Olak-PKT's Mawardi Hamirin (left) controls the ball, challenged by Nur Insafi's Mohamad Faridul Izwan during the Malaysia Junior Hockey League match.
KUALA LUMPUR: Former double champions Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak)-PKT have set themselves up for a return to Division One of the MHC-Milo-NSC Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) next year.
Olak-PKT were in an uncompromising mood en route to chalking up a 4-1 win over unbeaten Nur Insafi in the opening match of the Division Two second round playoff at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Thursday.
Olak-PKT began the match strongly and opened scoring in the 11th minute through V. Dilip. Just three minutes later, Mohd Noor Khairul Azri made it 2-0 with a field goal.
Division Two top scorer Mawardi Hamirin then rounded up the score when he netted a brace in the 24th and 40th minutes – taking his tally to 12.
Olak-PKT were league champions in 1997, 1998 and 1999 and overall champions in 1998, 1999 and 2000 and last played in Division One in 2009. They did not put up a team in 2010 but have been in Division Two since 2011.
Olak-PKT and Nur Insafi are in Group X with Bukit Jalil Sports School. Group Y has Politeknik Johor, Bakat MSSK-PHK and MSP Pahang Juniors.
The top teams from each group will play in the final on Sunday for the Division Two title.
Thursday’s win, however, came at a high cost for Olak-PKT as two of their players were yellow carded in the match and will be suspended for two matches. Mohd Zabad Rosly and Norhafizi Aris had six demerit points going into the match. The yellow card meant four extra demerit points and a mandatory two-match suspension.
Olak-PKT team manager Joseph De Silva was happy with their performance and has promised that they will be looking for a win against BJSS on Friday.
“Yes, a draw (against BJSS) will be enough but we want to top the group. The players are performing well and took their chances well early in the match (against Nur Insafi),” he said.
“Our first objective is to get back into Division One. We will think of the final after that.
“Of course, by making the final we will also make the cut for the knockout stage. That will be a good test for the players as we gauge their strength against the elite.”
In the opening Group Y match, MSP Pahang needed a last-gasp goal by Mohd Aliff Noor Faizal to edge Bakat MSSK-PHK of Kelantan 3-2.
Mohd Zul Yadain Kasman had earlier opened the scoring for Bakat MSSK-PHK in the 10th minute before Pahang hit back through Mohd Khairul Syafiq the 16th minute.
In the second half, the Kelantan side again got off to a great start, with Mohd Ashraf Mohd Noor scoring in the 37th minute to restore their lead.
The Pahang team, however, fought back to grab the equaliser for a second time with a penalty corner goal by Irfan Wafiq Hishamuddin in the 61st minute.
Just when Bakat MSSK-PHK thought they had nicked a point, up popped Aliff to break their hearts in the 70th minute.