Sapura HC defeated UniKL Young Guns 1-0 in the TNB-Malaysian Hockey League Division One final for the President’s Cup at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Defender and captain Baljit Singh fired home the winner in the 52nd minute from Sapura’s fourth penalty corner of the day after both teams were involved in an intense 70-minute battle.
For Sapura, it was a night of double celebration in front of 2,000 fans as they are also the League champions having amassed 26 equal points with TNB Thunderbolt but hold a two-goal advantage over TNB.
It was a proud moment for Baljit , who scored his 16th goal in the tournament tonight, and Sapura when he received the President’s Cup from Datuk Aminudin Mohd Amin, TNB Senior General Manager for Corporate and Communication.
The champions went home richer by RM50,000 – a payout of RM30,000 for emerging President’s Cup champions and another RM20,000 as League champions. UniKL Young Guns collected a total of RM27,000 (RM20,000 as President’s Cup runners-up and RM7,000 for finishing third in the league).
Sapura team manager, Louis Gregory, said: “It was a touch and go affair and an exciting match until Baljit scored the winner. We had some senior players with experience who did well to guide the younger players. I am happy with their performance in the final.”
Meanwhile, UniKL Young Guns coach Arul Selvaraj said he is equally proud of his young players who performed well against an experienced opposition.
“I have a very young squad. There are 13 players in this team who are actually playing for the first time in this League. We had our chances too but could not find the goals. But it is a good learning experience for these players,” said Arul.
In the playoff for third placing, TNB Thunderbolt pulverised Ipoh Municipal Council (MBI) 7-3 with a five-goal blitz from Mohd Amin Rahim (8th, 20th, 58th, 65th and 67th) while Mohd Najib Abu Hassan (32nd) and Muhammad Firdaus Omar (69th) completed a sad ending chapter of the TNBMHL tournament for the visitors. MBI replied through Mohd Akmal Tajudin (14th and 33rd) and Abdul Rauf Nazri (47th).
The National Women’s League, which is introduced for the first time this year, witnessed Armed Forces Pernama emerge as the inaugural champions following a 2-1 win over favourites UiTM Lions in the final.
ATM also walked away with the champion’s trophy and a RM15, 000 winning purse while UiTM Lions picked up RM10,000. The third and fourth-placing playoff which was an all-Johor affair went SSTMI Thunderbolt’s way as they outclassed Johor Municipal Council (MBJB) 3-0.
In the preliminary round, UiTM Lions and ATM Pernama played to a 0-0 draw. UiTM finished top of the table with 16 points followed by ATM (14), SSTMI Thunderbolt (13) and MBJB. The top two teams in the league advance to the final.
Nur Amirah Abu Samah gave UiTM Lions an early confidence with a ninth minute goal from a penalty corner but ATM clawed back through Siti Noor Amarina Ruhani in the 28th minute to level 1-1 at half-time. ATM’s winner came from Izzuin Ismail three minute before the end of regulation time.
Results – Men’s Final: Sapura HC 1 UniKL Young Guns 0; 3rd /4th Placing: TNB Thunderbolt 7 Ipoh Municipal Council (MBI) 3.
Women’s Final: ATM Pernama 2 UiTM 1; 3rd/4th: SSTMI Thunderbolt 3 MBJB 0.
ROLL OF HONOUR (MEN): PRESIDENT’S CUP
Champions: Sapura HC (RM30,000); Runners-up: UniKL Young Guns (RM20,000); Third: TNB Thunderbolt (RM10,000); Fourth: MBI (RM5,000)
Champions: Sapura HC (RM20,000); Runners-up: TNB Thunderbolt (RM15,000); Third: UniKL Young Guns (RM7,000)
Player of the Match: Baljit Singh (Sapura HC)
Top Scorer: Baljit Singh (Sapura – 16 goals)
Best Goalkeeper: Mohd Hairi Abdul Rahman (Sapura)
Player of the Tournament: Shazrul Imran (UniKL Young Guns)
Fairplay: Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS)
ROLL OF HONOUR (Women)
Champions: ATM Pernama (RM15,000); Runners-up: UiTM Lions (RM10,000); Third: SSTMI Thunderbolt (RM5,000); Fourth: MBJB (RM3,000).
Player of the Match: Siti Nurhafiza Zainordin (ATM Pernama)
Top Scorer: Hanis Nadia Onn (STTMI Thunderbolt – 5 goals)
Best Goalkeeper: Farah Ayuni Yahya (UiTM Lions)
Player of the Tournament: Izzuin Ismail (ATM Pernama)
Fair Play: Terengganu PHT-MSNT
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