OLD La Sallians of Klang (Olak) Tigers received a double blow when two players met with an accident, while two others are suspended leading to the Division One match against Nur Insafi Friday.
Olak are one of the pioneer teams of the Junior Hockey League and were on an upward trend in the last two matches where they beat SMKDBL Young Guns 5-4, Politeknik 3-2 and SSTMI Juniors 2-0 to be placed in the middle of the table on nine points.
"Two of my players, who hail from Sabah, were on their way to training at the Tun Razak Stadium on Wednesday when their motorbike met with an accident. Dodi Musa fractured his hand, while goalkeeper Adrian Andy received cuts on both hands.
"They will be out for a few matches, and to compound matters, two of our players are suspended due to cards for the match against Nur Insafi," said Olak team manager Joseph de Silva.
The suspended players are Mirza Izzuddin and Mahathir Rathuwan.
Nur Insafi are second from the bottom as they have only two draws after five matces.
"We are fighting to finish fourth and qualify for the quarter-finals of the TNB Cup and were looking forward to three points tomorrow (today) but will be playing with 15 players instead," said De Silva.
However, Olak will be playing with extra jest: "The team has been together for the past two months and after some hiccups in the earlier matches they had started to get a good understanding. The players have pledged to give their best and win the match for their injured friends."
Olak are tied on nine points with BJSS Thunderbolts, who have a better goal average.
BJSS Thunderbolts will also be involved in a fight of their lives as they meet double champions SSTMI Thunderbolts Friday. SSTMI have yet to drop a point after five matches and look good to seal their fifth consecutive League title.
But SSTMI will be without their skipper and penalty corner ace Aliff Syazwan today, due to a strained elbow.
“He is a very influential player in the team and his absence against BJSS will be greatly felt. But I can still count on the forwards who have been playing extremely well in getting the goals. We have scored 26 goals so far and that is a good sign indeed,” said SSTMI manager Adam Izamry.
FRIDAY -- Division One: SSTMI Thunderbolts v BJSS Thunderbolts (SSTMI), PJCC v UniKL Young Guns (National Stadium Pitch II), Nurinsafi v OLAK Tigers (Sg Petani), SMKDBL Young Guns v SSTMI Juniors (Batu Pahat).
Division Two: Group A: MSN-PHP Perlis Young Lion Juniors v MSS Kedah (Kangar).
Group B: MSSWPKL v STAR (Ministry of Education), Felda Juniors v Anderson Thunderbolts (Azlan Shah, Pitch 1); MSNPK-ILHC v Anderson PHA (Azlan Shah, Pitch 2).
Group C: TBSS Tampin v Malacca High School (Seremban II); Sabah Sports School v Young Hurricanes (malacca, 7.0pm); SMKDBL Juniors v MSNT-PHT (Batu Pahat, 3.0pm).
Note: Matches start at 5pm unless stated.
P W D L F A Pts
SSTMI TNDER' 5 5 0 0 26 4 15
SSP-MSP-TNDER' 5 4 0 1 28 7 12
UNIKL YOUNG GUNS 6 3 1 2 14 15 10
BJSS TNDER' 4 3 0 1 11 5 9
OLAK TIGERS 6 3 0 3 14 19 9
POLITEKNIK 5 2 1 2 9 8 7
PJCC 5 2 0 3 7 11 6
SMKDBL YOUNG GUNS 6 1 1 4 10 16 4
NURINSAFI 5 0 2 3 6 21 2
SSTMI JRS 5 0 1 4 5 24 1