All the news for Sunday 16 November 2014
Australia edge Black Sticks in nail-biter at Wellington
Pictured: Northland's Ella Gunson in action today at the National Hockey Stadium in Wellington. www.photosport.co.nz
A spirited performance from the Black Sticks Women today did not end the way they had hoped, when Australia’s Emily Smith scored in the final 30 seconds to give the visitors a 3-2 win at the National Hockey Stadium in Wellington.
An exciting second test match full of attacking flair, the score see-sawed throughout as the Black Sticks worked hard to turn over ball and put the Australian defence under pressure.
Captain Anita Punt and Petrea Webster got on the scoreboard – but despite their best efforts, coach Mark Hager was wanting a win to give his side a shot at taking out the series.
“Unfortunately, we lacked composure and the urgency at the end of the game – we needed to keep it simple, hold possession and just make better decisions. We had a lot of chances, we were getting shots on target and making the goalie work hard. Our field goals are definitely a positive going forward,” said Punt.
But Punt believes the message from Hager following today’s game ahead of their final test on Tuesday will be to do the basics better.
“Improve our passing and hold our structure, we have to make the traps - whenever we miss-trap we put ourselves under pressure and then we rush and throw it away – it will be a simple message,” said Punt.
“There are a lot of new faces coming through and it’s great to see them playing with confidence. There are a few little structural things we need to improve on, but the new players have only played USA and so it’s a big step up to play Australia – the number two side in the world.”
A presentation was made by Hager at the start of the game to Auckland defender Liz Thompson who played her 50th test match today.
Australia’s Emily Smith was the first to score in the 14th minute and it remained 1-0 till half time. In the 33rd minute, Captain Anita Punt received a pass from Northland’s Ella Gunson and slotted it home from the top of the circle. It was a very short lived lead, as 30 seconds later Hockeyroo Kathryn Slattery got the better of Kiwi keeper Georgia Barnett and equalised.
In the final quarter, it was edge-of-your-seat stuff and Webster was all smiles when she superbly finished off a good piece of play to tie it up in classic trans-Tasman style.
With six minutes on the clock, Barnett kept cool under pressure and managed to bunt away a ball that Australian Georgia Nanscawen was trying to edge in on the right hand post. It was an action packed last five minutes, and it was Smith who secured the win for Australia.
The teams face each other in their final game at 7pm this Tuesday. It’s a big week of hockey in the Capital, with the Black Sticks Men having arrived in Wellington today to play Japan at 5pm on Tuesday and 7pm on Wednesday, before heading to the Coastlands Kapiti Sports Turf where they play their final two games of the series at 7pm on Friday and 6pm on Saturday.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.dashtickets.co.nz, and if you can’t make it to the game, watch it live and on-demand here.
Full time: 2-3 (Australia win)
Half time: 1-0 (Australia lead)
NZ goal scorers: Anita Punt, Petrea Webster
Australia goal scorers: Emily Smith x2, Kathryn Slattery
Hockey New Zealand Media release
’Roos late show
Smith's goal in last 30 seconds & 1st international goal for Slattery earn 3-2 win
Photo: Masanori Udagawa www.photowellington.photoshelter.com
Emily Smith’s goal just 30 seconds from full time helped the Hockeyroos to a 3-2 win over rivals the New Zealand Black Sticks in Wellington on Sunday. It was Smith’s second of the match in her 101st appearance for Australia, sandwiching Kathryn Slattery’s first goal for her country as the Hockeyroos prepare for the Champions Trophy in Argentina, which begins in two weeks.
A satisfied Hockeyroos coach Adam Commens said afterwards, “Both teams improved from yesterday. I thought New Zealand were better and we tightened up in defence, although New Zealand were still able to create a few clear opportunities.
“As a unit we’re still trying to understand all of our roles but with another game here and two practice games once we get to Argentina there’s time.”
Commenting on Slattery’s first goal for Australia, Commens added, “It’s good for her to get reward for a couple of good games in a row. I’m really pleased with all our debutants. They’ve shown they’re all really capable, although we know the Champions Trophy will be higher quality still.”
Following Saturday’s four debuts, Queenslander goalkeeper Audrey Smith made her first senior appearance for the Hockeyroos in the match.
Both sides had early chances cleared from in front of goal before Smith broke the deadlock shortly before the end of the first quarter, sweeping home high into the roof of the net with a first time shot after good work by Gabrielle Nance down the right.
After a quiet second quarter, the third period began with a flurry of goals. New Zealand’s pacey captain Anita Punt levelled the score just three minutes after the re-start with a well struck shot but less than a minute later Slattery put the Australian women back in front. Good work in the forward line saw the Hockeyroos win possession deep in Kiwi territory and Slattery slid in at the back post to make it 2-1.
Petrea Webster made it 2-2 in the 44th minute with a shot from a narrow angle and although the Black Sticks won a couple of penalty corners early in the fourth quarter it was Australia that dominated proceedings late on. Amelia Spence saw her shot gloved to safety by Georgia Barnett in New Zealand’s goal before Brooke Peris hit the post and Barnett denied Georgia Nanscawen. Jodie Kenny’s penalty corner flick was then tipped over the top before the pressure finally told.
Excellent interplay between Nanascawen and Teneal Attard in the final minute put Nanscawen in behind the New Zealand back line and her dangerous square pass across the face of goal was turned home by Smith on the back post.
The two sides meet again in the third and final Test at 5pm AEDT on Tuesday. The match is live streamed via the Hockey New Zealand website at hockeynz.co.nz.
HOCKEYROOS: 3 (1)
Emily Smith 14, 60 (FG, FG)
Kathryn Slattery 33 (FG)
NEW ZEALAND BLACK STICKS: 2 (0)
Anita Punt 33 (FG)
Petrea Webster 44 (FG)
Hockeyroos squad v New Zealand
Name (Hometown, State) Caps/Goals
Teneal Attard (Mackay, QLD) 191/10
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT) 55/2
Kirstin Dwyer (Mackay, QLD) 57/2
Rebecca Dwyer (née Reuter) (Toowoomba, QLD) 7/0
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD) 121/67
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA) 54/6
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC) 139/27
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA) 162/62
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT) 37/8
Audrey Smith (GK) (Wynnum, QLD) 1/0
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW) 101/43
Mathilda Carmichael (Willoughby, NSW) 17/1
Kate Denning (South Perth, WA) 3/0
Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW) 2/0
Gabrielle Nance (Kingscliff, NSW) 2/0
Kathryn Slattery (South Stirling, WA) 2/1
Amelia Spence (Hobart, TAS) 2/0
Ashlee Wells (GK) (Morwell, VIC) 35/0
Hockey Australia media release
Australia edge Black Sticks
Captain Anita Punt in action against Australia. Photo / Photosport
The New Zealand women's hockey side were denied at the death by a last-minute winner from Australia's Emily Smith in Wellington today.
Following a draw in the first test, the second match was full of attacking flair and the score see-sawed throughout as the Black Sticks worked hard to turn over ball and put the Australian defence under pressure.
Captain Anita Punt and Petrea Webster got on the scoreboard but, despite their best efforts, the Black Sticks came away with a defeat that means they can't claim the series.
"Unfortunately, we lacked composure and the urgency at the end of the game," Punt said. "We needed to keep it simple, hold possession and just make better decisions.
"We had a lot of chances, we were getting shots on target and making the goalie work hard. Our field goals are definitely a positive going forward."
Ahead of the final test on Tuesday, Punt believed the message from coach Mark Hager would be to do the basics better.
"Improve our passing and hold our structure, we have to make the traps. Whenever we mis-trap we put ourselves under pressure and then we rush and throw it away.
"There are a lot of new faces coming through and it's great to see them playing with confidence. There are a few little structural things we need to improve on, but the new players have only played USA and so it's a big step up to play Australia - the No 2 side in the world."
After Australia's Emily Smith opened the scoring in the 14th minute, Punt received a pass from Northland's Ella Gunson and slotted it home from the top of the circle. But the parity was short-lived as, 30 seconds later Hockeyroo Kathryn Slattery got the better of Kiwi keeper Georgia Barnett.
In the final quarter, Webster was all smiles when she superbly finished off a good piece of play to tie it up. But, in an action-packed finale, it was Smith who secured the win for Australia.
The New Zealand Herald
Basics let down Black Sticks in loss to Australia
FALSE DAWN: New Zealand’s Petrea Webster, second left, celebrates her equalising goal with team-mates. MAARTEN HOLL\Fairfax NZ
It's back to basics for the Black Sticks, who were left wondering 'what if' following today's 3-2 loss to Australia in the second test at Wellington's National Hockey Stadium.
It looked as if the healthy crowd would witness the second 2-2 draw in two days but with 30 seconds to play Emily Smith popped up to score the winner and her second goal of the day, leaving the visitors 1-0 up in the three-game series.
Game three is Tuesday night as the two teams continue their preparations for the Champions Trophy in Argentina.
It was fast and furious stuff today, with both sides pressing high up the pitch and playing a direct style in possession.
New Zealand twice came back from a goal down, with captain Anita Punt striking strongly from the right in the 33rd minute before Kathryn Slattery scored her first international goal to restore Australia's lead just a minute later.
Petrea Webster made it 2-2 in the final quarter when she finished a sweeping counter-attack and 20-year-old Kiwi goalkeeper Georgia Barnett was superb throughout, making a string of fine saves to keep the hosts alive.
But the pressure eventually told and Barnett's goal was breached in the final throes.
"Unfortunately we were just lacking a little bit of structure and composure in the last minutes so it's a little bit disappointing," Punt said.
"I think it's just our basics, we're not trapping the ball properly so it puts yourself under pressure and you're rushing the next pass or giving a bobbly pass to your team-mate... The last dying minutes are just letting us down really badly.
"It's just recognising how the game's going so if we're under the pump, get it down the other end, hold possession. Like when we're drawing, we don't need to throw stupid passes, we can just do an easy pass to someone at the back, just keep the ball moving and hold possession.
"We're sort of lacking the composure at the moment."
New Zealand are ranked fourth in the world and Australia No 2 so there is no disgrace in defeat.
Both teams are missing some big guns including Gemma Flynn and Sam Charlton for New Zealand and Anna Flanagan and Casey Eastham for Australia.
That means plenty of youngsters are on show as well as plenty of mistakes – not that Punt was being too critical.
"They're going to learn – like when I first started I was terrible so I try not to put too much pressure on them."
The Stacey Michelsen striking experiment will also be under review as Black Sticks coach Mark Hager reviews the tape.
Michelsen is regarded as one of the world's best midfielders but Hager has pushed the 23-year-old forward in a bid to increase his side's goalscoring potency.
But by her own admission the Northlander struggled to make an impact in the unfamiliar position at the weekend.
"I haven't probably gone very well over the last two games so I definitely need to step things up and work on getting a little bit more involved in the game on Tuesday," Michelsen said.
"I'm quite enjoying being up front but I think the familiarity of being back in the wing halves would be quite nice. But we've got a few more games to prepare before Champions Trophy so hopefully if I get the chance to continue playing up front then I'll start to link a bit better with the other girls.
"It could work out quite well I think."
AT A GLANCE
Australia 3 (Emily Smith 2, Kathryn Slattery) New Zealand 2 (Anita Punt, Petrea Webster)
Hockeymen flick off against Dom Republic
T&T’s senior men’s hockey team minus two of its marquee players in Kwandwane Browne and Dwain Quan Chan will flick off its gold medal bid at the 22nd Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Veracruz, Mexico against Dominican Republic from 11 am today. This is because Browne has commitments with his English Premier Division club, Canterbury where he is a player/coach while Quan Chan has work commitments. Both players were also unavailable for T&T during its successful campaign at the second International Hockey Federation (FIH) World League first round qualifying tournament in Kingston, Jamaica last month.
Back then, T&T men first overcame Dominican Republic 2-0 in a penalty-stroke shoot-out after a 2-2 draw in regulation before brushing aside Barbados 3-1 and host Jamaica 3-0 to top the four-team round-robin series with eight points, three more than the Jamaicans, to secure the lone spot available to the second round in Chula Vista, California, next year (February 28 - March 8). Coach Raphael Govia is hoping the team can continue on the same path even though locally-based pair, Aidan De Gannes and Solomon Eccles, two members of the team in Jamaica, were also forced to miss the tournament in Mexico also through work duties.
In their absence, Govia has drafted in experienced duo, Mickel Pierre and Dominic Young, who were not involved in Kingston. The T&T men will next meet Cuba on Tuesday and Guatemala two days later, to end pool play while Barbados, Jamaica and defending champions Mexico are in Pool B. T&T last won the CAC gold medal in 2002 while it has finished second on the last two occasion to Cuba (2006) and Mexico (2010). T&T also got bronze in 1998 and coach Govia said its time the “Calypso Stickmen” get back to claiming the gold.
Tournament Pools and Fixtures
Pool A: Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, T&T
Pool B: Barbados, Jamaica, Mexico
T&T vs Dominican Republic, 11am
Cuba vs Guatemala, 1pm
Mexico vs Jamaica, 3pm
Dominican Republic vs Guatemala, 11am
Cuba vs T&T, 1pm
Barbados vs Mexico, 3pm
T&T vs Guatemala, 11am
Dominican Republic vs Cuba, 1pm
Jamaica vs Barbados, 3pm
Fifth to Seventh semifinals, 11am
First to Fourth semifinals, 1.15pm
Fifth place, 11am
Raphael Govia (coach), Christobella George-Ford (manager), Zynul Khan (doctor), Cindy Martin-Faustin (assistant manager), Karielle De Bique (physiotherapist)
T&T Men's Hockey Team
Darren Cowie (captain), Dillet Gilkes, Nicholas Grant, Marcus James, Shaquille Daniel, Tariq Marcano, Stefan Mouttet, Mickel Pierre, Akim Toussaint, Kiel Murray, Andrey Rocke (goalkeeper), Jordan Reynos, Michael O’Connor II, Kristen Emmanuel, Dominic Young, Shane Legerton.
The Trinidad Guardian
T&T hockey women flick off CAC gold defence
This country’s senior women’s hockey team led by co-captains Alana Lewis and Patricia Wright-Alexis will begin their gold medal defence at the 22nd Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Veracruz Mexico against Bermuda today from 9 am (11 am TT time). Four years ago in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, the T&T women coached then by David Francois trounced Mexico 4-0 in the final with a goal each from Lewis, Kristin Thompson, Stacey Siu Butt and Blair Wynne for their second gold to add to their previous triumph in 2002.
The local women also swept past Dominican Republic 6-1 in the semifinals having topped their four-team pool with wins over Barbados (3-0), Bermuda (4-0) and Guyana (5-1). This time around veteran Siu Butt is not in the team having retired, but ten other players who were part of that victorious squad in Lewis, Wright-Alexis, Thompson, Wynne, Oire Trotman, Sekayi Liburd, Brittney Hingh, Krizia Layne, goalkeeper Petal Derry and Avion Ashton, back from injury have made the trip to Veracruz with coach Anthony Marcano.
The 25-year-old Ashton was a member of the T&T team which placed tenth at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, but then missed the Second International Hockey Federation (FIH) World League First Round qualifying tournament in Kingston, Jamaica where the “Calypso Stickwomen” topped its group with wins over Puerto Rico (5-1), Dominican Republic (3-1), Jamaica (2-0) and Barbados (2-0) due to injury last month. But the long-serving national player has since fully recovered from her injuries and is the only addition to the team while clubmates, Zene Henry and Keima Gardiner as well as goalkeeper Arresia Sandy of Paradise have been dropped, as the tournament only allows for 16-member teams as compared to 18 at the FIH tournaments.
Following today’s match, T&T will also face Guyana on Monday and Dominican Republic on Wednesday to end Pool B play while Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico and Barbados are in Pool A.
Tournament pools and fixtures
Pool A: Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, Barbados
Pool B: T&T, Bermuda, Guyana, Dominican Republic
T&T vs Bermuda, 11 am
Cuba vs Jamaica, 1 pm
Guyana vs Dominican Republic, 3 pm
Mexico vs Barbados, 5 pm
Bermuda vs Dominican Republic, 11 am
Barbados vs Jamaica, 1 pm
Guyana vs T&T, 3 pm
Cuba vs Mexico, 5 pm
T&T women’s hockey team
Alanna Lewis (captain), Amie Olton, Avion Ashton, Blair Wynne, Brianna Govia, Brittney Hingh, Dana-Lee De Gannes, Elise Olton, Kayla Brathwaite, Kristin Thompson, Krizia Layne, Oire Trotman, Patricia Wright-Alexis (captain), Petal Derry (goalkeeper), Sekayi Liburd, Tamia Roach. Technical staff: Anthony Marcano (coach), Stacey Siu Butt (assistant coach), Karielle De Bique (physiotherapist), Valisha Sylvester (manager), Cindy Martin-Faustin (head of delegation), Zynul Khan (doctor)
The Trinidad Guardian
Doubts over Walsh’s future with Indian hockey team
Even as a panel formed by the Sports Authority of India is looking into the demands put forth by chief coach Terry Walsh, there are doubts over the Australian’s continuing association with the Indian hockey team.
While Walsh’s demands for 120 days of paid leave and autonomy in functioning, including the selection of some support staff, are being examined closely by the SAI, the “lack of involvement from Hockey India” has put the prospects of Walsh’s future association with Indian hockey in doubt.
It is learnt that HI is not willing to give a free hand to Walsh in matters of team selection. Currently, a team of selectors appointed by HI and a Government observer pick the National teams.
This is in contrast to the practice adopted by most of the leading hockey-playing countries where the chief coach chooses the National team.
It is noteworthy that under Walsh’s guidance, the Indian team has achieved some fine results, including a sixth-place finish in the Hockey World League Final, a silver medal in the Commonwealth Games and an Asian Games gold, which has earned India a place in the 2016 Olympics. High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans agreed that with the Champions Trophy around the corner and the preparation for the Olympics slated for next year, the exit of Walsh might adversely impact the National side.
“No doubt, if it happens it will affect the team (in the build-up to the Olympics),” said Oltmans.
Indian hockey team will suffer if Walsh leaves: Oltmans
NEW DELHI: Indian hockey's high performance director Roelant Oltmans said Saturday the national team's preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympics will suffer if current chief coach Terry Walsh does not accept a new contract from the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
Walsh, who guided India to an Asian games gold medal after 16 years, resigned Oct 21 citing "difficulty in adjusting to the functioning of the country's bureaucratic system" and is now serving one-month resignation notice period.
SAI director general Jiji Thomson said the Australian will be offered a new contract before Oct 19.
"Of course it (Walsh not staying as chief coach) will have an effect. He has proved that he is a very good coach and if that happens, it will have an effect," Oltmans said.
But Oltmans is hopeful that Walsh and the SAI will come up with a solution which will ensure that Walsh stays as Indian coach.
"We had some constructive discussions regarding the matter. I am hoping that they will reach an agreement."
The Times of India
BPCL set up summit clash with Indian Oil Corp
MUMBAI: After playing out a 3-3 draw against Comptroller & Auditors General (CAG) on Thursday, players of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) went into a shell and their frustration was quite evident.
They returned to the venue where the Bombay Gold Cup is being played -The MHAL stadium in Churchgate -the next day to witness Punjab National Bank (PNB) defeat the same outfit 4-1. Ironical as it may sound, PNB's win served as an inspiration for the low-on-confidence BPCL players.
"We have a compact team, with some current India players in it. But the way we played against CAG (with due respect to their players), it was really disappointing. And then we saw PNB maul them. PNB's performance shook us up. We went back to our hotel rooms, chalked out a gameplan and pledged to give an honest try to execute what we had planned in the semifinals against Air-India today," Tushar Khandkar, who doubles as a coach, told TOI after defeating their fancied rivals 3-1.
Right from the outset, BPCL were absolutely sure about the way they would play out their 70 minutes. They were in total control of their territory and kept Air India's midfield and defense on their toes. Not surprisingly then, they hit the target as early as in the second minute. Varun Singh scored the opener while Aamir Khan accounted for goal in each half to leave Air India without any chance of a miraculous recovery .
In the other semifinal played earlier, Indian Oil Corporation were given a run for their money by Indian Navy before they prevailed 5-2. The young Navy side (average age 24) fought tooth and nail against their starstudded rivals. But in the end, Navy's inexperience to hold teams with big reputations proved to be their downfall.
BPCL will take on IOCL in the final at the MHAL stadium today at 5.30pm.
Results: Indian Oil 5 (Inderjeet Singh 3rd, Dharamveer Singh 13th, Deepak Thakur 44th, Prabhjot Singh 63rd, Roshan Minz 66th) beat Indian Navy 2 (Amit Goswami 31st, Surender Kumar 42nd).BPCL (Varun Sharma 2nd, Amir Khan 33rd, 59th ) beat Air India 1 (Gaganpreet Singh 66th).
The Times of India
Ward goals help Beeston win
Beeston's Will Byas goes past the tackles of Charlie Rookes and Matt Coombes of Southgate. Photo Simon Parker
Sam Ward was on target twice as Beeston tightened their grip on third place in the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Premier Division with a 5-0 victory away to Southgate.
Gordon McIntyre, Richard Lawrence and James Gall were also on the score sheet in an impressive performance.
Wimbledon staged a superb comeback to score a 4-1 win over second-placed Surbiton.
Having fallen behind to a Matt Daly strike on 15 minutes, Wimbledon rallied and a brace from Phil Ball, along with goals from Phil Roper and Jack Waller, saw them complete the feat.
East Grinstead beat Canterbury 4-0, with goals coming from Mark Gleghorne (2), Andy Piper and Glen Kirkham.
Brooklands Manchester University followed up their first win of the season last week with another on the road to Hampstead and Westminster. David Flanagan scored the only goal on 20 minutes to clinch the win.
Reading’s game at home to Cannock had to be abandoned at half time due to poor visibility. Tom Carson had given them the lead on 14 minutes but officials decided that the fog was too dense to continue.
NOW: Pensions Conference West
Team Bath Buccaneers’ game against Barford Tigers in the NOW: Pensions Conference West was postponed due to thick fog making for very poor visibility.
Cardiff and Met made the most of the opportunity to go top by beating Fareham 4-2 with goals from Liam Brignull, Dan Kyriakides, Rhys Gowman and James Carson. James Gabriel hot two in Guildford’s 5-1 win over Indian Gymkhana.
University of Birmingham hosted rock bottom club Whitchurch and recorded a resounding 5-0 win with Sam French and David Fernie both notching a brace. Cheltenham and University of Exeter played out a 1-1 draw. The point lifts Exeter out of the bottom two at Indian Gymkhana’s expense.
NOW: Pensions Conference North
Sheffield Hallam moved up to second in the NOW: Pensions Conference North with a stunning 9-3 defeat of Yorkshire rivals Wakefield. Liam Ansell was the star once again, scoring six of his side’s goals.
Bowdon stay top after also putting in a strong performance, beating Olton and West Warwickshire 7-3. Their star man was Simon Egerton, scoring a hat-trick.
The bottom two sides, Leek and Belper, met and it was Belper who emerged victorious with their first win of the campaign. Matthew Hickman scored three goals on the way to the win.
In the other games, Doncaster beat University of Durham 5-1 and Deeside Ramblers defeated Loughborough Students 3-1.
NOW: Pensions Conference East
Oxted caused an upset in the NOW: Pensions Conference East with a 5-3 victory over high-flying Chichester Priory Park. Chris Coleman scored four goals for Oxted in what was only their second win of the season.
Bromley and Beckenham made the most of Chichester’s slip-up with their 4-1 defeat of Richmond moving them up into second place. After falling behind in the 12th minute, the home side picked themselves up to score without response in the second half.
Old Loughtonians are still bottom despite recording their second win of the season, a 3-1 defeat of Cambridge City.
West Herts and Teddington drew 2-2. It looked as though goals from Neal Dolphin and Max Webster would be enough for West Herts to take victory but Andrew Pett struck the equaliser with six minutes remaining.
And in the evening match, Holcombe beat Brighton and Hove 4-1 with James Stedman scoring twice.
NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League (Saturday, November 15 2014):
NOW: Pensions Premier Division: Hampstead and Westminster 0, Brooklands Manchester University 1; Southgate 0, Beeston 5; Reading A, Cannock A; Surbiton 1, Wimbledon 4; East Grinstead 4, Canterbury 0.
NOW: Pensions Conference West: Cheltenham 1, University of Exeter 1; University of Birmingham 5, Whitchurch 0; Team Bath Buccaneers P, Barford Tigers P; Guildford 5, Indian Gymkhana 1; Cardiff and Met 4, Fareham 2.
NOW: Pensions Conference North: Sheffield Hallam 9, Wakefield 3; Olton and West Warwickshire 3, Bowdon 7; Leek 3, Belper 5; Doncaster 5, University of Durham 1; Loughborough Students 1, Deeside Ramblers 3.
NOW: Pensions Conference East: Chichester Priory Park 3, Oxted 5; Bromley and Beckenham 4, Richmond 1; West Herts 2, Teddington 2; Old Loughtonians 3, Cambridge City 1; Holcombe 4, Brighton and Hove 1.
England Hockey Board Media release
Faizal at it again
By Jugjet Singh
THE promising yet controversial Faizal Saari got into trouble again when he showed a lewd sign to umpire P. Elangovan on Friday, and is suspended for Terengganu Hockey Team’s (THT) clash with UniKL today in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League.
Faizal, who always draws contrasting reactions, was sent off when he knocked into a Sapura player on Friday. He felt the umpire was not being fair, showed a lewd sign and use foul language.
This is not the first time the 23-year-old has been in trouble, as he was red carded in the Razak Cup, and also dropped from the Asian Games line-up after getting embroiled in controversies before and after the World Cup.
“Faizal will receive an automatic one-match suspension and will not play against UniKL on Sunday . We will also refer his case to the management committee on Thursday where he might face further action,” said Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) competitions committee secretary Hashim Yusoff.
THT, second in the standings, will play UniKL in Kuala Terengganu today.
Meanwhile national coach Tai Beng Hai, who is also the Sapura coach, said he will select a training squad for the World League Round Two, in Singapore on Jan 17-25, in a week’s time.
“The MHL ends on Dec 14, so I do not have much time for the World League. I will select a training squad, with the core coming from those who played in the World Cup and Commonwealth Games,” said Beng Hai.
On the influx of foreign players, some of who are well below par compared to the youth who have been left out of the MHL, Beng Hai said: “It was a domino effect, as after one team bought foreign players in place of fielding local youth, the others had to follow to keep pace.”
Sapura, with five foreign palayers, have only a win and a draw to show after playing five first round matches.
From the six teams in the Premier Division, only Tenaga have opted for an-all local squad.
“We were asked by the management to source for foreign players this season, but we chose to develop our youth from feeder school SSTMI (Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School) as we believe that is the best formula to help the club as well as the country in the long run,” said Tenaga Nasional skipper Madzli Ikmar.
Today: Tenaga v KLHC (6pm, Pitch I); Maybank v Sapura (6pm, Pitch II); THT v UniKL (5pm, Terengganu).
Faizal Saari showed a lewd sign to an umpire on Friday and has been suspended.
New Straits Times
It’s a two-pony show with half way to go
By S. Ramaguru
KUALA LUMPUR: It’s a two-horse race for the Premier Division title as the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) reaches its halfway mark.
Defending champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) lead the six-team league with 15 points after going unbeaten in five matches. Terengganu are second on 12 points. It is either one of these two teams who will ultimatelty emerge champions with their clash on Nov 28 being the title decider.
Former champions Tenaga Nasional are third with nine points. They still have an outside chance of winning the crown and it all depends on their match against KLHC on Sunday. In the first round, Tenaga lost 3-5.
KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj believes it’s still early days to talk about winning the title.
“Tenaga are still very much in the hunt at this stage. We are taking one match at a time and are concentrating on tomorrow’s clash with Tenaga.
“They have improved with each match. We can’t afford a defeat as we don’t want to hand over the advantage to Tenaga or Terengganu at this stage. Our objective is to collect three points,” said Dharmaraj.
Terengganu coach Sarjit Singh concurs with Dharmaraj.
“From now on, it is about collecting points and winning all our last five matches. Our match with KLHC is the cruncher and we will see how that game goes before we start thinking of the title,” said Sarjit.
Both KLHC and Terengganu have invested heavily on foreign players, but thus far it is their local stars who have impressed.
Penalty corner specialist Mohamed Razie Rahim of KLHC now shares top spot in the scoring chart with Faizal Shaari of Terengganu on eight goals.
The Star of Malaysia
Orange face ‘tricky’ ties in Africa Club Championships
By BRIAN YONGA
Telkom Orange players pose with the Kenya Hockey Union women’s Premier League trophy. Orange and Strathmore Scorpions will represent Kenya in the Africa Cup of Club Championships later this month in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
African hockey queens Telkom Orange will begin their title defence against Genetrix of Malawi in the Africa Cup of Club Championships (ACCA) set for November 22-30 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
According to the fixtures released by the Hockey Association of Zimbabwe, Orange, who are chasing a record seventh continental title, have been drawn in Pool A as the top seeds.
After facing the Malawian outfit on November 23, Orange will come up against Ghana Police on November 25 before facing Sharkia from Egypt in a mouth-watering clash two days later. The 16-time league champions will then line up against Nigeria’s Heartlands in their final pool match on November 28.
Orange coach Jos Openda termed the pool ‘tricky’ saying they will have to work hard to reach the semi-finals.
RETAIN THE TITLE
“Every team in the pool is worthy because they have made it to this stage. We therefore have to be on top of our game to come out of the pool and hopefully retain the title,” Openda told Sunday Nation Sport.
Strathmore Scorpions, who lost 2-0 to Orange in the final of the tournament’s last edition in January, are the top seeds in Pool B.
The varsity side will begin their campaign against home side Bulawayo Athletics Club (BAC) on the opening day of the event.
Meshack Senge’s team will then take on Twende from Tanzania followed by matches against Plateau Queens (Nigeria), Shams of Egypt and Ghana Revenue Authority whom they beat in Kampala on their way to the final.
Scorpions, who are making their third appearance in the event, have been improving each year since making their debut in 2012.
“Last year we fell short in the final but we have learnt from our mistakes. This year we have come back better and hungrier for the title,” Senge said.
Both Orange and Scorpions have already finished their pool matches in this season’s women’s Premier League sealing their respective places in the semi-finals set for next month.
The two teams will be Kenya’s only representatives in the annual tournament following the withdrawal of men’s teams Kenya Police and Butali Sugar Warriors (formerly Kisumu Simba) early this week.
Meanwhile, Parkroad Tigers beat JKUAT 2-0 in a national league match played at the City Park Stadium on Saturday.
Goals from Dennis Kariuki and Matthew Okomo either side of halftime propelled Tigers to the top of Pool A.
Rehan Ahmed no more
Rehan Ahmed, former State and Indian Railways hockey player, passed away on Saturday. He was 49.
Son of the late State stalwart Syed Ahmed of State Bank, Rehan was an efficient centre-half who donned the junior India colours along with Pargat Singh and Jude Felix, toured Kenya and other countries.
He represented Tamil Nadu and Indian Railways in the National championships and turned up for Southern Railway in all major tournaments for over a decade and a half.
The chief organiser behind the annual Syed Ahmed Memorial hockey tournament, Rehan was supervisor in the ticketing department of Southern Railway here.
He is survived by his wife and two daughters.