Friday, December 5, 2008

Juniors hold defending champs Tenaga

NATIONAL Juniors held TNB-Cup defending champions Tenaga Nasional to a 1-1 draw in the first leg, quarter-finals of the Malaysia Hockey League yesterday.
In the another qurter-finals, Ernst & Young blasted Royal Malay Regiment 12-0, while Sapura beat Jurulatih Jentera 5- 0, to virtually book their semi-finals tickets with a match in hand.
National juniors grabbed the bull by the horns in the first half, and were rewarded with a penalty stroke, which was slickly tucked in for a well derseved lead.
The clock showed five minutes remaining on the first half, when the juniors mounted a concerted effort and Izwan Firdaus took a slap shot at goal, but the ball hit Tenaga defender Amin Rahim's foot, and the umpire blew for a penalty stroke.
Nor Hafiq Ghaffar flicked in high to the left of National No 1 goalkeeper S. Kumar's right, and the Juniors were in the driving seat.
But the joy was shortlived, as Tenaga equalised right after the re-start. The Juniors were caught napping, and the ball reached Tajol Rosli, who scored the equaliser off a reverse stick attempt.
Jolted by the soft goal, Juniors started attacking in num bers, but poor finishing was the order of the day, and they even wasted the handful of penalty corners that came their way.
And the Juniors went into deeper misery when Izwan was flashed the yellow card, and they were reduced to a 10-man outfit with five minutes remaining.
But they held on grimly to the draw, and lived to fight on in the return leg.
RESULTS: Q-finals, 1st Leg: Ernst & Young 12 RMR 0, Tenaga Nasional 1 National Juniors 1, JLJ 0 Sapura 5.
Return Leg - Sunday: RMR v Ernst & Young (Tun Razak, 5pm), National Juniors v Tenaga Nasional (National Stadium, 5pm), Sapura v JLJ (KLHA Stadium, 5pm); Dec 13: Maybank v Nur Isnafi (Seremban II, 5pm).
Q-finals, 1st Leg: Dec 10: Nur Insafi v Maybank (Penang, 5pm).

Ernst & Young playing to break jinx

ERNST & Young will start their quest for an elusive double in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) when they square off against Royal Malay Regimen in the first leg quarter-finals at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Ernst & Young, who won the League title comfortably, however, have not been lucky in their quest for the Overall title.
And team manager George Koshy feels the time is right to break their six-year jinx: “The team has been performing well in the League, and I feel we will finally land the elusive title this year.”
Ernst & Young have the distinction of playing in six Overall finals, and it was heart-break each time as they only have silver medals to show.
Their first final appearance was in 2001, and then they made the cut on five consecutive occasions from 2003.
The last two years were especially disappointing, as the gold medals slipped between their fingers on penalty strokes to Sapura and Tenaga Nasional.
As for National Juniors, coach K. Rajan is also optimistic of his charges.
“We lost 3-1 and then drew 2-2 in the League, and we will give Tenaga Nasional a good fight in the last-weight, with an eye to upset the defending champions.”
TODAY - Q-finals, 1st Leg: Ernst & Young v RMR (National Stadium, 8pm), Tenaga Nasional v National Juniors (KLHA Stadium, 8pm), JLJ v Sapura (Tun Razak Stadium, 8pm); Dec 10: Nur Insafi v Maybank (Penang, 5pm).
Return Leg - Sunday: RMR v Ernst & Young (Tun Razak, 5pm), National Juniors v Tenaga Nasional (National Stadium, 5pm), Sapura v JLJ (KLHA Stadium, 5pm); Dec 13: Maybank v Nur Isnafi (Seremban II, 5pm).

Lee to skippper MPGA salvage operation

Pic: Thomas Lee (second from left).

WORK to salvage the sunken Malaysian Professional Golfers Association (MPGA) has already started, after the Sports Commissioner’s office appointed Thomas Lee as the skipper.
Lee, a former Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) president, and 10 other members of the MPGA Ad-Hock committee, were hand-pickled by Sports Commissioner Datuk Nik Mah mud Nik Yusof.
“We have been given the mandate by the Sports Com missioner’s office to look into issues that have been plaguing the MPGA, with specific form of reference to see what we can do to revive the association and help promote professional golf.
“But I would like to stress here, that we will not conduct a witch-hunt to see who is wrong and who is right. Our purpose is to develop a blueprint which which will elevate pro golf to the standard expected by the public and the golf industry,” said Lee.
The Ad-Hock committee was formed on Nov 19, after the MPGA was suspended by the Commissioner’s office.
A check with former MPGA secretary S. Selvakumar revealed that their appeal was rejected.
“We did appeal the suspension but received a letter which said that our appeal has been rejected,” said Selvakumar.
The Ad-Hock committee has been given five terms of reference by the Commissioner:
1. Look into the role and responsibilities of the MPga in relation to developing pro golf in Malaysia.
2. Amend the MPGA constitution to make it relevant with its role and responsibilities, and to re-study the by-laws.
3. Hold and Extraordinary General Meeting to endorse changes to the MPGA constitution and then hold an Annual General Meeting to appoint new office-bearers.
4. Look into the daily running of the MPGA.
5. To study other issues on how to strengthen the MPGA.
“We have been given five terms of reference, but the fourth, which states we have to look into the daily running of the MPGA is not relevant as it has been suspended,” said Lee.
When asked about the dead-line: “We have not set our selves a dead-line to complete our work, as there are many documents to look into. But sufficient to say, our work will be completed as soon as possible.”
The committee is made up of experienced hands in the industry, with even the General Manager of Saujana Golf and Country Club, John Eu, among its members.
AD-Hoc Committee Members: Thomas Lee, Zulkifli Ismail, Harris Zainal, Victor Lim, Firruz Jaffril, John Eu, Frankie Choo, M. Selvanaban, K. Rajendera, Nazamuddin Yusof and Mej (rtd) Richard Lian.