIU-A vies for the ball with Titus Kimutai of Kenya Police during their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League at City Park Stadium on June 28, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

United States International University of Africa (USIU) have a chance to go to fifth place when they tackle Parkroad Badgers on Wednesday in a mid-week Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League match at the City Park Stadium, Nairobi.

The students, who currently lie in sixth place with 18 points, lead Badgers by a point and a win will move them four points clear, knocking the 2012 winners Sikh Union Nairobi from fifth spot in the 15-team top-flight division.

USIU won 2-0 against Kenya College of Accountancy University on their last outing on July 1 and their coach Tom Olal is aiming to extend their winning ways. “We have not played for over two and a half weeks and the lads are relishing the opportunity to get back on the pitch and hopefully secure another win,” Olal told Nation Sport on Tuesday.


“Badgers are a decent side, they are behind us and we therefore cannot afford any slip up and so we have got to go out there and give them a match,” he added.

Olal will count on the services of forwards Brian Kiplimo and Brian Kipkorir to get the goals against the Badgers who have lost five games this season.

The students will also be looking to improve on their goal difference which stands at four. Kenya’s first-choice keeper Linus Sang will start in goal for the students.

Badgers on the other hand will be aiming to bounce back from last Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Wazalendo. The Cyrus Kanyi led side have blown hot and cold this season, winning five out of their 12 matches they have played so far this season.

They conceded a last-minute goal against Wazalendo at the weekend and coach Kanyi will be aiming for more concentration from his charges.

“We were unlucky to lose it at the end (against Wazalendo) after putting in a good display. We have got to pick ourselves up and be ready for USIU,” Kanyi said.

Daily Nation

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