Bandar Penawar (4 November, 2016): Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) and Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) are riding high in the inaugural Thunderbolts Cup at the SSTMI Hockey Stadium here.
The day two proceedings saw SSTMI defeat Singapore Development squad 7-0 in the morning and came back later in the evening to edge Johor Sports School 2-1, courtesy of a late goal from Muhammad Abid Sufian.
SSTMI took the lead through Mohamed Syawal Najmi in the 13th minute via a field goal but Johor Sports School, represented by SMK Datuk Bentara Luar Batu Pahat which is the state hockey project school, equalised early in the second quarter through Muhammad Syafiq Hassan penalty corner.
Anderson Thunderbolts, who defeated Singapore Development boys 3-0 in Thursday’s opening encounter, however, suffered a 0-2 defeat against Johor Sports School today. Affiful Najmi Masri and Mohd Farez Farihin scored for Johor Sports School via field goals in the 17th and 19th minutes respectively.
The Bandar Penawar-based SSTMI lead Group A on six points while Anderson and Johor Sports School are tied on three points after two matches. In tomorrow’s last group matches, SSTMI plays Anderson and Johor Sports School goes into showdown with Singapore.
The inaugural Thunderbolts Cup is a brainchild of TNB in efforts to scout and develop talented players. The tournament comprises the four Thunderbolt teams – SSTMI, BJSS, SMK Anderson and Pahang Sports School with invitations extended to Singapore Development Team, Johor Sports School, Selangor and Sabah Sports School.
BJSS stayed on course for Saturday’s semi-finals from Group B following 4-0 and 4-2 wins over Pahang Sports School and Sabah Sports School Malaysia respectively.
In other Group B matches, Pahang Sports School and Sabah SC clawed Selangor with identical 5-0 winning scores to stay in contention for the semi-finals from Group B. Muhammad Syahir Hasif scored a brace for Pahang (11th and 13th minutes) while Muhammad Safwan Ibrahim (7th), Muhammad Hafiz Zauri (17th) and Mohamad Azizan Azlan scored a piece.
Sabah Sports School, who have been an impressive side with the services of three players who represented the National Under-16 team at the Mannheim Invitational Tournament in Germany early this year, blasted six goals past Singapore with two goals from Muhajir Abdy Rauf and a goal each from Granson Noel Goden, Muhammad Saifuddin, Clement Tsai Kien Bin and Muhammad Shalihin Azim.
“There are no competitive matches in Sabah since we last participated in the TNBMHL National Juniors tournament,” said Sabah Sports School head coach Shahrul Izam Muara. “Furthermore most of the Form Five players are not available as they are due to sit for the SPM examinations soon. But I am happy with the performance of several Under-16 players here. This Thunderbolts Cup gives the teams’ here including Sabah a platform to test the player’s talents and ability against stronger opponents,” he added.
The top two teams in Group A and B qualify for the semi-finals. The final is on Sunday.
Results – Group A: SSTMI 7 Singapore Development 0; SSTMI 2 Johor Sports School 1; Johor Sports School 2 SMK Anderson Thunderbolts 0.
Group B: Pahang Sports School 5 Selangor 0; BJSS 4 Sabah Sports School Malaysia 2; Sabah Sports School 6 Selangor 0.