Sunday, December 6, 2009

Athitsha hat-trick hands KL U-14 title

Kuala Lumpur u-14 players celebrate their title. Malay Mail Picture.

KUALA Lumpur’s Athitsha Tamil Chelvam delivered a hat- trick to beat Perak 3-2 in the National Under-14 hockey final at the Kuantan Stadium yesterday.
Athitsha gave KL the lead in the fourth minute, but Perak equalised off Azril Misron in the 23rd minute, and then took the lead off Amar Zahari in the 46th minute.
Athitsha then gave KL another lifeline in the 55th minute and the match went into extra-time.
KL camped in the Perak semi-circle and won a penalty corner three minutes into play, and Athitsha delivered the title to the City state.
All three goals by Athitsha were off penalty corners.
In the bronze battle, Negri Sembilan beat Penang 1-0 with the goal coming from Ikwan Ishak in the 24th minute.
RESULTS -- Final: Kuala Lumpur 2 Perak 2 (KL win sudden-death goal); Third-Forth: Negri Sembilan 1 Penang 0.

Better after the break

THE Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division took off with great fan-fare at the Tun Razak Stadium, but the first weekend proved to be more action off than on the pitch.
Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and many top brass from the MHF as well as Astro were at hand to launch the Charity Shield which was telecast live.
Before the match, title sponsors Tenaga Nasional con ducted a coaching clinic, while the Malaysian women’s national team played a game against their ex-interna tionals.
And after a round of matches, with Maybank at the top on goal difference, the MHL will take a two-week break and resume on Dec 18.
Many teams, especially foreign based Nur Insafi, are glad for the break.
“We had very little training as most of my players were with the national side, and then we took a break after the World Cup Qualifier.
“The two week break is a blessing, as we can get ourselves better prepared,” said KL Hockey Club skipper Azlan Mis ron.
As for Nur Insafi, only nne out of their 16 foreign players managed to arrive on time for the first match against Maybank, and they lost 5-2.
Pakistan penalty corner flicker Imran Warsi also had to watch from the sidelines at the Tun Razak Stadium, as his playing contract with the European Hockey League stipulates that he can only play for other teams starting from Dec 15.
The season started on a lukewarm note, but is expected to pick up steam after the break after teams have more training time, and Nur Insafi get their full side.


P W D L F A Pts
MAYBANK 1 1 0 0 5 2 3
KLHC 1 1 0 0 3 0 3
TENAGA 1 1 0 0 3 1 3
SAPURA 1 0 0 1 1 3 0
UNIKL 1 0 0 1 0 3 0
NUR INSAFI 1 0 0 1 2 5 0

Australia top of the world

FIH / Stanislas Brochier

Results Centre
Sunday 06 December

10:05 ENG : ESP 2:5 (1:3)
12:35 NED : KOR 2:4 (1:0)
15:05 AUS : GER 5:3 (1:3)

Gold Medal Match: Australia v Germany – 5:3 (1:3)

Australia have claimed the ABN AMRO Men’s Champions Trophy 2009 following a 5-3 victory over Germany in a pulsating final match in Melbourne, Australia. Both teams played with passion and pride in front of the capacity crowd, but it was Australia who emerged as the winners in a truly thrilling contest. Australia were forced to fight back from a being 1-3 down at half time, but second half strikes from Liam DE YOUNG, Luke DOERNER (2) and Fergus KAVANAGH gave the home favourites a victory that they will never forget.

It was a fantastic day for Australian hockey on many levels, with the Champions Trophy victory being added to the individual award given to Jamie DWYER, who was named as WorldHockey Men’s Player of the Year for a third time, while Grant SCHUBERT and Luke DOERNER were named as joint top scorers in the tournament. SCHUBERT was also named as the Player of the Tournament, with Korean keeper LEE Myung Ho being named as the Goalkeeper of the Tournament.

A huge and vociferous crowd had packed into the State Netball & Hockey Centre, all hoping to see a thrilling contest. The predominently Australian crowd got exactly what they had paid for from the moment the match started. Australia took a 1-0 lead after just two minutes when Des ABBOTT received a pass in the circle and clinically dispatched it into the bottom corner past Germany keeper Max WEINHOLD. The goal sparked wild celebrations from the vast numbers of supporters in the stadium who were hoping to see a Kookaburras victory. However, the youthful Germany team had Championship ambitions of their own and levelled the scores through Florian FUCHS, an 18-year-old who has a magnificent tournament. It was his fifth goal of the tournament, an impressive statistic for a player who arrived in Melbourne without a senior cap to his name. Germany then extended the lead when Martin HAENER scored a penalty corner which squirmed under the body of Australia keeper George BAZELEY. Things got even worse for Australia when Matthias WITTHAUS added a well taken field goal to extend Germany’s lead to 1-3 in the 26th minute. The Kookaburras battled hard to pull a goal back before half time, but Ric Charlesworth’s men went into the break facing a two goal disadvantage.

Australia needed an early goal at the start of the second half, and they found it through an unlikely source, with Liam DE YOUNG netting his first goal of the tournament by finished off a saved penalty corner effort from DOERNER. Australia really were in the ascendency, and grabbed it was DOERNER himself who fired in a trademark penalty corner flick to tie the scores at 3-3. The goal was a greeted by a huge roar by the crowd, but the Germans came back once in again in desperate search for a goal to re-gain the lead. Despite all of their efforts, it was the Australians who took a 4-3 lead when DOERNER stepped up to the mark to flicked another effort into the net for his second goal of the match in the 50th minute. Germany continued to battle hard but the result was put beyond all doubt when Luke DOERNER sent a huge aerial pass from defence to the chasing Fergus KAVANAGH, who brilliantly lobbed the goalkeeper to seal Australia’s tenth Champions Trophy title.

Earlier in the day, SEO Jong Ho inspired Korea to defeat the Netherlands 4-2 to win the bronze medal, while England were beaten to fifth place by Spain, who claimed their first victory of the tournament. Newly-crowned WorldHockey Young Player of the Year Ashley Jackson scored twice for England, but it was not enough for his team to avoid defeat.

Maybank have a field day

MAYBANK made short work of Nur Insafi when they hammered the Penang side 5-2 in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday.
Nur Insafi had hired 16 foreign players, but could only field nine yesterday as the other have yet to arive.
Maybank started the rout in the 22nd minute when Suhaimi Ibrahim scored a field goal, while the other scorers were Azammi Adabi (29th, 38th), Hafifihafiz Hanafi (33rd) and Hairul Nizam (50th).
The Nur Insafi goals was scored by Sundeep Michael in the 36th minute and Nur Hrsikesa in the 70th.
Meanwhile, KL Hockey Club (KLHC) overcame a shaky first half to hammer in three goals after the breather against UniKL.
Both the teams are making their debut in the MHL, but KLHC basically has the same players as last year's double champions Ernst and Young.
National player Azlan Misron scored the first in the 37th minute, while Ismail Abu made it 2-0 a minute after re-start. The third goal was scored by S. Baljit Singh in the 56th minute.
"Even in defeat, I am proud of my players as the average age of this team is 20. They held well for 35 minutes, but lack of experience saw them letting in two goals inside two minutes and the match was over," said UniKL coach I. Vickneswaran.
KL Hockey Club coach R. Vivekanandan feels there is room for improvement and his players could have done much better in counter-attacks.
"The three points are ours, but I feel my players can play better and as our target is to finish tops, we need to work on some areas during the two-week break," said Vivekanandan.
The MHL will resume on Dec 18.
RESULTS: UniKL 0 KL Hockey Club 3; Nur Insafi 2 Maybank 5.