Kuala Lumpur (Wednesday, 22 March, 2017): Negeri Sembilan celebrated a ‘double’ when both their boys and girls team qualified for the second of the 1Mas-MSN-KPM-Milo National Under-16 Hockey Tournament in Kuala Lumpur today.
The Negeri boys made a remarkable comeback in the tournament to carve a 5-1 victory over Penang at the KLHA Stadium and in the process leapfrogged Johor, who defeated Kedah 3-1 at the adjacent Ministry of Education ground, to second place in Group A table standings on a better goal difference.
Though Terengganu emerged champions in the group with nine points to advance to the next stage, the battle for second spot was a tussle between Negeri Sembilan, Johor and Penang.
In the final positions, defending champions Terengganu topped the table whilst Negeri and Johor shared seven-equal points but Negeri go through to Thursday’s Round 2 of the event with a five-goal advantage over Johor.
In the girls’ competition, it was a bitter experience for Negeri Sembilan today as they suffered a 6-1 defeat against Penang in their last Group B preliminary round fixture. However, the Negeri girls went on to finish second in the group with six points – one behind group champions Penang.
“It was a nervy experience for Negeri Sembilan boys team as we were in a tough battle with not only Penang on the pitch but the Johor-Kedah match on the adjacent turf had a bearing on how we finish in the group,” said Negeri Sembilan and Tunku Besar Secondary School Tampin hockey coach, M. Vivekananda.
“In the second round we will have three group champions and three teams that finished runner-up. It does not matter who we meet in our group as all six teams have the pedigree to put on a good performance,” he added.
Malacca and Perak also qualified for the second round of the boys’ competition from Group B while Sabah and Pahang booked tickets from Group C.
The top two teams at the end of the preliminary round in the boys and girls categories will advance to Round 2 where the teams are divided into two groups of three teams each. The top ranked teams will move into the March 26 final.
In the draw for the boys’ second round, Terengganu, Pahang and Malacca are placed in Group X whilst Sabah, Perak and Negeri Sembilan are in Group Y.
In the girls’ event, defending champions Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Penang are placed in Group X with Johor, Sabah and Negeri Sembilan occupying Group Y.
Boys A: Johor 3 Kedah 1; Penang 1 Negeri Sembilan 5
Group B: Malacca 4 Sarawak 2; Perak 3 Perlis 2
Girls Group A: Kedah 2 Sarawak 2; Sabah 5 Kelantan 1; Group B: Penang 6 Negeri Sembilan 1; Pahang 10 Terengganu 0
Fixtures – (23 March, 2017)
Boys Round 2:
Group X: Pahang v Malacca (KPM, 7pm)
Group Y: Sabah v Perak (KLHA, 7pm)
7-9th Placing: Johor v Kelantan (KLHA, 3pm)
10-12th Placing: Penang v Kuala Lumpur (KLHA, 7.30am)
Girls Round 2:
Group X: Kuala Lumpur v Selangor (KPM, 5pm)
Group Y: Johor v Sabah (KLHA, 5pm)
7-9th Placing: Kelantan v Malacca (KPM, 3pm)
10-12th Placing: Kedah v Perak (KPM, 7.30am);