Sunday, January 24, 2010

Nur Insafi bombshell

Unbridled joy: MHL Premier Division champions KLHC players celebrate with the prizes yesterday. — A. MALEX YAHAYA / The Star

NUR Insafi of Penang beat Sapura 4-1 at the Bukit Serindit Stadium in Malacca yesterday, and then threw a bombshell when their coach S. Thaitchana said he will withdraw the team from the quarter-finals if the Malaysia Hockey Fed eration (MHF) say no to his home-and-away request.
The MHF plan to hold all the quarter-final matches, starting on Jan 29, in Kuala Lumpur, but Thaitchana feels it will rob him of home ground advantage.
“My stand is clear, if the MHF do not allow us to play in Penang in the two-leg quarters, I will withdraw the team. It does not make sense as the MHF said they are keen to promote hockey at states, and then deny us the chance to play in front of our crowd,” said Thaitchana.
Thaitchana also said that he has made his request known to MHF, but they said they will not budge from their decision.
“If they are not willing to budge, I am also not willing to budge, and I am prepared to face the consequences of being banned.
“We can live with that as it has become pointless playing in the MHL if it is run unprofessionally,” said Thaitchana who is also the club president.
UniKL-Ibil also dished out a surprise when they held Maybank 4-4 in the final Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division league match.
It was actually a full dress rehearsal for the quarter-finals, as both teams will square off again in the last eight on Jan 29.
And the other set of quarter-finalists will also see Nur Insafi and Sapura squaring off again.
However, both the results can’t be taken as a yardstick for the knock-our stage, as it has no bearings on the standings.
K. Gobinathan set the tone for Maybank with a fifth minute penalty corner goal, but Nor Faeez Ibrahim equalised in the seventh minute, and the match went into high gear.
Nor Faeez then gave Unikl-Ibil the lead in the ninth minute, and Taufik Hamid made it 3-1 in the 27th minute.
Maybank came back strongly with goals from Gobinathan (28th), Hafifi Hafiz (40th) and Suhaimi Ibrahim (52nd).
But in the final minute, Amir Farid scored a field goal to give the young side a well deserved draw.
In another match, Nur Insafi scored off Vinod Kumar (10th, 66th), Kul Bushan (15th) and Nur Hrsikesa (56th). The Sapura goal was scored by S. Kuhan in the 34th minute.
RESULTS: Sapura 1 Nur Insafi 4, UniKL-Ibil 4 Maybank 4, Tenaga Nasional 4 KL Hockey Club 3.

P W D L F A Pts
KLHC 10 8 1 1 34 13 25
TENAGA 10 8 0 2 27 11 24
MAYBANK 10 4 4 2 20 15 16
SAPURA 10 3 2 5 17 17 11
NUR INSAFI 10 2 1 7 14 34 7
UNIKL 10 0 2 8 9 30 2