All the news for Sunday 1 July 2012
Men's victory in Day 3 of the Celtic Cup
A stunning three-goal spell in 90 seconds saw Ireland move to the brink of retaining the men’s Celtic Cup as they saw off Scotland 6-3 in Lisnagarvey this afternoon.
It helped Ireland recover from 2-1 down in the 27th minute, undergoing a rocky period as they netted three times between the 31st and 33rd minute to all but kill off the tie.
A point against Wales – hammered 5-0 by South Africa earlier – will hand Ireland the title once again.
David Carson was the architect with three delightful, close range finishes while Railway Union defender Kenny Carroll netted his first international goal from a corner rebound.
Conor Harte started the goal-rush with an early penalty corner drag and the Irish looked comfortably in control for much of the first period.
But their concentration lapsed and Alan Forsyth nipped in to punish the openings. His square ball was eventually rolled in by Kenny Bain for his third goal of the competition.
Forsyth won a corner which Dan Coultas whipped home a minute later and the game was turned on is head.
Ireland’s response was emphatic; Jason Lynch reacted quickest after Jamie Cachia had brilliantly saved from Mikey Watt. Carson’s deflection made it 3-2 from Lynch’s drive and then he added a fourth goal with an excellent finish off the ground.
Four minutes after the break, Carroll slammed home a corner rebound. Ireland missed a hatful of chances to extend the margin before Carson dove onto a left-wing pass from Carroll to ramp the ball into the roof of the goal.
Gordon McIntyre got a late consolation effort, closing out a thoroughly entertaining tie.
Earlier, Scotland’s women claimed the women’s Celtic Cup with a resounding 3-0 win over Wales, Holly Cram, Nikki Kidd and Sam Judge scoring their goals.
Ireland 6 (David Carson 3, Conor Harte, Jason Lynch, Kenny Carroll)
Scotland 3 (Kenny Bain, Dan Coultas, Gordon McIntyre)
Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, K Carroll, M Watt, C Cargo, E Magee, B McCandless, J Bell, T Cockram, J Bruton, C Harte
Subs: D Carson, J Jermyn, P Brown, J Lynch, S Dowds
Scotland: J Cachia, M Bremner, A Forsyth, G Moodie, K Bain, W Marshall, I Scholefield, R Stott, A McKenzie, C Grassick, G McIntyre
Subs: D Coultas, F Dunn, C Nelson, G Hall, G Byers
Men’s Celtic Cup: Ireland 6 (D Carson 3, C Harte, J Lynch, K Carroll) Scotland 3 (K Bain, D Coultas, G McIntyre); South Africa 5 (J Hykes 2, A Cronje, J Reid-Ross, W Paton) Wales 0
Standings: 1. Ireland 6pts (+6) 2. South Africa 3pts (+3) 3. Scotland 3pts (-1) 4. Wales 0pts (-8)
Women’s Celtic Cup: Scotland 3 (H Cram, S Judge, N Kidd) Wales 0
Standings: 1. Scotland 6pts (+4) 2. Ireland 0pts (-1) 3. Wales 0pts (-3)
Sunday: Wales v Ireland (women), 12pm; South Africa v Scotland (men), 12pm; Ireland v Wales (men), 2pm
Irish Hockey Association media release
Scots fall in nine goal thriller
IRELAND 6 SCOTLAND 3 - CELTIC CUP IN LISBURN
Scotland fell off pole position in the Celtic Cup pool in Lisburn when they went down 6-3 to Ireland in a nine goal, ding-dong thriller which leaves the home side favourites to take the title if they can see off Wales tomorrow.
The Scots were behind in only 11 minutes when Conor Harte opened from a penalty corner. After a fairly even period, the Scots stepped it up with a good ten minute spell in which they took a 2-1 lead. A cross from Alan Forsyth created problems for the Irish defence, a resulting bobbling ball fell to Kenny Bain and he dispatched the ball under the goalkeeper for the equaliser. Within two minutes the Scots went ahead, good work by Chris Grassick and Bain won a penalty corner and Dan Coultas obliged with a vicious low drive to the keeper`s right.
In a mad four minutes spell just before the interval the Scots lost their shape and composure, and allowed the Irish to score three times for a 4-2 half time lead. John Lynch equalised with a reverse stick shot and in as many minutes David Carson scored twice to give the Irish a rather flattering scoreline at the break.
Three minutes into the second half Jonny Bruton delivered the killer blow with a goal from a penalty corner rebound. In 57 minutes Carson notched his hat-trick with a brilliant deflection into the top corner of the net. But the Scots were not prepared to lie down, the penalty corner was won by Fergus Dunn, Willie Marshall`s initial shot was charged down but Gordon McIntyre followed up to bundle the ball home. Even with the game well lost to perhaps the best Irish side in a few decades, the Scots did not give up and Ross Stott`s cross was just missed by both Iain Scholefield and Ian Moodie.
Nonetheless, the Irish could have scored more than six but for a series of brilliant saves from Scotland goalkeeper Jamie Cachia. If the Scots have any aspirations to secure second spot in the Celtic Cup, they must beat South Africa in tomorrow`s final fixture.
Meanwhile, Scotland`s under 18 side finally got the better of the Combined British Colleges with a 3-2 in the final match at Peffermill, the goals coming from the Glynhill Kelburne pair Ed Greaves (2) and Lee Morton.
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Scotland`s women retain Celtic Cup
SCOTLAND 3 WALES 0 - WOMEN`S CELTIC CUP IN LISBURN
Scotland`s women retained the Celtic Cup in some style by beating Wales 3-0 in Lisburn yesterday, but it was the traditional game of two halves. Before the interval the Scots battled against the cold, the blustery wind and a packed Welsh midfield in vain, and finished the opening 35 minutes goalless.
Sam Judge had a half chance after only ten minutes but it was blocked by a defender`s stick. Scotland`s main opportunities came from two penalty corners, Kaz Marshall, Judge and Catriona Ralph, but the latter`s shot at the set piece was saved by the Welsh goalkeeper. A minute later, Becky Ward and Judge set up another penalty corner, this time Nikki Kidd`s drag flick was intended for Ralph but a defender nipped in to clear the danger.
It looked more of the same in the second half until an accidental head knock to a Welsh player held up the game for around ten minutes while she was attended to. The Scots restarted the game with a much more positive approach and within seven minutes scored the opener, Susan McGilveray on the right found Sam Judge, she deftly deflected the ball on to Holly Cram who found the net with a low shot. Three minutes later the game was over as a contest, a Nikki Kidd drag-flick at a penalty corner flew low past the Welsh goalkeeper for 2-0.
It was now all Scotland, a Sarah Robertson flashing drive went just wide and then Morag McLellan had her effort blocked. But the third goal was only delayed, Ali Bell found Judge at the top of the circle and she scored with a low shot. The Scots could have gone further ahead in the closing five minutes, but Ali Howie, Linda Clement and Judge on two occasions all wasted their opportunities.
Meanwhile, the under 18 men lost twice to the Combined British Colleges at Peffermill. In the first encounter the Scots youngsters went down by the narrow margin of 3-2, Fergus Sandison (VWS Dundee Wanderers & Glenalmond) and Thomas Barton (Inverleith) were on target for the Scots.
The Scotland youngsters lost the second match 7-2, the Inverleith pair of Barton and Aidan McCrossan were the scorers.
Scottish Hockey Union media release
SA hockey men waltz to Celtic Cup win over Wales in Ireland
PJ VAN ROOYEN in Northern Ireland
The South African men's hockey side beat Wales 5-0 in a one-sided affair at the Lisnagarvey Hockey Club in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, on Saturday.
The tourists were without captain Austin Smith and Jonty Robinson, who remained at the team's hotel and were rested after picking up flu.
Having lost their Celtic Cup opener to hosts Ireland, the South Africans put in a much improved effort against the Welsh to earn a well-deserved win.
South Africa opened the scoring 13 minutes into the game after a pinpoint pass from stand-in captain Wade Paton found Julian Hykes lurking in the Wales area. Hykes deflected the ball in for his first strike of the afternoon.
The South Africans never looked troubled, dominating possession and territory throughout the first half.
The sustained pressure resulted in their second penalty corner (PC) of the afternoon, 10 minutes before the break, which Paton slotted past Welsh goalkeeper Iwan Williams for their second goal.
South Africa then turned up the heat on their opponents and soon after Julian Hykes found himself in front of an open goal after a superb passage of play from forward Thornton McDade found Hykes waiting in the centre of the area as the latter secured his brace.
Leading 3-0, the South Africans kept pressing for more goals and scored again a minute before the break, courtesy of another well-drilled PC routine.
Specialist PC taker Justin Reid-Ross found the backboard with a low drive to the bottom left corner, leaving Williams with no chance to round off a determined looking effort.
South Africa continued to dominate possession in the second half, much to the frustration of the Welsh outfit, who looked to disrupt their opponents' momentum with dangerous play.
The first action of the second period came in the 55th minute when SA were awarded yet another PC which was saved by Williams off a rocketing shot by Reid-Ross.
Five minutes later, SA bagged their only goal of the second period with Andrew Cronje adding his name to the scoresheet from the team's sixth PC of the match.
While the South Africans camped out in the Welsh half, goalkeeper Rassie Pieterse rarely looked troubled as he celebrated his 50th cap with a clean sheet, making two superb second-half saves to keep his side ahead.
SA Press Association (SAPA)
SA Hockey Association media release
Rassie Pieterse and Lance Louw to earn 50th caps against Wales
PJ VAN ROOYEN in Ireland
Lance Louw and Rassie Pieterse will turn out in their 50th international appearances for the SA men's hockey team when they take to the field against Wales in the Celtic Cup in Lisburn on Saturday.
Louw, who made his debut against Germany in 2007, said he was honoured to have reached the milestone and he was pleased to be playing alongside the current crop of players in the South African setup.
"I've spent most of my caps with the bunch of guys I'm playing with now so it's quite a big thing for me," said Johannesburg-based Louw. "Playing with the guys I played my first cap with is awesome."
Louw celebrated his 49th appearance with a goal in Thursday's 4-2 loss to Ireland in South Africa's Celtic Cup opener - only his fourth in international hockey - and he was pleased with his personal development as a player since earning his first cap five years ago.
"From my first cap to my 50th coming up, I think there have been huge steps," he said. "I would say the last 10 caps have been the pinnacle of my career so far. The development has been going upwards.
"Looking back from where I started, to where I'm going to now, the structures have been coming into place. Off the field things have been coming into place and we've started to gel more, which is good for us."
Reflecting on his career, Louw said he had many happy memories since making his first start for the national team but was looking forward to making his debut at the London Olympics, an event he viewed as a huge step in the development of his career.
"The Olympics is any sportsman's dream so I'm looking forward to the event, which will be much bigger than my 50th cap. The Olympics will be my career highlight and playing [at the Olympic qualifiers] in Japan was a big milestone for me as well."
Goalkeeper Pieterse, who earned his first cap in 2007, also looked forward to reaching the milestone. "Its a great achievement for me," Pieterse said.
"I'm just a little bit sad that the game is not against Scotland [South Africa's opponents on Sunday], who I made my debut against, but I'm very happy."
SA Press Association (SAPA)
SA Hockey Association media release
Player of the Year accolade for Pietie Coetzee
World Record goal scorer Pietie Coetzee of South Africa was named as the Gauteng Province Sportswoman of the Year at the Gauteng Province Sports Awards Ceremony last night.
South African Captain Marsha Marescia was nominated in the Sports Personality of the Year section voted for by the members of the public, but did not win the award.
PHF to shortlist 18 players for Olympics today
LAHORE - Pakistan hockey team camp which is underway at Army Sports and Physical Training School, Abbottabad, will conclude today (Sunday). 26 players are participating in the camp and doing tough training. After Sunday’s (today’s) session, PHF selection committee headed by Hanif Khan will announce the 18-member squad for Olympic Games after trials today (Sunday). Arshad Ali Chawdhry and Khalid Bashir, who are the members of the selection committee, will also observe the trials.
The return of senior players in the preliminary squad has raised the captaincy issue with the PHF as Sohail Abbas recently led the side in the Azlan Shah Cup and the Europe tour. The PHF is likely to continue with Sohail as captain despite the rumours that that the captain’s position was open after the seniors’ return. PHF president Qasim Zia said the captain for Olympics-bound team will be announced by the selectors but it is reliably learn that the PHF will stick with Sohail. Coach Khawaja Junaid said the venue was chosen to give players the ‘best possible training’. “Abbottabad was the best option as the climate in the other cities is different than that in London. This venue is also good because it’s above sea-level and training there increases stamina.”
Meanwhile, Akhtar Rasool said that Army trainers also gave tips to the players that help a lot to remain fit during the Olympics. The return of Shakeel Abbasi, M Imran, Rehan Butt and Waseem Ahmed has also boosted the strength of Pakistan team.
Meanwhile, Akhtar Rasool expressed the hopes that the camp will prove beneficial for players and will help them a lot maintain their fitness and Army coaches have also imparted training to them during the camp. He said that the selectors will choose the fittest players to appear in the Olympics and if they performed accordance their ability then Pakistan will win medal in the Olympics.
Pakistan will open their Olympics campaign with a match against World No 5 Spain on 30th July in London. The eighth placed Pakistan will take on ninth placed Argentina on 1st August. The green-shirts in their third match will face hosts Great Britain on 3rd August. On 5th August, Pakistan will play 12th placed South Africa. In their last pool match, Pakistan will clash with World Champions Australia on 7th August.
PROBABLES: Imran Shah, M Irfan, Sohail Abbas, Kashif Shah, M. Rizwan Jr, Fareed Ahmed, Rashid Mahmood, M Tousiq, M Waqas, Shafqat Rasool, Abdul Haseem, M Rizwan Sr, M Umar Bhutta, M Khalid, Shakeel Abbasi, Ali Shan, Rehan Butt, Waseem Ahmed, M Imran, Salman Akbar, Tasawar Abbas, Ammad Shakeel Butt, Dilber Hussain, Imran Butt, M Zubair and Aamir Shahzad.
By A. Majid Khan
At the recently concluded Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia, India stood on the victory stand with bronze medal while former three times champion Pakistan gave a dismal performance and finished at the bottom. The Indians were coached by Australian Michael Nobbs.
This was Pakistan’s worst performance ever in the history of Azlan Shah Cup which was instituted in 1983. The team suffered humiliation when, after a victory against Argentina in the opening match, they were beaten in five successive matches which were contested on the single league basis on the blue turf. Perhaps it is for the time in the cup history that Pakistan, ranked eighth in the world, lost five matches in a row. Pakistan lost to New Zealand, South Korea, Malaysia, India and Britain. Except for host Malaysia, all the other nations are London Olympic qualifiers.
The team management expressed disappointment on the performance, but at the same time it adopted the same old excuses of wasting goal scoring chances besides expressing dissatisfaction over certain decisions of umpires as well as the use of blue turf.
However, as far as the blue turf is concerned, the Pakistan team reached the venue about a week before the commencement of the tournament. They had had enough practice and had won the opening match against Argentina on the same turf. So the new blue turf cannot be blamed as one of the reasons for this abject failure.
After its return from Malaysia, Pakistan undertook a 10-day three-nation European tour for team building prior to the Olympic Games. The green shirts first lost to Belgium, but then beat Germany. However, Germany defeated Pakistan in the second match and the series ended in a draw. Pakistan also played against The Netherlands, which too, resulted in a draw. Even on the European tour, the tourists netted just eight goals while 14 goals were scored against them.
Impartial observers believe that the Pakistan Hockey Federation’s (PHF) decision of doing away with the services Dutch coach Michel van den Heuvel barely three months before the Olympic has made all the difference and the Ipoh debacle is no surprise.
The handling of the team by management left much to be desired as well.
Under coach Heuvel, the team had recaptured the 2010 Asian Games title after a lapse of 20 years to qualify for the London Olympics. They also won silver in the 2011 edition of the Azlan Shah Cup. The foreign coach was against Pakistan’s participation in the Champions Trophy which was shifted from India to New Zealand. Pakistan, being the Asian champions, was included when the number of participating teams was increased from six to eight. The time wasn’t enough for the team to be fully prepared, but the coach had to follow the PHF’s decision. The outcome was disappointing as Pakistan stood seventh.
It is believed that a known lobby of former Olympians pressurised the PHF, headed by Qasim Zia, to remove of the Dutch coach who was willing to fulfil his commitment. This is in stark contrast when we look at the Indian hockey authorities who had also been under similar pressure by a group of former Olympians. But they stood their ground and continued with the services of the Australian coach.
The PHF, which was instrumental in hiring the Dutch coach despite opposition, reversed its decision and this is considered the major cause of our dismal performance in Malaysia. What chances we stand in the London Olympic is anybody guess.
Wissahickon product O’Donnell bound for London games
By DENNY DYROFF
When the players were waiting for the final roster of the 2012 Unites States Olympic Field Hockey Team to be announced a few weeks ago, there were a lot of nervous players — talented players wondering whether they would be on board for London or watching the games on television at home.
Former Wissahickon great Katie O’Donnell was not one of them. She was on the short list but she was not one of the ones hoping to earn a berth on the team.
That’s because there were no doubts — no errant hopes.
O’Donnell, who at the age of 23 has already established herself as one of America’s all-time best players, was 100 percent confident that she was heading to the country that gave the world the Beatles, Manchester United F.C. and fish-and-chips.
“I was totally confident that I’d make the team,” said O’Donnell. “I’ve been focusing on the Olympics since January. Before that, it was the Pan-Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico back in October. It was the first time we ever won the Pan-Ams — and I made the All Pan-Am team.”
Team USA defeated long-time nemesis Argentina, 4-2, in the Pan-Am title game. Two weeks ago, Argentina came to the states for a four-game series of friendlies against the United States. The first game was a 1-1 tie and the second a 2-1 victory for USA. The third game was won 3-0 by Las Lionas and then the teams drew 2-2 in the finale.
“Playing so well against the number one team in the world is a big confidence-builder for our team,” said O’Donnell. “Argentina is in our pool at the Olympics so these games helped a lot. We know we can play really well against the best.”
The USA squad will play in Pool B along with Germany, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina. Pool A includes the Netherlands, Great Britain, China, Korea, Japan and Belgium.
The American team will open with Germany on July 29 and then play Argentina, the defending World Cup champions, on July 3, Australia on August 2, New Zealand on August 4 and South Africa on August 6. The semifinals are slated for August 8 with the Gold Medal and Bronze Medal games slated for August 10. All games will be played at Riverbank Arena in London.
“We’re still in the final process of building our team camaraderie,” said O’Donnell, who is one of the team’s most prolific scorers. “The team has only been named for a week-and-a-half.”
Actually, it’s just a matter of fine-tuning the machine. Most of the team members are very familiar with playing alongside each other.
“About 20-25 of us have been in residency in San Diego so we’ve all been training together for the last year,” said O’Donnell, who has been living and training at the site in southern California for the last two years.
“In the 2008, none of the players on the roster had any Olympic experience. This year, seven of the 16 players on the team played in the 2008 games — and 13 were on the recent team at the Pan-Ams.”
O’Donnell has been a highly-acclaimed competitor ever since she was in middle school. Since then, she has been honored for her play at every level of the sport — high school (Wissahickon), college (University of Maryland) and international.
Last year, for the second season in a row, O’Donnell won the Honda Sports Award in field hockey, designating her as the nation’s top collegiate female athlete in the sport. She was named the NFHCA Division I National Player of the Year and was also named National Player of the Year and Offensive MVP by womensfieldhockey.com for the third consecutive year.
In her senior year at Maryland, O’Donnell led the nation in points (99) and assists (34) and became the first player in NCAA history to break the 100 career assist and the 300 career point marks.
As impressive as those honors may be, the best came last fall when O’Donnell was named the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Sportswoman of the Year, an award previously won by Mia Hamm and Lisa Leslie.
Last month, O’Donnell joined former Archbishop Carroll standout/NFL quarterback Steve Bono and former Phoenixville ace/MLB All Star Mike Piazza on the short list of elite athletes from the area who have been honored with a Topps trading card. She is depicted on two cards in the “Topps presents 2012 U.S. Olympic Team & Olympic Hopefuls” set.
“Competing in the Olympics will be an experience of as lifetime,” said O’Donnell, who will assist coach Missy Meharg at the University of Maryland in the fall. “Everyone I’ve talked to who has ever done it said that walking in the Opening Ceremonies is an absolutely unbelievable experience. I’m ready for my time.”
The Times Herald
Hockey team's heart beats for Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre
The Indian men's hockey team donated Rs one lakh to the Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre, Khadki on Saturday. The amount was presented to Major Mahesh Bisht (in a wheelchair) and the centre's director Col S P Jyoti by international player Yuvraj Walmiki, who missed the Olympic squad. Associate joint secretary of Hockey India Manoj Bhore said all the players had contributed the amount before leaving for London. They had visited the centre while training at Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Mhalunge-Balewadi in March. The players decided to give the amount during the recently concluded Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia, Bhore added.
The Times of India
Ashok Kumar's coach’s gift a tie for his father
By Deba Prasad Dhar
I’ve fond recollections of the 1972 Munich Olympics. We were practising at 10 in the morning when I saw three-four cars, comprising Germans, advancing towards us.
They enquired of our coach KD Singh Babu if I was around. They approached me and asked, “Are you the son of the great Dhyan Chand?” They had heard stories about my father’s feat in the 1936 Olympics, when he stupefied Hitler (Adolf) with his skills. They said my father had left an indelible impression in the country, even though 36 years had passed by.
I cherish some on-field memories of Munich too. We had secured a healthy lead against Mexico. At half-time, our coach Babu was livid with my game and gave me an earful. He said I messing up the moves; I thought he wouldn’t play me in the second half. I broke down and was inconsolable. Our captain Harmeek Singh wondered what was going on. I promised our coach better show. I was charged up and scored a superb goal. I’ve to say I exceeded my own expectations. When we returned, I saw a beaming Babu sahab waiting for me. He gave me 25 German Deutschmark and said, “Go and buy a tie for your father.” That was his token of appreciation.
But I don’t want to be reminded of the semi-final against Pakistan. The tension in the aftermath of the 1971 war was quite palpable. We failed to cash in on the 17 corners. I botched up, what should have been, an easy goal. I merely had to clear the goalkeeper but ended up scooping the ball over the bar. Had I converted, the result would have been different. Till this day, that lapse haunts me.
Ashok Kumar is son of the illustrious Dhyan Chand. He was a member of the Indian team that won the 1975 World Cup. He bagged the Arjuna Award in 1974. He spoke to Deba Prasad Dhar