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News for 23 November 2014

All the news for 23 November 2014

Black Sticks Men end series with draw

Pictured: Richard Bain in action during tonight's game.

The Black Sticks Men have finished off their four test series against Japan with a 3-3 draw at the Coastlands Kapiti Sports Turf tonight.

New Zealand had already claimed a 2-0 series win, and were well placed to add a third game to their tally after leading 3-0 at half time. But Japan piled on the goals in the second spell with Daisuke Kusano scoring the equaliser in the final five minutes.

“It was nice to be 3-0 up at half time, but there were a lot of areas that I thought we needed to improve on, our passing I didn’t think was very good in the first half, we needed to get the basics right on our press, things like that, so that’s what we talked about at half time,” said head coach Colin Batch.

“We still created some good opportunities I think, and Japan held off a very good goal from Simon Child right at the end which would have won us the game. But we didn’t defend at all well in the second half and that was disappointing,” said Batch.

“We have introduced a number of new players during the series to find out whether they are capable of playing at the next level, that was very much an aim of the tournament and from that point of view it worked well,” said Batch.

It was a dream first half for the Kiwis with Richard Bain scoring from a tight angle and giving the Kiwis a 1-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. North Harbour’s Joe Bartholomew doubled New Zealand’s lead with a clinical drag flick in the 24th minute. The good news kept coming New Zealand’s way when captain Simon Child made the most of a loose ball in the circle, and through some brilliant individual work, gained control and flicked it low passed the keeper.

Whatever coach Keonwook Kang said to Japan at half time worked wonders, with the visitors scoring twice in quick succession through Ryohei Kawakami and Shunya Miyazaki. The Kiwis returned to form towards the end of the third quarter, retaining possession and connecting better with each other.

It was a dramatic final quarter, with the game opening up and Japan’s Daisuke Kusano equalising with four minutes left on the clock. New Zealand appealed for a penalty stroke in the final minutes but the umpire ruled it a penalty corner and the Kiwis were unable to capitalise.

If you haven’t been able to get to the games, you can watch them all on-demand here at www.hockeynz.co.nz/video

The Black Sticks Men reassemble in a couple of weeks ahead of the four test Canada series which is being played in Nelson (9th Dec and 10th Dec) and Christchurch (13th and 14th Dec).


Full time: 3-3
Half time:  3-0 (NZ lead)

NZ goal scorers: Richard Bain, Joe Bartholomew, Simon Child
Japan goal scorers: Ryohei Kawakami, Shunya Miyazaki, Daisuke Kusano
Umpires: Gareth Greenfield (NZ), David Tomlinson (NZ)

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Strong Japan comeback secures draw with NZ


BLOWN IT: New Zealand's Simon Child shows his disappointment after letting Japan back into the game. Photosport

The Black Sticks men's hockey team blew a 3-0 halftime lead in the final game of their series against Japan, conceding three second half games to record a disappointing 3-3 draw tonight.

After dominating the first 30 minutes a number of substitutions weakened the the New Zealand side and they were duly taken apart in the second half in Paraparaumu.

Nine minutes into the game the Black Sticks hit the lead when Nick Woods won a turnover close to the Japanese goal. Some slick passing followed before 25-year-old Richard Bain shot the ball in from a tight angle.

The rest of the opening quarter was played out without Japan ever threatening, although the Black Caps didn't have any further clear cut opportunities either.

The second goal game six minutes before halftime courtesy of a drag flick from Joe Bartholomew, with the ball flying into the top left hand corner.

Simon Child scored New Zealand's third just before half time, managing to keep his balance while putting the ball low and right into the goal.

It should have been plain sailing from there but it wasn't to be the case as Ryohei Kawakami and Shunya Miyazaki both scored for Japan in the third quarter.

With four minutes to go the Black Sticks' lead was gone completely when Daisuke Kusano dribbled through the Kiwi defence to score his side's third.

Despite the loss, New Zealand had already wrapped up the series with a 1-1 draw followed by 3-0 and 2-1 wins.


On the prowl in Bhubaneswar

Can the Red Lions break into the top echelons of hockey?

The Belgium Red Lions are no longer the under-dogs when they play at major competitions such as the Champions Trophy. Gradual improvement within both the domestic league and the national squad has meant that Jeroen Delmee’s men are now a force to be reckoned, a point highlighted by the fact a recent player survey voted them the breakthrough team of the year.

Fifth place finishes in the 2012 Olympics, the 2012 Champions Trophy and the 2014 World Cup have not diminished the Red Lion’s growing belief that they are a leading hockey nation, a belief vindicated when they won a silver medal at the European Championships in 2013.

Prior to that silver medal, the best result Belgium had achieved in recent times was as winner of the Champions Challenge in 2011. A bronze medal at the 1920 Olympic Games remains the pinnacle of Belgium hockey success.

But the current squad are determined to change all that. Delmee’s predecessor, Marc Lammers talked repeatedly about the drive and hunger among the Red Lions to win major trophies and, in players such as Tom Boon, Felix Denayer, Tanguy Cosyns and Jerome Truyens, they have the players to achieve greatness.

Another player who has been integral to the rise of the Red Lions is 27-year-old John-John Dohmen. The former captain has 270 caps to his name and is both a creative midfielder on the pitch as well as an inspirational role model away from the game. His declared aim is to keep helping Belgium progress up the world rankings for as long as he can.

“Can we win the Champions Trophy? Yes of course. We always want to perform and to finish in the highest position possible. We will give everything to win the games. We have had a heavy preparation programme, but it is worth it because we want to get better and better.

“When I started playing 10 years ago we were really low in the world ranking. Now we are in the top four. It is because of hard work and players’ sacrifices. We all have the same ambition, to win medals.”

Dohmen outlines Belgium’s Champions Trophy preparation, which began back in September. “We started with a large squad of 27 players and we all worked hard for the next two months. We trained as a squad twice on Mondays and Tuesdays and we also had individual skills and fitness sessions during the week. Everyone also trained twice with their clubs and we all had club matches on Sundays.”

Before leaving for India, Belgium will play two games against Poland and they have already played training games against France and Argentina, winning both matches in the process.

Dohmen has identified progress within the Belgium squad as being a two-part process. “As a squad, our strength is that we always work hard for each other. This is the reason why we have achieved good results in the last few years. Now we are starting to develop individual skills because we all have individual weaknesses. We want to minimize those weaknesses.”

One individual who is feared by the Red Lions’ opponents is their top goal-scorer Tom Boon. “Tom is very important for the team,” says Dohmen. “He can score in every position and it is great for team morale to know that we are likely to be rewarded if we can get the ball in the circle. I think his mean average is one goal per game, so we almost know that we are going to score before we even start the game!”

For this Champions Trophy, Dohmen feels the team to beat will be the current world champions and number one ranked side, Australia, but adds: “There are eight great teams at the Champions Trophy so everybody can win it.”

#BestoftheBest #CT2014

FIH site

Who's who on the team bench?

They are the men and women who stay out of the limelight, but they are essential players in their team's success. We meet the people on the sideline.

When it comes to hockey we all know it is a team game, but we can sometimes forget that it is not just the team on the pitch that need to play well. Behind every successful team there is a bevy of people whose jobs combine to create the right situation for the players to perform at their best.

One such team is England men, currently ranked fourth in the world and with high hopes of a medal in the forthcoming Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar. The head coach is Bobby Crutchley, who has been in place for nearly two years, but as he points out, his is not a solo role.

Seated on the bench alongside Crutchley are assistant coaches David Ralph and Jon Bleby, and the head coach is quick to credit them. “We work as a three to deliver all aspects of coaching from selection to preparation work, tactical and scouting. We have specific jobs but we work together as well. We run the training sessions and pick the teams together, too.”

When it comes to match day there are a myriad of things to remember, but the man with perhaps the most stressful job of all for the duration of the game is manager Andy Halliday. His job is to manage the substitutions and although these have all been meticulously planned out beforehand, as Crutchley points out, they can be subject to change.

“Andy’s role is logistics on the trips but he also has a function on the bench to work with the officials tables and to do our substitutions. He will do the regular subs but we will intervene to make tactical changes. We have a rough plan, which he implements but that can change as we go. He has a tough job but he’s very experienced and good at what he does.”

The England team doctor is Natasha Beech and her role is to deal with emergencies such as trauma or illness, but for the routine fitness and wellbeing of the players, the physiotherapist Emily Whatling is the first port of call. She will treat injuries both ongoing and freshly picked up and perform daily monitoring to check the players’ wellness and fitness to compete. She also helps the players to prepare for each game. “Emily’s job is to get players on the pitch,” says Crutchley, “Her work load is extreme.”

Ali Patterson is the team’s performance analyst. He gathers information on teams pre-tournament and, during the event, he puts together a video of both England and their opponents. He codes the games and gathers data which the coaching staff use for tactics and selection. He is also in charge of the information sent to the bench during the game.

Crutchley explains how the team operates: “Back home it’s a wider group but on trips it’s a lot easier to get a smaller team together. The roles are well established and everyone is experienced and knows what they’re doing and how they support each other. It might look like a lot of staff but with the jobs needed it’s quite a small group and everyone has to be flexible. A lot of teams have similar numbers, possibly more. I have the final say on hockey stuff but not on everything. There is a healthy balance of opinions.”

#BestoftheBest #CT2014

FIH site

Omar Associates to help Pakistan hockey team

KARACHI: Leading cricket organiser and chief executive of Omar Associates Nadeem Omar on Saturday said his organisation will be financally supporting and assisting the beleaguered Pakistan hockey team ahead of next month’s Champions Trophy, scheduled to be held in Bhubneshawar, India.

“We are working out details to present cash awards to the national hockey team for winning a silver medal at the Incheon Asian Games and keeping in view their financial troubles,” Nadeem told APP on Friday.

He did not disclosed the amount of cash award to be given to the players and team officials but said he was fully aware of the plight of the hockey players.

It may be mentioned that the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has failed to pay the central contract dues to the players worth millions of rupees despite a passage of 18 months.


As talk break down, Hockey India president tells Terry Walsh his services aren't required

Rutvick Mehta

"I spoke to (Hockey India high-performance director) Roelant Oltmans and he informed me that (HI president Narinder) Batra didn't want me to come back to India as head coach for the Champions Trophy —Terry Walsh

For all you know, the Indian hockey team will go into next month's Champions Trophy without a head coach.

In another twist, Hockey India (HI) president Narinder Batra has informed the just-resigned Terry Walsh that his services aren't required for the tournament that will be played in Bhubaneshwar from December 6-14.

Walsh, who flew back to Australia on Wednesday, was to decide his next move during the weekend. Walsh was sent a fresh set of proposals, addressing his demands, by Union sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal and the six-member committee appointed by the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

That, however, doesn't seem an issue at all now. Though Walsh hasn't received the proposals yet, the Australian said both parties agreed to the demands in principle and he did not need a written communication in that regard. Batra's latest salvo, however, has taken Walsh by surprise.

"I spoke to (high-performance director) Roelant Oltmans and he informed me that Batra didn't want me to come back to India as head coach for the Champions Trophy," Walsh told dna from Perth on Saturday. "I called Batra up to check if it was true, and he said it was. He told me that I could come over if I wanted to, but my services as head coach weren't required for the tournament. Now, I don't know what his issues are, but this clearly is getting some sort of a personal fight as far as he is concerned."

It is understood that neither SAI nor the sports ministry is aware of Batra's latest decision. Walsh said his issues — including that of working from home for a longer duration, functional autonomy and financial returns — were agreed to by SAI and sports ministry officials in a set of fresh proposals before his departure for Australia. Walsh reiterated that it wasn't necessary for him to receive a hard copy of these proposals, for they were agreed to in principle.

"It seems to me now that the only person in the entire set-up that does not want me to continue and take Indian hockey forward is Batra. I don't know why he's doing this and what problems he has with me, but the easiest thing he can do is pick up his phone and sort out all the differences with me. That's what professional people do," Walsh said.

The 61-year-old Walsh said he is in the process of initiating legal proceedings against Batra who alleged that the Aussie had committed "financial fraud" during his time with USA Hockey. "Those allegations by him were outrageous and completely false. The managing director of the company has already written a letter, completely contradicting Batra's claims. He still hasn't cleared the air on that. And if I'm leaving the programme, I'm going to leave it with my name cleared," he said.

Walsh also questioned the timing of Batra's allegations. "The issue that he has brought up is two years old. Why did he have to bring it up now? Mind you, he is known for such outrageous comments and behaviour," he added.

The two-time Olympian said he will write a letter to the sports minister either on Sunday or Monday, thanking him for his support and desire in agreeing to the changes suggested by him. In short, the demands are no longer the issue now. "It's really unfortunate that this whole thing has been reduced to Batra's personal problems with me. He is clearly not able to trust me. His decision will only leave the players more confused going into an important tournament like the Champions Trophy, and that's the sad part," Walsh said.


Hockey India tells Terry Walsh his services not required

by Mihir Vasavda

Walsh (R) was told that high performance director Roelant Oltmans (L) will be in charge of the team in the elite eight-nation Champions Trophy. (Express File)

Barely a month after guiding India to the Asian Games gold medal, Terry Walsh’s reign as the chief coach might have finally come to an end. Hockey India president Narinder Batra, it is learnt, has informed Walsh that his services will no longer be required.

In an oral communication on Friday, Batra told Walsh, who flew back to Australia on Wednesday, that high performance director Roelant Oltmans will be in charge of the team in the elite eight-nation Champions Trophy tournament that begins in Bhubaneswar on December 6.

Speculations were rife on Saturday that even Walsh had written to Sports Authority of India (SAI) that he won’t be returning to India. However, the Australian categorically denied making any such contact with SAI, saying he will write to the sports minister and update him of the situation only on Monday. “I was given verbal instructions after I rang the president (Batra) that he has put Roelant as in charge of the Champions Trophy team and that I won’t be involved in the tournament,” Walsh said.

Batra had earlier this week said that Hockey India will start the search for a new coach after the Champions Trophy. “Though Walsh has given us some good results, it was not possible to continue with him as he has not been able to prove his innocence in the USA Field Hockey case.”

Walsh has resigned as the chief coach soon after returning from Incheon, where he guided the Indian team to its first gold in 16 years. His notice period ended on Wednesday and he decided not to withdraw his resignation after hours of talks with the stakeholders ended with no solution.

Last week, after the government agreed in principle with the demands made by Walsh in the process of renewing his contract, Batra alleged that the veteran tactician was involved in a ‘financial impropriety’ during his tenure with USA Field Hockey. Walsh has strongly refuted those allegations.

Walsh said he would explore legal options to make Batra retract his statement and said he was sad and confused over the current state of affairs. “At the moment I am confused as to what is happening. But I am hoping things will be resolved. I am not losing hope. I will write to the sports minister on Monday explaining him my position and we’ll see how it goes on from there,” he said.

Indian Express

Walsh sad about the bitter end

Vijay Lokapally

Terry Walsh’s association with Indian hockey is over. The Australian coach, an electrifying scorer in his heyday, was verbally informed on Saturday that his services would not be required anymore as far as Hockey India was concerned.

It effectively meant that India will have a new coach at the forthcoming Champions Trophy to be held in Bhubaneshwar from December 6 to 14.

Walsh, who had replaced compatriot Michael Nobbs as the chief coach last October, told The Hindu from Perth that it was sad his stint with Indian hockey had to end on such a bitter and disappointing note with HI president N.K. Batra accusing him of having indulged in financial irregularities while working with United States hockey.

Absolutely distressed

“I am obviously very distressed at these accusations. They are most inappropriate and cast aspersions on my dignity and integrity. I had always wanted to help Indian hockey because I loved their style from the time I had played against them. This is nothing short of humiliation. Is this what I deserve for having worked to the best of my abilities with the team the past one year?,” said Walsh, who had kept the window of return open.

Walsh was at a loss to understand the reasons for the deterioration of relations between him and HI. “I was confident that the SAI (Sports Authority of India) and the Sports Ministry understood my plans for the team. There has been a lot of misreporting as far as my demands were concerned. The SAI had supported my stand but it was clear that HI had other ideas,” Walsh asserted.

The Australian contested Batra’s accusations. “I had made my position clear and I was under the impression that things stood sorted out. But I find I have been unfairly accused publicly. I am seeking legal option on taking up this issue with HI,” Walsh claimed.

All along Walsh had drawn up ambitious ideas to improve Indian hockey but recent developments have once again cast uncertainty around the team. The team had shown improvement under his guidance with a silver in the Commonwealth Games and an inspiring gold at the Asian Games when it beat arch rival Pakistan at Incheon. Walsh’s sacking was a throwback to the 1998 episode when coach M.K. Kaushik and six key players had been unceremoniously removed by the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) after the team had returned with the Asian Games gold.

“I will be taking up the matter with HI and the Ministry. I will also write to the Sports Minister (Sarbananda Sonowal). I found him very pleasant and understanding. Importantly, I will seek legal help to get HI president to retract his inappropriate remarks about me,” the 60-year-old Walsh stressed.

Walsh had said before leaving for Perth, “It’s something that’s come from US field hockey but it’s something has been covered off some 18 months ago. I have spoken to Mr. Batra about it. I have given clear indications that what’s been going on in the press is unacceptable and there needs to be a retraction from that perspective. There’s no problem in that area and it’s just an unacceptable situation,” Walsh insisted.

Batra had insisted, “I told him if he proved his innocence in the entire matter, I would issue a public apology.” With Walsh ready to begin a legal battle, the last has not been heard in this matter. But Indian hockey is set to rope in a new coach even as indications suggested High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans to be the emergency replacement at the Champions Trophy.

The Hindu

Roelant Oltmans to coach India at Champions Trophy hockey: reports

Hockey India's High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans instructing the team at a training session. (Hockey India)

Terry Walsh's association with Indian hockey seems to have drawn to a close even though the Australian flew back home saying he would convey his final decision to Sports Authority of India (SAI) over the weekend that ends today.

Reports in the media on Saturday suggested Walsh has sent a final communication to Hockey India (HI) and SAI that he won't be returning to India; however, The Indian Express quoted Walsh as saying the HI President Narinder Batra has told him that he is not needed.

"I was given verbal instructions after I rang the [HI] president that he has put Roelant as in charge of the Champions Trophy team and that I won't be involved in the tournament," Walsh was quoted by the news daily.

The report also said that Walsh intends to write to SAI about his position on the matter on Monday.

Earlier this week, on Tuesday, the three-member special committee formed by SAI failed to resolve the issue despite offering a new contract to Walsh

A six-hour long meeting, second in two days, couldn't reach a mutual agreement with Walsh who led India to Asian Games gold after 16 years.

The committee said Walsh was not willing to back down on some of his demands, which include more decision-making powers, personnel of choice in the support staff as well as a 120 days of paid leave in Australia.

"My contract has expired and I am leaving for Perth on Wednesday. As of now I have resigned and will take a call on whether to continue by the weekend," Walsh had said after the meeting on Tuesday.

"I have been offered a new contract but not signed it yet. I'm happy with the efforts of the Sports Ministry and Hockey India to resolve the matter," the Australian added.

IBNLive Sports

Hockey India announces junior team for tour of Australia

NEW DELHI: Harjeet Singh will lead India's 18-member junior men's squad during a training-cum-competition trip to Gold Coast Australia from December 2 to 13 as part of the team's build up for the Asia cup next year.

"Hockey India today announced the Indian Men Junior Hockey Team for training and Test matches scheduled to be held from 02 to 13 December 2014 in Gold Coast, Australia in preparation for the 8th Men's Junior Asia Cup in 2015," HI said in a statement.

Hockey India selectors Harbinder Singh, Dr. R P Singh, Arjun Halappa, Roelant Oltmans (Director High Performance), coaches Harendra Singh and B J Kariappa selected 18 players after the trials conducted at MDC National Stadium, New Delhi on November 17.

The 18-member squad will be led by midfielder Harjeet and forward Imran Khan will be his deputy for the five-match Test series.

The team also features the stars of the fourth Sultan of Johor Cup 2014 -- defender Harmanpreet Singh and forward Simranjeet Singh.

Speaking on the team structure, Harendra said, "The team is all set to take on Australia on their home turf. We have selected the best players for the tour and also giving the opportunity to new boys to gain international exposure.

"The team has the right combination of experienced players and new talent. In the recent camp in New Delhi, we have worked on every player's skills and strengths. This Australia tour is an ideal preparation for the Junior Men Asia Cup, which will be held in 2015. We are upbeat about our recent performance in the Sultan of Johor Cup and confident of doing well in Australia."

The Team:

Goalkeepers: Abhinav Kumar Pandey, Jugraj Singh.

Defenders: Varun Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Dipsan Turkey, Gurinder Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh, Anand Lakra

Midfielders: Harjeet Singh (Captain), Imran Khan (Vice Captain), Santa Singh, Manpreet Singh, Sumit.

Forwards: Parvinder Singh, Simranjeet Singh, Sumit Toppo, Mandeep Singh, Arman Qureshi.

The Times of India

Polished Orange humiliate woeful Egyptians in charge for African title

Telkom Orange players pose with the Kenya Hockey Union women’s Premier League trophy. Orange started their African title defence with a 7-1 thrashing of Egyptian side El Shams in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, on November 22, 2014. PHOTO | FILE |   NATION MEDIA GROUP

Defending champions Orange Telkom launched their Africa hockey Cup of Club championships title defence in style after a 7-0 thrashing of Egyptian side El Shams in their opening game at the Khumalo Hockey Stadium in Bualwayo, Zimbabwe on Saturday.

A brace each from Caroline Guchu led the Africa champions on their way, capping off a dominant display from the Kenyan champions against a defensive minded Shams side who were forced to play in their won half for most of the match.

Orange went ahead in the 19th minute through a penalty corner that was finished by Terry Juma after nice set up from Barbara Simiyu. Hellen Chemtai made it 2-0 as the Shams defence struggled to contain the pace of the Orange players.


Lillian Aura scored the third goal on the half mark to capitalising on a defensive mix up in the Shams defence to give his team a 3-0 lead going into the breather.

The second half was no different with Orange dominating as their opponents sat deep relying on counter attacks to go forward.

Skipper Betsy Ommala sounded the board from a penalty corner in the 43rd minute to score her team’s fourth before Barbara Simiyu converted another short corner six minutes later.

Caroline Guchu scored in the 55th and 66th minutes to give the champions a remarkable start. In another match, Heartlands of Nigeria trounced Twende of Tanzania 5-0.

On Sunday, Kenya’s other team Strathmore Scorpions face another Egyptian side Sharkia at 3pm as they look to reach back to back finals.

Men’s defending champions Egypt Police beat poor Gentrix of Malawi 17-0 to begin their title defence on a high note.

Police scored their goals thorough Elshahat Sayed and Mansour Mustafa who both bagged hat-tricks while Saber Mohab, Ossman Mandor, Mohamed Ahmed and Atef Karim scored a brace. Other players who got their name on the score sheet were Magdy Mhand, Sayed Amr, and Ahmed Mohamed scored a goal each.

Heartlands are joint top with Orange in Pool A with both teams on three points but the Kenyan champions are on top courtesy of most goals scored.

Heartlands skipper Justina Onyedum also scored three goals for her team against Twende while Chioma Eberindu scored two to condemn the Tanzania side to defeat.

Heartlands will have a chance to go top if they beat Shams on Sunday.

Daily Nation

Flying start for Orange in Africa Cup

By Elizabeth Mburugu

Orange captain Betsy Omalla9lL) and USIU player Racheal Wangui fight for the ball when they played Women League with Strathmore at Citypark. Orange scored 2-0. ON 01/11/14 PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE

Champions Orange Telkom began their African hockey Cup of Club championships title campaign on a high, trouncing Shams of Egypt 7-0 at the Khumalo Hockey Stadium in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, yesterday. The African Queens dominated the entire match, forcing the Egyptians to play in their own half for the entire match.

Orange goalkeeper, Cynthia Akinyi, was on ‘holiday’ in goal as the Pharaohs failed to break the Kenyan defence. However, the Egyptians will have their goalkeeper Taher Hadeer to thank.

She undoubtedly deserved the player of the match award for being superb, saving them from conceding many goals.

Orange coach Jos Openda told FeverPitch the team will work on the wasted chances going into their next encounter. The Kenyan girls will take on hosts Bulawayo Athletics Club in their Pool A match tomorrow.

Two minutes into the game, Lilian Aura’s shot went on top of the goal. Their efforts paid off in the 19th minute through a penalty corner pushed by Barbatra Simiyu to Terry Juma, who stopped and converted to put the champions in the lead.

Openda brought in in Hellen Chemtai for Margret Rotich in the 16th minute and it paid off as Chemtai beat Shams defense to make it two in the 21st minute.

Aura, who had missed chances, gave Orange a 3-0 advantage in the 31st minute. Captain Betsy Omala sent the ball home from a penalty corner in the 43rd minute, Barbara Simiyu converted another short corner six minutes later.

The Standard Online

Blackwood hat-trick helps Reading win

Reading debutant Georgie Blackwood v Beeston, Nov 22 2014. Credit David Kissman

Georgie Blackwood smashed home a hat-trick on her first appearance for Reading as they beat Beeston 5-0 in the Investec Women’s Hockey Premier Division.

The visitors looked sharp in front of goal and in addition to Blackwood’s treble, Emma Thomas notched a brace. Meanwhile Beeston are still looking for their first win of the season.

There was a top of the table clash as Canterbury hosted Surbiton and it was the visitors who claimed the points with victory by the single goal.

With six minutes of the second half gone, Natalie Maclean latched onto a penalty corner and rattled the ball home to score the only goal of the game. The result sees Surbiton go three points clear at the top of the table.

Buckingham eased their relegation worries with a 4-1 victory on the road at Holcombe. Alex Naughalty opened the scoring for Buckingham in the first minute and added a second early in the second half before Chloe Hobson and Jess Bloom made it 4-0. Nic White grabbed a consolation for Holcombe in the dying seconds.

Leicester recorded their fourth win of the season with a 3-0 win over the University of Birmingham. Katie Long, Holly Payne and Liz George all hit the net with Payne’s goal being one of exceptional quality.

Clifton took a narrow 1-0 win over Bowdon Hightown with Emily Kirkham hitting the winner from a penalty corner in the 31st minute.

Investec Conference West

Slough dropped points for the second week running in the Investec Women’s Conference West, drawing 2-2 away to Oxford Hawks. All four goals were scored in the first half with neither team able to find a winner.

Slough still lead the division and are six points clear of Swansea City who closed the gap thanks to a 3-2 defeat of Stourport. Jo Westwood led the scoring for Swansea with a brace.

Trojans beat Cheltenham 2-0 whilst Isca scored their fourth win of the season with a 3-1 defeat of Bristol Firebrands. Olton and West Warwickshire drew 3-3 with Gloucester City.

Investec Conference North

Brooklands Poynton are still holding on to top spot in the Investec Conference North after a 1-0 win over Whitley Bay and Tynemouth with Helen Turner scoring the only goal.

Wakefield are level on points after a 4-2 defeat of University of Durham. Sally Walton led their scoring with a brace.

Loughborough Students and Sutton Coldfield played out an exciting 3-3 draw in a game full of incident. Ellie Tait scored a hat-trick for Loughborough and Sutton Coldfield missed out on three points after Sarah Robinson-Mills missed a penalty stroke.

Michelle Morris was on target twice as Ben Rhydding beat Liverpool Sefton 4-0 and Cannock drew 1-1 with Kendal.

Investec Conference East

East Grinstead now have a six point lead over St Albans after beating third-placed Sevenoaks in a tight encounter. Bara Kavanova’s goal in the seventh minute was enough to give them a 1-0 win.

A Jessica Bryan goal condemned St Albans to a 1-0 defeat against Chelmsford, only their second loss of the campaign.

A Sam Wessels double helped Harleston Magpies beat Maidenhead 3-1 and in the bottom half of the table, Ipswich played out a 1-1 draw with Wimbledon.

Two goals from Susie Clapp provided Horsham with the firepower they needed to overcome Bedford 3-0.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, November 22 2014):

Investec Premier Division: Beeston 0, Reading 5; Clifton 1, Bowdon Hightown 0; Holcombe 1, Buckingham 4; Leicester 3, University of Birmingham 0; Canterbury 0, Surbiton 1.

Investec Conference West: Isca 3, Bristol Firebrands 1; Olton and West Warwicks 3, Gloucester City 3; Oxford Hawks 2, Slough 2; Swansea City 3, Stourport 2; Trojans 2, Cheltenham 0.

Investec Conference North: Brooklands Poynton 1, Whitley Bay and Tynemouth 0; Loughborough Students 3, Sutton Coldfield 3; Wakefield 4, University of Durham 2; Ben Rhydding 4, Liverpool Sefton 0; Cannock 1, Kendal 1.

Investec Conference East: East Grinstead 1, Sevenoaks 0; St Albans 0, Chelmsford 1; Harleston Magpies 3, Maidenhead 1; Ipswich 1, Wimbledon 1; Horsham 3, Bedford 0.

England Hockey Board Media release

Nov 28 is Malaysia Hockey League title showdown day

By S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: Nov 28 is all that matters to Premier League title contenders Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and Terengganu Hockey Team.

That is the day they will cross swords in what is likely to be the title-decider in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

But, before that, they each have one more hurdle to overcome on Sunday – KLHC are up against Sapura while Terengganu entertain Maybank at their home ground in Kuala Terengganu.

And both teams are well aware of the pitfalls awaiting them should they be over-confident or complacent.

With three games remaining, KLHC are leading the standings with the maximum 21 points – three ahead of Terengganu.

KLHC have won the league title eight years running while Terengganu are looking for their first since making their MHL debut last year.

Both teams are not expected to drop points today, but KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj is preaching caution and has asked his players to just go for a win rather than the goals.

“It’s not necessary to put pressure on ourselves by trying to score a lot of goals. The points will do. We are aware that goal difference at this stage could be crucial. But we have the advantage of having a three-goal difference. All we need is to win our matches to take the title,” he said.

Terengganu still have a lot to do.

They need to win all their three remaining matches – including beating KLHC – if they are to lift the title.

Team manager Mohamed Sabri Salleh has warned his players not to waste their chances, especially the penalty corners.

Terengganu boast two of the most potent penalty corner takers in Faizal Saari and Jang Jong-hyun of South Korea.

Faizal has scored seven goals and Jong-hyun five.

“We are happy with our players’ overall showing ... there have been improvements in certain aspects. But I want more goals,” said Sabri.

Terengganu will welcome Faizal back to the team after a two-match suspension for a red card offence.

Terengganu were without Faizal when they lost 3-1 to KLHC in the first round. But now that he’s back, things could be different indeed.

The Star of Malaysia

NCAA Final Four Semi Finals are matches of inches and seconds

This weekend is hockey in its purest form. After exhausting every ounce of energy in regulation time sometimes we’re called upon to find a new layer of strength we didn’t know we possessed. This was the case for the first match of the NCAA DI Semi-Final against No. 4 Syracuse and No. 1 North Carolina in College Park, Md. on Friday.  Not giving an inch in regulation time, the game went into overtime knotted with a 2-2 score. The game moved from a grueling back and forth double overtime until sudden death shootouts where Syracuse edged out UNC, earning their ticket to the big dance. 

The second match of semi-finals didn’t dip in excitement. The defending 2013 National Champions, the UConn Huskies took the field against the University of Albany in College Park as well. Although the Albany Great Danes made history by making first-ever appearance in the NCAA Final Four, UConn was able to strike early and fast with the lone goal of the entire match giving the Huskies a berth into the NCAA finals.

The DI NCAA National Championship against UConn and Syracuse will take place at 1 p.m. on Nov. 23 in College Park, Md. Visit our DI College Headquarters page for more updates and information.

USFHA media release

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