Sunday, September 25, 2016

Terengganu HT nail treble double...

TERENGGANU Hockey Team claimed their treble double when they beat Sapura 3-0 in the TNB Cup final at the Tun Razak Stadium Sunday.
  The maestro was South Korean Jang Jong Hyun who scored two penalty corner goals to bring his tally to 16 overall for the top-scorers award.
  THT coach Sarjit Singh said: "Winning the League and TNB Cup titles in three consecutive years is not an easy task, but with solid backing from the management and our supporters, we made it a proud moment for them."
  Terengganu have a sound development programme, and this win would further boost hockey in the state.
  "We have many upcoming players in the state, and by winning the treble double, it would further boost hockey in the state," said Sarjit.
  THT tore apart the Sapura midfield in the first quarter and the absence of national player Marhan Jalil was sorely felt, after he suffered an ankle injury in the TNB Cup Semi-finals Second Leg.
  Sapura had no answer to the fast attacking THT forwardline, and in the sixth minute off their second penalty corner, top-scorer Jang Jong Hyun of South Korea sounded the board with a low push to the East Coast side the lead.
  It was Jang's 15th goal of the season for THT, singling him out as the best foreign buy in the Malaysia Hockey League.
  And in the 22nd minute THT's Argentina import Nicolas Enrique scored a field goal off an acute angle to consolidate their position going into the breather.
  It was the sixth goal for the Argentinian.
  Jang the Korean import delivered yet again in the 51st minute off a penalty corner, to seal the match for THT. Terengganu supporters who came with two buses, aptly waved the South Korean as well as the Terengganu flags wildly at the stadium.
   In the Division One President's Cup final, TNB Thunderbolts hammered Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) 7-2 for the title.
  The TNB Thunderbolts goals were scored by Akhimullah Anuar (third, 30th), Nursyahmi Zukifli (11th), Kamil Yusop (14th, 27th), Idris Samad (48th), Izham Azhar (53rd).
  The SSTMI goals were scored by Zulhamizan Awang in the 11th and 36th minutes.
  And in the Vivian Soars Cup, Police, naming themselves Blue Warriors, beat SSTMI 2-1 for the inaugural title.
  The Warriors took a 2-0 lead off Aida Fazriniza Zakaria (19th) and Noor Hasliza Ali (30th) before SSTMI fought back with a goal from Siti Shahidah Saad (49th) but time ran out for them.
  RESULTS: TNB Cup Final: Terengganu HT 3 Sapura 0.
  President's Cup Final: SSTMI 2 TNB Thunderbolts 7.
  Vivian Soars Cup Final: Blue Warriors 2 SSTMI 1.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

TNB CUP FINAL: Penalty corners could turn tide...

Sapura's India import Gurbaj Singh (left) challenges KLHC's Meor  Azuan Hasan for the ball during the TNB Cup semi-final second-leg match at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium Friday. KLHC won 3-1 to draw level on aggregate at 4-4. But lost the penalty shoot-out 4-2.

TERENGGANU Hockey Team (THT) will be attempting their third consecutive double, while Sapura Hockey Club their first TNB Cup title in the final of the Malaysia Hockey League today.
  The women will kick-start three finals slated at the Tun Razak Cup with the Vivian Soars Cup being a battle between Blue Warriors and Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI).
  This will be followed by the men's Division One President's Cup final between SSTMI and TNB Thunderbolts.
  And at 8.30pm, the big boys march in to steal the thunder.
  THT has won the League this season, while Sapura the Alagendra Cup and both look good enough to claim the TNB Cup and there will be no underdogs in this match.
  Sapura, even though they have a poor scoring record of only 17 for and 16 against in the League, finished second on 21 points.
  THT were just a point better to claim the League on 22, but their scoring rate in some of the matches was high and they had 29 for and 16 against.
  The top scorer of the MHL is South Korean import Jang Jung Hyun on 14 goals, 13 of which were off penalty corners and second on the list is also a THT player Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin on nine goals.
  Both the players will again play a pivotal role to help their team's cause for a treble double.
  As for Sapura, Australia Oscar William Wookey is their top-scorer with four goals.
  Sapura coach Yahya Atan, whose men had beaten THT 2-0 but then lost 4-1 in the two-leg league, is naturally worried about Jang's penalty corner conversion rate.
  "We gave away too many penalty corners in the last match and lost 4-1 (Jang scored three). And so, in the final, my players will try and play clean hockey in the circle as not to give THT the edge they will be looking for.
  "If we can hold back the penalty corners, I believe we will finally lay our hands on the Overall title which we last won 10 years ago," said Yahya.
  THT coach Sarjit Singh does not believe in history as he is always looking forward.
  "For me, holding records is worthless if we can't keep creating them. That's why we will be looking forward to another title when we play tomorrow (today) and not bask on the glory of our two previous TNB Cups.
  "That can be done after the final whistle is blown," said Sarjit, a former national coach as well as skipper.
  The battle-lines have been drawn, and its too close to call. But as Yahya predicted, penalty corners could decide this crackling encounter.
  SUNDAY: TNB Cup Final: Terengganu v Sapura (Tun Razak, 8.30pm).
  President's Cup Final: SSTMI v TNB Thunderbolts (Tun Razak, 6pm).
  Vivian Soars Cup Final: Blue Warriors v SSTMI (Tun Razak, 4pm).

Terengganu HT AND Sapura final...

TERENGGANU Hockey Team (THT) will play Sapura in the final of the TNB Cup at the Tun Razak Stadium Sunday.
  Yesterday, Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) made a gallant 3-1 come-back in the Second Leg of the Semi-finals to hold Sapura to a 4-4 aggregate draw, but lost 2-4 in the penalty choot-out.
  THT, who held a 6-1 advantage from the First Leg, beat Maybank 8-4 for a 14-5 aggregate win.
  Sapura coach Yahya Atan said the match was bad for his heart, but good for the club which last played in the Overall title final (now TNB Cup) in 2006.
  "We blew our 2-0 aggregate in the first two quarters because my players were too eager to score and left gaping holes at the back. It was bad for my heart, but entertaining to the end and I am glad that our club has made the final again after 10 years.
  "Last season we finished third Overall, and now have a chance to claim the title itself," said Yahya.
  KLHC team manager Ahmad Anuar Sham rued the missed chances: "We had the match in our grip, but failed to score the most crucial goal to shut the door on Sapura. Anyway, its always 50-50 in any shoot-out, and it was disappointing that we could not be the winners."
  KLHC got their goals off their import players Ali Shan (10th) and Nam Huyn Woo (15th, 34th) while Khairul Ikhwan's 15th minute goal helped his team into the shoot-out.
  And the shoot-out toast for Sapura was their goalkeeper Hairi Rahman, who kept his cool.
  THT coach Sarjit Singh said his men are ready to defend their title.

  "We had a slow season, but picked up in the later stages to claim the League title. And now that we are in the TNB Cup final, I believe my players will not let me down in our quest to win our third consecutive double in the MHL," said Sarjit.

  RESULTS: TNB Cup semi-finals Second Leg:
  Kuala Lumpur HC 3 v Saura HC 1.
  (Sapura win 4-2 in penalty shootout) 
 Maybank 4 v Terengganu HT 8.
  (Terengganu HT win on 14-5 aggregate)

  President's Cup: Semi-finals Second Leg:
  SSTMI 6 v UiTM-KPT 2.
  (SSTMI win on 9-6 aggregate)
  Politeknik 3 v TNB Thunderbolts 6.
  (Thunderbolts win on 9-5 aggregate)

   Vivian Soars Cup: Semi-finals Second Leg:
   ATM Pernama 2 v Blue Warriors 2.
   (Blue Warriors win on 3-2 aggregate)
   PKS-Uniten-KPT 3 v SSTMI 2.
   (SSTMI win on 4-3 aggregate)

  SUNDAY: TNB Cup Final: Terengganu v Sapura (Tun Razak, 8.30pm).
  President's Cup Final: SSTMI v TNB Thunderbolts (Tun Razak, 6pm).
  Vivian Soars Cup Final: Blue Warriors v SSTMI (Tun Razak, 4pm).

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Terengganu HT and Sapura in drivers seat...

THT captain Fitri Saari (front) in action against Maybank during the TNB Cup Semi-Final first-leg match at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium. THT won 6-1.


TERENGGANU Hockey Team (THT) have no plans to pull the brakes in the Second Leg Semi-finals of the TNB Cup today, even though they have a five-goal cushion over Maybank.
  And Sapura coach Yahya Atan feels his players' desire to play in the final will be the key to beat Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) again in the return leg to solidify their two-goal cushion.
  Both the return legs will be played at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium, where THT hammered Maybank 6-1 and Sapura beat KLHC 3-1 on Wednesday.
  "A five-goal cushion can be overcome in modern hockey, but we are not about to let it happen. Even though the final is just a day's break after the Second Leg, I will field my best players to stabilise the match before deciding on my reserves," said THT coach Sarjit Singh.
  THT, double champions for the last two seasons, has won the League title and are looking good to defend their TNB Cup as well.
  As for Sapura: "My players showed more desire than the opponents in the First Leg and even though we hold a slim lead, I believe it will be the same performance from them in the Second Leg to cement our spot.
  "It has been too long since we last won the TNB Cup (2006 last Overall title) and are just two steps away. It will not be easy, but not an impossible dream either," said Yahya.
  KLHC have been bogged down by injuries, and the fact that two of their top players could only play for 30 minutes this season, saw them struggle with a skeleton crew.
  Razie Rahim, the nation's top penalty corner flicker, and national midfielder Nabil Fiqri joined inspector training and the team suffered badly.
  When asked about his heavy-footed players in the First Leg, KLHC coach Harun Rashid said fatigue and injuries and work commitments left him with a thin squad on the bench.
  "Fatigue is always an issue with a 'thin' squad and a packed schedule playing midweek as well (Alagendra Cup)..
  "Umar Bhutta (Pakistan import) didn't play the first leg due to foot injury, Syamim Yusof and Kevin Lim carry hamstring injuries.
 "Nam Hyun Woo carries a back injury, while Rashid Baharom's shoulder is injured.
  "However, as long as we have the time and opportunity, a come-back is always possible in a two-leg race. It's not how one starts, the finishing is more important," reasoned Rashid.
  TODAY: TNB Cup semi-finals Second Leg: Kuala Lumpur HC (1) v Saura HC (3) (KLHA, 6pm), Maybank (1) v Terengganu HT (6) (KLHA, 8pm).
  President's Cup: Semi-finals Second Leg: SSTMI (3) v UiTM-KPT (4) (Tun Razak, 6pm), Politeknik (2) v TNB Thunderbolts (3) (Tun Razak, 8pm).

   Vivian Soars Cup: Semi-finals Second Leg: ATM Pernama (0) v Blue Warriors (1) (Ministry of Education, 6pm), PKS-Uniten-KPT (0) v SSTMI (2) (Ministry of Education, 8pm).

Gavin qualifies for CIMB Classic

GAVIN Green booked a spot in the CIMB Classic after defeating title holder Ben Leong with a birdie on the first play-off hole at the SapuraKencana National Classic at the TPC Kuala Lumpur West Course Thursday.
  The duo closed on matching one-under-par 71s to finish regulation play on four-under-par 212 before returning to the 18th hole where Green emerged victorious to earn his debut at the CIMB Classic On Oct 20-23 at the TPC Kuala Lumpur (formerly known as Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club) carrying a total purse of US7 million.
  The CIMB Classic, now in its seventh year, will feature a 78-player elite field, comprising 60 from the PGA TOUR, 10 from the Asian Tour and eight sponsor’s exemptions.
  For the first time ever, the SapuraKencana National Classic will also count towards the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour’s Order of Merit, which is the leading professional tour in Malaysia.
  Ben Leong settled for second after missing a close range birdie on the 54th hole while Khor Kheng Hwai finished a further shot back in third place following a final round 72.
  Green got off to a fine start when he holed three birdies in his opening 10 holes but slipped back with bogeys on holes 13, 15 and 16. He trailed the fast charging Ben Leong by one heading into the penultimate hole but pulled off a gutsy 15-foot birdie to draw level.
   The 22-year-old Green was delighted to add another feather in his cap after a stunning season where won two titles on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) and represented Malaysia in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro last month.
  “I was a bit nervous coming down the stretch but the birdie on 17 was huge,” said the big-hitting Green. “The whole week I missed so many putts so I’m thankful I made that birdie on that hole and in the play-off.”
   “Honestly, I’m surprised that Ben missed the birdie on the last. I guess even professionals get nervous. After he missed, I told myself that I have another chance in the play-off and I did my best to win it.”
   “Playing in the CIMB Classic will be a huge achievement for me this year. It has been a good year so far and this will be another positive in my career. I can’t wait to play in my first PGA TOUR event on home soil,” said Green, who won RM22,000.
   Ben Leong hit a super chip into the par-five 18th hole in regulation play but was disappointed to miss the short birdie putt for the outright victory.
  “Obviously I was nervous. I read it left but pulled it. I’m disappointed but this is all part of the process. Good for Gavin, he was cool and composed under pressure and played good golf today,” said Leong.
  Ahmad Zakiruddin, the Senior Vice President of Operations SapuraKencana Petroleum Berhad said: "“We are happy to see that yet another SapuraKencana National Classic, for the fourth year running, has ended successfully and would like to congratulate Gavin Green who has shown tremendous skill to win and claim the coveted spot at the CIMB Classic."