Saturday, November 8, 2008

Asian Wild Card for Juniors

THE National Juniors received a wild card to play in the Third Asian Champion Clubs Cup on Nov 13-16th at the Kuala Lumpur HA Stadium.
Initially, the tournament was supposed to be a five-team affair, with Malaysia being represented by Ernst & Young, but the Juniors were roped in to make it more exciting.
In Group A are Ernst & Young, National Juniors and, Royal Thai Airforce, while in Group B are Olympian Village Club of Pakistan, Singapore Recreation Club and Adijon of Uzbek istan.
The tournament is being revived by the Asian Hockey Federation (AFH) after a 15-year lapse, and the champions will play in the World Club Championships in Barcelona in January.
But if the National Juniors win, they will not be eligible to play in Barcelona. The Juniors are currently in training for the 2009 Junior World Cup which Malaysia and Singapore will co-host in June next year.
The Champion Clubs Cup clashes with MHL, and so the local league will be extended by 10 days.
FIXTURES -- Nov 13: Ernst & Young v National Juniors (5pm), Olympian Village Club v Adijon (7pm).
Nov 14: Royal Thai Airforce v National Juniors (5pm), Singapore Recreation Club v Olympian Village Club (7pm).
Nov 15: Ernst & Young v Royal Thai Airforce (5pm), Singapore Recreation Club v Adijon (7pm).
Nov 16: Final -- 5pm; Third-Fourth: 3pm.

Ernst & Young ahead by seven

ERNST & YOUNG edged Tenaga Nasional 3-2 to pull clear by seven points in Division One of the Malaysia Hockey League.
The match was an exciting affair, with Tenaga scoring first to send their fans into wild celebrations, but Tenaga fans turned unruly and hurled water bottles into the pitch when the final whistle blew, as they felt the umpires robbed them of a draw.
Tenaga scored off Fairuz Ramli in the fifth minute, but Baljit Singh scored the equaliser in the 19th minute. Ernst & Young started playing better after drawing level, and took the lead in the 42nd minute when Ismail Abu was on target.
Tenaga drew level in the 53rd minute off an Amin Rahim penalty corner effort, but the Ernst & Young winner was delivered by Sukri Abdul Jalil in the 58th minute.
And Tenaga had a golden opportunity to steal one point when they received a penalty corner with minutes left, but Amin’s push was deflected out by a defender, and the fans cried for the umpires blood as they felt the ball hit the defenders foot, and a penalty stroke should have been awarded.
Tenaga coach Lailin Abu Hassan had a heated talk with the umpires, but when asked what happened, he declined to comment.
“I will not comment on the umpires decision, but overall, the match was exciting, and we could have snatched a point and kept in contention for the return leg,” said Lailin.
Ernst & Young coach K. Dharmaraj was relieved as his team took a comfortable cushion into the return leg.
“We now have a good chance of retaining our league title, and even though we were lucky to win today (yesterday), still, the pressure will be less when we resume MHL play after we compete in the Asian Champion Clubs tournament (Nov 13- 16).”
The surprise package of the day were the National Juniors, who held Sapura 4-4.
RESULTS: Division One: Tenaga Nasional 2 Ernst & Young 3, National Juniors 4 Sapura 4, Maybank 5 Nur Insafi 2.
Division Two: Bukit Jalil 2 Border Forces Club 0, Bandar Penawar 5 Royal Malay Regiment 6, UNIMAP 1 Dolphins 5.
SUNDAY: Division One -- National Juniors v Tenaga Na sional (National Stadium I, 5pm), Nur Insafi v Ernst & Young (USM Stadium, 5pm), Sapura v Maybank (KLHA Stadium, 5pm).
Division Two: Alam Shah v Malay Regiment (National Stadium II, 5pm), Bukit Jalil Sports School v JLJ (Tun Razak Stadium, 5pm), Bandar Penawar Sports School v Border Forces Club (Bandar Penawar, 5pm), UiTM v UNIMAP (Pan damaran Stadium, 5pm).

P W D L F A Pts
Ernst & Young 5 5 0 0 23 3 15
Sapura 5 2 2 1 13 10 8
Tenaga 5 2 2 1 11 9 8
Maybank 5 2 1 2 11 9 7
Nat Juniors 5 1 1 3 9 18 4
Nur Insafi 5 0 0 5 7 25 0

P W D L F A Pts
RAMD 5 4 0 1 19 10 12
JLJ 4 3 0 1 9 5 9
Dolphins 5 2 2 1 20 9 8
UiTM 3 2 1 0 12 4 7
Bukit Jalil 4 2 1 1 6 2 7
Bandar Penawar 4 2 0 2 15 9 6
Alam Shah 4 1 1 2 9 10 4
UNIMAP 4 0 1 3 2 18 1
Border Forces 5 0 0 5 6 31 0