All the news for Thursday 29 December 2011
Inverleith and Scotland on song on Tayside
Inverleith inflicted a couple of hefty defeats on the unsuspecting opposition on the first day of the Grove Menzieshill Invitation Indoor Tournament at DISC in Dundee yesterday, Wales fell first 12-2 and then rivals Menzieshill 11-2.
In their opening match Inverleith took advantage of a Menzieshill side that was eight players short of their regular side and handed out an 11-2 thrashing, the main tormentor was Chris Grassick with four goals. Grassick made his mark with a double in only four minutes, Callum Duke added another, before Tom Cousins scored two more for a 7-1 half-time lead, Ben Cromar got the consolation for the home side. Although Chris Anderson pulled another back for the Taysiders early in the second half, the Edinburgh side still piled on the goals, Cousins collected his hat-trick as did Duke with a late couple, with Stephen Dick completed the scoring.
Plenty of leaks were exposed in the Welsh defence in the second game, The Edinburgh side raced to a eight goal half-time lead through a hat-trick from Grassick, there were two each for Dick and Derek Salmond while Cousins picked up the other. The avalanche continued unabated after the interval, Grassick picked up another, Salmond and Dick notched their hat-tricks, and Duke scored the other before Wales picked up a couple of late consolations.
The game between the Scotland squad sides, Caledonian Cougars and Highland Jaguars, ended in a 4-3 victory for the latter. The basis of the Jaguar`s win came from two goals by Craig Falconer and one each from Duncan Riddell and Adam Mackenzie from a set piece. Glynhill Kelburne striker Alan Forsyth (2) and Gavin Byers scored for the Cougars. In the final men`s game Cougars recovered to beat Menzieshill 7-4.
Scotland`s women were narrow 3-2 victors over the United States in the women`s game of the day CALA Edinburgh striker Amy Brodie gave the Scots the perfect start in only three minutes from a penalty corner. Gordon Shepherd`s charges should have doubled their lead, Kareena Marshall`s set piece shot was illegally stopped on the line by an American defender, but the Milne Craig Western player proceeded to hit the post from the spot. The lapse was punished when the USA equalised through Jenna Knouse just before the break.
In the second half the Scots did forge ahead, Susan McGilveray scored from a penalty corner followed by another spot effort, this time converted by Nikki Kidd for 3-1. Although Knouse pulled one back for the Americans near the end, Shepherd`s squad held out to win the close contest.
Scotland had started the event with a 5-2 victory over the USA under 21 side, but the score could have higher but for a series of saves from the young American goalkeeper Anna Persanti. The Scots were given an early shock when Anna Dessoye opened for the US, but Kidd quickly equalised and then Brodie put the Scots 2-1 ahead from the spot by the break. Brodie again from a penalty corner made it 3-1, but back came the Americans through Heather Morris. The result was finally sealed with a late double by Kareena Marshall.
In their third game it was a ding-dong battle between Scotland and champions VWS Dundee Wanderers, the former eventually emerging 5-4 winners. The Taysiders were 2-1 ahead at the interval, Vikki Bunce and Amy Rowan were on target while Marshall replied for the national side. After the interval Marshall again and Nikki Lloyd pulled it back to 3-2 for Scotland, only for a penalty corner strike by Bunce to level the scores. In the final denouement Bunce notched her hat-trick for the club side but strikes by Kidd and McGilveray secured the narrow victory for the national squad.
Wanderers opened with a 5-3 win over the United States, courtesy of four goals from Vikki Bunce, ironically fresh from contributing to Great Britain`s recent 5-0 whitewash over the US in San Diego. Grove also opened with a victory, a narrow 3-2 scoreline over Capercaillies, the Scotland under 21 squad. A hat-trick of set pieces from Louise Carroll sunk the Scots youngsters, for whom Hazel Hall and Carly Bisset replied with a goal each.
Grove ran out of steam in their final matches, losing 4-2 to the USA under 21 side and then 3-2 to Wales. In the battle of the junior outfits, Scotland triumphed 6-2 over the USA.
GROVE MENZIESHILL INVITATIONAL INDOOR TOURNAMENT AT DISC, DUNDEE - 28-30 DECEMBER 2011.
SPONSORED BY MONTROSE BASED INTERVENTION RENTALS SUPPORTING THE NORTH SEA OIL SECTOR IN THE LOCAL AREA
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Mixed year for SA hockey teams
The Investec SA women's squad had a busy year, while the sponsorless men's side were frustratingly inactive at international level.
The 2011 hockey season was bitter-sweet for the SA national teams.
The Investec SA women's squad had a busy year, while the sponsorless men's side were frustratingly inactive at international level.
The women started with a bang in January and February, winning 16 of 18 Test matches in a marathon home tour against world No 3 China, Azerbaijan and Belgium.
The majority of the players then turned out for clubs in Europe as the side began final preparations for the Champions Challenge in Dublin, Ireland, in June.
They needed to reach the final to be deemed worthy by the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) of inclusion in the team for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The South Africans, however, finished fifth, partly because of an experimental tournament rule that saw all eight teams qualify for the quarterfinals irrespective of where they finished in the pool stages.
There was cheer, though, as talismanic striker Pietie Coetzee broke a 20-year-old world record and became the top women's Test match goalscorer in history.
All this time the SA men's team lay dormant, though the players were busy plying their trade in Europe and Australia.
The women's outfit then embarked on a gruelling European trip in July, playing eight Tests in nine days. Many players were unavailable and it provided a valuable learning experience for the youngsters.
The men's squad finally tasted some action at the African Olympic qualifying tournament in Bulawayo in September, where they beat a competitive Egyptian line-up in the final, while the women waltzed away with the trophy after defeating Kenya.
Sascoc, however, had tightened its grip on qualifying standards and while both sides reached the standards set by the International Olympic Committee and International Hockey Federation, they were not yet deemed fit to go to the Games.
Like the women in Dublin, the men had to reach the Champions Challenge final in Randburg in November to book their place in London.
This time the new experimental rule worked in SA's favour but they nonetheless lost their semifinal.
Both sides were given a lifeline by Sascoc, however, with a final chance to qualify for the Olympics.
The SA women, who went to Argentina in December, losing in both Four Nations finals to the hosts, will take part in the Olympic qualifiers in India in February 2012.
The SA men will also have one last chance to qualify for the London Games at a tournament in Japan in April.
The national men's interprovincial tournament in Randburg in August saw the KZN Coastal Raiders clinch their third title in succession, while Western Province wrested the women's trophy away from Southern Gauteng.
SA Hockey Association media release
China invites Pakistan for hockey Test series in April
Haseem Khan (L) of Pakistan vies for the ball with Chinese players. -Photo by AFP
KARACHI: The leader of the Chinese hockey team Li Gaochao described his team memorable and extended an invitation to Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) to send their national team for a Test series in April 2012.
“Our team learnt a great deal during the four-match Test series with Pakistan and we are going back satisfied,” he said at Quaid-e-Azam International airport prior to their departure for Beijing after a week long-trip to Pakistan on Monday night.
“Pakistan is among the top teams and has some skilled players of the world and his youngsters raised their game by playing alongside them,” Gaochao, who is also the Vice President of China Hockey Federation said.
China is the first hockey team to visit in seven years which signaled the return of international sporting activities in Pakistan. The home team won the series 4-0 after matches in Lahore, Faisalabad and Lahore.
He thanked PHF for making their trip a great success and for extending great Pakistani hospitality and warm reception in every part of the country where his team went.
“Our basic purpose to play in Pakistan and prepare for next year’s London Olympic Qualifiers being staged in Japan,” he said.
“We would like to join Pakistan for a place in London Olympics with a good show in Japan,” he hoped.
He said they did have not any security fear whatsoever during their stay here and returning home happily.
The team was seen off at the airport by PHF and officials of Karachi Hockey Association and Pak-China Foundation.
All-Jalandhar semis in Liberals Hockey
Patiala: It will be an all-Jalandhar affair in the semifinals of the 36th Liberals All-India hockey tournament with EME, Jalandhar, showing the door to Air Force, New Delhi, 4-1, Punjab Police, Jalandhar beating Western Railway 2-1, Punjab & Sind Bank, Jalandhar, trouncing CRPF, New Delhi, 6-0 and BSF, Jalandhar, ending the winning spree of giant killers Hawks Ropar 4-2.
EME demolished the Air Force defences and forged ahead 1-0 in the 3rd minute with a penalty-corner goal by center-forward Biju who connected to a rebound to sound the board.
EME captain Avtar Singh led assault and played a perfect pivotal role to upset the Air Force defence time and again. He scored with a powerful flick following a penalty-corner in the 12th minute to put his side 2-0 ahead. Gujinder converted a penalty-corner in the 19th minute to score the 3rd goal for EME.
Inside-left Solomon split the Air Force defence with accurate stickwork in 43rd minute to score the fourth. Inside-right Varinder converted a penalty-corner in 56th minute to score a consolation goal for Air Force.
Last year's runners-up Western Railway, Mumbai, were ousted by formidable Punjab Police by a solitary second-half goal in a hard-fought encounter. The Railwaymen initiated an attack from the right wing in the 10th minute but the centre from outside-right Manish was not properly connected to by Mohammed Tariq.
Crossing over goalless, the policemen initiated a few good moves which fizzled out inside the circle. They finally went ahead in the 58th minute through inside-left Harinder Singh an accurate pass from centre-forward Jaskaran Singh and made no mistake to beat the goalkeeper Saurabh Singh.
Defending champions PSB toyed with the hapless CRPF. Parminder Singh, Daler Singh, Karamjeet Singh and Mandeep Singh scored a goal each while centre-forward Sumeet Singh converted two penalty corners.
In the last match, BSF Jalandhar stopped Hawks Ropar in a closely-contested and charged encounter. Hawks gained 1-0 lead in the 12th minute through Navjot Singh.
BSF regrouped their and equalised in the 25th minute through Harpinder Singh. Raising their game, BSF surged ahead in the last minute of the first-half when Harpinder scored again off a penalty-corner.
The Ropar lads fought hard while the policemen were reduced to eight men after a brawl in front of the Hawks goal. Ropar used the opportunity, equalising in the 49th minute with Navjot sounded the board again.
BSF, once back to full strength, earned two penalty strokes in the 59th and 68th minutes and captain Varinderjeet Singh made no mistake to give a 4-2 win to his side.
Hockey team get desperate after stint in New Delhi called off
KUALA LUMPUR: The national hockey team are desperate for matches as the scheduled stint in New Delhi next month has been called off.
The matches against India, which were part of Malaysia’s preparation for the Olympic qualifier in Dublin in March, were supposed to be held from Jan 27 to Feb 4.
But India have written to the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) asking them to postpone the matches to a later date.
Team manager George Koshy, however, said the tour was off as they would not be able to find suitable dates.
“We have other commitments so we have decided to cancel the trip to India,” he said.
“We have asked Australia, Japan, France and Poland if they are able to play a series of matches with us.
“It’s the holiday season so we have to wait until next week to know who will oblige,” said George.
China will be here from Jan 10-20 to play five matches with the national team and a sixth with the Project 2013 squad.
George said that besides China, the national team needed to play at least 10 more matches in preparation for the Olympic qualifier.
“We will play two friendly matches in Europe before the Olympic qualifier in Dublin (from March 10-18),” said George.
Malaysia open their campaign against Chile on March 10 followed by Russia the following day.
Their other matches are against Ukraine (March 13), South Korea (March 15) and hosts Ireland (March 17).
The winner of the tournament will qualify for the London Olympics.
Malaysia last featured in the Olympics at Sydney 2000.
The Star of Malaysia
JHL a prelude to Malaysia Games
By Ajitpal Singh
NEXT month's Malaysia Junior Hockey League (MJHL) is expected to be a keenly contested affair with teams using the competition to prepare for the Malaysia Games in Kuantan.
Defending league champions Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) and overall winners Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS)-Thunderbolts will be among the teams competing for honours with the league tentatively starting on Jan 19 and ending in March.
Competitions committee secretary Hashim Mohamed Yusoff said more than 25 teams were expected to register before the Jan 6 deadline.
"We are expecting more teams in view of the Malaysia Games. I believe every state will be represented in the upcoming season," said Hashim yesterday,
"Except for Perlis' Matri, other teams are welcome to register for the league. Matri were suspended for a year after failing to show up for a league match last season.
"Division One will comprise 10 teams while the format for Division Two is pending depending on entries. It will be decided after the deadline."
Hashim disclosed that only 14 venues will be used.
"We inspected 29 pitches but only 14 adhered to competition regulations. It will be kind of hectic considering the limited number of pitches.
"We will only get to plan out the fixtures and venues after the deadline," added Hashim.
UniKl, along with BPSS and Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS), are expected to dominate the new season.
New Straits Times