All the news for Sunday 4 January 2015
SA hockey men face tough Durban Test series this week
Recently graduated University of KZN centre back Jethro Eustice (50 Tests) is the second-most experienced player in the SA team to face Austria at Queensmead in Durban this week. Photo: RODRIGO JARAMILLO
An experimental side that includes 16 uncapped players packed with young Durban talent will represent the South Africa men’s hockey team in a four-Test series against a settled, Austria line-up at Queensmead in Durban from January 5 to 9 - and it has the making of a very close affair.
In the world rankings SA lie 12th and while Austria are ranked 23rd, this counts for absolutely nothing, given the nature of the event.
That should not detract from the fascination this tournament holds, as the head of the SA selection panel , Allistar Fredericks and his colleagues have consciously opted for a group of largely untried players at senior international level to meet the experienced Austrians in a far-sighted move to gauge what the future of the national team should hold. Some of the capped players, too, have less than 10 Test matches under their belt, making this line-up one of the most inexperienced ever to wear the country’s national colours at senior level.
The 13 of 24 players from Durban and Pietermaritzburg schools or varsities will provide further spice for local fans.
SA head coach Fabian Gregory, whose day job is director of hockey at Glenwood High School, told the Sunday Tribune during a short break from training at Queensmead Saturday afternoon that the players selected had all enjoyed a very good national interprovincial tournament (IPT) in Durban just over three months ago.
“Now, the step up to the world-level stage should give an indication whether they currently have the technical skills, tactical nous and temperament under serious pressure to withstand those challenges and indeed blossom in a new, elite hockey environment.”
The country’s flagship team face massive year. The World League Round 2 (WLR2) competition is in Cape Town from March 7 to 15 and with it goes vital world ranking points plus the goal to qualify for the World League semi-finals in June/July.
And an even greater task down the line is the 10th Africa Cup of Nations event in Ismailia, Egypt from October 17 to 25, where the skilful, mercurial Egyptians – fiercely proud -will certainly throw their nemesis the mother of all challenges for a berth in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Many of the established, experienced SA players such as national captain Austin Smith and Durban midfield maestro Tim Drummond, as well as Durban’s supremely competitive Paton bothers, Wade and Taine, have various pressing engagements both on and off the international hockey fields, notably the lucrative Hockey India League (HIL).
From January 19 to 28 in Cape Town, a newly selected SA men’s squad will tackle world number two Holland in a one-off Test match before meeting world number 15 Ireland and their canny coach Craig Fulton, the former SA Olympian, in two Tests in the Mother City.
For the untried, eager young South Africans, the Austrians – streetwise and battle-hardened from the rigours of the toughest continent in the world as far as world-class opposition is concerned, will offer a fantastic challenge.
“Aside from the bigger picture, we are proud South Africans, we are going all-out to win this series, make no mistake,” Gregory added. “We aim to offer much entertainment for KZN fans.”
Given all the permutations, this series promised to be unique in a number of ways – and the plethora of Durban lads donning the green and gold for the first time and crossing swords with quality opposition that has ambitious plans will be a tonic of local fans who have been starved of international hockey in comparison to the other two SA hockey powerhouses, Cape Town and Johannesburg.
SA TEAM vs AUSTRIA
Goalkeepers: Richard Curtis, Gowan Jones (both KZN Coastal Raiders), Chad Durrheim (Eastern Province), Jason Briggs (Southern Gauteng).
Defenders: Mohammed Mea (KZN Coastal Raiders), Daniel Bell (Western Province), Leneal Jackson, Robin Jones (both KZN Inland), Matt Guise-Brown (Northern Blues), Gareth Heyns, Jethro Eustice (both Southern Gauteng).
Midfielders: Ross Hetem, Dan Sibbald (both KZN Coastal Raiders), Marc Fourie (WP), Taylor Dart (Southern Gauteng), Chad Cairncross (EP), Jonty Robinson (Northern Blues).
Strikers: Andrew Manson, Mondli Dlamini (both KZN Coastal Raiders), Richard Pautz (Northern Blues), Keenan Horne, Shannon Boucher (both WP), Brandon Panther (Southern Gauteng), Dalan Phillips EP).
(At Queensmead): Mon, 5 Jan (6pm); Tues, 6 Jan (6pm); Thurs, 8 Jan (6pm); Fri, 9 Jan (2pm).
SA Hockey Association media release
Grunwald and Pomorzanin players fill Polish WL2 panel
Poland built up to their two-game series with Malaysia with a 2-0 win over University of Kuala Lumpur on January 2 with Pomorzanin Torun’s Krystian Makowski and AZS AWF Poznan’s Mateusz Hubloj on the mark.
It follows a 5-3 loss to the same opposition – Pawel Bratkiowski netting twice – on New Year’s Eve on the opening day of their tour as they continue their preparations for the World League Round Two in Singapore.
They will next go on to face two games against Malaysia before concluding this phase with a tie against the Malaysian Under-21s on January 10.
Poland start their WL2 campaign on January17, seeking to win one of three places to round three from the eight team event. Their current panel of 20 players features seven players from WKS Grunwald Poznan’s EHL panel along with three from KO16 side Pomorzanin Torun.
They are among a series of national teams currently on tour with Austria touching down in South Africa yesterday while Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands follow the same route in the coming weeks.
Euro Hockey League media release
Last chance for hockey boys to impress before Olympic qualifiers
By S. Ramaguru
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian hockey team will get off to some serious business in the first of their two friendlies against Poland.
The matches on Sunday and Tuesday are part of the final selection for the 24-man training squad to the World Hockey League Round two in Singapore from Jan 17-25.
Poland, who are also heading to the Lion City, have been training in Kuala Lumpur since Dec 29.
A third match against Bangladesh is on the cards for Jan 10 but is yet to be confirmed.
National coach Tai Beng Hai said the matches against the Poles will decide the players’ fate apart from his evaluation during their training sessions.
“Every player will be given a chance to stake their claim in these matches. So their form in the matches and during training count,” said Beng Hai.
The World Hockey League is a qualifier for the 2016 Rio Olympics and Malaysia need to finish in the top three to qualify for Round Three.
Malaysia are the top seed in Group A with Oman, Fiji and Ukraine. The teams in Group B are Poland, Japan, Bangladesh and Singapore.
“At this stage all the players have a chance at making the final 18. The team spirit have been good during training,” he added.
Beng Hai is also relieved that Mohamed Shahrun Nabil and Meor Mohamed Azuan have fully recovered from their injuries.
“Shahrun and Meor are back to full training and there are no other injuries among the players. The team will leave for Singapore on Jan 12.”
The Star of Malaysia
Record number of teams to play in junior hockey league
By S. Ramaguru
KUALA LUMPUR: A record 31 teams have confirmed their participation in the MHC-MILO-NSC Junior Hockey League (MJHL).
The league however will be delayed by eight days due to the floods.
The decision to start the league on Jan 23 was taken by the MHC (Malaysian Hockey Confederation) competitions committee at their meeting on Saturday.
The Division One will have nine teams with the rest placed in three pools in Division Two.
The teams in the top tier are double champions SSTMI-Thunderbolt, UniKL, MBPJ, KLSS-KLHC, Olak-PKT Tigers, Bukit Jalil Sports School, Politeknik Malaysia, MSS Pahang-Thunderbolt and SSTMI Juniors.
Two teams who played in the Division One last year have been downgraded to the lower division due to a name change and are considered as a new team.
Anderson-DBI are now known as PHA 2018 while Malacca High School will now be playing under the iMAS Malacca banner.
In Division Two there will be seven teams in Group A and C while eight teams will do battle in Group B.
The MHC competitions committee chairman M. Gobinathan said that the format will be a one-round league in the preliminary round.
“The top four teams from Division One will qualify for the knockout stage along with four teams from Division Two, The knockout stage will be played in Kuala Lumpur over two legs.”
The committee have for the first time appointed a tournament director to oversee the running of the MJHL.
Negri Sembilan’s Jusvir Singh will be assisted by S. Satish Kumar (northern region), V. Rajamanickam (central), Murugan Nair (south) and M. Davendran (east coast).
The final has been slated for March 15.
SSTMI-Thunderbolts, UniKL, MBPJ, Olak-PKT Tigers, BJSS, KLSS-KLHC, MSP-Thunderbolt, Politeknik Malaysia, SSTMI Jniors.
Group A: 1Mas Perak, Sekolah Tunku Abdul Rahman (Star), SMK Padang Midin, 1Mas Pahang, Kuala Lumpur Sport School, Bukit Jalil Sport School Juniors (BJSS Jrs), Terengganu Juniors.
Group B: ISMO-PHA, Nur Insafi-Penang Hockey, MSS Kedah, 1Mas Penang, SM Agama Matri (Perlis), SM Sains Raja Tun Azlan Shah (Seratas), MSSD Larut Matang-Selama, 1MAS Perlis.
Group C: 1MAS Hoki Batu Pahat-MSNJ, SMK Tunku Besar Tampin, SMK Datuk Mohd Taha, 1Mas Malacca, SMK Tun Hussein Onn, SMKDBL-PHJ, SMSSJ Knight.
The Star of Malaysia
Holcombe stun leaders East Grinstead
Holcombe’s Dan Coultas in by Josh Dixon
Bottom of the table and staring at relegation after the first weekend of matches, Holcombe boosted their Hockey 5s Championship campaign with two emphatic victories on day three of the Men’s Premier Division.
The Kent side battled past Beeston 3-2 in their early clash at St George’s Park in Burton on Trent, but then they stunned leaders East Grinstead by beating them 12-3 later in the day.
Nick Catlin scored five and Barry Middleton added four as they inflicted East Grinstead’s first defeat of the indoor season.
That means Holcombe have climbed from bottom of the table to fifth, and still have an outside chance of clinching the title depending on other results.
East Grinstead still lead by three points having won 7-1 over Surbiton in the day’s opening match. Niall Stott scored a hat-trick, while Simon Faulkner bagged two in that win.
Canterbury are second after beating Beeston 11-6, but they lost out 5-6 to Team Bath Buccaneers earlier in the day. Ben Allberry and Liam Foster both scored four goals on Saturday, with Wei Adams adding three.
Third-placed Sevenoaks beat Surbiton 6-4 in their first match of the day, but lost out 11-4 to Bowdon. Dominic Bowden scored two goals in each of those games for Sevenoaks.
Reading are another team who have climbed away from relegation danger with two wins.They beat Bowdon 8-4 in their first match, and then batted Bath Buccaneers 9-3 in the penultimate match of the day to climb to fourth.
Tom Carson chipped in with five goals on Saturday for Reading, while John Jackson added four and Andy Watts scored three.
* For goalscorers and full competition details, including live updates click here - http://englandhockey.altiusrt.com/competitions/2
England Hockey Board Media release
Bowdon beaten, but still lead
Canterbury v Bowdon Hightown clash is by Ravi Ghowry.
BOWDON Hightown are still top of the table after day three of the Hockey 5s Championship Women’s Premier Division at Bromsgrove School, despite suffering their first defeat.
Canterbury won 5-4 against the table-topping Cheshire side following a nail-biting clash. With just two teams winning both their Saturday matches it means Sunday’s final games will be crucial as six teams are still in with a shout of winning the title.
East Grinstead and Canterbury were the big winners on Saturday.
East Grinstead beat the University of Birmingham 4-2 and Clifton 6-2, with Lis Caillard, Kara Haines and Pip Rabey both scoring twice.
And also scoring two goals on Saturday were Eliza Brett, Susie Rowe and Sarah Kerly, which helped Canterbury beat Bowdon 5-4 rounding off the day with a 4-2 win over University of Birmingham.
Those results mean that Bowdon’s lead at the top of the table is cut to just three points, with both East Grinstead and Canterbury breathing down their necks in second and third respectively.
But Slough, Sutton Coldfield and Reading are still in with a chance of pinching the title on Sunday.
Slough’s Alex Scott bagged another four goals to leave her top of the goal scoring table, level on 15 with Bowdon’s Sally Walton. Slough beat Sutton Coldfield 4-0, but lost to Reading 4-3.
Two goals from Susie Gilbert wasn’t enough for Reading to beat Bowdon, but they bounced back with that 4-3 win over Slough.
Meanwhile, Sutton Coldfield won 5-2 over Harleston Magpies, with Sarah Parkinson-Mills bagging a brace.
But Harleston boosted their chances of avoiding the drop when they beat Clifton 5-3, captain Emma Lee-Smith leading the way with a hat-trick.
* For goalscorers and full competition details, including live updates click here - http://englandhockey.altiusrt.com/competitions/1
England Hockey Board Media release
EME, Punjab Police in Liberals final
Players in action during a match of the 39th GS Bains Liberals All India Hockey Tournament at Nabha on Saturday. Tribune photo
Patiala - Two Jalandhar teams, EME and Punjab Police, will lock horns in the final of the 39th GS Bains Liberals All India Hockey Tournament being played at the PPS grounds at Nabha. EME trounced Artillery Centre, Nasik, 5-1 while Punjab Police trounced Air Force, New Delhi, 3-1.
Hockey was at its best when EME faced Artillery Centre in the first semifinal. EME was more aggressive with their left wing working with precision. Left-half Gurjinder Singh combined with captain Mandeep Singh to feed outside-left Biju Singh with crisp passes who entered the circle time and again to threaten the Artillery bastion.
Biju struck in the 12th minute with a well-directed hit from the middle of the circle to put EME 1-0 ahead. The armymen missed a couple of chances at the start of second half before inside-left Bisht equalised in the 40th minute. He converted a penalty corner with a low drive into the left corner.
EME counter-attacked and once again forged ahead when J Horo sprinted from the centre line to score in a solo effort. Horo again surprised the Nasik defence in the 49th minute when he unleashed a powerful hit from the top of the striking circle after receiving a centre from right winger S Munda to make it 3-1. Biju was again on target in the 51st and 54th minutes to give EME a resounding 5-1 win.
Punjab Police went into the offensive against gritty Air Force and missed a couple of chances before centre-forward Sarvjeet Singh pumped in the first goal from close range after getting past a bunch of defenders. Air Force tried hard to get the equaliser but the Punjab cops scored again in the 23rd minute when Ajay Kumar utilised a centre from rightwinger Jaswinder Singh to slot the ball home.
Air Force reduced the lead with a beautiful goal from Alam who dribbled past a couple of defenders and scored with a reverse hit. Punjab Police completed the rout with a goal from Jaskaran in the 47th minute.
Hard-fought wins for Wapda, HEC
LAHORE: Group ‘B’ leaders Wapda and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) carved out hard-fought wins with identical margin (1-0) as four matches were decided in the National Hockey Championships in Sialkot on Saturday.
Wapda overcame spirited rivals PTV to earn third consecutive victory to lead the group with the solitary goal coming through Aleem Bilal in the 27th minute when he capitalised on a short-corner.
On the other hand, HEC increased their chances of making it to the quarter-final when they toppled Customs 1-0 with Zeeshan Akram hitting the board in the 29th minute through a field attempt.
Group ‘D’ leaders Army overwhelmed Pakistan Steel Mills 7-2 as Shahid Ali Khan (34th, 43rd minutes) and Habib-ur-Rehman (58th, 59th minutes) struck two goals each.
Other scorers were captain Mohammad Imran (3rd), Mohammad Saleem (11th) and Mohammad Zeeshan (60th). Irfan (50th) and Zubair (54th) shared the scoring honour for the losing side.
In another high-scoring match, Pakistan Air Force defeated Railways 5-3 thanks to two goals by Mushtaq in the 28th and 54th through short-corner conversion. Sami (39th), Saeed Shah (43rd), Adnan (49th) also contributed goals for the winning side. For Railways, Waseem Akram (34th), Shahnawaz (50th) and Adeel Latif (56th) reduced the margin of defeat.
Police vs Navy, SSGC vs Steel Mills, NBP vs HEC.
Ventures hockey tourney flicks off
The Under-21 Division will take centre stage for a second year running when the 12th annual Ventures Hockey Invitational Hockey Tournament in T&T hosted by Ventures Hockey Club flicks off at the Woodbrook Youth Facility, Hamilton—Holder Street, Woodbrook, today from 9 am.
The Under-21 competition featuring seven men’s clubs in Carib, Paragon, Courts Malvern, Shape, Fatima, Queen’s Park and Notre Dame as well as four women’s team in Ventures, Shandy Carib Magnolias, Paragon and Notre Dame will be contested over two days, concluding tomorrow.
Both Under-21 men and women will compete on a round-robin basis at the end of which the top team will meet the fourth placed team in one semifinal, and second meets third in the other tomorrow ahead of the third placed playoffs and finals.
The second part of the tournament, the Open Men, Open Women and Veterans Over-40 Divisions will be held next weekend at the same venue with Petrotrin (men) and Paragon (women) putting their titles on the line.
Today’s Under-21 :
Carib vs Paragon, 9 am
Courts Malvern vs Shape, 9.30 am
Fatima vs Queen’s Park CC, 10 am
Notre Dame vs Carib, 11 am
Paragon vs Courts Malvern, 11.30 am
Shape vs Fatima, noon
Queen’s Park CC vs Notre Dame, 1 pm
Shape vs Paragon, 1.30 pm
Carib vs Courts Malvern, 2 pm
Fatima vs Paragon, 2.30 pm
Courts Malvern vs Notre Dame, 3.30 pm
Paragon vs Queen’s Park CC, 4 pm
Fatima vs Carib, 4.30 pm
Shape vs Queen’s Park, 5 pm
Courts Malvern vs Fatima, 6 pm
Notre Dame vs Shape, 6.30 pm
Carib vs Queen’s Park CC, 7.30 pm
Notre Dame vs Fatima, 8.30 pm
Ventures vs Paragon, 10.30 am
Paragon vs Notre Dame, 12.30 pm
Paragon vs SC Magnolias, 3 pm
SC Magnolias vs Notre Dame, 5.30 pm
Ventures vs Notre Dame, 7 pm
Ventures vs SC Magnolias, 8.30 pm
Queen’s Park vs Courts Malvern, 9 am
Shape vs Carib, 9.30 am
Paragon vs Notre Dame, 10 am
First vs Fourth, 10.45 am
Second vs Third, 12.15 pm
Third placed: 1.30 pm
Final: 3 pm
First vs Fourth, 11.30 am
Second vs Third, 1 pm
Third place: 2.15 pm
The Trinidad Guardian
Ugly clash over hockey turf
Tension on rise: Police try to mediate between KSHA Secretary K Krishnamurthy (third from right) and Hockey Karnataka Secretary AB Subbaiah (right) in Bengaluru on Saturday. DH PHOTO
Bengaluru: The simmering tensions between the Karnataka State Hockey Association and Hockey Karnataka reached a flashpoint on Saturday with the two bodies clashing over the right to use the aritifical turf at the hockey stadium in Akkithimmanahalli.
The problem arose when the Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports gave permission to HK to conduct their second Bangalore League Championship after having allotted the window to KSHA for their ‘A’ Division League a month earlier.
While the opening two matches of the Bangalore League went off smoothly, things came to boiling point at 4.00 pm when the KSHA ‘A’ Division League tie was scheduled. KSHA officials came onto the pitch after HK told them they can’t conduct their league match as they didn’t have the right to use the pitch.
Flashing a letter, HK officials said they had obtained the permission from DYES to conduct their league match while the irked KSHA members, crying foul play, demanded an explanation on how the authorities could grant permission to two bodies to conduct their leagues at the same time on the same pitch.
Sensing trouble, both bodies had approached the Police, who, after failing to strike a compromise between the groups, decided no match should take place until the issue is sorted out amicably.
“This is another sabotage attempt,” thundered KSHA secretary K Krishnamurthy. “We sent a letter to DYES on December 5 saying we need the pitch until February 15 to complete our leagues. We got a letter from them approving the same. Yesterday, we came to know that HK will be conducting their league. We have no problem with that but we were shocked to know that they had scheduled a match at 4 pm, the same time as ours. This is completely ridiculous.”
DYES Director HS Venkatesh, told Deccan Herald KSHA has no locus standi and the right to use the pitch belongs to HK. “It does not matter who obtains the permission first. KSHA has absolutely no locus standi on this issue. HK is the body recognised by Hockey India to run the affairs of the sport in the State. They also have the backing of the Karnataka Olympic Association.
“KSHA is an illegal body. Their rights on the clubhouse there is in the court while the playing area solely belongs to HK. So, the priority to use the pitch lies with HK and KSHA needs to compromise. KSHA can conduct their tournaments provided nothing clashes with HK.”
The stadium was constructed and the artificial turf laid by the State Government for the 1997 National Games.
Krishnamurthy, however, begged to differ. “The property belongs to KSHA and we have a 99-year lease document with the BBMP to prove that. He has been fed with absolutely wrong information and he is making comments even without verifying the facts.
“Also how can he call us illegal. We have so many bodies that are affiliated to us. Can HK match our numbers. The issue of whether we are a legal body, the club house, the stadium etc are different issues. I would request the director not to mix things up. Despite owning the property, paying its taxes and taking care of it, we are driven to such a perilous situation.”
HK secretary AB Subbaiah, who held onfield discussions in the presence of cops with Krishnamurthy, said they had to conduct the tournament at a short notice because they had to pick the State team for the upcoming National Games. “The KSHA uses the pitch for almost 250 days. We use it only for 100 days. We have to pick the team for the National Games which is starting on January 31. I know KSHA and HK cannot arrive at a compromise due to ego issues. It’s better someone from the government takes a call on this.”