KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaga Nasional and Malaysia Sports School have made the race for the Division One title in the MHF-Milo-NSC-Admiral Junior Hockey League a two-horse race with easy wins in their penultimate matches yesterday.
Tenaga went on a goal rampage to chalk up their biggest win this season with a 9-2 hammering of MPK-Olak at the Pandamaran Hockey Stadium in Klang while the Sports School won 4-1 against Yayasan NS at the Tun Razak Stadium.
Tenaga are back in the saddle at the top of the standings and have a four-goal difference although they share the lead with Malaysia Sports School on 16 points.
Telekom Pahang, who were tied with both the teams before yesterday's matches fell by the wayside, when Anderson-XSYBase held them to a 1-1 draw in Ipoh.
As the battle in Division One narrowed to the two teams, the issue in Division Two was settled with Malacca MC winning the title without having to step on to the pitch.
Sports School Juniors who were two points behind the Malacca side lost for the first time in the league in their last match of the preliminary round and in the process lost any chance of winning the title.
The Sports School Juniors were beaten 2-1 by SM Datuk Taha in Malacca yesterday.
Thus Malacca MC's match against Perak Malays is academic now, as they will earn the RM10, 000 that goes with the title. But for Sports School the result has also brought some bad tidings.
Mathematically SM Datuk Taha can still keep Sports School Junior out of the quarter-finals and sneak in. But they will need a 25-goal margin victory over Synergy Hockey Club to do that. Both teams meet at the Pandamaran Stadium today.
Mohamed Zulfady and Mohamed Zaini were the heroes for the Taha side when they scored in the 33rd and 58th minutes to cancel out the Sports School's third minute effort by Craig Fernandez.
In Klang the Tenaga side went into the match knowing that goals were important besides the three points for winning.
National Under-19 player Azli Misron and S. Selvaraju netted a hattrick each while the other scorers were S. Bubalan, Abbas Nekmat and Shafiq Amir Kamaruddin.
MPK-Olak managed to get the two goals late in the game through Wan Mohamed Syami and S. Linkesweran.
At the Tun Razak Stadium the Malaysia Sports School were made to struggle in the first half before walking away with a 4-1 win.
They led the first half by a 28th minute strike through Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin from a goalmouth melee after a penalty corner move.
But then in the second half they managed to find their rhythm and scored thrice through Mohamed Ammerullah in the 58th and 64th minutes while S. Yogesweren swept in a penalty corner flick in the 68th minute for a 4-0 lead.
Yayasan NS managed to get a consolation goal one minute from time through Rizaishah Pilus.
In Ipoh at the Azlan Shah Stadium, Telekom Pahang's chase for the title took a dent when they were held to a 1-1 draw by host Anderson Xybase.