Friday, December 28, 2007

News in Brief

* Ireland enjoyed a relatively successful trip to Chile last week, beating the hosts 6-0, drawing with South Africa (1-1) and Argentina (1-1) before losing out 2-1 to the Argentines in the final. The side looked accomplished against the World number 7s, who they will also meet in the final group match of the Olympic qualifiers in February.

After a short break for Christmas and New Year, the squad will resume training in January, with established players like Stephen Butler and Graham Shaw rejoining the team.

* Slightly old news, but Dutch player Fatima Moreira de Melo was recently voted the Netherland's sexiest woman ahead of the country's soap stars and reality TV fools. To see a picture of her with a snake, click here

*The Leinster indoor league draw has been released and are available on the Leinster hockey website. To view it, click here and click on the indoor option

*Finally, two Dutch sides are hoping to visit Dublin in the New Year. The first is former Trinity and Genesis coach Gilles van Hesteren's Amsterdam U18 girls team. They are currently the best team in their age category and are looking for high quality opposition from Thursday 14 Feb till Sunday 17 Feb.

The second is FIT Women 1sts. They are currently in the promotion positions in the Dutch division 3, so any good 2nds team or 1st team in division 2 or 3 would be a good match.

If you can provide opposition, email me at

Neville Cup Final: Pembroke 1 TRR 6

Three Rock won the Neville Cup for the first time since 2002, beating an almost unrecognisable Pembroke side comprehensively.

The tie was effectively sealed by half-time as Rovers converted three of their four penalty corners last Sunday against a team that retained only Patrick Good, Gordon Elliott and Alan Sothern from their semi-final side that overcame Glenanne.

Three Rock, for their part, were bolstered prior to tip-off by the clearance of both Mitch Darling and Andy McConnell to play, despite arriving back from international duty just two days previously.

In a fairly lifeless opening, Pembroke had a couple of half chances, Dougie Good first unlucky not to get a corner after Gordy Elliott’s run and then missing a sharp chance after Morris Elliott crossed.

And so it was that Rovers scored from their first shot. It came from a Peter McConnell penalty corner, awarded for Pembroke failing to retreat five yards at a long corner.

McConnell doubled the advantage from his side’s second corner, pushing low into the right hand corner.

And the first half scoring was complete from Rovers’ fourth corner, Kyle Good improvising well from a bad push-out to fire to the back post to the waiting Michael Maguire tapped home.

After a first half of few chances, the second opened up a lot more, with Rovers creating a host of chances. Tim Hill and Kyle Good both missed chances close in, before the Good – recently called into the Irish under 18 squad – got a deserved fourth.

Andy McConnell latched onto the ball at the top of the D to feed Tim Hill on the left. He dinked the ball over the onrushing Ken Mulcare and Good made no mistake from, slamming home from three yards.

Rovers had, at this point, managed to rotate the bench to give another Irish under 18 player, Stephen West his first team debut in goal.

Good set up Andy McConnell for the fifth moments later before Pembroke rallied with a scrambled effort to bring the score back to 5-1 with ten minutes remaining.

Gary Ringwood, though, rounded up the scoring with a delicate one-handed effort in the closing moments.

Afterwards, on receiving the gigantic Neville Cup, Rovers skipper Peter McConnell said “It’s always nice to win against Pembroke especially up here [in their ground].”

It will be argued, though, that the nature of the Pembroke opposition may dull the victory somewhat especially with a number of senior players not playing despite being in the country and fit to play.

As it was, with five players making their Pembroke firsts competitive debuts, Rovers found it a lot easier to inflict the Ballsbridge side’s first defeat since January.

Pembroke: Ken Mulcaire, Alan Sothern, Douglas Good, Rowan Pearson, Paudie Carley, Patrick Good, Duncan McKeen, Scott Lowry, Stuart Loughrey, Morris Elliott, Gordon Elliott
Subs: Michael Tijs, Simon Walsh, Stuart Garrett, Conor McDermott

TRR: Charlie Henderson, Michael Maguire, Gavin Bourke, Neil Lyons, Alan Bothwell, Mitch Darling, Colin Huet, Tim Hill, Gary Ringwood, Pierre Quesnel, Peter McConnell
Subs: Ross Varian, Stephen Macken, Kyle Good, Stephen West, Andy McConnell

Monday, December 24, 2007

Irish U18 squad announced

Ten Leinster players have made it into Arul Anthoni’s Irish under 18 squad for the England Series from 13th - 15th February in UCD, Dublin. Ireland will play England in three consecutive matches.

Both Stuart Loughrey and Andrew Ward were recently named in the Leinster U-21 squad.

Squad: David Carson (Corinthian), Stephen Cole (Monkstown), Brian Doherty (Corinthian), Kyle Good (TRR), Stuart Loughrey (Pembroke), Eoin MacArthur (Railway Union), Josh Purcell (YMCA), Cian Speers (Monkstown), Andrew Ward (Monkstown), Stephen West (TRR), Harry Fleming (Bandon GS), Dan Hobbs (Ashton School), Patrick Shanahan (Bandon GS), Clinton Sweetman (Bandon GS), Phillip Brown (Banbridge), James Corry (Raphoe), Scott Forbes (Banbridge), Stephen Hunter (Lisnagarvey), Peter MacDonnell (Lisnagravey), Richard Magowan (Banbridge), Ryan McCrea (Mossley), Peter Purcell (Annadale), William Robinson (Instonians), Stephen Sloan (Cookstown), Stuart Smyth (Cookstown), Alastair Thom (Cookstown)

Neville Cup Final preview - TRR vs Pembroke

The cosmopolitan nature of the two sides has mean that an intriguing encounter of how the two forms sides in Leinster is somewhat diminished. After two highly competitive semi-finals, the make-up of both Rovers and Pembroke’s line-ups will be very different.

While the teams knew they would be without their Irish international contingent (McConnell, Maguire, Lewis, David Harte and Gormley), a number of others will also be missing on St Stephen’s day. Ian Symons is away for the rest of the season at the very least while both other South African’s, McInroy and Fulton are back in their homeland.

As is Three Rock’s goal machine Maarten Sier who has taken up Peter Blakeney’s mantle from the penalty corner. Beyond that, Rovers also have to make do without Ezra Handelman and Ali Haughton.

Pembroke also have high-profile players missing. Conor Harte will be in Cork; Justin Sheriff is away snow-boarding

For coach Turloch O’Siochain, he has been using the cup in a development manner, a la Arsenal in the Carling Cup, all season but is under no illusions, though as to his player’s motivations. “You get to finals to win them, no matter who you are playing. Its silverware and you want to claim it, no matter what the competition or the opposition.”

The lack of such high profile players, though, is disappointing for the competition which is free to attend and run to raise money for charity. Pembroke and Rovers have been the form sides in the first half of the season and their encounter in late October was probably the highest quality game thus far in the league, Pembroke winning 4-1.

Tip off: 3pm Serpentine Avenue

Who do you think will win? Have your say...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Muller announces squad for South Africa tour

On Tuesday, Gene Muller announced his twenty two for the tour to South Africa in January.

Muller’s squad includes three uncapped players, Loreto’s Niamh Small, Hermes’ Keeper Emma Gray and Louisa Moore who has been training with Pembroke in the last weeks. Commenting after his selection and impending tour “This tour has both a training and competition focus.

“It is a very demanding schedule that will test the players physically. We are taking 22 players on the tour so it does give us a chance to rotate and compare players.”

Muller finalised his selection after a two day training camp last weekend in Dublin . The squad will spend ten days in South Africa from the 10th – 20th January and will play six matches during the tour as they continue preparations for their Olympic Qualifying Tournament next April.

Squad (club/caps): Emma Clarke (Randalstown, 33), Aine Connery (UCC, 12), Eimear Cregan (Cork Harlequins, 118), Roisin Flinn (UCD, 27), Emer Harte (Pembroke Wanderers, 29), Louisa Healy (GK) (Loreto, 23), Mary Goode(GK) (Pembroke Wanderers, 29), Emma Gray(GK) (Hermes, 0), Lisa Jacob (UCD, 12), Shirley McCay (Randalstown, 27), Jenny McDonough (Belfast Harlequins, 90), Cathy McKean (Loreto, 83), Bridget McKeever (Ballymoney, 95), Louisa Moore (unattached, 0), Ciara O’Brien (Chelmsford, 131), Julia O’Halloran (UCC, 19), Clare Parkhill (Randalstown, 49), Stephanie Quinn (Armagh, 2), Cliodhna Sargent (Cork Harlequins, 16), Niamh Small (Loreto, 0), Emma Stewart (Armagh,36), Nikki Symmons (Loreto, 81)

Schedule: Jan 12 v South Africa, 3pm Stellenbosch; Jan 13 v Holland U21, 3pm Stellenbosch; Jan 15 v South Africa, 7pm, Capetown; Jan 16 v Holland U21, 7pm Stellenbosch; Jan 18 v South Africa, 7pm Stellenbosch; Jan 19 v South Africa, 3pm Capetown

FIH names Team of the year

The FIH announced the 2007 Men’s WorldHockey All Star Team. This team is composed of 18 players and two coaches. Captain of the team is 2007 WorldHockey Player of the Year Jamie Dwyer from Australia.

In the men’s All Star Team Germany, World Champion and Samsung Champions Trophy Winner in Kuala Lumpur (MAS), is represented by four players: Player of the Year 2007 nominee Matthias Witthaus, Tibor Weissenborn, Young Player of the Year 2007 nominee Moritz Fuerste, and goal keeper Ulrich Bubolz.

Also Australia , second placed at the 2006 BDO World Cup as well as in Kuala Lumpur , is present with four stars: Jamie Dwyer, Brent Livermore, Bevan George and WorldHockey Young Player of the Year 2007 Mark Knowles.

Dutch goalkeeper Guus Vogels, defender Taeke Taekema, Teun de Nooijer and Robert van der Horst represent the 2007 Samsung Champions Trophy Bronze Medalists. Other stars on the list are Sergi Enrique and Eduard Tubau from Spain, India’s Dilip Tirkey, New Zealand’s Ryan Archibald, Jong Ho Seo from Korea and Dilawar Hussain from Pakistan.

Spain’s coach Maurits Hendriks and Dutch Roelant Oltmans are the coaches of this world class formation.

EHL Internet show - Wednesday night

Today, at 6pm CET, EHL brings the first ever interactive, multimedia show in hockey to computer screens around the world.

Combining never-before-seen hockey movie clips with special studio guests, Dutch national team players three times WorldHockey Player of the Year Teun de Nooijer and 2005 WorldHockey Young Player of the Year Robert van der Horst, live participation of representatives of 16 hockey clubs from 9 different nations and viewer interaction through a chat module, Euro Hockey League's Round 2 draw is an exciting event for all and provides a platform where teams, fans, and media come together and actively take part in a unique hockey event.

For fans, the 45 minute KO16 show contains a number of hockey video clips, relaying the best of the action of the first two tournaments, shining a light on umpires and coaches, and taking three of Round 1's influential players to center stage. Viewers can also participate in the show, asking questions to Teun, Robert, or the EHL crew, or giving their comments through a custom-designed chat box on the draw site, with the most interesting questions and comments selected and integrated into the program by the presenter.

The draw itself happens in an innovative format, with the seeded teams shaping their fate by choosing their opponents - even if blindfolded - and all participants' reactions available live and direct. The list of club representatives participating in the draw includes illustrious names, such as players Carlos Nevado for Uhlenhorster HC and Rhys Joyce for Reading HC, coaches Paul van Ass for HGC or David Ralph for Loughborough Students, and former FIH president Juan Angel Calzado for Real Club de Polo de Barcelona. Already, the Euro Hockey League website shows videos of all Round 1 goals in a fantastic highlights round-up and offers the possibility of submitting questions and comments for the draw. Be sure you don't miss this all-new, superb hockey show - we look forward to seeing you join in on Wednesday on!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mills Cup

Three Rock 2 (Good 2) Corinthian 2 (TRR win 4-2 on strokes)
Rovers won out on strokes on Sunday after a nervy encounter. The first half was wide open and saw all the goals with Kyle Good getting both for Rovers. Corinthians, though, weren't for shaking and got back on terms. Charlie Henderson was the key man in the strokes, using all the tricks in the book to psyche out his former team-mates and seal the win. They will now play Weston in the next round - who overcame Bray - in the final eight.

Glenanne 3 (Tucker, Kane, Kehoe) Clontarf 0

Kilkenny 6 YMCA 2

Navan 1 Avoca 4

Weston 3 Bray 2 (aet)

Pembroke vs Trinity - postponed
Fingal vs Monkstown - postponed
UCD vs Naas - postponed

More details when I get them, email me if you know anything more...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

IJC Results - Holders out of women's cup

Holders Old Alex crashed out of the IJC as they were beaten at St Andrews in a 5 goal thriller. There was better news, though, for Leinster sides Hermes, Railway, Our Lady's, Suttonians, Bray, Pembroke, Loreto and Clontarf who have all made it through to the last 16.

In the men's draw, holders Pembroke kicked off their campaign with a 3-1 win over Lisnagarvey.

ESB Irish Junior Cup – Round 2
Waterford 5-0 Yeats County (Newtown School); Hermes 2 1-0 (GG) Lurgan 2 (St. Andrews); Old Alex 2 2-3 Randalstown 2 (St Andrews); Bandon 2 1-2 Belfast Harlequins 2 (Bandon GS); Armagh 2 4-0 Catholic Institute (Ardmore); Railway Union 2 6-0 NUIG (Park Ave); Moyne Thurles 2-5 Our Lady’s Terenure (Ursuline Complex); Suttonians 5-4 (GG) Genesis 2 (Sutton); Pegasus 2 V Portadown 2 (UUJ); Belvedere 2 0-3 Pembroke W 2 (Ballincollig); Bray 6-0 Victorians 2 (Loreto Bray); Loreto 2 2-0 Naas ; Clontarf 2-2 (Clontarf win 4-1 penalties) Cork C of I 2 (Mount Temple); Ashton 2 1-1 (Wexford win 5-1 on penalties) Wexford (Ashton School); Galway V Knock (Walkover to Galway)

Men’s Irish Junior Cup – Round 2
Queen’s University 2 0-6 Galway (Queens); North Down 2 5-3 Kilkeel 2; Bangor 2 0-1 Cork C of I 2 (Bangor); Pembroke W 2 3-1 Lisnagarvey 2 (Serpentine Avenue); Cork Harlequins 2 0-4 Cookstown 2 (Harlequin Park); Three Rock Rovers 2 4-1 Bandon 2 (Grange Road); Parkview 2-5 Instonians 2 (Ballyclare); UCC 4-6 Monkstown 2 (Mardyke Arena); Armagh (Walkover to ARMAGH) Avoca 2 (Ardmore); Banbridge 2 (Walkover to BANBRIDGE) Midleton (Havelock Park); Clontarf 2 4-2 Portadown 2 (Mt Temple); Glenanne 2 9-2 NICS 2 (Glenanne Park); Fingal 2nd 1-6 Annadale 2nd (ALSAA); Mullingar 1-5 Railway Union 2 (Tullamore); Campbellians 3-2 (GG)South Antrim 2 (Campbell College); UCD 2nd 2-4 Belfast Harlequins 2nd (already played due to exams)

Saturday Round-up

Kilkenny 0 YMCA 2 (Fry, Whelan)
YM cut the bottom pair adrift with a goal in each half that sees them up to seven points. Mikey Fry and sixteen year old Rob Whelan got the goals that see the Sandymount side move level with Kilkenny in seventh place. Both sides, though, felt they could have scored more on the day with Graham Woods deputising excellently in the stead of international Ian Walker between the posts while Stephen Walker was outstanding at centre-back.

TRR 5 (Sier 4, P McConnell) Monkstown 2 (Allen, Lee)
Rovers produced a stunning comeback after trailing 2-0 within seven minutes. They still trailed at half-time after a scrappy encounter saw Monkstown thoroughly on top. A more controlled possession game in the second gave Maarten Sier the chance to shine from short corners. H nabbed two drag-flicks and two from play. Peter McConnell was also on target at the set-piece.

Corinthian 1 (Doherty) Glenanne 4 (Gary Shaw 2, Kane, Fitzpatrick pen)
Glenanne shrugged off their recent worries to pick up their first win in four games. They dominated the first half but had only a Gary Shaw goal to show for their efforts. Corinthians came back in the second to level but the Glens produced their best hockey in the final quarter to blow away their challenge. Alan Browne dominated midfield as Graham Shaw was moved into the front line. Stephen Butler, however, was injured just two minutes in and was subsequently unavailable for Sunday's 4-0 cup win over Clontarf.

Pembroke 3 (Sothern 3) Fingal 1 (D Bane)
Fingal took the lead early on through Dave Bane's drag-flick in a competitive battle. Pembroke, though - missing their internationals and with six players doubling up from the 2nds IJC win earlier against Lisnagarvey - finished stronger, with Alan Sothern bagging a hat-trick.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Railway move into second at half-way stage

The ladies division one broke for their Christmas break last night after Railway beat UCD to leapfrog Loreto into second place behind Pembroke. It completes each team's ninth league match.

Two short corner rebounds from Sinead Walsh were enough to seal the win, as they snuck by the students 2-1. UCD pressed hard early on but found Jane Coyne in good form and Railway's fitness soon began to tell as they ended the half the stronger.

Pembroke go into the break on top, having beaten Railway last week, while both Loreto and Hermes are waiting in the wings after unbeaten starts to the season. The league could well be decided on how the various squads deal with their unavailable internationals as players are withdrawn for the Olympic qualifiers.

Loreto, Hermes and Pembroke all have a keeper in Gene Muller's latest squad while Loreto and Pembroke both have outfield players involved. Hermes, however, do not after the retirement of Linda Caulfield. Railway are the least affected by international concerns but will lose the Joyce twins briefly for cricket reasons while Emma Smith and Kate Dillon embark on their travels.

All in all, the tight nature of the league will make for fascinating viewing in the New Year.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Around the grounds...

The big news this weekend is that Corinthian’s will have to prepare for definitely Graham Shaw and possibly Stephen Butler this weekend after they were cleared to play. Both withdrew from the Irish squad due to work reasons but need to stay in match practice with the Olympic qualifiers around the corner.

The decision by the Irish management, though, may rankle some Leinster clubs who do without their stars this weekend. The young Corinthian sides, then, double-up with their Mills Cup match against Rovers on Sunday. Pembroke will look to go into Christmas with a perfect record if they beat Fingal.

Three Rock also have a big weekend as they play the side that ultimately cost them a place in last season’s All-Irelands, Monkstown. Without McConnell and Maguire, this could be a key fixture. The bottom of the table clash between Bray and UCD has been mutually cancelled due to exam pressures.

In division 2, Suttonians have their newly arrived Pakistani players available for the first time against Trinity after arriving last Monday. In Cork, Harlequins take on rivals Cork C of I in the Peard Cup semi final while up north the men’s premier league takes a break until March.

This weekend sees the start of the Podium Anderson cup, with the top eight being divided into two pools. Group A consists of Annadale, Banbridge, Kilkeel and Lisnagarvey. Group B has Bangor, Cookstown, Mossley and Instonians. Annadale play Lisnagarvey in a dress rehearsal for the St. Stephen’s day Kirk Cup Final while Banbridge will have a point to prove against Kilkeel who recently knocked them out of the Irish Senior Cup.

Irish Junior Cup previews...

The Irish Junior Cup reaches round 2 this weekend with 30 matches to be decided. Last year’s ESB IJC winners Old Alex welcome Randalstown to St Andrews as they are still without a ‘home’ ground while Hermes will be on the other pitch there against Lurgan. Runners-up Bray play Victorians. The Wicklow side are currently riding high in division 2 after promotion last season. Railway Union 2 will be hoping to emulate their 1sts performance in the ISC.

In the men’s, the highlight is definitely Pembroke against Lisnagarvey. Pembroke won 4-o en route to the title last year and have won every game they have played since.

ESB Irish Junior Cup – Round 2: Waterford v Yeats County (Newtown School, 1pm); Hermes 2 V Lurgan 2 (St. Andrews, 1pm); Old Alex 2 v Randalstown 2 (St Andrews, 12.30); Bandon 2 v Belfast Harlequins 2 (Bandon GS, 1pm); Armagh 2 V Catholic Institute (Ardmore, 2.30pm); Banbridge v Glenanne (Havelock Pk, 4pm); Railway Union 2 V NUIG (Park Ave, 3pm); Moyne Thurles V Our Lady’s Terenure (Ursuline Complex, 2pm); Suttonians V Genesis 2 (Sutton, 1pm); Pegasus 2 V Portadown 2 (UUJ, 4pm); Belvedere 2 V Pembroke 2 (Ballincollig, 2pm); Bray v Victorians 2 (Loreto Bray, 1pm); Clontarf V Cork C of I 2 (Mount Temple, 1pm); Ashton 2 v Wexford (Ashton School, 1pm); Galway V Knock (Walkover to Galway)

Men’s Irish Junior Cup – Round 2: Queen’s University 2 v Galway (Queens, 2.30pm); Northdown 2 v Kilkeel 2 (2.30pm); Bangor 2 v Cork C of I 2 (Bangor, 1pm); Pembroke W 2 v Lisnagarvey 2 (Serpentine Avenue, 2.30pm); Cork Harlequins 2 v Cookstown 2 (Harlequin Park, 2.30pm); Three Rock Rovers 2 v Bandon 2 (Grange Road, 2.30pm); Parkview v Instonians 2 (Ballyclare, 1pm); UCC v Monkstown 2 (Mardyke Arena, 2.30pm); Armagh V Avoca 2 (Ardmore, 1pm); Banbridge 2 v Midleton (Havelock Park, 2.30pm); Clontarf 2 V Portadown 2 (Mt Temple, 3pm); Glenanne 2 V NICS 2 (Glenanne Park, 3pm); Fingal 2 V Annadale 2 (ALSAA, 1.30pm); Mullingar V Railway Union 2 (Tullamore, 3pm); Campbellians v South Antrim 2 (Campbell College, 1pm); UCD 2 2-4 Belfast Harlequins 2 (already played due to exams)

Four players honoured by IT Tallaght

At a special awards ceremony this week in the Institute of Technology, Tallaght four Leinster hockey players were presented with ITT Dublin Sports, Arts & Culture Scholarships for the academic year 2007/2008. They were Aoife Dalton (TRL), Cathal Donohoe (Glenanne), Clive Kennedy (Glenanne) and Louise O'Dwyer (Railway Union).

The scholarships are designed to support full time students of high sporting, artistic and cultural potential who in the opinion of Student Services have reached or have the potential to reach a high level of performance.

Youtube Blog 2

There’s a ton of ways to kill a day at work: take up smoking, take up working, play Stick Cricket, read the Guardian’s blog (which, let’s face it is directly where I ripped this off from). YouTube trumps them all. So here, to save you searching, are my favourite hockey clips. (To see part one, click here...) Add your own in the comments section, and everyone passes the day happily. And having done no work!

1) Christopher Zeller's season with Bloemendaal in Holland was one of the most spectacular ever seen. It has been reported that they offered him a quarter of a million euro to stay with the club but he chose to join a German second division club along with his brother and the Wess boys. In tribute to his year in Holland, as they say in Big Bro, here are his best bits... and here's a peach from their match against 2nd placed Rotterdam.

2) You all know about the All Blacks’ haka? Well, here’s the Black Sticks version: the hockey haka

3) Want to get an idea of the expertise of Ric Charlesworth ahead of the Hooked conference in January? Here's an interview with him at the 2006 World Cup. And here's the Indian side a year later smashing Korea in the Asia Cup final.

4) Perhaps this ad explains why we don't take America (or their hockey seriously)

5) Check out this old-school Pakistani video, complete with long corners the like of which youngsters would never recognise. The goal from 4.55 in is amazing! And now to a more modern day Pakistani icon...
Seen anything on Youtube you think should be here... Have your say

EHL Last 16 draw to be broadcast live online...

While Irish interest in the EHL has been reduced, next week you can find out the fate of the Irish trios playing at both HGC and Loughborough.

On December 19 at 6pm (CET) the draw for the last 16 and 8, knock-out phase, of Euro Hockey League will take place via a new virtual, interactive format. The EHL website will be the platform for this new format where teams, fans and press will be invited to actively take part.

The draw works as follows; each of the16 teams participating will be represented at the online draw through a webcam connection. The draw itself will be coordinated from a studio in Hilversum, under observation of the president of the European Hockey Federation, Leandro Negre.

The programme will consist of an interactive part and a directed studio part. Viewers watching the draw can choose which webcam they wish to view. For example, if you are a fan of Uhlenhorster HC, you can choose to see the club’s reaction during the draw.

The host in the studio will be asking reactions from all clubs, which can be viewed in the main directed screen. Viewers can ask questions in a special chat-box which has been designed for this purpose. Some questions will then be integrated into the programme by the host asking those questions to clubs behind the webcams.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Early Wess goal enough to claim Champion's Trophy

Germany claimed the 2007 Samsung Champions Trophy, defeating Australia in the final in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. An early goal of captain Timo Wess was enough for the Germans to take the title for the ninth time. Defending champions, the Netherlands, took the bronze medal, while Korea finished fourth.

In the final Germany met Australia, the two teams having locked horns just a day before. Having blocked out Saturday’s humiliating 0-5 defeat, Germany scored in just the 5th minute when Timo Wess leisurely flicked a laid-off penalty corner ball into the top left corner.
Germany went on to dominate the initial phase of the match but could not score again. They had a few more opportunities in the first half, but grew increasingly wary of risking their lead, especially after the break. Australia kept attacking, pressuring for an elusive equalizer and managed to create scores of opportunities, but could not capitalize on them.

The Netherlands took the bronze medal by winning against Korea. The Dutch came out aggressively, opening the scoring in the 15th minute from a penalty corner by the ever reliable Taeke Taekema. It was his seventh of the event, joining Sohail Abbas at the top of the all-time Champions Trophy goalscorer list with 40 goals. Rob Reckers gave the Netherlands a deserved two goal half-time lead.
After the break, a Woon Kon Yeo goal reduced the deficit, evoking memories of the pool match between the teams, where Korea scored five goals in the second half to win 2-6. The Dutch became more cautious and did not give Korea as much space, until Jeroen Hertzberger re-established their two goal lead. Korea got close again with a late Byung Hoon Kim penalty corner, but they ran out of time before they could fashion an equalizer.

By beating Great Britain in the play-off for 5th/6th place, Spain also won the added benefit of an invitation to next year’s edition of the Champions Trophy: they join Germany, Australia, Korea, the Netherlands, and Argentina for the tournament in Rotterdam in June 2008.

Taeke Taekema and Korean Jong Hyun Jang finished the tournament as topscorers, Dutch Guus Vogels as the Best Goalkeeper, Eddie Ockenden from Australia as the Best Young Player, German captain Timo Wess as the Best Player of the Final, and Matthias Witthaus, also from Germany, as the Best Player of the tournament. The Fair Play Trophy went to Great Britain.

Final ranking:
1. Germany
2. Australia
3. Netherlands
4. Korea
5. Spain
6. Great Britain
7. Pakistan
8. Malaysia

New Irish kit available at Elvery's

Fancy getting someone you know an Irish hockey jersey for Chrimbo? Well, the IHA and their kit partner, Canterbury of New Zealand, have launched with Elvery’s the Official Irish Hockey Merchandise which will be stocked in their Suffolk street store, just in time for the Christmas Season.

TRR international’s Phelie Maguire and Andy McConnell along with Irish women’s squad members Nikki Symmons and Lisa Jacob were at the store earlier on Tuesday for the launch before the boys flew off to Chile for the four-nation tournament against Argentina, Chile and South Africa.

Elvery’s will now be stocking the Official Irish Home shirts along with supporter’s polo’s in both Men’s and Women’s and Get Hooked t-shirts for adults and children. These will all be available in Elvery’s on Suffolk Street from Friday December 14.

Leinster Under 21 squad announced

The provisional Leinster under 21 side has been named for the Interprovincials in January 18 to 20, 2008. The squad, though, could be adjusted if Ian Walker is selected as part of the Irish senior squad for the Olympic qualifiers in New Zealand.

Squad: Ian Walker (YMCA), Ross Murray (Corinthian), Ali Haughton (TRR), Richie Shaw (Glenanne), Stu Loughrey (Pembroke), Ronan Motyer (UCD), Geoff Walker (YMCA), David Robinson (YMCA), Chris Pelow (Corinthian), Karl Smith (Corinthian), Tim Hill (TRR), Mitch Darling (TRR), Richard Pedreschi (YMCA), Alan Sothern (Pembroke), Ross Wyse (UCD), Andrew Ward (Monkstown)

Coach: John McInroy
Asst Coaches: Steven Doran and Michael O’Connor

Saturday, December 8, 2007

ESB Irish Senior Cup ¼ Finals

Loreto and Railway eased into the ISC semi-finals with comprehensive 6-0 and 5-0 wins respectively. Reigning champions Pegasus, though, were made to work much harder against local rivals Randalstown as they slipped into the last four with the odd goal in five.

The final side will be decided later after the Ballymoney and Hermes match postponed.

Results: Ballymoney CANCELLED Hermes; Loreto 6 (C McKean 2, N Small, S Scott, Z Delaney, N Symmons) Victorians 0; Pegasus 3 (A Boyles, A Speers, S Beaney) Randalstown 2 (E Clarke, P Muir) ; Railway Union 5 (S Dooley 3, J McDonnell, C Kenefick) Cork C of I 0

The semi-final draw will take place on January 5th.

Men's ISC round-up

If the third round belonged to Leinster side's, this weekend was definitely one for Ulster to savour. Annadale snuck past Glenanne, inflicting a third tight defeat on the Glens in a week while Fingal went down 5-4 after extra time to Lisnagarvey.

Monkstown bucked the trend, gaining a modicum of revenge over Kilkeel with a comprehensive 4-0 win with Alan Lewis adding two more in his quest for 30 goals this season.

There was expected wins for Harlequins (8-2 over PSBPP), Pembroke (6-1 against Bray), Cookstown (7-0 over YM) and TRR (4-1 over Trinity) while Inst were made to work by Bandon.

Results: Monkstown 4 (I Allen 2; A Lewis 2) Kilkeel 0; Three Rock Rovers 4 (M Darling 2, P Maguire, M Sier) Dublin University 1 (B Glavey) ; PSBPP 2 (A Carroll, D Byrne) Cork Harlequins 8 (J Hobbs 2, D Hobbs 2, E Gash 2, R Gash, D Lombard) ; Bray 1 (B Hinge) Pembroke Wanderers 6 (I Symmons 3, A Giles, A Sothern, J McInroy) ; Glenanne 0 Annadale 1(I Hamilton); Fingal 4 (M McGuinness D Bane 2, C Neville) Lisnagarvey 5 (?) ; YMCA 0 Cookstown 7 (I Steen 3, A Barbour, K Black, I Hutchinson, S Cuddy) ; Instonians 2 (A Gill, M Martin) Bandon 0

The draw for the quarter-finals will be made on Januray 5th.

News in Brief

* Noel Keogh has been confirmed as the Men's Leinster senior coach for this season. Keogh was previously the Junior coach for two years. the under 21 coach for two seasons and the senior coach for 9 seasons.

*Argentine Luciana Aymar and Australian Jamie Dwyer were awarded as World Hockey Players of the Year in Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia on Saturday. Both hockey stars received their awards during a special ceremony on the occasion of the Samsung Champions Trophy. German Maike Stockel and Australian Mark Knowles received the WorldHockey Young Player of the Year awards.

Friday, December 7, 2007

South African based player named in Irish squad

There is one unfamiliar name in Gene Muller’s squad for their next training camp prior to their warm-weather camp in South Africa in the build up to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament next April.

Louisa Moore - an Irish national who is relocating to Leinster in January - currently plays her hockey with Northerns in South Africa. It is an interesting inclusion given that last week she was initially part of the South African squad named to play Ireland next month but was subsequently replaced on December 5 due to an ankle injury.

Muller said of Moore that“She is a 23 year old striker and the national camp will afford her the opportunity to compete for a place on the national team.” The camp will give Moore a chance to train with the Irish team and give her a fair crack at becoming part of the Irish set-up should the possibility arise.

Otherwise, former Trinity keeper Emma Grey and Loreto's Niamh Small are among the uncapped players in the squad along with UCD’s Christine Quinlan

The squad will visit Muller’s homeland, South Africa from the 10th – 20th January and the forthcoming training camp will serve as preparation for this tour. The trip to South Africa will provide the Irish women with valuable match time when they play the Dutch U21’s twice and South Africa four times.

Squad (Club, caps): Emma Clarke (Randalstown, 33), Aine Connery (UCC, 12), Eimear Cregan (Cork Harlequins, 118), Roisin Flinn (UCD, 27), Mary Goode (GK) (Pembroke Wanderers, 32), Emma Gray (GK)(Hermes, 0), Emer Harte (Pembroke Wanderers, 29), Louisa Healy (GK) (Loreto, 23), Lisa Jacob (UCD, 12), Shirley McCay (Randalstown, 27), Cathy McKean (Loreto, 83), Bridget McKeever (Ballymoney, 95), Holly Moffett (UCC, 0), Louisa Moore (unattached, 0), Ciara O’Brien (Chelmsford, 131), Julia O’Halloran (UCC, 19), Clare Parkhill (Randalstown, 49), Christine Quinlan (UCD, 0), Stephanie Quinn (Armagh, 2), Cliodhna Sargent (Cork Harlequins, 16), Niamh Small (Loreto, 0), Alex Speers (Pegasus, 33), Amy Stewart (Armagh, 5), Emma Stewart (Armagh, 36), Nikki Symmons (Loreto, 81), Grace Watters (Randalstown, 0)

Loreto and Muckross to contest schools final...

Reigning Loreto Beaufort will defend their Leinster league crown next Friday after beating St Andrew's 1-0 in yesterday's semi-finals. They will play Muckross Park, who beat Wesley 2-0.

Hermes' Irish under 18 international Anna O'Flanagan was central to everything Muckross put together. She opened the scoring after 10 minutes, getting on the end of a swift counterattack and set up the second seven minutes later. It came after her short corner strike was blocked, Ruth Dunne turned home the rebound.

The second semi-final was a tighter affair. It looked set for extra-time when Zara Delany, another under-18 international, deflected home a free from just outside the circle with five minutes to go.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

This weekend's ISC fixtures...

ESB Women’s ISC – Quarter Finals

In the women’s ISC on Saturday, it has reached the quarter final stage with plenty of appetising encounters. Railway will be hoping to bounce back after last week’s setback against Pembroke while Hermes make the long journey up north once again to face Ballymoney. Holders Pegasus should have too much for Randalstown as should Loreto on their home turf.

Ballymoney vs Hermes (Joey Dunlop Centre, 2.30);
Loreto vs Victorians (Beaufort, 1.15)
Pegasus vs Randalstown (Queens, 1.00)
Railway Union vs Cork C of I (Park Avenue, 2.00)

The Semi Final Draw will take place on the 5th January.

Men’s ISC Fourth Round

YM will have their work cut out for them this weekend as they face the new leaders in Ulster. Cookstown smashed the previous incumbents Banbridge 4-0, with the result bringing both Annadale and Lisnagarvey back into the fray. Glenanne and Annadale face off for their yearly encounter in the ISC – it is now four year’s running they’ve faced each other, with Glenanne 2-1 up in the series. Other tight ones to call include Monkstown and Kilkeel, Monkstown lost out 5-4 a few years back to the coastal side but will hopefully do the business on home turf while Fingal could equally use home advantage to overcome Garvey side that is coming into form.

Monkstown V Kilkeel (Rathdown, 1.30); Three Rock Rovers V Dublin University (Grange Road, 2.30); PSBPP V Cork Harlequins (RCSI, 1.00); Bray V Pembroke Wanderers (Loreto Bray, 1.30); Glenanne V Annadale (St Marks 2.15); Fingal V Lisnagarvey (ALSAA, 2.00); YMCA V Cookstown (Claremont Rd, 1.30); Instonians V Bandon (Shawsbridge, 1.00)

EHF Club awards

The EHF has launched a new programme to honour clubs that are doing great work to promote the “Hockey Family” in Europe. For me, though, there is quite a few points on the list of criteria below that clubs can take on board and develop upon.

Recently, the IHA has started running a number of volunteer workshops about how you can benefit your club. These kinds of things can really help boost the amount of kids that play hockey AND keep them in the clubs.

Take a look at the list below. Oh, and of course if you think your club is doing great work, nominate them!

The EHF is running a club award programme to find and honour some of the best club’s in Europe. The criteria that it will base this on are:
Good player membership growth in 2007
Quality training programmes for youth and senior training.
Regular training for club coaches/umpires to ensure knowledge is up to date
Regular competition for all levels of hockey
Strong links with schools/other organisations to encourage young players into clubs
How they value volunteers
Plans for the future – a 2/3 year development plan

Further, non-essential but beneficial criteria are:
The club stages festivals for youth/senior/veterans
The club has sustained/grown hockey despite poor facilities and resources
The club has done something “special” for hockey in the area.
The club has promoted itself to the wider community.

Clubs can put themselves forward to be nominated for these awards via the Application form on

Winners will be known in February/March.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sunday's men's round-up

Pembroke 3 (Fulton, Sothern, Symons) Glenanne 2 (Parsons 2)
Pembroke overturned a half-time deficit to take a three-point lead over Glenanne and TRR, despite being reduced to eight men for the closing stages today. Two short corner rebounds from Brendan Parsons to one from Craig Fulton saw the Glens to a 2-1 half-time lead. Fulton also received a yellow for a foul on Alan Browne. Pembroke dominated the early parts of the second half and were rewarded with two goals in two minutes. Alan Sothern’s beautiful deflection from 10 yards out from John McInroy’s left wing cross equalised before Ian Symons drag gave them the lead. As usually happens when these sides meet, discipline flew out the window with Justin Sheriff, Sothern and McInroy all being sent to the side.

TRR 4 Bray 1
Rovers moved level with Glenanne with a game in hand, beating rock-bottom side Bray.

YMCA 1 Fingal 2

Fuller match reports to follow, if you saw anything or can provide more details please email me at

Women's League Round-up

Pembroke made it a double for their sides on Saturday when they won their top-of-table clash with Railway to move two points clear of Leinster division 1 - to join their men's side in the league race. It was Railway's first defeat of the season. Elsewhere, Hermes trounced Alex, UCD moved level with college rivals Trinity on nine points after a lively 8-3 win over Corinthian. Bottom two Genesis and TRL played out a 0-0 draw with both sides still searching for their first win.

Results: Trinity 1 (Murphy) Loreto 7 (Mckean 4, Delaney 2, Symmons); UCD 8 (R Flinn 3, C Quinlan 2, Jacob, McGlip, Jenkinson) Corinthian 3 (Meeke 2, Peters); Pembroke 2 (Collins, Fulton) Railway Union 1 (McDonnell); Genesis 0 TRL 0; Hermes 4 (Evans 2, Harte, Burke) Old Alex 0.

Connacht claim U16 title...

Connacht have won their first ever Inteprovincial title at underage level in Galway today. Connacht, Leinster and Ulster all finished on 9 points but Connacht with a better goal difference were crowned ESB U16 champions for the first time in their province’s history. The result denies Leinster a clean sweep of the schools interprovincial title.

Final placings

Connacht – 9 points (goal difference 8)
Ulster – 9 points (goal difference 6)
Leinster – 9 points (goal difference 4)
Munster – 1 point
South East - 1 point

Results – ESB U16 Girls Interprovincials
Sunday: South East 0-0 Munster ; Connacht 4 (Tara Melvin, Ciara Meagher, Lynsey Trainor, Katie Coydre) Leinster 1 (Patricia O’Dwyer); Munster 1 (Naomi Carroll) Ulster 4 (Vanessa Surgeoner 2, Joanne Orr, Natalie Barr); Leinster 5 (Chloe Watkins, Aisling Naughton 2 Genevieve Appelby, Gillian Pinder) South East 2 (Amy Rossiter, Steffi Bowe); Connacht 3 (Niamh Walsh , Katie Coydre, Eavan Murphy) Ulster 4 (Rebecca McAllister 2, Gabby McNally, Anna Mae Morton)

Saturday: Connacht 2 (Katie Codyre, Dora Gorman) South East 0; Leinster 5 (Sinead McGirr, Patricia O’Dwyer 2, Aisling Naughton,Gillian Pinder) Munster 3 (Naomi Carroll 2, Katie Campbell; Ulster 4 (Leah Ewart, Rachel Calvin. Gabby McNally Vanessa Surgenor) South East 0; Connacht 4 (Freddie Timmins Katie Coydre, Eavan Murphy 2) Munster 0: Leinster 4 (Aisling Burke 2, Deirdre Duke, Nicola Gray) Ulster 2 (Vanessa Surgenor, Hannah Clarke)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Men's Saturday Round-up

Pembroke were the big winners on Saturday as third beat second to give the Ballsbridge the first bit of daylight at the top of the league over their nearest rivals. Here's how the action went down:

Glenanne 1 (Fitzpatrick) TRR 2 (M Maguire, Hill)
Rovers inflicted Glenanne's first home defeat for well over a season, when Timmy Hill's late tap-in sealed the points for the Rathfarnam outfit. The Glen's will definitely rue Stephen Butler's penalty miss in the first half - Charlie Henderson saving low to his right - and had numeorus penalty corners they didn't capitalise on. Michael Maguire opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time, tackling the ball home after it was saved on the line. And it was his brother Phelie's ingenuity that created the winner with three minutes remaining for Hill. In between, the Paul Fitzpatrick equalised from a short corner rebound at a rain-soaked St Mark's.

Monkstown 1 (A Lewis) Pembroke (Sheriff 2, Good 2)
The wet conditions had an effect at Rathdown too, with players slipping all over the place. Town had the better of the first period but went in scoreless. Wanderers, however, took the lead in the second when Paddy Good got on the end of a penalty corner rebound. Two from Justin Sheriff against his old club gave the 'broke a comfortable lead before Monkstwon got a scrappy goal for their efforts. Good finished off the scoring as Town pushed forward searching for more.

Fingal 3 (G Shekleton, Neville, D Bane) Kilkenny 3 (Manning, Thompson, Sharman)
Kilkenny picked up a first away point but will be disappointed to let a three goal lead slip.

UCD 1 (O'Connor) YMCA 1 (Fry)
UCD picked up their first point of the season with a hard-fought draw but the point does little to help the sides move clear of the relegation zone.

Bray 1 (Crawford) Corinthian 7 (Warren 2, Doherty, Williams, Pelow, Kirwan, Sutton)
Bray remain rock-bottom with another big defeat. Corinthian's, though, move ahead of Fingal and Monkstown and into fourth spot with this comprehensive win. The goals were spread around with Leinster under 18s Brian Doherty and Jack Kirwan once again on the scoresheet.

Fuller match reports to follow, if you saw anything or can provide more details please email me at