Masters Hockey Asian Cup 2013 - Post Script

11 teams participated. 18 matches were played. 111 goals were scored. 192 players played. 29 officials, umpires, technical officers and judges officiated. Many weeks of diligent preparation are over. Hard work? Not a bit of it.

Total commitment, determination and enthusiasm (Photo courtesy YF Kwok )

Total commitment, determination and enthusiasm (Photo courtesy YF Kwok )

The Grand Masters (60 years minimum) national squads represented Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Malaysia; Alliance International Hockey Club played against all four in friendly matches. The Senior Masters (50 years minimum) national squads represented Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore. The Ladies Veterans squads represented Hong Kong and Korea.

Japan won the 2nd Grand Masters Asian Cup.  It was a flawless performance from a magnificent team. They won all their matches in a convincing manner. Malaysia were runners up and Korea took third place. Malaysia, having won the 1st Grand Masters Asian Cup, held in Singapore in 2011, passed on the cup to Japan.

Strength, stamina and skill (Photo courtesy Gabriel Chan )

Strength, stamina and skill (Photo courtesy Gabriel Chan )

Hong Kong won the 1st Senior Masters Asian Cup.  Hong Kong needed a 7 goal margin or more in their final game against Korea, to beat Malaysia on goal difference; they duly recorded an 11-1 victory and claimed the title. Singapore took third place.  Hong Kong have now won their first International Veterans title and in so doing become inaugural winners of the Senior Masters Asian Cup.

Korea's lady veterans won their two friendly matches against Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Football Club generously provided both their magnificent facilities and granted all participants membership for the duration of the tournament. We are indebted to them.

 In a meeting of the WGMA held on 2nd November 2013, it was agreed that the 3rd Grand Masters Asian tournament will be hosted by Malaysia in October 2015, with games to be played in Kuala Lumpur and possibly Kuantan.  In parallel, there will also be international Masters Hockey tournaments for Masters and Senior Masters.

It was nothing but pleasure.  Looking forward to seeing you all in KL in 2015!

Hong Kong and Malaysia grand masters before the final match

A lovely photo from Henry Mak.  We are grateful to the photographers who gave up a great deal of their time this week to provide us with such a rich record of our efforts and a thoroughly enjoyable tournament.

Ernest Li made the arrangements with the Hong Kong Sports Photography Association (HKSPA). Contributing photographers are Ernest Li (HKHA), Bill Cox (Epoch Times), Wilson Mak (HKSPA), Frank Tsang (HKSPA), Gabriel Chan (HKSPA), KF Kwok (HKSPA), Henry Mak (HKSPA) & Kelvin Fu (HKSPA).  See more of the team photographs here.

 

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Action shots from today's matches

Some lovely photos of the two games today and the post match presentations.  You can find them all here.   

Two stalwarts from Malaysia and Hong Kong chase down the ball. Poon Fook Loke of Malaysia and Mike Button of Hong Kong.  (Photo courtesy of Wilson Mak)  

Two stalwarts from Malaysia and Hong Kong chase down the ball. Poon Fook Loke of Malaysia and Mike Button of Hong Kong.  (Photo courtesy of Wilson Mak)
 

Irresistible photograph.  Neville Watkins (the one exhibiting mild interest in the action), is one of Hong Kong's leading goal scorers. (Photo courtesy of Wilson Mak)  

Irresistible photograph.  Neville Watkins (the one exhibiting mild interest in the action), is one of Hong Kong's leading goal scorers. (Photo courtesy of Wilson Mak)  

Hong Kong - Senior Masters for 2013

Members of the Hong Kong Senior Masters squad holding the 1st Senior Masters Hockey Asian Cup. In a first for Hong Kong, the Senior Masters have won a Veterans Hockey Tournament.  Simon Shepherdson, team captain, has every reason to be delighted with the team's performance.  "They played smart hockey; they played to their strengths" said Shepherdson.

Members of Hong Kong's Senior Masters (Photo courtesy Wilson Mak) 

Members of Hong Kong's Senior Masters (Photo courtesy Wilson Mak

Japan win the 2nd Grand Masters Asian Cup

Following their victory over Korea and a tie between Malaysia and Hong in Kong, Japan are now confirmed as winners of the 2nd Grand Masters Asian Cup.  Japan won all of their matches, in the process scoring 13 goals and only conceding 1.   The Japanese team were fitter and played very clever hockey, making the ball do the work most of the time.

Hong Kong were unlucky to only clinch a draw and a single point from their match against Malaysia.  Though the final score was 3-3, Hong Kong managed, by virtue of 2 own goals, to score 5 of these!   Neville Watkins scored his 1st international goal and is tied for Hong Kong's leading goal scorer.

The Grand Masters match between Hong Kong & Korea

A last minute goal by Korea secured a 1-0 victory.  In this crucial match for Hong Kong, both sides suffered the cumulative effects of previous games.  Many opportunities at goal, that would have been buried in the 20th century, missed the goal completely. Hong Kong linger at the bottom of the table and are banking on a result in their game against Malaysia on Sunday.  More photos from this match can be found here.

Ian Choo, David Watt & Mike Button of Hong Kong's Grand Masters (Photo Henry Mak) 

Ian Choo, David Watt & Mike Button of Hong Kong's Grand Masters (Photo Henry Mak

Hockey: From cradle to grave.

Hong Kong, 2nd November 2013, Mili Semlani

Young. Dashing. Fit. Strong. If that is your ideal definition of a hockey player then you haven’t seen enough. The Masters Hockey Asian Cup held recently in Hong Kong will redefine the terms of the game.

It is not often that one can see veteran and talented Hockey players of the yesteryears showing off their agility. Be it Olympic players like Sarinder Dillon, President of Masters Hockey Asian Cup or Tan Shri Mustafa from Malaysia or the several other prominent hockey players in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, they all share the same passion for Hockey. The Grand Masters is a great platform for former hockey players and hockey lovers to meet, socialize, and play and reminiscence the old days. But once the players are on the field and the game warms up, the players get in to their competitive avatars and start playing with equal robust as they would do several years ago.

Seniors remain fully engaged (photo by Ernest Li)

Seniors remain fully engaged (photo by Ernest Li)

Even as Robbie, one of the star players from yesteryears, declared that this was the last game of his life, he seemed too reluctant to consider the idea. Although his heart longed to play his body would not allow him to do so. Each player both on the field and on the stands shared a peculiar love for the game and attachment with the hockey stick.

“The games are organized very well and such tournaments help players from South Asian countries to reconnect with their glory days”, said Steve Pratt, Coach of Malaysian Grand Masters team. Unlike the games in their heydays this time each player has to compete not just with the opposite team but also their physical constraints.

 Mili Semlani, Journalism, Masters in International Journalism

 

Photos from today's matches are now available

Here are a few wonderful shots provided by Ernest Li - demonstrating, in his selection, a modicum of bias.  Action is from the Senior Masters match between Hong Kong and Korea - Hong Kong needing a 7 goal margin to win the Senior Masters tournament - they won 11-1.

Mark Kake, who scored a hat-trick for Hong Kong, illustrating perfectly that a powerful strike isn't necessarily related to where you hold the stick!

Mark Kake, who scored a hat-trick for Hong Kong, illustrating perfectly that a powerful strike isn't necessarily related to where you hold the stick!

Chris Grossick and Mark Kake (Hong Kong) celebrating a goal against Korea.

Chris Grossick and Mark Kake (Hong Kong) celebrating a goal against Korea.

Future generations of Korean Senior and Grand Masters. 

Future generations of Korean Senior and Grand Masters. 

Senior Masters Match Hong Kong 11 - Korea 1

Hong Kong's Senior Masters got off to a nervous start at the beginning of their match against Korea.  Needing to win by 7 clear goals, they conceded a goal in the first 5 minutes.   In the second quarter, HK's numerical advantage (7 subs against 1) played the decisive role.  The Koreans suffered from the heat, whilst the HK team were able to retain freshness.  HK took their chances well and at half time were leading 2-1.  The 3rd and 4th quarters saw the Koreans unable to mount a serious defence and HK captalised scoring a further 9.  Mark Kake scored a hat-trick, Tony Pugh picked up two.

Hong Kong, with 7 points from three matches, are declared winners of the 1st Senior Masters Asian Cup.  Malaysia, also on 7 points, are runners up (based on goal difference); Singapore are in third place by virtue of their goal difference from Korea. 

The HK Senior Masters  team posing before the game

The HK Senior Masters  team posing before the game