Monday, April 3, 2017

JHL: Outside ranked teams shine...

Pictures: MISCF-UFL (in blue) playing against Terengganu Juniors in the JHL. Terengganu scraped a 2-1 win. Pic By Shah Bekson.

OUTSIDE ranked teams showed great form over the weekend in the curtain raiser of the Junior Hockey League.
  While the top teams in Division One rested as their players were involved in the Asian Schools tournament in India, the minnows made their mark.
  In Division One, Johor Juniors were the revelation while Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) showed composure to win.
  In Division Two Malaysian Indian Sports and Cultural Foundation-Universal Fitness & Leisure (MISCF-UFL) showed a form which shocked the gallery.
  The Girls' JHL saw the last season's champions SSTMI Thunderbolts edge silver medallists KL Wipers 1-0 -- to set up a start of another close season.
  Johor Juniors were down twice, but came back to draw 2-2 and then beat seasoned JHL side Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak) Nur-Insafi 3-2 on shootout.
  Olak have been playing in the JHL since its debut in 1995 and even joined hands with NurInsafi this season to strengthen their side, but underdogs Johor Juniors sealed two crucial points.
  Five of Olak-NurInsafi players recently played in Division One of the Malaysia Hockey League and after a 3-3 draw lost the gold medal to Police 3-1 in shootout.
  Determination saw experience thrown out of the window.
  In Division two MISCF-UFL trained for two months, only on weekends, and had a one week camp in Kuala Selangor but almost claimed the scalp of Terengganu Juniors.
  MISCF-UFL took the lead, which shocked the gallery, but caved in during the last 15 minutes due to inexperience. It was their first tournament match as an outfit, but showed promise of a better season.
  UniKL were far below previous season's strength, but still, coach Arul Selvaraj managed to rally his men to beat a full-time team in BJSS Juniors 2-0.
  But Arul acknowledges that his side needs to win both matches this weekend to stay in the hunt for a top-four finish.
  "We play PJCC Tigers and then Johor Juniors this weekend and need to win both matches. However, I predict SSTMI Thunderbolts and BJSS Thunderbolts to be in the drivers seat again, as they have a strong set-up," said Arul.

Kenta a true Blue Samurai..


KENTA Tanaka confirmed himself as the star of the men’s Hockey World League Round 2 event in Tacarigua, Trinidad and Tobago, scoring to help Japan’s Samurais to a 2-1 victory over Canada in the competition final.
  Lively attacker Tanaka netted his ninth goal in six matches with a 35th minute strike to level the match after Scott Tupper’s penalty stroke had given Canada the lead four minutes earlier. Takuro Sasaki converted a penalty corner effort in the 40th minutes, a goal which proved to be the winner. 
  As well as taking the tournament top scorer award with all nine of his goals being scored from open play, Tanaka was also named as the player of the tournament in the post event awards. Trinidad & Tobago’s Tariq Marcano was named as the best young player, while USA’s Brandon Karess took the best goalkeeper award.  
  The result brought both the competition and the second round of the men’s Hockey World League to an end, meaning that the teams to qualify for the Hockey World League Semi-Finals, which are qualification competitions for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, are now known. 
  The top two finishers from the men’s Round 2 events in Dhaka (4-12 Mar 2017), Belfast (11-19 Mar 2017) and Tacarigua, (25 Mar-2 Apr 2017) have all qualified for the Hockey World League Semi-Finals, being joined in the World Cup qualifier phase by the two highest ranked of the third placed finishers from those three events. Tacarigua top two Japan and Canada join Malaysia and China, who took the top two places at the event in Dhaka, as well as Ireland and France, who finished first and second respectively in Belfast. 
  The two highest ranked of the third placed finishers from each event also progress through to the next phase of the competition.
   Egypt - who today move up one place in the FIH Hero World Rankings to 19th - finished third in Dhaka, a result which proved to be enough for their progression.
   Scotland (WR: 23) were the third-place finisher In Belfast, and their superior ranking over USA (WR: 26), who finished third in Tacarigua, means that they also move through to the Hockey World League Semi-Finals which take place this summer. 
  Final standings
1: Japan
2: Canada
3: USA
4: Russia
5: Trinidad & Tobago
6: Switzerland
7: Chile
8: Barbados

Open trials for Barcelona Veteran World Cup...

THE Sultan Ahmad Shah hockey team will hold an Open trial to select players for the Veteran World Cup in Barcelona which will be held on July 27-Aug 6 next year.
  The Open trials will be held at the MPPJ Stadium on Saturday and Sunday from 5-7pm.
  All Malaysian's are welcome and the age group categories are 40, 45, 50, 55 and above.
  The same Open trials will also select players for the Grand Masters Asia Cup in Hiroshima in October 2017 and so, players in their 60s and 65s are also encouraged to attend.
  For further enquiries, Surindar Singh at 0122841238 or Satvinder Singh at 0173333548.