Sunday, March 31, 2013

KLHC whip Warriors, Maybank close in..

KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) consolidated their position at the top of the Premier Division when they beat Nur Insafi 7-0 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
  The win took their tally to 10 points in the Malaysia Hockey League, while Maybank closed the gap with nine points after they beat UniKL 4-1 yesterday.
  KLHC opened scoring with an opportunist goal from Australian Timothy James in the 22nd minute, and increased the lead in the 29th minute through the effort of Harvinder Singh.
  After the breather, Pakistani Umar Bhutta increased the lead in the 40th minute, while nine minutes later Nabil Fiqri made it 4-0 with a field attempt.
  Muhammad Imran then completed the route by scoring KLHC's fifth goal off penalty corner attempt.
  Imran scored his second and KLHC's sixth in th 58th while Najib Abu Hassan (61st) nailed the last goal.
  "It looks like Maybank have some good Pakistan buys and even though we beat them 4-3 in the first round, we can't take them lightly in the second round as they are improving after every match," said KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj.
  At the adjacent pitch, UniKL took an early lead off Noor Faeez Ibrahim in the sixth minute, but Maybank hit back with three goals before the break.
  Pakistan import Muhammad Imran started the fightback with a penalty corner goal in the 23rd minute, before Shafqat Rasool gave them the lead in the 33rd minute, while Muhammad Waqas made it 3-1 in the 35th minute.
  And Maybank's Dick Cheny, from Sabah, then scored the fourth in the 66th minute to complete UniKL's misery.
  "We have to cut down on the costly mistakes in the remaining matches for UniKL to salvage their season. It was the same script against Tenaga (lost 4-2) and we can't afford to drop more points," said UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj.
  RESULTS: Premier Division -- KLHC 7 Nur Insafi 0, Maybank 4 UniKL 1, Terengganu v Sapura x.

Under-16 void of exciting talent..

NATIONAL Juniors coach K. Dharmaraj did not spot any exciting talent in the just concluded National Under-16, as most of the players were just above average.
  Perak and Malacca upset the formbook to reach the final, and the Silver State then lifted the title with an edgy 2-1 victory on Saturday.
  "I watched for myself and also spoke to come coaches, and the consensus was that there were no exciting talent to draft into the juniors training squad.
  "Previously, one could see at least one or two players who could walk into the juniors side in a years time, but there were none this year," said Dharmaraj.
  The Junior World Cup coach pointed out that: "There were no Faizal Saari, Fitri Saari or Firhan Ashaari in this edition, as these were some of the outstanding players in age-group tournaments a few years back, and are now making their names at the national and senior club levels."
  Twelve teams competed in the National Under-16, with Kelantan given the boot mid-way because they staged a walk-out when playing against Malacca.
  There were 12 teams with 18 players in each side, and from a total pool of 216 players, the grassroots report card was damning.

Sapura dent TNB's bid

MHL: Come from behind twice to share spoils

TENAGA NASIONAL failed to grab the top spot in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League when they were held to a 2-2 draw by Sapura yesterday.
  TNB, who beat UniKL 4-2 on Friday, failed to convert their chances numerous chances after taking the lead twice.
  TNB took the lead after only three minutes when skipper Amin Rahim's powerful flick of their first penalty beat Sapura keeper Hairi Abdul Rahman.
  Sapura immediately mounted a counter and won their first penalty corner in the fourth minute, but it was a disappointing outcome as Megat Azrafiq failed to trap the push-out by Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin.
  Sapura then lived dangerously as Faizal Saari and Firhan Ashaari squandered sitters.
  But they found the equaliser in the 30th minute from their second penalty corner, when Pakistani Khasif Ali made a powerful drive.
  However, TNB restored their lead two minutes before halftime when an unmarked Faizal slotted home from an acute angle.
  The second half saw the same script, as TNB did most of the attacking while Sapura relied on counter-attacks to break free.
  Sapura found the equaliser again in the 54th minute, against the run of play, from their third penalty corner when Khasif stepped up once again to send a powerful flick past national goalkeeper S. Kumar.
  Tenaga remain second on six points, while Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club top the table with seven points.
  Results -- Premier Division: Sapura 2 Tenaga Nasional 2.
  Division One: TNB Thunderbolts 2 Ipoh City Council 2, Tengku Mahkota Ismail SS 1 UniTen 3.
  SUNDAY -- Premier Division: KLHC v Nur Insafi (National Stadium Pitch II, 6pm), Maybank v UniKL (National Stadium Pitch I, 6pm), Terengganu v Sapura (National Stadium Pitch II, 8pm).

Perak prove their pedigree

PERAK won the National Under-16 title when they edged Malacca 2-1 at the Ministry of Education Stadium yesterday.

Perak showed composure and tremendous grit, despite being down 1-0 in the first half, utilising the penalty corners awarded to score the two goals that gave them the title.
"I could not have asked for more as the players showed courage and fighting spirit, never giving up despite being a goal down," said Perak coach Nizam Hashim.
"It is a good win for Perak hockey as it shows we are on the right track in developing future players."
Malacca took the lead in the 31st minute through Alif Syazwan Noorshah who converted a penalty corner.
However Perak were on level terms in the 43rd minute when Luqman Hakim Asri struck from a penalty corner.
Then, Asheinyrul Azreei gave the silver state the title by scoring the winner in the 56th minute.
Results -- Final: Malacca 1 Perak 2. Third-Fourth: Kuala Lumpur 4 Terengganu 3.