KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaga Nasional regained the top spot in Division One in grand style, routing MSS Terengganu 6-1 in an MHF-Milo-NSC-Admiral Junior Hockey League match at the KL Hockey Stadium yesterday.
Much had been expected from MSS Terengganu after their upset 2-1 win over defending overall champions Telekom Pahang last week but they turned out to be a flop as Tenaga side went on a rampage to secure their fourth win in five matches.
They now share the top spot with Malaysia Sports School and Anderson-XyBase but have a better goal difference compared to the two teams.
The other two contenders will take on each other in a crucial tie at the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh.
Yesterday, Tenaga went about their business in clinical fashion scoring three goals in each half.
For once, their forwards were in top form as they combined well to keep the attack going from both flanks. Kelvinder Singh displayed good stickwork to harass the Terengganu defence on the left and it was his effort that resulted in the first two goals. The other two forwards Eszreen Abdul Azis and Fairus Hamsani also helped keep the Terengganu players under a lot of pressure in the early stages of the match.
Fairus scored the opening goal in the seventh minute after Kelvinder had beaten the entire defence and relayed the ball to him in the D. This was followed by a penalty corner conversion by S. Bubalan in the 11th minute while Abbas Nekmat was on target in the 21st minute also from a penalty corner.
The Tenaga team continued to dominate and Kelvinder got into the scoring act with two goals in the 46th, a field goal, and a 51st minute penalty corner conversion.
Then, Fairus added his second and sealed the match with a penalty corner variation in the 55th minute. The Tenaga side took it easy and Terengganu managed to pull one back in the 63rd minute through Mohamed Ashrafizree.
The Terengganu side remain in seventh place with seven points.
At the Perlis Sports Complex in Kangar, MSS Perlis went down 3-2 to SM Datuk Taha, a result that has almost sealed a quarter-final berth for Sports School Juniors from Division Two.
Perlis have 12 points and four matches to go while the Sports School already have 24 points with three more matches to play. The top two teams in Division Two, almost certainly Sports School Junior and Malacca MC, who whipped Penang Free School 5-1 yesterday – will get a place in the quarter-finals.
In Kangar, it was Perlis who took the lead in the third minute through a field goal by Mohamed Aimi Jamaluddin but a penalty stroke conversion in the 48th minute by S. Muniandy and a penalty corner goal a few seconds later by K. Amuthan gave SM Taha the upper hand.
Perlis drew level in the 62nd minute through Amar Gaddaffi Ishak but later lost the match three minutes when Muniandy struck off a field attempt.
In Malacca, MMC showed that they were ready to take over at the top of the table before the league takes a break from Monday, when they whipped PFS.
MMC are three points behind Sports School Juniors who have 24 points but a win over basement side AFATS tomorrow should give them the lead on goal difference.
Yesterday, MMC waited 22 minutes before finally opening accounts with a penalty corner goal by Mohd Azmir Roslan. Mohd Faizal Bakar (27th, 67th), Nazmi Kamaruddin (61st) and Nor Ikhram Sulaiman (65th) rounded up the scoring for MMC while PFS pulled one back through Jabir Abdul Rahman a minute before halftime.