Monday, February 20, 2012

Easy for champions Thunderbolts

UNIKL: Drew 1-1 but finished second in the League on goals scored.
2012 CHAMPIONS: Thunderbolts players celebrate their big day.

THE Milo Cup Junior Hockey League quarter-final draw was extremely kind to UniKL Young Guns and SSTMI Thun derbolts as the ballot saw them playing teams which they thrashed in the League.
The top-four teams in Division One were seeded, and an open draw was held to decide pairings in the two-leg quarter- finals.
And newly crowned League champions SSTMI Thun derbolts were drawn to meet Petaling Jaya Municipal Council who finished sixth in Division One, and their 6-1 triumph in the League tells the whole story.
League bridesmaid UniKL Young Guns will meet Division One fifth placed USM Juniors, whom they trashed 7-1 in the league.
Division Two champions Sapura, who made their JHL debut this season, will also have a relatively easy encounter against MBI Anderson who finished Fourth in Division One.
The other knock out match will be between Division Two silver medallists Malacca High School and Division One third- placed team Bukit Jalil Sports School.
“It was a big boost for my players to emerge as Division Two champions in our first season in the JHL but now we will be playing against an established side (Anderson) who did well to finish fourth in Division One,” said Sapura coach I. Vickneswaran.
Vickneswaran, a former international, feels it would be foolish to take Anderson lightly: “I have told the players to forget about the League title as we will be starting fresh against a better opponent in the quarter-finals.
“Anderson have a proud history, and their merger with MBI (Ipoh Municipal Council) has not only made their team stronger, but they also have a very capable coaching bat tery,” said Vicknewaran.
Sapura won all eight League matches and scored a whop ping 42 goals and only let in two. And Anderson won four, drew one, and lost three of the League matches.
Playing in Division One also took the toll on Anderson’s defenders who let in 27 goals while they scored 28.
The quarter-finals and semi-finals will be held in Kuala Lumpur, while the final on March 4, will be held at the newly laid blue pitch at the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh.
FRIDAY: Quarter-finals (First Leg): SSTMI Thunderbolts v Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (Bukit Jalil Pitch II, 4pm), Sapura v MBI-Anderson (KLHA, 4pm), Malacca High School v Bukit Jalil Sports School (Bukit Jalil Pitch II, 6pm), UniKL Young Guns v USM Juniors (KLHA, 6pm).
SUNDAY -- Second Leg: Bukit Jalil Sports School v Malacca High School (Bukit Jalil Pitch II, 4pm), USM Juniors v UniKL Young Guns (KLHA, 4pm), Petaling Jaya Municipal Council v SSTMI Thunderbolts (Bukit Jalil Pitch II, 6pm), MBI-An derson v Sapura (KLHA, 6pm).