PENANG teams hogged the limelight during the three-day Penang Pesta International Hockey Tournament at the artificial turf stadium of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).
Hosts USM ‘Lions’ led the way as they regained the Premier crown, a trophy they last won in 2015.
After finishing third last year, they made no mistake this time, beating Perak’s QUIP Eagles ‘A’ 1-0 in the final.
The solitary strike came from national youth player Mohd Hafizuddin Zain.
Others instrumental in the final were Sulaiman Razak, Rozdini Zahron and skipper Iswan Azwar.
Team manager Mohd Suhaimi Abd Rahman said he was not surprised by the victory.
“My team was built around national youth players who were determined to make USM proud,” he said.
Penang Sports Club (PSC) won the Men's Open Veteran category for the first time.
They drew 1-1 at full time and extra time against Selangor club TPCA.
Two minutes into the sudden death playoff, former national striker Harcharanjit Singh scored the vital goal.
It was a sensational hattrick for PSC, having won the 21st PSC International Hockey Fest in July and the 3rd Prince of Wales Isle Xobei Club Hockey carnival in October.
The women’s challenge, as expected, was dominated by University Putra Malaysia (UPM), who achieved a one-two finish in both the Women’s Open and Inter-Varsity Institute of High Learning (IHL) challenge.
UPM ‘A’ edged UPM ‘B’ 3-2 in the IHL final but in the Women’s Open final, UPM ‘B’ turned the tables on their ‘A’ teammates to win 2-0.
Team manager Wan Zaharuddin Wan Abdullah said their ‘A’ and ‘B’ outfits were equally formidable, and it was not a surprise for them to take turns to troop out champions.
“Our campaign here has turned out to be memorable. Our men’s team also fared well, claiming the top two spots in the IHL category.”
Besides local teams, the tournament’s 44th edition also drew hockey teams from Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Brunei, Thailand, Indonesia, Pakistan and India.
RESULTS (All finals):
Men's Open (Premier): University Sains Malaysia ‘Lions’ (Pen) bt QUIP Eagles ‘A’ (Prk) 1-0.
Men's Open (Classic):
LTJTD (Sel) bt Malacca Town Council (Mal) 2-1.
Men's Open Veteran:
Penang Sports Club (Pen) bt TPCA (Sel) 2-1.
Insitute of Higher Learning:
Universiti Putra Malaysia ‘B’ (Sel) bt Universiti Putra Malaysia ‘A’ (Sel) 1-0.
Boys’ Under-18: Chinese Taipeh ‘A’ (Taiwan) bt Chinese Taipeh ‘B’ (Taiwan) 3-1.
Young Boys (Pen) bt TBSS Seniors (Pen) 3-0.
MBPJ Tigers (Sel) bt KLIA Black (Kul) 3-2.
Universiti Putra Malaysia ‘B’ (Sel) bt Universiti Putra Malaysia ‘A’ (Sel) 2-0.
Institute of Higher Learning: Universiti Putra Malaysia ‘A’ (Sel) bt Universiti Putra Malaysia ‘B’ (Sel) 3-2.
MSNK D Lela (Kul) bt Chinese Taipei ‘B’ (Taiwan) 2-1.
Cute Millenia (Pen) bt Saint Georges Girls School ‘Extreme’ (Pen) 3-0.
Girls’ Under-12: KL Girls (Kul) bt TJHT Girls (Kel) 2-0.