Kuala Lumpur (15 April, 2017): The TNB Malaysian Junior Hockey League 2017 Division One moves into top gear tomorrow with the involvement of four TNB Thunderbolt teams for the first time since the league started three weeks ago.
Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School Thunderbolt (SSTMI), Bukit Jalil Sports School Thunderbolt, Anderson Ipoh Thunderbolt and Pahang Sports School Thunderbolt – all four teams under the TNB Development Programme – are not only poised to hog the limelight but sent shivers down the spines of the underdogs.
Thunderbolts players have been away in India representing the national team in the Asian Schools Under-18 championships recently and only returned home three days ago.
SSTMI Thunderbolt goes head to head against Politeknik Malaysia at the Bukit Serindit Hockey Stadium in Malacca, BJSS Thunderbolt plays current league leaders Universiti Kuala Lumpur Young Guns at the KLHA Stadium, Ipoh-based SMK Anderson meets Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya Tigers in Gunong Rapat, Perak and Pahang Sports School Thunderbolt entertains the combination of Olak-Nurinsafi at the Pandamaran Stadium in Klang.
SSTMI Thunderbolts team manager, Adam Izamry Idrus, however, has cautioned his players not to ride on overconfidence against Politeknik Malaysia whom he grades as capable of ‘causing ripples’ against the big boys.
“We have seven core players who represented the national team in India and it will take some time before these players familiarise with the team structure,” said Adam, adding that he respects all the teams in the Division One league.
“Perhaps after tomorrow’s match we will be able to get our act together as a team. Nevertheless, we know that Politeknik Malaysia is no pushovers and we do expect them to play their best against us.”
Meanwhile, Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School made short work of MSN Kedah following a 5-0 win and in the process leapfrog Sabah Sports School Malaysia to go top of Group A standings in the Malaysian Junior Women Hockey League today.
The Bandar Penawar-based sport school, which had defeated KL Sports School Wipers 1-0 in the league’s opening match and triumphed 3-0 in a nail-biting penalty shootout against Sabah Sports School Malaysia three days ago, went ahead 2-0 in the first half with goals from Norfatin Nabila Mohamad (13th minute) and Nur Afiqah Syahzani Azhar (18th minute).
However, a three-goal blitz in a space of 10 minutes ended any hopes Kedah girls of making a comeback. Wan Norfatihah Mohd Saiuti scored in the 44th minute via a field goal and Nur Afiqah Syahzani Azhar made it 4-0 from a penalty corner before Nurfatin Dizana Mohd Zaidi netted the fifth six minutes to the hooter.
Elsewhere, Kuala Lumpur Sports School Wipers whipped out debutant Convent Bukit Nanas Hockey Club’s aspiration by registering a 4-1 win at the Ministry of Education Hockey Stadium in Bangsar, PSHA USM defeated SMK Gunong Rapat 4-0 and Johor Juniors edged Za’aba Girls 2-0 in Kuala Pilah.
Hasya Syahida Saifuddin, Kuala Lumpur’s top scorer in the National Under-16 championship last month, scored a hat-trick (21st, 23rd and 33rd minutes) whilst 14-year-old Kirandeep Kaur Gurdip Singh made it 4-0 three minutes after the third quarter
CNB’s solitary goal came through Suhaila Sara in the 58th minute from open play.
Women League – Group A: Convent Bukit Nanas HC 1 KLSS Wipers 4; MSN Kedah 0 SSTMI 5; Group B: SMK Gunong Rapat 0 PSHA USM 4; Zaaba Girls 0 Johor Juniors 2.
Sunday (16 April): Division 1: UniKL Young Guns v BJSS Thunderbolt (KLHA, 6pm); Politeknik Malaysia-KPT v SSTMI Thunderbolt (Stadium Hoki Bukit Serendit, 5pm); BJSS Juniors v SMK Dato Bentara Luar Johor Juniors (KPM, 5pm); Anderson Thunderbolt v MBPJ Tigers (SMK Gunong Rapat, 5pm); Olak-Nurinsafi v Pahang Thunderbolt (Pandamaran, 5pm).