The jubilant SSTMI-Thunderbolt team after winning the Malaysian Junior Hockey League title on Friday. - LIM CHENG KIAT/ The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: SSTMI-Thunderbolt sure know how to win in style!
Knowing that the title was already virtually theirs, Thunderbolt still unleashed their full might to trounce KLSS-KLHC 11-0 to clinch their fifth straight Division One title in the MHC-Milo-NSC Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru on Friday.
Thunderbolt finished the league fixtures unbeaten, collecting 18 points from six matches.
They are now ready to turn their attention to the knockout stage, where they are gunning for their fourth double – and third in a row – after winning it in 2010, 2012 and 2013.
“We knew the league title was already in our hands and that the game against KLSSS was just a formality. We went into the match hoping to avoid cards and injuries. Any demerit points earned here will be carried forward to the knockout stage.
“In the end, we managed to do both – and still win comfortably for our fifth league title,” said team manager Adam Izamry Idrus.
Thunderbolt coach Wan Mohamed Roslan Wan Abdul Rahman is confident they can win the overall title “as the opposition this year is weaker compared to last year”.
“We will go all out to take the overall title. I believe we will be in good position to win it as well. In today’s game, we got off on the right footing with the early goal (third minute) and never let up. Credit to the boys for playing to instructions,” he said.
Mohd Sufi Ismat bagged a hat-trick in the third, 20th and 33rd minutes while their top scorers – Mohd Aminuddin Mohd Zain (26th, 30th) and Mohd Najmi Farizal (22nd, 69th) – scored a brace each to take their tally to eight each.
Their other goal scorers were Lukman Nul Hakim (eighth minute), Syed Mohamed Shafiq (13th), Ahmed Jeman (44th) and Danial Asyraf (67th).
KLSS have one more match left to achieve their target of a fourth placing. They are now fifth with four points while Malacca High School are fourth with five points.
KLSS must beat SSTMI Juniors at the same venue on Saturday if they hope to finish fourth and earn a ticket to the knockout stage.