Monday, March 7, 2016

Selangor Under-16 Boys' and Girls' selection at MBPJ Stadium

Koshy clears Under-16 confusion...

Pic: George Koshy

THE National Under-16 Boys' and Girls' tournament will be played on a 9s format this year, and teams are allowed to register 18 players but only 16 can play in a match.
  The tournament will be held at the Kuala Lumpur HA grounds on March 12-20.
  Earlier, the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) competitions committee had only allowed 15 players to be registered for the 9s tournament, however, they changed it to 18 yesterday after taking into account that 84 players from 14 states each for the boys and girls teams, will not get a chance to play in the age-group tournament.
  "We had sent out entries stating that only 15 can be registered per-team but after discussing with the stake-holders, we have changed the rules to accommodate more players.
  "The intention of the tournament is to expose as many players as possible, and not to deny anybody a chance to represent their state," clarified coaching committee chairman George Koshy.
  The 9s format will be used for the first time in an under-16 tournament to give more playing time, as well as more goals to make it exciting.
  "The 9s format will see more substitution and this will allow as many players as possible to play in a match. Also, it will be more exciting if more goals are scored in a match," said Koshy.
  Earlier there was some confusion on selection when only 15 players could be registered as many states started dropping the second goalkeeper.
  However, as news reached the states that 18 players can be registered, two goalkeepers were promptly selected per team, saving 28 goalkeepers from both the Boys' and Girls' events the fate of not playing in the Under-16 this season.

Tauranga 2nd Test: Malaysia 3 NZ 2

THE national seniors team bounced back from a 4-1 hammering to beat New Zealand 3-2 in the second Test in Tauranga Thursday.
  Razie Rahim, who scored in the first Test, delivered two more penalty corner goals while the third was scored by Joel van Huizen.
  Coach Stephen van Huizen said: "We started off really well as Razie scored a goal in the second minute and we pretty much had the match under our control."
  MHC Technical Director Terry Walsh believes the result indicates that the team is getting stronger, both physically and mentally.
  "They never went behind and always held a lead. NZ is not an easy team, and they are in the midst of preparation for the Rio Olympics. So to beat a team ranked higher in an environment favourable to them, clearly states that the players are now beginning to develop a sense of confidence about their ability", Terry added.
  Malaysia will play their Third Test against NZ on Wednesday.

By Hockey New Zealand

Malaysia have levelled the four test series with a 3-2 win over the Black Sticks Men in tonight’s second test at Blake Park in Tauranga.
   After coming away convincing 4-1 winners in yesterday’s opener, the Black Sticks couldn’t slow the resurgent visitors who were never behind on the scoreboard.
  Despite the result, it was a special milestone for Capital Cobras striker Blair Hilton who earned his 150th international cap.
  Head coach Colin Batch said it was a disappointing result and performance.
  “It was a very disappointing game for us. We were looking to play four good matches and as we have seen in the past we’ve had a good result and then not performed the next game,” Batch said.
  “At 2-2 we had some momentum and it was disappointing we allowed them to come back into the game with too many rushed and emotional decisions in defence. We need to improve greatly around overcoming those situations.”
  The opening quarter saw another slow start for the Black Sticks with Malaysia enjoying the majority of possession and earning a penalty corner in just the second minute. Captain Razie Rahim put his flick into the back of the goal to give the visitors an early advantage.
  The Black Sticks built some momentum in the second quarter and the pressure told in the 21st minute when they were awarded a stroke, which Hugo Inglis calmly slotted to level the score.
  With the game locked up 1-1 at half time, it was Malaysia who were next to strike when Joel van Huizen found himself in the right spot to knock in an aerial cross in the circle.
  Eight minutes from full time defender Cory Bennett created some magic to equalise again, pouncing on his own penalty corner deflection to put the ball into the roof of the net on his reverse stick.
  But Malaysia silenced the crowd in the 55th minute when Rahim scored his second goal of the game with another penalty corner flick which sealed the result.
  The Black Sticks have a rest day tomorrow ahead of the third test against Malaysia on Wednesday at 6pm.

BLACK STICKS 2: (Hugo Inglis, Cory Bennett)
MALAYSIA 3: (Razie Rahim 2, Joel van Huizen)
Halftime: 1-1

TNB CUP: BJSS wary of Anderson rising...

BUKIT Jalil Sports School Thunderbolts are wary of Division Two champions Anderson Thunderbolts, especially as they will be playing the first leg semi-finals of the TNB Cup at the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh on Wednesday.
  Anderson have been the most improved team this season, as their rise from Division Two has been meteoric -- especially their giant-killing feat against UniKL Young Guns in the quarter-finals.
  The Ipoh school, the first team from Division Two to advance to the semi-finals of the TNB CUp, beat UniKL 3-2 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil and then held them to a 2-2 draw at the Azlan Shah Stadium to advance on 5-4 aggregate.
  The other semi-finals will be between League champions SSTMI Thunderbolts and SSP-MSP Thunderbolts.
  SSTMI will be going for their fifth consecutive JHL double.
  "There is no doubt that Anderson are actually Division One material, and they are the most improved team in the JHL. And playing them at their own den in Ipoh will not be easy, so we will take a cautious approach and try for the kill in the return leg in Bukit Jalil," said BJSS team manager K. Rajan.
  BJSS last became champions in 2009, after which Bandar Penawar Sports School (who are now SSTMI) took over.
  "It has been a long time since BJSS played in a final, but I believe my boys are game for it this season, even though Anderson will not be easy to beat," said Rajan.
    WEDNESDAY -- TNB CUP Semi-finals, first leg: Anderson Thunderbolts v BJSS Thunderbolts (Azlan Shah, 5pm), SSTMI Thunderbolts v SSP-MSP Thunderbolts (National Stadium Pitch II, 5pm).
  FRIDAY -- TNB CUP Semi-finals, second leg: BJSS Thunderbolts v Anderson Thunderbolts (National Stadium Pitch II, 5pm), SSP-MSSP Thunderbolts v SSTMI Thunderbolts (National Stadium Pitch II, 7pm).