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German side reach semis


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GERMAN SIDE Die Keulen, on their fourth visit to the Banks International Hockey Festival, are sniffing their first title.They finished top of the veterans division after the round-robin stages following a 0-0 draw with defending champions Maple yesterday at the Hockey Centre, Wildey.It was the third draw for the side from Mönchengladbach but two earlier victories saw them unbeaten and top of the league with nine points.Die Keulen’s Final Four opponents are Induku Colts – the festival first-timers from Pretoria in South Africa – ensuring that the 25th edition of the prestigious sports tourism event will have a foreign representative on finals day tomorrow.Barbadian teams predictably dominate today’s semi-finals, with Maple also advancing to the veterans’ Final Four where they will take on All Stars, winners in 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2008.All Stars men also have lofty ambitions after topping their group. They are favoured in their semi showdown with Combermere. But the Waterford students have been boosted by the presence of three former stars of the game in the 1980s and 1990s – former Combermerians and Barbados captains Ralph Holder and Peter Harris and former Pakistan Olympic captain Tahir Zaman, who is now coaching in Barbados.The showpiece men’s semi-final pits Dominion against Do Badd Crew.Dominion, winners in 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2007, are keen to break their tie with A Badd Connection (ABC) for the most men’s crowns (four), while Do Badd desperately seek their first taste of success.In women’s action, ABC are on course for a sixth title – and fourth in five years. They face the rising force that is UWI in the first semi-final.Deacons will meet Bajans Fuh Real (the Barbados under-18 girls) in the other semi.Deacons enjoyed a 5-0 default victory over Old Gold Roosters in farcical circumstances on Wednesday.The Roosters, already unhappy by the reduction of games to just 25 minutes total because of rain earlier in the week, walked off the field a few ticks into the match to protest the clock starting early and the umpires awarded the game to Deacons.The technical committee initially ruled that the game be replayed (the full 25 minutes) before a Deacons appeal was successful and resulted in them progressing.The Roosters have progressed to the mixed semis, where they will tackle defending champs Rockets. Nedstar Toronto FHC carry the overseas flag in that division as they take on UWI.