Friday, August 27, 2010

Scots malaise

Scotland were knocked off top spot in the INSEP Hockey Challenge tournament when they went down 3-1 to Malaysia in Paris on the day that Niall Stott won his 100th Scottish cap.
Russell Garcia`s charges had it all to do when they went two down to the talented Asians in the opening seven minutes. The Scots came more into the contest but two Mark Ralph penalty corners and an open play shot from Alan Forsyth brought the best out of the Malaysian keeper.
Scotland should have clawed their way back into the contest following a deliberate foul on Stephen Dick, but Mark Ralph`s effort from the spot cannoned off the bar.
After the interval the Malaysians notched their third when a penalty corner was half cleared and the second phase shot flew past Scottish keeper Jamie Cachia.
The Scots finally found the net in the closing minutes, Kenny Bain was the subject of two crude tackles and Mark Ralph made some amends for his earlier miss by slotting a drag flick into the bottom right corner of the net from the resulting penalty corner. This proved little more than a consolation, and Cachia was called upon to make a crucial save at the death to keep the Malaysians from going further ahead.
“This was not our best performance, we didn`t reached the same heights today as our first game against France, and missing a penalty at a crucial moment in the game didn`t help either,” said Eugene Connolly, Scotland`s manager.
Today the Scots take on Poland who have only a single point from two games.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Catch the latest with Dhaliwal

For Five-Nation update later 2nite, go to

Irish remain unbeaten


INSEP Senior Men’s Five Nations: Ireland 3 (Phelie Maguire 2, Ronan Gormley) France 3 (Fabian Magner 3)
Phelie Maguire (pictured) struck his first international goals since February 2008 to help Ireland maintain their unbeaten start to the INSEP Five Nations in Paris this evening, in spite of Fabian Magner’s hat-trick.

But a 3-3 draw against tournament hosts, France, means they need to at least win over 100pc Malaysia in their next tie on Saturday to maintain hopes of winning the title.

In a much livelier affair than yesterday’s blank against Poland, Ireland hit the front very early when skipper Ronan Gormley scored from a corner move, touching in at the post in the fourth minute.

Paul Gleghorne, however, was sin-binned for a ten-minute spell and it was during this spell, Magner turned the game. The first of his three set-piece goals came with the numerical advantage, levelling in the 19th minute from a corner.

And a minute after Gleghorne’s reinstatement he gave his side the half-time impetus from the penalty stroke spot.

Ireland also made use of a numerical advantage when – with the returning Arnaud Becuwe in the bin – Maguire, in his own stylish manner, brought the side level for a second time 11 minutes into the second period when he turned his man on the left of the circle before firing past Matthias Dierckens for 2-2.

Magner whipped home his second corner of the day seven minutes later for Scott Goodheart’s side but their second yellow – Lucas Sevestre this time – coincided with Maguire’s second. This time, he first-timed a bouncing ball to make it 3-3 and set up a lively closing 11 minutes.

France spent the majority of that time when Mathieu Catonnet and subsequently captain Francois Scheefer were shown the French side’s third and fourth yellow cards.

But Ireland were unable to capitalise again and assistant coach Arul Anthoni was left to rue a half-dozen corners which went unconverted.

“We are disappointed in not getting the full points due to the number of chances we created and corners we had. Hopefully we can rectify this for tomorrow focusing on our final touches.” His side next play Malaysia on Saturday at 2.30pm (Irish time) when Alan Sothern could become the fourth player in a week to earn his 50th cap for Ireland following John Jackson, Mitch Darling and Conor Harte who reached the milestone today.

Malaysia, meanwhile, continued their winning start to the competition by beating Scotland 3-1 with goals from Ahmad Tajudin, Hanfi Hafifihafiz and Mahammad Razie – three of the star men in last week’s series in Dublin – and they lead the tournament by three points.

Ireland: David Harte, John Jackson, Ronan Gormley (capt), Eugene Magee, Andy McConnell, Mitch Darling, Timmy Cockram, David Ames, Paul Gleghorne, Conor Harte
Subs: Chris Cargo, Alan Giles, Joe Brennan, Phelie Maguire, Alan Sothern

France: Matthias Dierckens, Tom Genestet, Olivier Sanchez, Arnaud Becuwe, Joost Jansen, Fabien Magner, Bastien Dierckens, Yannick Schambert, Francois Scheefer (capt), Martin Genestet, Valentin Migneau
Subs: Matthieu Catonnet, Lois Sevestre, Guillaume Samson, Lucas Sevestre, Jean-Baptiste Pauchet

Results: Ireland 3 (Phelie Maguire 2, Ronan Gormley) France 3 (Fabian Magner 3); Malaysia 3 (Ahmad Tajudin, Hanfi Hafifihafiz, Mahammad Razie) Scotland 1 (Mark Ralph)

Standings: 1. Malaysia 6pts (+4) 2. Scotland 3pts (-2) 3. Ireland 2pts (0) 4. Poland 1pt (-1) 5. France 1pt (-1)

Match Schedule (Irish Time):
Friday (3pm):
Poland vs Scotland
Saturday (2.30pm): Ireland vs Malaysia; (5pm) France vs Poland
Sunday (1.30pm): Ireland vs Scotland; (3pm) France vs Malaysia

Malaysia in unfamiliar territory

P W D L F A Pts
MALAYSIA 2 2 0 0 6 3 6
SCOTLAND 2 1 0 1 6 7 3
IRELAND 2 0 2 0 3 3 2
POLAND 2 0 1 1 2 3 1
FRANCE 2 0 1 1 7 8 1

THE Malaysian hockey team ventured into unfamiliar territory when they beat Scotland 3-1 to lead the Five Nation standings in France.
Malaysia, who edged Poland 3-2 earlier, have maximum points after two matches, and if they beat Ireland and France in the remaining matches, they will finally lay their hands on a gold medal after at least a decade.
But just like the match against Poland where they almost lost it in the second half, the match against Scotland was also a two half encounter.
Coach Stephen van Huizen made two changes from the first match by fielding goalkeeper S. Kumar and defender Baljit Singh (file pic), and both the players made sure the Scots were kept at bay.
Scotland are in the same group as Malaysia in the New Delhi Commonwealth Games. The other teams are Australia, India and Pakistan.
Malaysia raced to a early 2-0 lead within the first ten minutes with Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin scoring off a seventh minute penalty corner set-piece, while Hafifihafiz Hanafi scored in the 10th minute.
Razie Rahim converted a penalty corner in the 49th minute and Malaysia were comfortable 3-0 lead, but Scotland reduced the deficit in the 63rd minute off a Mark Ralph penalty corner.
“It was a better performance as the players kept their composure and frustrated Scotland. But more importantly the players were able to preserve the lead and build on it,” van Huizen.
However, van Huizen lamented on the lack of depth on the bench, which prevented him from making regular changes: “We do not have depth in the squad, so some players had to remain on the pitch longer than others.
“For instance Razie is one player that is consistent and intelligent when it comes to pacing himself in a given match. He is a vital clog in defence so I opted to keep him on the pitch for a longer duration than others.”