All the news for Thursday 30 October 2014
Razie the difference
By Jugjet Singh
KLHC players with the Charity Shield after beating TNB at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday. Pic by Goh Thean Howe
NATIONAL player Razie Rahim’s hat-trick handed Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) the Charity Shield when they beat Tenaga Nasional 5-3 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
The Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division curtain raiser also handed four-time consecutive double champions KLHC three vital points.
“The Charity Shield Trophy is nice to lift, but more importantly, my players fought for three points which is a first step towards defending our league title,” said KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj.
KLHC fielded six foreign players, while Tenaga had an-all local outfit.
“My six guest players have only been in the country for a few days, and the young Australians need more time to settle down as compared to my Pakistan imports. As for the locals, Razie held the fort well and also gave us a winning start,” said Dharmaraj.
Tenaga coach Nor Saiful Zaini, whose team won the Charity Shield by beating KLHC in a penalty shoot-out last year, rued his side’s missed chances.
“We missed many sitters which could have made a difference. And also KLHC players had more ball sense and control, while some of my young players could not hold onto the ball and threw away many passes which turned the match in favour of KLHC,” said Nor Saiful.
The Charity Shield, hopefully, was not an indication of the quality of play of the Premier Division, as poor hockey was the order of the day.
Tenaga Nasional were more composed in the opening minutes, as KLHC’s foreign brigade failed to gel properly in their first outing together, and Ramadhan Rosli gave the utility giants the lead in the ninth minute off a field goal.
Razie got into action in the 19th minute, and equalised with a low penalty corner flick and the game opened up a little.
Goals flew in after that, as Rahim Baharom gave KLHC the lead in the 26th minute, only to see TNB’s Amin Rahim draw level again at 2-2 with a 28th minute penalty corner.
Razie retook the lead with his second penalty corner conversion in the 29th minute, and again TNB drew level with an Azammi Adabi penalty corner goal in the 32nd minute.
Pakistan import Mohamed Imran nailed the fourth for KLHC in the 42nd minute, and Razie got his hat-trick in the 57th minute for a comfortable 5-3 win.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Hockey Confederation gave a token of appreciation to veteran coach C. Paramalingam, 80, for his tireless efforts in developing youth even as an octogenarian.
RESULT — Charity Shield: Tenaga Nasional 3 KLHC 5.
TOMORROW: Sapura v Maybank (6pm), UniKL v Terengganu HT (8pm).
SUNDAY: Tenaga v Terengganu HT (6pm, National Stadium, Pitch I); Sapura v UniKL (6pm, National Stadium, Pitch II); KLHC v Maybank (8pm, National Stadium, Pitch II).
New Straits Times
KLHC draw first blood in Malaysia Hockey League opener
by S. Ramaguru
KLHC players celebrate after winning the Charity Shield, which is also the opening match of the 2014 Malaysia Hockey League, by beating Tenaga National at the National Hockey Stadium on Wednesday. - GLENN GUAN/ The STAR
KUALA LUMPUR: Defending champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) began the pre-season playing down their chances in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
But after the first match of the season on Wednesday – the curtain-raiser Charity Shield – it’s clear that KLHC were just playing mind games.
KLHC proved that they are far from being a spent force when they beat Tenaga Nasional 5-3 – for their first silverware of the season – at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Penalty corner specialist Mohd Razie Rahim was the hero for KLHC, bagging a hat-trick to help his team take all three points in this Premier Division clash.
Razie’s goals came in the 19th, 29th and 57th minutes while Mohd Rahim Baharom (26th) and Pakistani Mohamed Imran (42nd) got one each for KLHC.
Mohd Ramadan Rosli (ninth minute), Mohd Amin Rahim (28th) and Mohd Azammi Adabi (32nd) scored for Tenaga.
KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj said that the Charity Shield was secondary to winning the three points.
“The foreign players certainly made the difference ... I’m pleased with their contributions. They will get better as the season progresses,” he said.
“The Australian players will need some more time to adapt to the conditions here and we can continue to build on this team.
“Overall, the match was fast. It is also pleasing to note that we can score field and penalty corner goals. A good start all round.”
KLHC fielded all six foreign players – Australians Matthew Mallinson and Harrison Page in a forward role and the Pakistani quartet of Waseem Ahmad, Fareed Ahmad, Mohamed Imran and Akhtar Ali in midfield and defensive roles.
Tenaga Nasional assistant team manager Adam Izamry Idrus lamented the fact that they did not capitalise on their early domination.
“We had a good start and even held the lead. But the players were in awe of KLHC’s foreign signings and made simple mistakes,” said Adam.
“I believe that we can still challenge the top teams once we settle down.”
Both teams will be in action again on Sunday, with KLHC playing Sapura and Tenaga going up against UniKL.
The other two teams in the six-team Premier Division are Maybank and Terengganu.
The Star of Malaysia
KLHC Lifts first silverware
KL Hockey Club defied odds to register a convincing 5-3 win over Tenaga Nasional Berhad in the Charity Shield match at the National Hockey Stadium.
It was a masterful display of clinical finishing, topped up by a brilliant performance by Mohd Razie Rahim who scored a hattrick.
"It is always good to win and considering the fact that this was the first time the team played together, I must say I am impressed by their determination," said manager George Koshy.
"This is the start of a long and hard journey and we hope to build from this."
TNB took the lead in the 9th minute as Ranadhan Rosli deflected an initial shot by Shahril Saabah past KLHC custodian Roslan Jamaluddin.
However KLHC were back on level terms in the 19th minute via their first penalty corner that was awarded by umpire Nazmi Kamaruddin when Faiz Helmi fouled Waseem Ahmad.
Up stepped Mohd Razie Rahim who low drag flick caught S.Kumar in theTNB goal on the wrong foot.
Roslan then saved two point blank shots in quick succession by Faiz to keep KLHC in the game.
Razie created the second goal as his hard push into the semi circle was met with a neat deflection by Rahim Baharom in the 26th minute that put KLHC 2-1 ahead.
TNB then forced three successive penalty corners and off the third Mohd Amin Rahim got it right as his flick went past postman Ahmad Kazamirul Nasaruddin to make it 2-2 in the 28th minute.
But Razie had the last word in the first half as he scored from another penalty corner to give KLHC a 3-2 lead a minute later.
Hardly two minutes into the second half and TNB were level as Azammi Adabi who was lurking at the far post tapped in a hit from Faiz.
Rashid Bahrom went on a jinxing run on the right before relaying the ball to Akhtar Ali who passed it to fellow Pakistani Muhd Imran to slot home KLHC's fourth goal in the 42nd minute.
TNB were awarded their fourth penalty corner and this time Shahril was denied by an agile Roslan who pulled off a diving save.
Razie put the issue beyond doubt by scoring the fifth three minutes before time for the defending champions to lift the first silverware of the season.
Unofficial MHL site
25 teams will vie for honours in U-14 hockey tourney
by S. Ramaguru
KUALA LUMPUR: Twelve teams will compete in the boys’ category of the MHC-Milo Under-14 hockey championships this year.
The girls’ category will see 13 teams vying for honours.
The championships will begin on Saturday with the boys playing at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
The girls will play at two venues – the National Hockey Stadium and the KLHA Stadium.
The final is slated for Nov 9.
Perak are the boys’ defending champions and are in Group A with Malacca, Johor, Pahang, Penang and Selangor.
Former champions Kuala Lumpur are in Group B with Terengganu, Kelantan, Negri Sembilan, Perlis and Sabah.
Perak will start their campaign against Selangor while KL will meet Sabah on the opening day.
Selangor, who won the girls’ title last year, are in Group A with Kuala Lumpur, Kedah, Kelantan, Pahang, Sabah and Terengganu.
Penang, the girls’ runners-up, are in Group B with Malacca, Johor, Negri Sembilan, Perak and Perlis.
The Star of Malaysia
Australian Player of the Year awards
Mark Knowles & Casey Sablowski [née Eastham] take top awards on night of celebration
Hockey Australia crowned its top athletes at a glamorous awards night at the Aviary in Perth on Wednesday with the announcement of its Player of the Year, Top Goal Scorer and Player of the World Cup awards.
Kookaburras captain Mark Knowles was the evening’s big winner scooping men’s Player of the Year and sharing the Kookaburras’ Player of the World Cup award with teammate Eddie Ockenden.
Casey Sablowski [née Eastham] picked up the Hockeyroos’ Player of the Year award after her supreme consistency and outstanding performances helped the Australian women to a year of multiple medal successes, including World Cup silver and Commonwealth Games gold.
Jodie Kenny was also a double award winner on the night. She was named the Hockeyroos’ top scorer with a total of 23 goals and shared the honours with fellow defender and penalty corner specialist Anna Flanagan in the Hockeyroos’ Player of the World Cup award.
Another penalty corner flicker, Chris Ciriello, scooped the men’s top scorer award for his tally of 25 strikes, including three finals hat-tricks; at the Azlan Shah Cup, where the Victorian netted four in the final against Malaysia, at the World Cup where he struck three times against the Netherlands, and at the Commonwealth Games against India.
There was also recognition for those athletes that made milestone appearances with the inaugural presentation of pockets to those reaching 100, 200 and 300 appearances for Australia.
There were special tributes to World Cup winning coach Ric Charlesworth, who left his position with the Kookaburras in June, and two Kookaburras retirees, Liam De Young and Rob Hammond, who bowed out after making more than 560 appearances between them, twice each winning the World Cup.
Hockeyroos coach Adam Commens, who presented the Hockeyroos’ Player of the Year award, said: “Casey [Sablowski] had an outstanding year set up through an excellent preparation for all of our major tournaments. There was a real distinctive change in Casey’s attitude towards training this year; she was always an excellent trainer but she came with a real sense of excellence at the start of the year and she wanted to be not only one of our top players but one of the top players in the world. She set about doing that in every training session and we saw that in her game play this year. I was very excited about the way she played and I think this is just the start of a good few years ahead of her.”
Commenting on the success of Jodie Kenny and Anna Flanagan, Commens added, “Our defence was probably the platform for our success at the World Cup. Both Anna and Jodie played significant roles. Jodie has continued that form throughout not only the World Cup but the Commonwealth Games and the AHL. She’s an excellent one-on-one defender, she has a huge array of skills and she’s somebody that has gone from a very good defender to a world class player in the last 18 months. We saw her ability to put games away at the Commonwealth Games. To score 23 goals this year demonstrates why we regard her as one of the most influential players in world hockey at the moment.
“Anna’s an exciting player. At times I think we forget she’s only 22 years of age. Anna’s performances early in the tournament made the difference in getting a result in those crucial games. Her ability to execute her penalty corners and also her field play significantly contributed to the victories against Korea, Japan and Belgium.”
Kookaburras coach Graham Reid, who presented the Kookaburras Player of the Year award, said: “Not only has Mark [Knowles] been our best player for 2014, which has included the World League Finals, the Azlan Shah Cup, the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, but he has also been an inspirational leader and he has provided that leadership at a time when we needed it.”
Reid added, “Chris [Ciriello] has been a world class flicker for a number of years but this year he has really stepped up and improved. Through the work with Luke Doerner, as with all of our drag flickers, Chris has come to the fore and to score a hat-trick in both the World Cup final and the Commonwealth Games final is a fantastic feat.
“And anyone who watched the World Cup will have seen those two players, Mark [Knowles] and Eddie [Ockenden], stood out. They played fantastically well across all of the games, including the final, and in the final I thought they were exceptional and this is just reward.”
Casey Sablowski and Anna Flanagan accepted their awards via video with both competing overseas in the Dutch Hoofdklasse league.
Full list of award recipients
Hockeyroos Player of the Year 2014:- Casey Sablowski [née Eastham]
Hockeyroos Top Scorer 2014:- Jodie Kenny (23 goals)
Hockeyroos Player of the World Cup 2014:- Jodie Kenny & Anna Flanagan
Kookaburras Player of the Year 2014:- Mark Knowles
Kookaburras Top Scorer 2014:- Chris Ciriello (25 goals)
Kookaburras Player of the World Cup 2014:- Mark Knowles & Eddie Ockenden
Hockeyroos 100 appearances:- Teneal Attard, Anna Flanagan, Kate Jenner, Jodie Kenny, Rachael Lynch, Georgia Nanscawen, Ashleigh Nelson, Jayde Taylor
Hockeyroos 200 appearances:- Madonna Blyth, Casey Sablowski
Kookaburras 100 appearances:- Kiel Brown, Chris Ciriello, Russell Ford, Matt Gohdes, Fergus Kavanagh, Simon Orchard, Matthew Swann, Glenn Simpson, Glenn Turner
Kookaburras 200 appearances:- Mark Knowles, Eddie Ockenden, Rob Hammond
Kookaburras 300 appearances:- Jamie Dwyer, Liam De Young
Kookaburras retirements:- Ric Charlesworth (coach), Liam De Young, Rob Hammond
Hockey Australia media release
Lot to learn from world’s best team, say youngsters
Harpreet Kaur Lamba
Following India’s ninth-place finish at the 2014 World Cup, coach Terry Walsh had stressed on "playing top nations regularly" as one of the solutions to take Indian hockey forward.
"India need to play such 35-40 games per year we are serious about being successful. These are one of the building blocks before one can even get to stages where you think of winning medals. It is like a foundation," was Walsh’s view.
The upcoming four-match away series against world champions Australia is one of the starting points in Walsh’s plans, and for the that he hasn’t hesitated in fielding a few youngsters. "During the World Cup, we sometimes saw frightened behaviour from the players. Experience and playing a lot of games against big teams is the only way out. Being there in tough situations and the exposure to those things is extremely significant."
Much like Walsh, the youngsters too are looking ahead to the experience.
For 22-year old striker Lalit Upadhyay - who made his international debut at the World Cup - the Australia series will be a baptism by fire. "When I played the World Cup, there was a nervous energy in me. The experience of playing big teams on a big stage wasn’t that easy.
"But now I wish to take that experience ahead. This chance has come after a lot of hard work and playing Australia will definitely be a great experience.
"These are exciting times for Indian hockey. We have seen good results in the last few months, but of course Australia are way ahead. More than a win or loss, this series will teach us how and where we can get better. And that is what we have to learn as a group from the world’s best team," said Upadhyay ahead of the team’s departure.
India have played Australia only thrice this year - a league game in the World Cup and twice at the Commonwealth Games (a league game and final), all of which they lost - and a bilateral series will augur well for the squad, who rarely get to play quality opposition on a regular basis.
The 21-year old Akashdeep Singh, who shone in the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games with winning goals in the semi-finals of both the events, said: "All of us understand the importance of playing Australia. They have set the bar in world hockey, but we cannot go into the series thinking that we are going to lose. We will try our best to match them.
"We have a relatively young team, who would get better with time and experience."
Striker Mandeep Singh, who returns to the squad after an injury lay-off, believes the exchange will hold the players in good stead ahead of the Champions Trophy.
"One only gets better by playing the best and it definitely is a crucial series for us. We had a lot of Australian players in the Hockey India League, and since the Europeans and the Australians are no way behind in skills and tactics these days, it will be a tough test for us," the Mithapur lad said.
India will play four tests against Australia at Perth, besides a practice game against the A side.
The Asian Age
Confident Indian hockey team set for Australia challenge
NEW DELHI: The Indian men's hockey team is all geared up to play the four-match test series in Australia from November 10.
The tour will also prepare the team for Champions Trophy, scheduled to be held in Bhubaneswar, Odisha from December 6-14. The squad is scheduled to leave for Australia tonight.
The 21 member squad is full of confidence after their recent gold medal victory at the Asian Games. The team will play four matches at the Perth Hockey Stadium.
Talking just before departure, captain Sardar Singh said, "Our team has worked hard for the last few weeks and we are looking forward to the Australian tour which will prove to be a big boost for the team to enhance our skills.
"Winning the gold medal in the recently concluded Asian Games has boosted the morale of the team and we are sure that we will get the best out of this learning experience. The aim is to win against them and I am confident we will overcome this challenge."
Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh added: "We are aiming at good games with Australia, keeping in mind all the strategies and tactics that we have planned to implement during the Games. We are committed to work hard as a single unit and utilise this opportunity as a good learning experience at Australia."
The Times of India
All change: Black Sticks prove adaptability is key
With a number long-serving players stepping down, it is time for a new generation of Black Sticks to make their mark
New Zealand Black Sticks women’s team have a busy few weeks ahead in the lead-up to the Champions Trophy in Argentina. They are currently in the middle of a six-match series against the USA, followed by a three-match series against Australia towards the end of November.
Head coach Mark Hager says that he is relatively pleased with the way things are shaping up for the final big event of the year, but getting the finalised Champions Trophy squad together will only happen once the Black Sticks arrive in Mendoza. “It can be a little disjointed because all the players will be in their home locations until we leave for Argentina,” he explained.
With a number of players retiring after this year’s World Cup there will be some new faces in the New Zealand side, but Hager says that the fundamental game plan will stay the same – to play fast, exciting hockey. The Black Sticks are renowned for their physicality and high level of fitness, but now Hager has added a further quality necessary to make it as a modern-day Black Stick – versatility.
In an interview with the New Zealand Herald, Hager said: “Player adaptability is a key factor in modern hockey. You've got to be able to play two or three positions, particularly now with four quarters and more running. You want backs to be able to go forward and need to be able to cover that with forwards. Having that versatility in the group is going to be a key plus."
Compared to teams of ten, or even just five years ago, today’s hockey player, with the exception of the goalkeeper, needs to be able to play a variety of roles, and the days of an out-and-out striker or a solid defender are long gone.
When describing the type of qualities he looks for in his players, Hager points to Stacey Michelsen as a skilled player, who can be effective as a midfielder or a forward.
While the squad for Mendoza will not be named until the current series against the USA is finished, Hager picked out Michelsen and defenders Liz Thompson, Sam Charlton, Rosie Keddell and Ella Ginson as examples of the calibre of Black Sticks players coming through the system.
There are some big shoes to fill in the squad. For the series against the USA, new players are getting the chance to shine. Former captain Kayla Whitelock, the Black Stick’s most capped player Emily Naylor, long-serving goal scorer Krystal Forgesson and goalkeeper Bianca Russell are all familiar faces that are either retired or taking a break from the game; Hager is hoping that players such as Michelesen and Jordan Grant will step into those gaps.
The current series against the USA will be a tough challenge for the Black Sticks. The USA are ranked eighth in the world, but as they proved at the Hockey World Cup, where they finished an impressive fourth, they are a fast-improving unit.
"What better way to challenge young players, and those on the fringe, than against a quality team and see whether they are prepared to step up," Hager said.
Anita Punt and Charlton are co-captains of the squad playing the USA, and Hager is liking what he's seeing of them in the roles occupied for so long by Whitelock and Naylor.
“When it comes to the Champions Trophy, it is anyone’s to win,” said Hager. “It really depends on the make-up of the teams. Certainly Paumen for the Netherlands and Aymar for Argentina will be the key players again.”
New Zealand face Japan in their opening game in Mendoza, followed by the Netherlands and China.
FIH Champions Trophy gets an associate sponsor in Tata Steel
NEW DELHI: India's multinational steel-making giant Tata Steel Limited on Wednesday became the associate sponsor of the upcoming Hero Hockey Champions Trophy to be held in Bhubaneswar from December 6-14.
Tata Steel signed an agreement with Hockey India (HI) at a function in Bhubaneswar and made its association with this year's prestigious FIH tournament public.
The agreement was signed by Manikanta Naik, chief resident executive, Tata Steel and HI CEO Elena Norman.
"The spirit of adventure and sports is entrenched in the core philosophy of Tata Steel for which the company has been at the fore front of promoting various sports in the country, which has given rich dividends in terms of bringing talents to the national and international level into limelight," said Sunil Bhaskaran, vice president, corporate services, Tata Steel Limited.
"It is a moment of great pride to be associated with our national game through this sponsorship, which offers an avenue for our local talents to connect with the international hockey stars. Hockey India is doing an impressive job of bringing back Indian hockey into the limelight that it deserves."
HI president Narinder Batra, on his part, welcomed Tata Steel into the hockey family.
"This is a great moment to have Tata Steel Limited on board as an associate sponsor of the prominent hockey tournament. Tata Steel Limited, which is well-known for promoting various sports at the ground-level, will prove to be a great motivation factor for the organisers," he said.
"This development also shows the advancement of Indian hockey where reputed corporate and sports promoters are coming together to take the sport to a new level altogether. Tata Steel Limited are deep rooted in this region and their association with hockey will inspire the people and especially the young generation towards the sport. I would like to congratulate and welcome Tata Steel Limited on board," Batra added.
The Times of India
Kampong and OZ four clear in the Hoofdklasse
Kampong and Oranje Zwart have created a four-point gap between themselves and the chasing pack following their respective victories over HGC and Bloemendaal in round eight of the Dutch Hoofdklasse.
Kampong won 4-1 in Wassenaar with a really impressive performance, capped by Quirijn Caspers beautiful goal in the 58th minute.
Martijn Havenga and Gonzalo Peillat scored from set pieces in the first half for 1-1 but a Loick Luypaert corner and second Havenga penalty stroke made it 3-1.
Caspers then got on the end of a brilliant move created with a series of backdoor passes down the left wing before the ball was cut in to the centre circle and calmly finished.
OZ beat Bloemendaal 4-3, coming from 2-0 down to prevail. Wouter Jolie and Tom Boon put Bloemendaal ahead before Rob Reckers, Mink van der Weerden and Thomas Briels, twice, turned the tide with the next four goals.
Diede van Puffelen got one back two minutes from the end but OZ stayed ahead for their sixth win from eight games. It puts them on 20 points with Kampong and four ahead of HGC and six clear of Rotterdam in fourth place.
Next weekend, OZ will host Schaerweijde while Kampong are up against Pinoké on Sunday.
Euro Hockey League media release
Kelburne make it five from five
Bromac Kelburne made it five wins from five in the Scottish national league when they bested Inverleith 5-2 last weekend at Peffermill, keeping their place at the top of the division in their bid for 11 successive league titles.
Inverleith took an early lead only for Chris Nelson to equalise, shooting home from the top of the circle. Douglas Simpson’s drag-flick and another goal from Ross McIntyre made it 3-1, the latter a spectacular shot to the roof of the net.
The Edinburgh hosts, though, got one back to reduce the deficit on the half-time whistle. The game was killed off, though, when Simpson picked out Jack McKenzie to tap in and Lee Morton swept home the fifth late in the game.
This win puts Kelburne in good stead for their next game against arch rivals Western Wildcats at Auchenhowie next Saturday. The two are part of a group of three teams on 15 points but Kelburne have played a game less that the Wildcats and Grange HC.
Euro Hockey League media release
Top Level Hockey Display by SSSC-A and Punjab-A
By Bill Cox
Fast action and an electric atmosphere throughout the game added to the pleasure for spectators at the HKHA Premier Division match between Punjab-A and SSSC-A at King’s Park on Saturday Oct 26, 2014. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)
HONG KONG — Kings Park Hockey stand was almost full on the afternoon of Saturday Oct 26 to watch Hong Kong Hockey Association Premier Division matches, but many were there predominantly to watch the clash between Singh Sabha Sports Club (SSSC-A) and Punjab-A.
After having a rocky end to last season, being banned for several games, SSSC-A have hit back this season and have shown that they can compete on equal terms, with the top teams in Hong Kong. After SSSC-A’s win over Khalsa-A the previous week there was much interest in this top of the table match against Punjab-A. Both teams are well known for introducing oversees stars to their squads and this year is no exception. Punjab-A have in their star line-up the ex-Canadian international Sukwinder Singh Gabbar, and ex Pakistan Captain Waseem Ahmad, both former-Olympians. SSSC-A have added to their strong line-up by introducing the current Pakistan captain Imran Mohammad, a defender and penalty corner specialist to their team.
Sunny Bali of Punjab tells Epoch Times they are about to add further to their squad with top level Pakistani players and a German U21 international.
The atmosphere was electric both on and off the field with fast accurate passing and great stick work by many players on either side. SSSC-A were the first to break the deadlock in the first quarter and it was not until 5-minutes to the interval that Punjab-A equalized. Punjab made it 2-1 in the 3rd minute of the second half and continued to press for further goals and a full stretch diving save by the SSSC goalie stopped Punjab adding to the total, 2-minutes later. But it was SSSC celebrating as they slotted home a field goal equalizer making the score 2-2.
Punjab moved ahead to 3-2 with 12 minutes left on the clock but SSSC levelled the score to 3-3 from a penalty corner, just 2-minutes later. The atmosphere was fully charged, both teams were trying for the win, with partisan supporters urging on the teams. Punjab pressed again right at the end of the match and thought they had justification for a penalty corner or penalty stroke, when their No. 10 attacked and on his second attempt fired at the goal but after discussion, the umpires decided no penalty and the game ended on a 3-3 draw.
In the other matches HKFC-A missed an opportunity to stay with the leaders when they lost to an improving KNS-A side 2-3. Shaheen-A beat Rhino-A 10-0, KCC-A had a 3-0 walkover win against Pak-A and Valley-A defeated KCC-A 3-0.
The Epoch Times
Preview: 40th annual CIS field hockey national championship
Four-team tournament begins Thursday in Toronto
OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds enter the 40th CIS – Field Hockey Canada women’s championship as reigning three-time titlists, and they hope to add another trophy to their record collection this weekend in Toronto.
The four-team tournament, hosted by the University of Toronto for the second time in three years, kicks off on Thursday and concludes Sunday with the gold-medal final at 3 p.m. All eight games from the tourney will be webcast live on CIS-SIC.tv.
Competing for this season’s McCrae Cup will be the top-seeded Thunderbirds (Canada West champions), as well as the No. 2 Toronto Varsity Blues (OUA champs), No. 3 Victoria Vikes (Canada West runners-up) and No. 4 Guelph Gryphons (OUA silver medallists).
All contenders will play each other once in the preliminary round, with the top two finishers advancing to the final and the bottom two teams battling for bronze. Thursday’s opening day will see Victoria take on Guelph at 4:30 p.m. and UBC face Toronto at 6:30 p.m.
The T-Birds continued to rewrite the CIS field hockey record book a year ago when they became the first program in history to capture three straight McCrae Cups, thanks to a 4-1 gold-medal win over tournament host Victoria. It marked a 15th national title overall for UBC since the inaugural CIS championship in 1975, four more than UVic and Toronto.
The last time U of T hosted the event, in 2012, the Thunderbirds blanked the locals 3-0 in the final.
This season, UBC and Victoria finished with identical 5-1-2 marks in the Canada West conference, where there are no playoffs and the team with the best record at the end of league play is awarded the banner. The T-Birds got the nod thanks to a better goal differential.
In four head-to-head meetings this fall, the archrivals battled to a pair of 1-1 draws in Vancouver in September and split a two-game series in Victoria in October, with the defending champs winning the opener 3-1 and the Vikes responding with a 4-1 victory.
“It’s an important consideration for us that even though our program has been very successful at this level, the 16 athletes that make up our team this year are attempting to win this championship as a group for the very first time,” says Robin D’Abreo, in his first-year as UBC head coach after taking over from the legendary Hash Kanjee, who guided the program for 21 seasons. “We have only four returning athletes from last year’s championship-winning side and the CIS tournament environment will be unfamiliar to me as well.
“We know firsthand what a strong team UVic is and we are gearing up for a tough fight against Toronto and Guelph as well. Both teams have had excellent performances through the OUA season and playoffs, are well coached, and will be hard to beat. We are taking nothing for granted and look forward to the challenge.”
Led by 31-year sideline boss Lynne Beecroft, Victoria hopes to claim a first McCrae Cup since a triumph on home turf in 2008.
“I am quite excited because we really haven’t played a game in the last three weeks,” said Beecroft, whose team’s last official outing was the 4-1 win over UBC on October 12. “I am hoping the girls will be really excited as well and I hope they play with the same kind of composure, excitement and magic that they did in their last game against UBC. It’s a bonus for us to go back East and not have to fight the long, thick rubber turf but I am hoping the new turf won’t be too slippery. We are familiar with all three opponents and I know that Toronto didn’t make nationals last year and they are hosting so they will be really excited to be back. It should be a really competitive tournament.”
Toronto was the last team to be crowned before UBC’s current three-year reign, in 2010. The Varsity Blues return to the tourney after a one-year absence, which marked the first time in a decade they failed to qualify for the event.
The Blues are 14-0 overall entering this week’s CIS-FHC competition, including a 3-0 shutout against Guelph in the conference final. The Gryphons are 11-3 overall, with all three losses coming at the hands of Toronto.
Guelph’s best result at the national tourney remains a silver medal in 2007.
“We feel very good about being back vying for a national championship,” says U of T head coach John DeSouza, in his ninth campaign at the helm. “Last year was a tough lesson and not going to Victoria made this team hungrier to be back. We as a team are so happy to be home for this year’s event playing in the best facility in the country. We look forward to challenging the three other teams for a national title.”
Michelle Turley, in her 11th season leading the Gryphons, hopes her troop can finally get over the CIS hump this week.
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“We will be looking to improve our standing at the CIS championship this year. We have a great core of returning athletes mixed with an impressive group of rookie talent. Our strength lies in our depth and team chemistry. Allison Chute was our top scorer with 11 goals in 12 games, and captain Erin Houle is one of the best midfielders in the province with her outstanding stick skills and ability to distribute the ball.”
Field Hockey Canada media release
Over 180 kids first taster of competitive hockey
Over 180 youngsters had their first experience of competitive hockey last weekend as Kinross hockey club in Scotland put on an U10, U12 and U14 youth tournament.
The junior tournament was delivered on October 26th where a total of 180 young players attended the festival, providing competitive fixtures for U10, U12 & U14’s. The tournament was also supported by 25 coaches, 9 umpires and officials, as well around 80 parents who braved the weather to stay and support the players.
The teams in attendance of the tournament were Kinross, JHA Perth, Blairgowrie, Grove Menzieshill and Dunfermline Carnegie. The tournament provided a number of the players with their first experience of a competitive match and feedback so far has been fantastic.
Kinross youth tournament Final Standings
U10s winners: JHA Perth
U12s winners: Dunfermline Carnegie
U14s winners: Kinross
Scottish Hockey Union media release