Kuala Lumpur (2 April, 2017): Muhammad Haikal Khairul Azmi steered SMK Dato Bentara Luar from the jaws of defeat with a late strike to force a 2-2 draw against Olak-Nurinsafi before the Johor Juniors prevailed 3-2 in penalty shootout in the TNB Malaysian Junior Hockey League 2017 Division One match in Batu Pahat.
In the only Division One fixture played in this under-19 League today, the combination of the Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak) and Penang-based Nurinsafi side were forced deep into defence in the last quarter to hold back a determined Johor Juniors who went in search of the equaliser.
Olak-Nurinsafi took the lead 22 minutes into the game through team captain Nur Najibrullah Ramle via a penalty corner but Johor Juniors clawed back two minutes after the first half in similar fashion with a Muhammad Shafiq Hassan conversion.
However, Adam Hafiz Hrsikesa Thaitchana Muruthi doubled the score for Olak-Nurinsafi, who last emerged MJHL champions from 1997-1999 under the Olak banner, in the 50th minute before Haikal’s strike two minutes to the hooter gave Johor Juniors a lease of life with the much needed equaliser– taking the match into a shootout.
Muhammad Adib Azim Abd Shukor, Muhammad Haridzmi Shah Muhd Nizam and Muhammad Shafiq Hassan were successful for Johor Juniors in the penalty shootout while Nur Rahull Hrsikesa and Muhamad Alif Salehhin replied for Olak-Nurinsafi.
“We need to improve in our penalty corners as we had 11 in the match but failed to make them count,” said SMK Dato Bantara Luar Johor Juniors coach, Shahbuddin Royani, clearly upset with the poor penalty corner conversion rate.
“Considering the fact that I had players as young as 15 years of age the two points is a good result to start our campaign. The boys showed fighting spirit as we came back from being a goal down twice in the match. It was never easy but they showed discipline and determination to turn the tide around until the very last minute,” he quipped.
In Division Two, Malay College Kuala Kangsar got off to a rousing start in their MJHL foray following a 3-3 draw against MSSWP Kuala Lumpur who led by three goals before the city boys defence crumbled in the third and fourth quarters to give MCKK all the chance to stage a comeback.
Former Division One outfit, Tunku Besar Secondary School Tampin (TBSS), won full points against Malacca High School Young Hurricanes with a 3-1 win in their opening match of the MJHL whilst Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School Juniors pulled through 4-2 against Malacca Warriors in Bandar Penawar.
RESULTS (2 April, 2017):
Boys Division 1: SMK Dato Bentara Luar Johor Juniors 2 Olak-Nurinsafi 2 (SMK Dato Bentara Luar won 3-2 in penalties)
Division 2B: MSSSWP KL 3 Malay College Kuala Kangsar 3 (MCKK won 2-0 in penalties).
Division 2C: Malacca High School Young Hurricanes 1 Tunku Besar Secondary School Tampin 3; SSTMI Juniors 4 MBMB Warriors 2
Girls Division: MSSPP-PSHA-USM Juniors 1 Sabah Sports School Malaysia 5
TUESDAY (4 April, 2017):
Girls League Group A: Convent Bukit Nanas HC v Sabah Sports School Malaysia (KPM, 5pm)
WEDNESDAY (5 April, 2017):
Division 2 Group B: Anderson PHA v SSMS Resilient (SMK Gunong Rapat, 5pm)