Thursday (31 March, 2017): Former champions University Kuala Lumpur Young Guns opened their 2017 TNB Malaysian Junior Hockey League Division One campaign on a winning note by defeating Bukit Jalil Sports School Juniors 2-0 at the Kuala Lumpur HA Stadium today.
It was a decent performance from a team that only had five players with experience playing in the league last season.
“I am happy with the performance and result though we could have done better,” said UniKL Young Guns coach A. Arul Selvaraj.
“As it was our third match playing as a team I can understand that the players need time to get adjusted. “Before this the team played against TNB Thunderbolt teams Pahang and BJSS. They are very strong oppositions.”
“We hope to improve as the tournament progresses but there are many areas that need to be improved, but I feel the players will work hard towards ironing out the chinks. Right now I am happy with the three points,” he added.
Mohd Taufik Kamjai fired UniKL ahead with a seventh minute from a field goal and Chairil Rusli doubled the score from a penalty corner six minutes into the third quarter.
But one sore point clearly evident in this opening match of the MJHL 2017 season was the fitness level of both teams which saw players falling down quite often like pins due to cramps. UniKL had two players treated for cramps whilst BJSS had five players in the 60 minute match.
BJSS head coach, S. Prakash, attributed the lack of fitness or rather tiredness of his players to the 1Mas-MSN-KPM-Milo National Under-16 Tournament which concluded last week.
“Most of the players played in the Under-16 Tournament and joined the team with injuries. It was not a good start for us today but with a two-week break before our next match, we should be able to get back on track,” he added.
In the Boys Division 2 Group A matches, MSS Kedah overcame Perlis Stingers 3-0 whilst MSSSP-PHA USM Juniors came back from a goal down to pulverise MISC UFL Penang 7-1 and Perlis Young Lions edged MSSPP PHA-USM Juniors 2-0.
SMK Dato Mohamed Taha of Gemencheh, Negeri Sembilan, who were relegated to Division Two, defeated Johor Bahru District HA 4-2 in penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in regulation time in Johor Bahru.
And there was more excitement in the opening day proceedings with Convent Bukit Nanas Hockey Club (CBN) and MSN Kedah dominating the Women’s League Group A fixtures.
Debutant CBN edged MSSPP USM Juniors 3-0 and MSN Kedah upset Sabah Sports School Malaysia 3-0 for an inspiring start to the tournament.
RESULTS – Division 1: UniKL Young Guns 2 BJSS Juniors 0
Division 2A: Stingers 0 MSS Kedah 3; MISC UFL Penang 1 MSSPP-PHA-USM 7; MSSPP PHA-USM Juniors 0 Perlis Young Lions 2.
Division 2C: Johor Bahru District HA 1 SMK Dato Mohd Taha 1 (SMK Dato Mohd Taha won 4-2 in penalty shootout)
Girls Group A: MSN Kedah 3 Sabah Sports School Malaysia 0;
MSSPP USM Juniors 0 SMK Convent Bukit Nanas HC 3
SATURDAY (1 April, 2017):
Group A: KLSS Wipers v SSTMI (KLHA Stadium, 5pm);
Group B: MSSPP-PSHA-USM v Za’aba Girls-KPHA (USM, 6pm); PKS-Uniten-KPT v Johor Juniors (KPM, 5pm)