Sunday, March 29, 2009

BJSS within striking distance

BUKIT JALIL Sports School (BJSS) will get a chance to top the Division Two standings of the Malaysia Hockey League when they meet Malacca today.

Leaders Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS) have a rest day and BJSS, with six straight wins, will be playing a team which has lost three and drawn one match.
The imbalance is quite obvious, and with only five more matches to go before the league title is decided, BJSS coach S. Prakash is cautious.
"Nine of my players competed in the National Under-16 where they played seven matches in a row, and even after a few days rest, they could not perform well against Setapak High (on Friday, BJSS won 2-0).
"I hope they will fare much better against Malacca who have many Malaysia Games players," said Prakash.
The BJSS squad this year is made up of Under-17 players, but they have held on well against more experienced opponents in six matches.
"We don't want to burst the bubble at this stage, because at least three other teams are also in the running to claim the title, if we draw or lose."
TODAY -- Division Two: Bukit Jalil Sports School v Malacca (Tun Razak Stadium, 5pm), BJSS Juniors v Kijang Mas (Tun Razak Stadium, 7pm), Anderson v BPSS Juniors (Azlan Shah Stadium, 5pm), Tenaga Nasional v Olak (KLHA Stadium 5pm).
Division Three: Matri v Selangor (Kangar, 5pm), TBSS- Tampin v Penang (Tampin, 5pm), English College v Perlis (Johor Baru, 5pm), Temerloh v Kuala Selangor (Kuantan, 5pm).
Monday -- Division Three: Nur Insafi v Selangor (Sungai Petani, 3pm).

For the country....

By Tai Beng Hai
(The writer is Malaysian hockey chief coach)

I BELIEVE in my players, and they believe in me, and together, we are giving our best to elevate the standard of Malaysian hockey at the international level.

The training regime has been tough, as my team of coaches and I have been pushing them to the maximum for the past three months, and the plus point is that instead of complaining, my players took up the challenge to improve.
The wake-up call is at the break of dawn, 6am, and we start by building stamina with a variety of training drills. The results are there for all to see, as the National Sports Institute records have shown a marked improvement in every player after only three months.
Right now, fitness is no longer a worry for me, as the boys showed when we played seven matches in South Korea recently.
We played three matches in a row, took a two-day break, and then another four matches in a row and there was a very little drop in standard as all the players could keep their normal pace.
Time was what I did not have when I was offered to coach the team in January, as the Azlan Shah Cup and Asia Cup were just a few months away.
But I took up the challenge because my passion is hockey, as I enjoyed every moment of my life when I was donning the national jersey.
And there has been no looking over my shoulders to see if a foreign coach will be appointed to replace me, as this set of players, who I had trained as juniors when I was assistant to Sarjit Singh for the 2004 Junior World Cup, are among the best I have seen so far.
In fact they remind me of my teammates in dedication and commitment.
Right now, the team are eager to prove themselves in the Azlan Shah Cup as they have not played in a tournament for a long time.
Our trip to South Korea (where the team won three, drew two and lost two matches), was a refreshing change as I saw promise in many players who have been merely floating before.
We played against university sides which had many Korean national players, and I returned home with a better understanding about my team. Some of the players performed better in different positions and this, I believe, will be an asset in the next two important assignments.
The Azlan Shah Cup will be a great chance for the team to impress, and start their climb back into the respectable hockey playing nations' bracket. We are Number 15 today, but I believe the ranking does not reflect the true capabilities of this set of players.
I believe in my players, even though only Egypt (No 21) are ranked below us in the Azlan Shah Cup, while New Zealand (No 7), Pakistan (No 8) and India (No 10) are above, my players are eager to show results, and the tournament will be an exciting one, as we are looking at a podium finish.
After that, there will be a final push for the Asia Cup, and everybody knows the score -- it will be difficult to win the title and qualify for the (2010) World Cup but not impossible -- and like every other aspirant, we will give our best.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

BPSS edge closer to title

BANDAR Penawar Sports School brushed aside Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Division Two title aspirants Tenaga Nasional 3-1 at the Bandar Penawar pitch yesterday.

The win has placed BPSS in good steed to win the League title, as they only have Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) to contend with.
Yesterday, BPSS and Tenaga were tied 1-1 at one stage, but fitness saw the sports school surge ahead in the last 20 minutes.
BPSS took the lead off Faez Hilmi in the 15th minute, but Tenaga equalised in the 46th minute when their captain Faizal Yaccob scored a field goal.
But the sports school boys regained the lead two minutes later off Noor Faeez Ibrahim and increased it further in the 69th minute when Fitri Saari was on target.
"We took a step closer to the League title, and I believe the team to watch out for now is BJSS who we play second last. It could well determine who claims the title," said BPSS coach Wan Roslan Wan Rahman.
At the Tun Razak Stadium, BJSS kept their perfect record when they edged Setapak High School 2-0 with goals from Dangerous Lee Mathew (sixth) and Shazril Irwan (57th).
RESULTS -- Division Two: Bukit Jalil Sports School 2 Setapak High 0, Malacca 4 BPSS Juniors 3, Olak 2 Kijang Mas 3, Bandar Penawar Sports School 3 Tenaga Nasional 1, Anderson 4 BJSS Juniors 1, Batu Pahat 1 Petaling Jaya City Councuil 4.
Division Three: Kuala Selangor 3 Penang 8, Temerloh 1 TBSS-Tampin 5, Datuk Taha 4 Perlis 6.
TOMORROW: Division Two: Bukit Jalil Sports School v Malacca (Tun Razak Stadium, 5pm), BJSS Juniors v Kijang Mas (Tun Razak Stadium, 7pm), Anderson v BPSS Juniors (Azlan Shah Stadium, 5pm), Tenaga Nasional v Olak (KLHA Stadium 5pm).
Division Three: Matri v Selangor (Kangar, 5pm), TBSS- Tampin v Penang (Tampin, 5pm), English College v Perlis (Johor Baru, 5pm), Temerloh v Kuala Selangor (Kuantan, 5pm).
Monday: Division Three: Nur Insafi v Selangor (Sungai Petani, 3pm).


P W D L F A Pts
BPSS 7 6 1 0 22 9 19
BJSS 6 6 0 0 20 3 18
TNB 6 4 0 2 20 11 12
Anderson 6 4 0 2 14 6 12
PJ City Council 7 3 2 2 13 12 11
Malacca 7 3 1 3 15 13 10
Setapak High 6 2 2 2 11 8 8
Olak 5 2 1 2 10 10 7
Kijang Mas 7 1 2 4 8 16 5
Batu Pahat 6 1 1 4 7 17 4
BJSS Jnrs 7 1 0 6 4 25 3
BPSS Jnrs 6 0 0 6 8 18 0


P W D L F A Pts
Nur Insafi 6 6 0 0 30 4 18
Temerloh 7 4 2 1 15 14 14
Perlis 6 3 1 2 20 14 10
Penang 6 2 4 0 15 9 10
TBSS-Tampin 5 3 1 1 13 12 10
English College 6 2 2 2 7 9 8
Matri 6 2 1 3 11 13 7
Selangor 5 1 1 3 6 10 4
Datuk Taha 6 0 1 5 14 23 1
Kuala Selangor 7 0 1 6 10 33 1

Friday, March 27, 2009

Death mars League restart

THE Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) will resume today after a three-week break on a sombre note following the death of a Nur Insafi player in an accident, which also resulted in four other players being hospitalised.

Sixteen-year-old Mohamed Fadhirul Razmin died in the accident, while Mohamed Hanif Kasman, Mohamed Azrul Fazrin, Sabir Ismail and Mohamed Fadil Zabidi have been hospitalised.
The five were on the way to a training session on Wednesday when their car was involved in an accident near Kulim.
As a mark of respect, the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) has postponed the Nur Insfi-Selangor match which was supposed to be held today in Sungai Petani.
Nur Insafi top the Division Three table with an unbeaten record.
Meanwhile, Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS) will lock horns with Tenaga Nasional today, and the outcome will decide which team have the power to challenge for the Division Two title.
Favourites Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) should have it easy against Setapak High School, and could even re-claim the top spot if BJSS lose to Tenaga.
TODAY -- Division Two: Bukit Jalil Sports School v Setapak High (Tun Razak Stadium, 6pm), Malacca v BPSS Juniors (Malacca, 5pm), Olak v Kijang Mas (Pandamaran Stadium, 5pm), Bandar Penawar Sports School v Tenaga Nasional (Bandar Penawar, 5pm), Anderson v BJSS Juniors (Azlan Shah Stadium, 5pm), Batu Pahat v Petaling Jaya City Council (Batu Pahat, 5pm).
Division Three: Kuala Selangor v Penang (Pandamaran Stadium, 3pm), Temerloh v TBSS-Tampin (Kuantan Stadium, 5pm), Datuk Taha v Perlis (Tampin, 5pm).

Target to reach final

Madzli Ikmar (pic)has been named captain.

THE Malaysian Hockey Federation selected its squad for the Azlan Shah Cup with a dual target of qualifying for the final and to avoid injuries.

The Azlan Shah Cup will be held in Ipoh on April 5-12, and after that it's do-or-die in the Asia Cup scheduled for May 9-15 in Kuantan.
"We will play for a berth in the final, of course, but the players have also been told not to take unnecessary risks in the Azlan Shah Cup as they have a bigger task in the Asia Cup," said team manager George Koshy after naming the 22 for Ipoh.
Malaysia will be up against New Zealand, India, Pakistan and Egypt in the Azlan Shah Cup.
The Asia Cup only offers one ticket to the 2010 New Delhi World Cup.
"We will trim the squad to 18 after a friendly with New Zealand on April 2 as we still need to see how some injured players respond to treatment before finalising the squad," Koshy added.
Not on the list is prolific striker Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, who picked up a shin splint but should be ready for the Asia Cup.
The Azlan Shah squad -- Goalkeepers: S. Kumar, Khairulnizam Ibrahim, Fairul Wanasir.
Defenders: Madzli Ikmar (capt), Engku Malek, Amin Rahim, Baljit Singh Charun Singh, Baljit Singh Sarjab Singh.
Midfielders: Kelvinder Singh, Sukri Mutalib, Shahrun Nabil, Nabil Fiqri, Jivan Mohan, Azlan Misron.
Forwards: Ismail Abu, Chua Boon Huat, Hafifi Hafiz, Amerullah Aziz, S. Selvaraju, Megat Azrafiq, Herwan Pami, Fekri Basaar.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Selvaraju boost for Azlan Shah Cup

By Ajitpal Singh

S. SELVARAJU is back in training after an injury scare and his return will be a plus point for the national team in the Azlan Shah Cup on April 6-12 and the Asia Cup on May 9-16.
Selvaraju suffered a right knee and hamstring injury during training last month. The 24-year-old was subsequently left out from the tour of South Korea, early this month.
National coach Tai Beng Hai said Selvaraju is an important entity and his presence will boost the team's chances in both tournaments.
"Selvaraju was in rehab and he only started light training when the national team were on tour. He is doing fine in training and will likely be in the Azlan Shah Cup squad," said Beng Hai.
Meanwhile, Beng Hai feels home ground advantage in the Asia Cup will spur his players further in doing their best.
The champions in the Asia Cup, to be held in Kuantan, will gain automatic qualification to the 2010 World Cup in New Delhi.
"There are pros and cons when playing at home. Of course, it will spur the players but it could also be added pressure.
"If the players do their best and play according to instructions, the home ground advantage will benefit them."
He also said both the Azlan Shah and Asia Cup will be equally important in terms of achieving different goals.
"According to my training programme, the players should be 80 per cent focused and ready for the Azlan Shah and in peak condition for the Asia Cup.
"It is also important that they do reasonably well in the Azlan Shah Cup to gain confidence."
In Korea, Beng Hai tried out some players in different positions.
"Overall the players did well in their new positions. Those who can adapt to different positions will hold an advantage in the team."
Malaysia won three out of their seven matches against university and clubs teams in Korea.

Monday, March 23, 2009

State's want coach to select more

NATIONAL Under-16 coach K. Dharmaraj (pic) was in Seremban to watch the age-group tournament which ended on Saturday, and only selected two new faces to beef-up his training squad.
The other 20 players had already been shortlisted earlier leading state coaches to cry foul as they believe 10 more should be included in the training squad.
"During the tournament, I spoke to several state coaches and they felt my training squad should have 32 and not 22 because many more players have shown promise," said Dharmaraj.
"But my hands are tied because the NSC (National Sports Council) is only funding 22 players. I will speak to the NSC officials tomorrow (today) and can only increase the number if they agree to fund a larger group." This batch of players are being groomed for the 2013 Junior World Cup.

"The two players I have selected are both goalkeepers as I need a bigger pool to keep them challenging each other. I have no qualms about training a bigger group, but it all depends on funding, and only the NSC can make this decision," added Dharmaraj.
On the tournament, Dharmaraj felt that playing seven matches in a row made the gold and bronze matches jaded affairs.
"Seven matches in a row is a bit too much even for older players, as such, both the finalists were struggling in the title decider.
"My suggestion for next year is that there should at least be a break of one day after the semi-finals to allow the boys to recover." Eleven states and Singapore competed in the National Under-16 tournament with Kuala Lumpur retaining their crown with a 3-1 win over Perak.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Goalkeeper S. Kumar ties the knot

NATIONAL No 1 hockey goalkeeper S. Kumar married L. Parimala in Tampin, Negri Sembilan, on 21-03-09.
Best wishes to the newly-weds.
Kumar will be back between the posts in the Azlan Shah Cup on April 5-12, and then the Asia Cup in May, which Malaysia are highly touted to host after Dubai pulled out.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

KL defend National Under-16 crown

Kuala Lumpur players pose with the trophy after winning the National Under-16 title at the Seremban II Stadium in Negri Sembilan yesterday. — Pic: OWEE AH CHUN

KUALA Lumpur defended their National Under-16 title with a late surge when they beat Perak 3-1 at the Seremban II Stadium in Negri Sembilan yesterday.

Kuala Lumpur were made to sweat for 54 minutes, before they could score their first goal which came from Ahmad Iqwan.
Nor Aqmal Ghaffar then delivered a penalty corner goal in the 57th minute.
Perak made a concerted effort, and narrowed the margin off Saiful Manan in the 60th minute, but the fight-back was doused in the 66th minute when Nor Aqmal scored another penalty corner goal.
KL skipper Taufik Hamid was sent to the sin-bin after that goal, but the city boys held on for the remainder of the match.
Nor Aqmal scored a total 10 goals to become the tournament top-scorer.
In the third-fourth playoff, Penang beat Terengganu 4-1 with goals from Redhwan Jaafar (seventh), Ashraf Bahari (26th), Hafify Rodzi (28th) and Azwar Rahim (40th).
The Terengganu consolation was scored by Firdaus Shuib in the 60th minute.
"Perak made it very difficult for us for 50 minutes, before Iqwan gave us a break when he connected home a cross.
"That was the turning point, and my boys kept up the pressure and sound team-work won the day," said Kuala Lumpur coach I. Vickneswaran.
RESULTS -- Final: Kuala Lumpur 3 Perak 1; Third-Fourth: Penang 4 Terengganu 1.
ROLL-OF-HONOUR -- Top scorer: Nor Aqmal Ghaffar (KL, 10 goals); Best Goalkeeper: Hazrul Faiz (Terengganu); Best Player: Shazril Irwan Nazli (Perak); Best Player In Final: Nor Aqmal Ghaffar (KL).

Malaysia approached to host Asia Cup

DUBAI does not want it anymore, so the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) is involved in a ‘table talk’ with Malaysia to host the Asia Cup on May 8-15.
Hot at the centre of dispute is the US$20,000 hosting fee, which the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) wants waived, to seal the deal.
“The AHF wrote to us saying that Dubai does not want to be the Asia Cup host anymore, but did not specify what prompt ed them to reverse their decision.
“The issue was discussed at the last council meeting (in Johor) and it was agreed that MHC will host the tournament, provided the hosting fee is waived,” said an official who declined to be named as the matter is still under dis cussion.
Sultan Azlan Shah is the AHF president, while Tan Sri P. Alagendra the secretary general.
The MHC, still smarting from the million-ringgit loss suffered by hosting the Champions Trophy, have written to the AHF, but have yet receive a reply.
The Asia Cup also doubles up as a qualifier for the 2010 New Delhi World Cup, with only the champion advancing, while the rest will play in a qualifier.
“The council also agreed that if AFH waive the hosting fee, the tournament will be held at the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh.
“We have debts to the tune of RM1 million, and it would be foolish to host another tournament, but being hosts will benefit our campaign, and also, we can save on travelling, accommodation, and food costs.” said the official.
The AHF had also looked at Pakistan as hosts, but their plans were derailed after terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team.
Ipoh will host the Azlan Shah Cup on April 5-12, and if all goes well, the Asia Cup a month later.

KL-Perak final showdown

KUALA Lumpur and Perak demolished their semi-final opponents with identical 3-1 scores and will play for the National Under-16 title at the Seremban II Stadium today.
Penang and Terengganu will meet for the bronze.
And the fact that both teams will be playing their seventh-straight match means fitness will be the key element to victory.
Both the teams are from Group A, and defending champions Kuala Lumpur won the pool match 3-1.
"The win in Group A will not matter when we play afresh in the final, the pressure and stakes will be differentI predict a close match till the final hooter," said Kuala Lumpur coach I. Vickneswaran.
Two years ago, Perak and Kuala Lumpur were in the Under-14 final, and Perak went on to claim the title. Both the states will be fielding almost the same set of players today.
"Kuala Lumpur players took their chances well in this tournament to reach the final. However, I still believe in my players, and hopefully they will deliver again in the final," said Perak coach M. Kulasingam.
In the semis yesterday, Perak took the lead off Firdaus Sidek in the 24th minute, but Penang equalised a minute later through Azrul Hasbullah.
Firdaus again gave Perak the lead in the 34th minute, and Shazril Irwan made sure with a penalty stroke conversion in the 45th minute.
Kuala Lumpur also took the lead in the third minute off Nor Aqmal Gahaffar only to see it cancelled by Shafiq Nordin in the 11th minute.
Kuala Lumpur took the lead again in the 62nd minute off Zizi Azwan, and Nor Aqmal made sure by scoring his second in the 66th minute.
RESULTS -- Semi-finals: Perak 3 Penang 1, Terengganu 1 Kuala Lumpur 3.
TODAY -- Final: Perak v Kuala Lumpur (5pm); Third-Fourth: Terengganu v Penang (3pm).

Friday, March 20, 2009

Kuala Lumpur sneak into semis

In red, Selangor’s Azlan Abdul Aziz (right) and assistant team manager V. Jayakumar confront match officials after the match against Perlis on Wednesday. — Pic: OWEE AH CHUN

DEFENDING champions Kuala Lumpur made it to the semi-finals of the National Under-16 hockey tournament on goal difference when they beat Kelantan 4-2 yesterday.

Kuala Lumpur will meet Group B champions Terengganu in the last four, while Perak will square off against Penang in the other semi-final.
Terengganu, who had already qualified for the last four before playing Negri Sembilan yesterday, still went on to score a comfortable 4-0 win over the hosts to remain the only unbeaten team in the tournament.
Perak also had a sterling match when they brushed aside Perlis 4-0 to top Group A.
Perak, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor all ended with 12 points after five matches, and only goals separated the semi-finalists.
The Terengganu scorers yesterday were Shafiq Nordin (first minute), Firhan Ashari (37th, 51st) and Kharul Anuar.
Meanwhile, Selangor coach Azlan Abdul Aziz and assistant team manager V. Jayakumar have been suspended from the tournament for unruly conduct. Both have been referred to the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) disciplinary board.
"Selangor coach Azlan and assistant manager Jayakumar were constantly harassing umpires during the Selangor-Perlis match on Wednesday and had to be restrained by technical officials from entering the pitch during the match," said tournament director Jusver Singh.
"And when the match ended, both entered the pitch and confronted the umpires in a threatening manner. So we have suspended them from the tournament and have referred the case to the MHF disciplinary board."
RESULTS -- Group A: Pahang 0 Selangor 5, Kuala Lumpur 4 Kelantan 2, Perak 4 Perlis 0; Group B: Johor 1 Kedah 5, Penang 1 Singapore 1, Negri Sembilan 0 Terengganu 4.

Today -- Semi-finals: Perak v Penang (4.30pm, Pitch 1); Terengganu v Kuala Lumpur (4.30pm, Pitch II).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Winners all-round

TROY, N.Y. - The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) field hockey team earned a 2008 National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III Academic Team Award with a team grade point average of 3.53 for the fall ’08 semester. Rensselaer ranks second in Division III and third nationally when including all divisions.
This is the third time in the last five years RPI has been ranked in the top five. The Red Hawks were first in both 2004 and 2005.
“We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of our student-athletes on the field and in the classroom.” said head coach Bridget LaNoir ‘99, a former RPI field hockey and ice hockey captain who has been the coach since 2001. “Our student-athletes work extremely hard to achieve goals they are passionate about.”
Swarthmore College is first in Division III with a team GPA of 3.59. Haverford College is third (3.51), followed by Connecticut College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which are tied for fourth (3.50). LaSalle University is first in Division I (3.56) and Kutztown University has the highest team GPA in Division II (3.51).
Individually, Rensselaer placed 16 team members on the National Academic Squad, including three four-year award recipients in seniors Lisa Pak (Methuen, MA/Methuen), Stephanie Petta (Hopewell Junction, NY/John Jay) and Sara Stylinski (Southington, CT/Southington).
The field hockey team also saw 23 of its 25 members qualify for the Dean’s List last semester, including three student-athletes with perfect 4.0 grade point averages. There were 15 members who earned a 3.50 GPA or better.
The Red Hawks, who finished 8-9 and played in the Liberty League Tournament Semifinals, helped RPI student-athletes post an average grade point average of 3.07 for the term. That GPA ranked higher than that of the entire campus, which had an average of 3.04, as well as that of non-student-athletes, which was also 3.04. Eleven of Rensselaer’s athletic programs boasted average GPAs of 3.20 or better.

Pakistan name Azlan Shah Cup squad

Shakeel Abbasi (right)

The National Selection Committee of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has announced the selection of 18 players for the 18th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Hockey Tournament.

President of the PHF Qasim Zia, Secretary Muhammad Asif Bajwa, Chairman of the Selection Committee Hassan Sardar, members Rana Mujahid Ali, Khalid Bashir, Farhat Khan, Muhammad Shafiq and Coach Shahid Ali Khan observed the trials at National Hockey Stadium in Lahore.

Full Back Zeeshan Ashraf named as captain and Muhammad Imran vice captain. The announced players are Goal Keeper Nasir Ahmad, Full Backs Muhammad Imran, Zeeshan Ashraf, Ehsan Ullah, Halves Zeeshan Ali, Sibtain Raza, Muhammad Saqlain, Rana Asif, Fareed Ahmad, Sajjad Anwar, Dilawar Bhatti, Forwards Waqas Sharif, Shakeel Abbasi, Shabir Khan, Abbas Haider, Tariq Aziz, Shafqat Rasool and Akhtar Ali.

The Azlan Shah tournament will be held from 5-12 April in Ipoh, Malaysia. Pakistan, Malaysia, India, New Zealand and Egypt will take part in the tournament. Pakistan will play its first match against Malaysia on 5 April, second match against New Zealand on 6 April, third match against Egypt on 9 April and last pool match against India on 11 April, while the final and position matches will be played on 12 April.

Source: PHF

Terengganu march into semis

By Ajitpal Singh

TERENGGANU have advance to the semi-finals of the National Under-16 hockey competition when they came back from a goal down to edge Singapore 2-1 in Group B at the Seremban II Stadium in Negri Sembilan yesterday.
Singapore, the last year’s runners-up, scored first through Karleef Saal Abdullah in the ninth minute.
Terengganu only found their momentum in the last five minutes of the match against the defensive-minded Sin gapore side.
Firdaus Shuib leveled the score with a field attempt in the 65th minute and Firhan Ashari sounded the board off a penalty corner conversion, two minutes later, for the winning goal.
Terengganu team manager Shamsul Ismail said it was rather difficult to break into the Singapore’s semi-circle.
“Singapore played defensively and it was initially tough to get the goals. However, my charges continued to press hard and it paid dividends,” said Shamsul when contacted in Negri Sembilan yesterday.
“My players proved today (yesterday) that they are a determined lot. I have told my charges to make impression against Negri tomorrow (today) to top the group,”
The toss for the other semi-final spot in Group B is between Negri and Penang, who each have nine points.
Negri play Terengganu while Penang face Singapore to day..
Meanwhile, Perak, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor will battle for semi-final spots in Group A and all three teams must win today to keep their hope alive.
Yesterday, Selangor waited until the last minute to score the winner against Perlis to win 2-1 yesterday.
Selangor’s goals were scored by Shahrul Dennis and Narmesh Singh in the 10th and 69th minutes, respectively.
Perlis replied through Amirul Hafizan Kadir in the 38th minute.
RESULTS-- Group A: Kuala Lumpur 3 Pahang 1, Perak 2 Kelantan 0, Perlis 1 Selangor 2;
Group B: Penang 3 Kedah 1, Singapore 1 Terengganu 2, Johor 0 Negri Sembilan 1.
TODAY-- Group A: Pahang v Selangor (8am), Kuala Lumpur v Kelantan (3pm), Perak v Perlis (5pm);
Group B: Johor v Kedah (8am), Penang v Singapore (3pm), Negri Sembilan v Terengganu (5pm)

P W D L F A Pts
Perak 4 3 0 1 10 4 9
K Lumpur 4 3 0 1 10 4 9
Selangor 4 3 0 1 6 4 9
Kelantan 4 2 0 2 8 8 6
Perlis 4 1 0 3 7 11 3
Pahang 4 0 0 4 5 15 0

Group B
P W D L F A Pts
Terengganu. 4 4 0 0 14 3 12
Penang 4 3 0 1 12 7 9
N Sembilan 4 3 0 1 6 5 9
Singapore 4 1 1 2 7 5 4
Kedah 4 0 1 3 3 14 1
Johor 4 0 0 4 3 11 0

Terengganu make their move

By Ajitpal Singh

FORMER champions Terengganu continued their stunning run in the National Under-16 hockey competition when they destroyed Kedah 7-0 in Group B at the Seremban II Stadium in Negri Sembilan yesterday.
With the victory, Terengganu have collected a maximum of nine points from three minutes and a favourable result against last year’s runner-up Singapore today will ensure them the semi-final ticket.
Terengganu team manager Shamsul Ismail said his charges have been superb so far in the competition.
“I’m happy that the players have peaked accordingly but the best is yet to come from them. As for now, they are playing at the right momentum and tempo,” said Shamsul when contacted in Negri Sembilan yesterday.
“Confidence is on a high among my players and to build on this, they must stay unbeaten in the group stage Our aim is to win the title.”
In last year’s competition, Terengganu were shown the door in the quarter-finals.
Firhan Ashari was the toast of the Terengganu team with three goals in the second, seventh and 18th minutes.
The other goals were scored by Nursyafiq Farhain Salim (37th), Zulhairi Zulkifli (52nd), Rasul Yusof (62nd) and Firdaus Shuib (64th).
In Group A, defending champions Kuala Lumpur notched their second victory in the tournament when they edged Perak 3-1.
Perak took an early lead through Dzahiruddin Ilyas penalty corner goal in the 17th minute.
However, KL replied through a brace from Taufik Hamid in the 21st and 23rd minutes and Muhammad Nur (35th).
RESULTS: Group A -- Kuala Lumpur 3 Perak 1, Perlis 3 Pahang 2, Selangor 3 Kelantan 1.
Group B: Kedah 0 Terengganu 7, Johor 2 Penang 3, Singapore 0 Negri Sembilan 1.
TODAY-- Group A: Kuala Lumpur v Pahang (8am), Perak v Kelantan (3pm), Perlis v Selangor (5pm);
Group B: Penang v Kedah (8am), Singapore v Terengganu (3pm), Johor v Negri Sembilan (5pm).

P W D L F A Pts
Perak 3 2 0 1 8 4 6
K Lumpur 3 2 0 1 7 3 6
Kelantan 3 2 0 1 8 6 6
Selangor 3 2 0 1 4 3 6
Perlis 3 1 0 2 6 9 3
Pahang 3 0 0 3 4 12 0

Group B
P W D L F A Pts
Terengganu. 3 3 0 0 12 2 9
Penang 3 2 0 1 9 6 6
N Sembilan 3 2 0 1 5 5 6
Singapore 3 1 1 1 6 3 4
Kedah 3 0 1 2 2 11 1
Johor 3 0 0 3 3 10 0

Challenge II for Mas women

THE Malaysian women’s team will compete in their biggest international tournament this year at the Champions Chal lenge II in Kazan, Russia on June 21-27.
Malaysia, who were first reserve, were invited by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for the tournament after qualifier the Netherlands Antilles withdrew.
The other teams in the Champions Challenge II are Belgium, Ireland, Chile, India, Ukraine, Canada and Russia.
The Malaysian team, coached by Yahya Atan, are ranked 24th in the world.
This is the first time, the national women’s team are competing in a tournament of such repute.
Malaysian Women’s Hockey Association (MWHA) secre tary S.Shamala said the tournament will open new doors for the national team.
“It’s like a new dimension for us, which in a long run will help improve our world rankings and simultaneously create more opportunities to compete in higher level events. The tournament is one of the build ups towards the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. ,” said Shamala yesterday.
Shamala said the team, in preparing for the Champions Challenge II, will likely compete at the All-India Cham pionships next month.
“We have made arrangement with our counterparts in India and are awaiting reply,” she added.
The Champions Challenge II is also to gauge the national players before the Asian Cup in Bangkok, Thailand on Oct 6- 15.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Namesh Singh is King

Kuala Lumpur’s Syawal Zakaria raises his stick towards a Selangor player in their match at Seremban II Stadium yesterday. Selangor won 1 - 0. — Pic: OWEE AH CHUN

DEFENDING champions Kuala Lumpur suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Selangor in the National Under-16 tournament curtain raiser at the Seremban II Stadium yesterday.

Selangor's hero was Namesh Singh who scored a field goal in the 13th minute which was enough to upset Kuala Lumpur in the Group A match.
In another Group A match, Perak, who finished fourth last year, hammered Pahang 5-1 to make their intentions clear.
"Namesh plays for Petaling Jaya City Council in the Malaysia Hockey League and he delivered when it mattered as we were looking for a good start," said Selangor coach Paul Raj.
Selangor meet Perak today and Raj added: "Perak are the early favourites because this set of boys were the Under-14 champions, and they have shown great understanding against Pahang today (yesterday).
"It will be a difficult match, but if the boys follow instructions like they did today, we have a good chance."
Perak's Dzahiruddin Ilyas scored in the seventh, ninth, and 34th minutes to complete a hat-trick and put his side in a commanding position.
Perak's other goals were scored by Hanif Saidin (57th) and Shazli Irwan (61st).
Pahang's consolation goal was scored by Hafiz Zainol in the 39th minute.
In a Group B match, Kedah could only muster a 2-2 draw against Singapore. Kedah took a 2-0 lead with goals from Farid Zuki (eighth) and Afdazanizam Nazian (56th) but could not hold onto their advantage and allowed Singapore to score through their skipper Azahari Osman in the 68th and 70th minutes.
RESULTS -- Group A: Kelantan 3 Perlis 2, Pahang 1 Perak 5, Kuala Lumpur 0 Selangor 1; Group B: Johor 1 Terengganu 3, Kedah 2 Singapore 2, Negri Sembilan 2 Penang 5.
TODAY -- Group A: Selangor v Perak, Kuala Lumpur v Perlis, Kelantan v Pahang.
Group B: Terengganu v Penang, Johor v Singapore, Negri Sembilan v Kedah.

P W D L F A Pts
Perak 1 1 0 0 5 1 3
Kelantan 1 1 0 0 3 2 3
Selangor 1 1 0 0 1 0 3
Perlis 1 0 0 1 2 3 0
K Lumpur 1 0 0 1 0 1 0
Pahang 1 0 0 1 1 5 0

Group B
P W D L F A Pts
Penang 1 1 0 0 5 2 3
Terengganu. 1 1 0 0 3 1 3
Kedah 1 0 1 0 2 2 1
Singapore 1 0 1 0 2 2 1
Johor 1 0 0 1 1 3 0
N Sembilan 1 0 0 1 2 5 0

Juniors hit Sixer into Singapore

Hard knock: Malaysia’s Azreen Rizal Nasir (right) takes a hit from Singapore’s Haikal Eiman Supaat during their third-place playoff match yesterday. Malaysia won 6-0. — ABDUL RAHMAN EMBONG / The Star

THE National Juniors finally impressed when they hammered Singapore 6-0 in the placing match of the Four-Nation Invitational tournament at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday.
In the pool match, Malaysia could only edge Singapore 2-1.
Malaysia's goals yesterday came via Jamil Saidin (sixth, 20th), Azammi Adabi (23rd), Harvinder Singh (24th), Izwan Firdaus (45th) and Marhan Jalil (47th).
"Today (yesterday) my boys showed urgency and speed and totally blanked out Singapore," said Juniors coach K. Rajan.
"I see this as a good sign as they showed a good comeback after a poor display in the pool match (against Singapore).
"Now, they will have to up the tempo in the remaining friendly matches before the Junior World Cup."
Malaysia and Singapore will co-host the Junior World Cup on June 7-21.
Meanwhile, in yesterday's final, Pakistan beat India 3-2 in sudden death after the teams were 2-2 at full time.
India, who had beaten the same opponents 3-1 in the round-robin match on Friday, twice went ahead through Mandeep Antil in the 22nd and 47th minutes only for Pakistan to level through Abdul Haseem (37th minute) and Muhammad Zubair (67th) to force extra-time.
Abdul Haseem Khan scored a 73rd minute golden goal to seal the title.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Kuala Lumpur the team to watch

KUALA Lumpur will be the team to watch again in the National Under-16 hockey tournament which begins tomorrow (15/03/09)at the Seremban Stadium in Negri Sembilan.

KL are the defending champions, but their coach I. Vickneswaran feels history does not matter in junior tournaments.
"In junior tournaments, it is easier to win a title than to defend one, so we will be going in with full concentration," said Vickneswaran, a former national player.
KL will open accounts against Selangor tomorrow.
The top two teams from both groups will advance to the semi-finals.
"I have a well-balanced team and they look good in training, but since we will be playing in Seremban, the boys must get adapted to the pitch as soon as possible.
"And we also have some good flickers for penalty corners, but again, it all depends on how fast they adapt to the pitch," said Vickneswaran.
Eleven state teams and Singapore have registered for the tournament, with Sabah, Sarawak and Johor the absentees.
KL Squad: Fitri Jasni (Gk), Shahfiqzan Suhaimi (Gk), Ahmad Shahzuan, Fitri Hidayat, Hamad Ashraf, Ahmad Amirol, Mohamed Nor, Aslam Hamafiah, Taufik Hamid, Ahmed Iqwan, Shahril Saabah, Fahed Saifullah, Syawal Zakaria, Zizi Azwan, A. Kaarthiek, Khairol Shafik, Nor Aqmal.
Group A: Kuala Lumpur, Kelantan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor.
Group B: Johor, Kedah, Negri Sembilan, Penang, Singapore, Terengganu.
Tomorrow -- Group A: Kelantan v Perlis, Pahang v Perak, KL v Selangor; Group B: Johor v Terengganu, Kedah v Singapore, Negri Sembilan v Penang.

Juniors a bane for coaches

Malaysia’s Harvinder Singh Makbul Singh (second from right) is outnumbered by Singapore players in their match on Friday. — Pic: ZULKARNAIN AHMAD TAJUDDIN

TWO coaches quit because of the national juniors, and a third finds himself in a possibly similar situation as the future of Malaysian hockey has shown little promise in the ongoing Four-Nation at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru.

K. Rajan was placed in a tight spot on Friday, when the Juniors scored a pathetic 2-1 win over minnows Singapore.
Malaysia and Singapore co-host the Junior World Cup on June 7-21, and it looks like both will be battling to avoid last place.
Last year, Tai Beng Hai quit after this batch of players went on a losing spree of 30 friendly and tournament matches, and V. Muraleedharan was appointed as the replacement.
But barely six months into the job, Muraleedharan also sent in his quit letter, when the juniors fared miserably in the Kuala Lumpur Eight-Nation, the Poland Four-Nation, Europe friendlies and the final straw was when they drew 2-2 with Singapore in the Junior Asia Cup in Hyderabad, India.
Malaysia are in Group C of the Junior World Cup with England, South Korea, Spain and the USA. The top two in each group advance to the quarter-finals, and right now it looks like an impossible dream.
The boys did receive a sarcastic 'Terima-Kasih" from their coach after the match for their poor display against a country which will be playing in its first Junior World Cup by virtue of being co-hosts.
"I watched a recording of the match last night and the indication was that the boys could have scored at least five goals, but the last touch was missing after mounting good attacks."
Rajan, despite being let down on Friday, said that won't happen today.
Today -- Third-Fourth: Malaysia v Singapore (5pm); Final: India v Pakistan (7.30pm).

Friday, March 13, 2009

Juniors win in embarrassing fashion

Malaysia’s Ahmad Tajuddin Izwan Firdaus is brought down by a Singapore player in the Four-Nation Invitational at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday. Malaysia won 2-1 — Pic: ZULKARNAIN AHMAD TAJUDDIN

THE National Juniors put up an embarrassing display when they could only beat Singapore 2-1 in the Four-Nation Invitational at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday.

Consider this -- India hammered Singapore 12-0 and Pakistan beat them 8-0 but Malaysia slogged, even conceding a goal.
Short of saying pathetic, juniors coach K. Rajan used "Bad day" to sum up the situation.
Izwan Firdaus scored in the fifth minute and Faizal Saari made it 2-0 in the 51st minute. Singapore's goal was scored by P. Anbalagan in the 57th minute, and they were unlucky not to have shared points.
"Singapore always play their best against Malaysia, and it was a bad day and a bad show from my charges.
"But all is not lost, as we will rebound on Sunday (third-fourth) in the placing match," said Rajan.
Rajan also said three matches in a row took their toll on his team: "Nur Hafiq Ghaffar (penalty corner flicker) fractured his finger against Pakistan while two others picked up ankle injuries.
" I am not making excuses for this poor show, but thinking forward to the re-match on Sunday."
In another match, India rattled Pakistan in the first minute itself, to win 3-1 and keep a perfect record in the Four-Nation.
Even though both the teams were already in the final before the match, it turned out to be an entertaining affair as India attacked relentlessly after Kumar Pramod scored a first minute field goal.
Diwakar Ram (14th) and Mujtaba Danish (19th) made it uphill for Pakistan in the second half, and they could only score a consolation in the 51st minute off an Attique Muhammad penalty corner.
India and Pakistan will square off again tomorrow to decide the winners of the Four-Nation, which is being held to test the new stadium ahead of the Junior World Cup which Malaysia and Singapore will co-host on June 7-21.

Pakistan 3 Malaysia 1

Malaysia’s Mohd Jalil Mohd Marhan is tackled by two Pakistan players in their Four-Nation match at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday. Pakistan won 3-1. Pic: ZULKARNAIN AHMAD TAJUDDIN

MALAYSIA lost 3-1 to Pakistan in the Four-Nation Invitational tournament yesterday as the door to the final was slammed shut on them.

Pakistan and India, who will play their academic pool match today, have already qualified for Sunday's final with six points each.
Malaysia, who lost by the same score to India on Wednesday, gave the Pakistan players too much space and paid the price.
Pakistan led 2-0 before Malaysia narrowed the gap, but failed to find the equaliser and instead let in another goal.
The Pakistan goals were scored by Attique Muhammad (28th), Toufeeq Muhammad (40th) and Abdul Haseem (54th). Saari Faizal (48th) scored for Malaysia.
In an earlier match India drubbed Singapore 12-0.
Malaysia and Singapore will co-host the Junior World Cup on June 7-21 with both sides hosting 10 teams each.
Singapore, who have let in 20 goals in two matches, will square off against Malaysia today.
"The target was to play in the final but plenty of defensive errors were made in both the matches, so now it's back to the drawing board," said National Juniors coach K. Rajan.
"From the two matches, I noticed that the players have the ability to win but make too many silly mistakes when under attack.
"It was also clear that the players do not support each other when under attack, and this area needs urgent attention."
The Four-Nation is being held not only to test the facilities at the newly laid Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru, but also to gauge the team's level of preparation to face the rest of the world.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

India 3 Malaysia 1

Results: Pakistan 8 Singapore 0; India 3 Pakistan 1.

THE National Juniors hardly pressed forward but their tactics to defend were still not good enough to stop India from winning 3-1 in their opening match of the Four-Nation Invitational Tournament at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday.

Despite the defeat, the Malaysians can stand proud of their performance in the match.
They played well as a unit, unlike previously, but fell behind due to their inexperience in handling the skillful and speedy Indians.
In the first half, the Malaysian lads foiled six penalty corner attempts in the with goalkeeper Abdul Hakim Adnan at his element.
But a defensive mix-up from the Malaysians allowed India to take a lead through Victo Singh in the 35th minute.
Izwan Firdaus Tajuddin turned on the heat with a splendid penalty corner set-piece attempt to equalise for Malaysia in the 44th minute
Three minutes later, Diwakar Ram regained India’s lead with a penalty corner goal.
India scored their third through Karan Jay’s field attempt in the 50th minute.
Malaysia coach K.Rajan said his charges were letdown by defensive errors.
“My boys stood their ground in the first half but India’s relentless attacks broke their momentum. I need to do some work on the defence,” said Rajan yesterday.
“Overall, I’m happy with my charges and they will need to e cautions against Pakistan tomorrow (today).”
Earlier, Abdul Haseem Khan scored four goals as Pakistan romped to a 8-0 demolition of Singapore.
Abdul Haseen scored in the fourth, 26th, 34th and 66th minutes.
Inayat Ullah (eight), Adeel Hussain Syed (23rd), Muhd Toufeeq (61st) and Muhd Umar Bhutta (66th) scored the other Pakistan goals.

P W D L G A Pts

Pakistan 1 1 0 0 8 0 3
India 1 1 0 0 3 1 3
Malaysia 1 0 0 1 1 3 0
Singapore 1 0 0 1 0 8 0

Big test for Rajan's boys

THE National Juniors will face their sternest test yet prior to the Junior World Cup (June 7-21) in the Four-Nation Invitational Tournament at the brand new Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru which starts today.
The other teams in the fray are former world junior champions India, Pakistan and Singapore.
The tournament will provide quality matches but a good result is important to boost the players’ self confidence.
The national team have so much to prove here in the build up towards the Junior World Cup, co-hosted by Johor Baru and Singapore, after several unconvincing results in previous tournaments and friendly matches.
Coach K. Rajan has a difficult task on his hands to transform his players into a winning unit.
Time is certainly not on their side and already touted as one of the worst assembled squads for a Junior World Cup, Rajan will need to find a solution fast in the Four-Nation to turn the team around.
Rajan certainly has the ability to make things happen and his past successes with Tenaga Nasional in the Malaysian Hockey League, says it all about his creditability as an excellent coach.
He picked his best-18 players for the Four-Nation and they will open their account against India today.
The surprise inclusion is forward Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin, who only joined the national junior training squad about six month ago.
Rajan said Izwan is a natural goal-scorer and will be a player to watch in the Four-Nation.
"He is fast and excellent with his dribbling skills. I am banking on him to deliver the goals,” said Rajan in Johor Baru yesterday.
Izwan made his debut in the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney in January and scored two goals in four matches.
The other forwards in the squad are Ahmad Termidzi Ismail, Mohd Azammi Adabi, Faizal Saari and Mohd Jamil Saidin.
On the opening match against India, Rajan said his team can expect a strong challenge from their skillful opponents.
"We also have to wary of their penalty corner specialist Diwakar (Ram), who is good with his drag flicks,’’ he added.

MALAYSIA: Goalkeepers: Abdul Hakim Adnan, Mohd Asmawi Zaidi;
Defenders: Khairil Anuar Mohd Isa, Mohd Sybrie Sham suddin, Mohd Nor Hafiq Abdul Gaffar, Wong Kee Hoon, G. Kavin Kartik;
Midfielders: Mohd Marhan Mohd Jalil, Azreen Rizal Nasir, Mohd Shafiq Mohd Zain, Mohd Izzat Mohd Rahim, Harvinder Singh, R. Nadesh;
Forwards: Faizal Saari, Mohd Azammi Adabi, Mohd Jamil Saidin, Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin, Ahmad Termidzi Ismail.

Bandar Penawar rue their draw

BANDAR Penawar Sports School (BPSS) are still ruing their 1-1 draw in the curtain raiser of Malaysia Hockey League, which has placed them in a tight spot in their Division Two title challenge.
BPSS drew 1-1 with Malacca, but lead the standings by default because hot favourites Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) have a rain-interrupted match against Anderson in hand.
But the southern Sports School has shown some mettle in Division One, as they came back from two goals down before beating a stubborn Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak).
BPSS coach Wan Roslan Wan Rahman said it is too early to celebrate their position, as they still have many tough matches to complete.
“We know the score, and are sitting at the top because BJSS have played one less match.
“However, I feel we have a strong team this year, as we have included seven payers who are waiting for their SPM results, and they have managed to give the team a good shape,” said Wan Roslan.
Year-in-and-year-out, BPSS have been forced to use only Form Four boys, while their seniors ply their trade with other clubs.
“But this year, six Form Five boys and one pre-university student decided that they want to represent the school and not other clubs, and I am thankful to them.
“With the experienced seven in the fold, the others are also playing with confidence now, and our results show a marked improvement.
“The opening match against Malacca (1-1 draw) is a hiccup, and we hope to continue our winning ways in the remaining matches,” said Wan Roslan.
And their most crucial match will be against BJSS, at the tail end of the League.
“We play BJSS in our second last match, and if we can keep up our momentum, it might just be the title decider.”

Monday, March 9, 2009

Tenaga survive second half scare

TENAGA Nasional lost steam in the second half and could only beat Batu Pahat 4-2 in Division Two of the Malaysia Hockey League yesterday.

Tenaga took a 4-0 cushion into the breather, but Batu Pahat came back strongly in the second half and narrowed the margin of defeat.
Tenaga were made to struggle for 20 minutes before skipper Faizal Yaccob broke the deadlock, and the other three goals came in quick succession as Batu Pahat were momentarily stunned.
Khalilie Husna (27th), Yusri Yusof (30th) and R. Ramesh (31st) scored the other Tenaga goals. The Batu Pahat goals were scored by Wan Nasrullah (45th) and Faizul Syafiq (54th).
Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS) maintained their grip in Division Two when they edged Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak) 3-2 at the Pandamaran Stadium.
And Bukit Jalil Sports School, who have played one less match than BPSS, maintained their forward match with a 3-1 win over Kijang Mas of Kelantan.
"The boys started of well and we could have won with a bigger margin, if not for some silly mistakes in the second half," said Tenaga assistant manager Jasbere Singh.
"However, I am happy with the three points. Our campaign is far from over, even though we have lost one match, as the table toppers could hit a bad patch in their remaining matches," he added.
The Malacca-Anderson match was postponed to today morning, as there was no electricity supply to work the water pumps.
RESULTS -- Division Two: PJCC 1 Setapak High 1, Kijang Mas 1 BJSS 3, Malacca v Anderson (match called off, no electricity), Olak 2 BPSS 3, BPSS Juniors 0 BJSS Juniors 1, Tenaga Nasional 4 Batu Pahat 2.
Division Three: Matri 1 Nur Insafi 5, Selangor 1 Kuala Selangor 1, Temerloh 3 English College 1.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The BJSS dilemma

BUKIT Jalil Sports School (BJSS) were in a dilemma when they played BJSS Juniors on Friday in Division Two of the Malaysia Hockey League.
How many goals to score?
BJSS coach S. Prakash summed it up when he said: "I am not into fixing the outcome of matches. But the dilemma here was because one team was my right eye, and the other team my left eye. We could have pummeled the juniors, but would that not have left a lasting scar in their progress?.
So BJSS scored two goals in each half to beat their juniors 4-0.
His move was not controversial or against hockey rules, as teams have played to a draw by keeping the ball in midfield in International Hockey Federation (FIH) sanctioned tournaments, but no action was taken because it was considered a tactical move.
"I also took the cautious approach because we had a tough match against Kijang Mas (today) and I did not want to tire the boys, or demoralise the juniors by whipping them, as they too have many more matches to play," said Prakash.
But it was obvious to all at the Tun Razak Stadium, that BJSS and their juniors are made up of average players, and it would take a miracle to turn even a handful of them into international class players.
Today, table-toppers Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS) meet Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak) in Pandamaran, and the sports school are expected to come out tops.
TODAY -- Division Two: PJCC v Setapak High (Tun Razak Stadium, 5pm), Kijang Mas v BJSS (Terengganu, 5pm), Malacca v Anderson (Malacca, 5pm), Olak v BPSS (Pan damaran 5pm), BPSS Juniors v BJSS Juniors (Bandar Pe nawar, 5pm), Tenaga Nasional v Batu Pahat (KLHA Stadium, 5pm).
Division Three: Matri v Nur Insafi (Kangar, 5pm), Selangor v Kuala Selangor (Pandamaran, 3pm), Temerloh v English College (Kuantan, 5pm).

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Easy wins for sports schools

BUKIT Jalil Sports School (BJSS) beat their second liners 4-0 in a listless Division Two Malaysia Hockey League encounter at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday.

And in Bandar Penawar, Bandar Penawar Sports School beat their juniors 6-2 to remain at the top of the standings.
BJSS lacked direction, and hardly troubled BJSS Juniors for the first 15 minutes, and their two first half penalty corner goals were soft attempts which would not have counted if they had played against another side in the MHL.
The second half was also the same, as BJSS bungled numerous chances, and looked like they were just waiting for the final hooter to end their misery.
The BJSS goals were scored by Dangerous Lee Mathew (15th, 41st), Faridzul Afiq (25th) and Fahed Saifullah (36th).
"I told the boys not to exert themselves, as we have a crucial match to play on Sunday (against Kijang Mas) in Terengganu. We had a bad experience last year, when both the sports schools played and a key player got injured and could not contribute for the rest of the season," said BJSS coach S. Prakash.
BPSS, meanwhile, got their goals off Hanif Saidin (sixth), Hafiz Nawi (eighth, 16th, 40th), Zahirul Faez (20th) and Taufik Hamid (38th).
The BPSS Juniors goals were scored by Dzahiruddin Ilyas (34th) and Hafiz Saleman (63rd).
RESULTS -- Division Two: BJSS Juniors 0 BJSS 4, Petaling Jaya CC 1 OLAK1, Kijang Mas 2 Tenaga 5, BPSS Juniors 2 BPSS 6, Setapak High 0 Malacca 2, Batu Pahat 2 Anderson 1.
Division Three: Perlis 2 Temerloh 3, Penang 1 English College 1, Datuk Taha 1 Matri 3, Kuala Selangor 1 Nur Insafi 7.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Olak out to keep unbeaten record

OLD La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak) face a severe test of character in Division Two of the Malaysia Hockey League this weekend.
Olak have played two matches and won both, and have a rain-disrupted match in hand against Batu Pahat. Today, Olak square off against Petaling Jaya City Council (PJCC) and then take on table toppers Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS) on Sunday.
"We have maximum points, and have played one match less than the other teams, so we need to keep a clean record against PJCC, before trying our best against favourites BPSS," said Olak team manager Joseph de Silva.
Olak are the only team who have not missed a single season since the Junior Hockey League was incepted in 1995, and had their glory days.
The Klang team have the distinction of winning the League in 1997, 1998 and 1999 while their Overall title wins came in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
"We have assembled a good side this season, and our aim is to play in the knockout stages. So, we are on the right track."
De Silva had special words for his forwards Arshad Repikh Ali, Hashim Noor, Azraie Azizan and Abdullah Sani.
"Our four forwards have good understanding of each other, and former Anderson player Arshad could make the difference this weekend."
Today, the seniors of both sports schools square off against their juniors with the outcome quite predictable. The BPSS-BPSS Juniors and BJSS-BJSS Juniors matches could see plenty of goals scored as both the senior teams may need the numbers at the end of the MSL fixtures to claim the title.
TODAY -- Division Two: BJSS Juniors v BJSS (Tun Razak Stadium, 6pm), Petaling Jaya CC v OLAK (Tun Razak, 8pm), Kijang Mas v Tenaga (Terengganu, 5pm), BPSS Juniors v BPSS ((Bandar Penawar, 5pm), Setapak High v Malacca (KLHA Stadium, 6pm), Batu Pahat v Anderson (batu Pahat, 5pm).
Division Three: Perlis v Temerloh (Kangar, 5pm), Penang v English College (USM Stadium, 5pm), Datuk Taha v Matri (Tampin, 5pm), Kuala Selangor v Nur Insafi (Pandamaran Stadium, 5pm).

Monday, March 2, 2009

Rain derails BJSS victory march

Faridzul Afiq Mohamad (left) of BJSS tries to get past Anderson School’s Muhammad Azrin Anuar in their Division Two Malaysia Hockey League match yesterday. The match was abandoned in the 22nd minute due to a water-logged pitch. — Pic: MOHD YUSNI ARIFFIN

DOUBLE champions Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) were leading Anderson School of Ipoh 1-0 when their match at the Tun Razak Stadium in Kuala Lumpur was cut short by a thunderstorm in Division Two of the Malaysian Hockey League yesterday.

The BJSS onslaught was brought to a premature end in the 22nd minute when the pitch became water-logged following heavy rain which refused to stop.
"The match was called off because the pitch was deemed unplayable due to heavy rain. It will be played at a later date," said Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) assistant secretary N. Krishnan.
And BJSS' misery was Bandar Penawar Sports School's gain when they beat Batu Pahat 4-2 to top the table with 10 points.
But their lead is only temporary as BJSS are expected to re-gain top spot when they play Anderson to complete the match.
In another Division Two match, Malacca beat Bukit Jalil Sports School Juniors 4-0.
The Malacca scorers were Hanif Rahim (fourth), Amirullah Zainol (23rd), Syakir Amir (54th) and Iderus Ali (70th).
Petaling Jaya City Council collected their first full points after three matches when they edged Kijang Mas of Kelantan 3-2.
The PJCC scorers were Ahmad Kafeel (16th), Fuad Azis (28th) and Manraj Singh (30th). Hanif Ropi (55th) and Fadli Ismail (64th) scored for Kijang Mas.
RESULTS -- Division Two: Bukit Jalil Sports School 1 Anderson 0 (rained-off after 22 minutes), Kijang Mas 2 Petaling Jaya CC 3, Malacca 4 Bukit Jalil Sports School Juniors 0, Bandar Penawar SS 4 Batu Pahat 2.
Division Three: Nur Insafi 8 TBSS Tampin 0, Penang 1 Perlis 1, Datuk Taha 2 Temerloh 2, Selangor 0 English College 1, Kuala Selangor 1 Matri 3.


P W D L F A Pts
BPSS 4 3 1 0 11 4 10
BJSS 3 3 0 0 11 2 9
Setapak High 3 2 1 0 10 3 7
TNB 3 2 0 1 10 4 6
Anderson 3 2 0 1 6 2 6
Olak 2 2 0 0 5 2 6
Malacca 3 1 1 1 6 4 4
Batu Pahat 3 1 0 2 4 8 3
PJ City Council 3 1 0 2 4 8 3
Kijang Mas 4 0 1 3 2 8 1
BPSS Jnrs 3 0 0 3 2 10 0
BJSS Jnrs 4 0 0 4 2 18 0


P W D L F A Pts
Nur Insafi 4 4 0 0 18 2 12
Temerloh 4 2 2 0 8 6 8
Perlis 4 2 1 1 12 6 7
English College 4 2 1 1 5 5 7
TBSS-Tampin 4 2 1 1 8 11 7
Penang 4 1 3 0 6 5 6
Matri 4 1 1 2 7 7 4
Kuala Selangor 3 1 0 2 5 13 3
Datuk Taha 4 0 1 3 9 14 1
Selangor 5 0 0 5 5 13 0

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Favourites BJSS continue march

BSS Jr’s Muhammad Aidil Zainal (front) is hassled by Setapak High’s Mohd Hakimi Zulkifli in their Malaysia Hockey League match at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium on Friday. Setapak won 3-1. — Pic: MOHD YUSNI ARIFFIN

BUKIT Jalil Sports School (BJSS) have re-claimed the favourites tag after beating Tenaga Nasional, but they still have at least four more hurdles to overcome before it is smooth sailing for them in Division Two of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

For starters, BJSS have Anderson School of Ipoh to contend with today.
"I am glad that my team showed some mettle in the win against Tenaga, but we still have many more matches to play in the MHL.
"It was a bruising encounter (against Tenaga) and after a day's rest, the boys will need to return to form against Anderson, who I believe will be looking to erase the defeat against Olak," said BJSS coach S. Prakash.
Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak) found it difficult to subdue a fighting Anderson, and lost three players to injury, before beating Anderson 2-1 on Friday.
"Anderson this year are very robust, and three of my players had to be taken out and received stitches on their faces.
"I believe Anderson will be difficult to beat after this, and should trouble BJSS tomorrow (today)," said Olak team manager Joseph de Silva.
Setapak High School, whose only poor result thus far is the 0-0 draw against Kijang Mas of Kelantan, Bandar Penawar Sports School, and Olak are among the other teams BJSS need to tame before they can start dreaming of standing at the top of the podium again.
BJSS, double champions last year, have a collection of 10 titles under their belt -- six League and four Overall -- and are looking for more silverware even though they have fielded Under-17 boys in the Under-19 MHL.
TODAY -- Division One: Bukit Jalil Sports School v Anderson (Tun Razak Stadium, 5pm), Kijang Mas v Petaling Jaya CC (Kuala Terengganu, 5pm), Malacca v Bukit Jalil Sports School Juniors (Malacca, 5pm), Bandar Penawar SS v Batu Pahat (Bandar Penawar, 5pm).
Division Three: Nur Insafi v TBSS-Tampin (Sungai Petani, 5pm), Penang v Perlis (USM, 5pm), Datuk Taha v Temerloh (Tampin, 5pm), Selangor v English College (Pandamaran , 3pm), Kuala Selangor v Matri (Pandamaran, 5pm).