By Jugjet Singh
SPORTS Excellence Centre (PKS-KPM) lifted the Malaysian Hockey League women's title when they edged SSTMI Thunderbolts 1-0 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
It was a dream debut for PKS-KPM, as they held onto the early goal to deny a fighting Thunderbolts.
In a balanced first half, PKS-KPM took a slim lead when they perfected a penalty corner in the fifth minute.
Raja Norsharina scored only her second goal of the tournament, off a penalty corener rebound, to give her mates a slight edge over Thunderbolts.
After a much needed breather, as the haze was really choking at Bukit Jalil, the game slowed down and the score stood till the end.
PKS-KPM coach Izzwan Salleh was delighted with the win, as his team made their debut in the MHL this season.
"I can't ask for more from my girls as they won in their debut, but the final was not as easy as the other two encounters in the group stages," said Izzwan.
In the group, PKS-KPM beat Thunderbolts 3-1 and 4-0.
"We have six national players, including No 1 goalkeeper Farah Ayuni to thank for this victory, as they played leading roles in the entire tournament.
"Our funding is from UniKL (Universiti Kuala Lumpur) and I believe we will be fielding a stronger team next season," said Izzwan.
The Third-Fourth match was abandoned as Penang Juniors could not travel because many of their players were preparing for major examinations, and the bronze went to ATM Pernama.
RESULTS: Final -- Sports Excellence Centre (PKS-KPM) 1 SSTMI Thunderbolts 0.
ROLL-of-HONOUR: Fairplay: ATM Pernama (RM1,000); Best Player of Final: Raja Norsharina (PKS-KPM, RM500); Best Goalkeeper of Final: J. Priyangga (Thunderbolts, RM500); Top Scorer: Fatin Naimah (PKS-KPM, RM500); Player of the Tournament: Nuraliana Ali (PKS-KPM, RM500).