Kuala Lumpur (16 April, 2017): Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School Thunderbolt (SSTMI) started their campaign in the 2017 TNB Malaysian Junior Hockey Division One League with a 4-1 win over Politeknik Malaysia-KPT at the Bukit Serindit Hockey Stadium in Malacca.
With seven players returning to the squad after their foray with the national team in the Asian Schools Under-18 Championships in India, the win allayed double champions SSTMI manager Adam Izamry Idrus fears of his players not able to blend following the absence of core players who only joined the team two days ago.
“I was looking for a good start in our first match in the league despite my biggest fears of the seven players joining late and not able to blend. But they played well and it is a matter of time we pick momentum and aim towards finishing top in the league,” said Adam.
“There are some areas we need to improve before our next match against BJSS Thunderbolt on Tuesday. We are bracing for a real tough encounter on home turf but I am confident the boys will give an improved performance against BJSS as today was only our first match of the league,” he added.
Muhammad Ariff Shafie and Shahairul Rusyaidi gave SSTMI Thunderbolt a 2-0 lead by the 14th minute via penalty corners before Muhammad Sufian Marsom pulled one back for Politeknik Malaysia in the 54th minute. SSTMI, however, upped the ante with six minutes remaining to the hooter by scoring a field goal through Muhammad Syawal Najmi (56th) and Muhammad Amirul Hamizan’s penalty corner conversion (59th) to seal 4-1 victory.
At the KLHA Stadium, BJSS Thunderbolt defeated Universiti Kuala Lumpur Young Guns 4-0. Having played five matches so far in the MJHL, UniKL Young Guns won 3 and lost 1 and are on 9 points.
“While it was always going to be difficult against BJSS, the manner in which we lost left must to be desired. We were poor in the match and there is just no excuse as we defended poorly,” conceded UniKL coach A. Arul Selvaraj.
“Too many elementary mistakes cost us the goals and the match and this is a good learning experience for the boys. I must admit that we have a long way to go to match the better teams in the MJHL and this was a match where the boys would have learnt a lot from the defeat.”
It was BJSS who took the initiative as they dominated the first quarter but failed to make an impact and only had one penalty corner to show for their efforts. BJSS, who had three players that represented Malaysia in the Asian Schools Tournament in India, were clearly the better and more experienced side and they took the lead in the 18th minute through Faiq Razim Zariq.
They extended their lead in the 24th minute via a penalty stroke converted by Arif Sabron before Mohd Amirul Mirza scored in the 44th and 58th minutes to complete the rout.
Elsewhere, Anderson Thunderbolt suffered a shocking 3-1 defeat against Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MBPJ Tigers) in Gunong Rapat, Pahang Sports School Thunderbolt triumphed 3-1 over Olak-Nurinsafi at the Pandamaran Stadium and Johor Juniors won 3-1 against BJSS Juniors.
MBPJ Tigers moved to the top of the table standings, taking over from UniKL Young Guns, following their third consecutive win in the league. Ahmad Hariz Syazani Ezani, Mohamad Syabil Aizam Mohamad Noor and Zafri Afiq Nor Azlan scored for MBPJ while Muhammad Afiq Iqbal replied for Anderson.
Boys Division 1: UniKL Young Guns 0 BJSS Thunderbolt 4; Politeknik Malaysia-KPT 1 SSTMI Thunderbolt 4; BJSS Juniors 1 SMK Dato Bentara Luar Johor Juniors 3; Anderson Thunderbolt 1 MBPJ Tigers 3; Olak-Nurinsafi 1 Pahang Thunderbolt 3.
Division 2 – Group B: MISCF UFL 2 Malay College Kuala Kangsar 2 (MISCF UFL win 2-0 in penalty shootout); TBSS Tampin 2 Johor Bahru HA 0
Tuesday (18 April) – Division 1: BJSS Juniors v Politeknik Malaysia-KPT (KPM, 5pm); SSTMI Thunderbolt v BJSS Thunderbolt (SSTMI, 5pm); Anderson Thunderbolt v AHP-MSP Thunderbolt (SMK Gunong Rapat, 5pm).
Division 2 – Group B: Sabah Sports School Malaysia v MSSSWP Kuala Lumpur (Likas Stadium, 4pm).