DOUBLE champions Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) had to bring out their best to edge Sapura 1-0 in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) at the Batu Buruk Stadium yesterday.
The solitary goal was scored by national player Azlan Misron, off a penalty corner set-piece, in the 39th minute.
And at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) rode on luck to beat Tenaga Nasional 3-1 to top the standings on 10 points.
Tenaga took the lead off a Shahril Saabah goal in the 25th minute, but Pakistan import Ali Shan nailed the equaliser in the 30th minute.
But a silly mistake by Tenaga's Amirol Aideed gifted the goal to Rashid Baharom (47th), and the third was slotted in by Pakistan's Umar Bhutta in the 48th minute.
THT coach Sarjit Singh said it was not an easy match, as Sapura were on top of them most of the match.
"We did just enough to win three points on our home turf, as Sapura pinned us down in our own semi-circle in the last quarter. This year, the competition is very high and it is not going to be as easy as last season, as even the national juniors are playing very well for their clubs," said Sarjit.
THT have nine points from four matches, and will play UniKL next on Sunday.
"UniKL only lost 0-1 to KLHC (Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club) and I believe it will be another bruising encounter. However, we are playing at home in Terengganu and the crowd support was great against Sapura, and I believe the fans will come out in numbers again Sunday to support their players win three points," said Sarjit.
Sapura will travel back to Kuala Lumpur to play Tenaga Nasional at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil Sunday, and coach Tai Beng Hai is keeping his fingers crossed that the journey does not 'kill them'.
RESULTS: Premier Division -- KLHC 3 Tenaga 1, Terengganu HT 1 Sapura 0.
Division One: Group A: Thunderbolts x MASUM USM x, BJSS 4 MSP-YP-SSP 3; Group B: SSTMI 0 PKS KPM 1, ATM Airod 1 UiTM 3, Nur Insafi 2 Politeknik 1
Women: Group A: Penang Juniors 1 MSNT-PHT 1, Politeknik 1 The Cops 2; Group B: KL Sukma 4 Manjung 0.
TODAY: Division One B: UniKL Young Guns v UiTM (National Stadium I, 5pm), SSTMI v Nur Insafi (Taman Daya I, 5pm), PKS-KPM v Politeknik (Taman Daya II, 5pm).
Women: Group A: Politeknik v ATM Pernama (Malacca, 5pm); Group B: PKS-KPM v KL Sukma (National Stadium II, 7pm), SSTMI Thunderbolts v MSN Kedah (Taman Daya I, 7pm).
TOMORROW: Premier Division -- Terengganu HT v UniKL (Batu Buruk, 6pm), Sapura v Tenaga (National Stadium II, 6pm), Maybank v KLHC (National Stadium II, 8pm).
Division One: Group A: BJSS v Thunderbolts (Ministry of Education, 5pm), MSp-YP-SSP v Ipoh MC (Kuantan, 5pm); Group B: PKS-KPM v SSTMI (National Stadium I, 4pm), UiTM v ATM Airod (National Stadium I, 6pm).
Women: Group A: MSNT-PHT v Penang Juniors (Batu Buruk, 4pm); Group B: Manjung v SSTMI Thunderbolts (Azlan Shah, 5pm).