Tigers and Sapura triumph again


By PETER CHAN and AFTAR SINGH

IPOH: Maybank continued their winning ways to stay top of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) standings after labouring to a 4-2 win over winless Ipoh City Hall at the Azlan Shah Stadium here last night. 

K. Gobinathan put the Tigers in front after 15 minutes with a well-executed penalty corner shot. Three minutes later, Riduan Nasir sounded the board to make it 2-0. 

In the 19th minute, Mohd Fadzli Anuar put his name on the scoresheet for Maybank. 

Ipoh City Hall, spurred on by the 200-odd crowd, refused to be intimidated by the Tigers. They managed to reduce the deficit in the 23rd minute when R. Prem Kumar deflected home a penalty corner. 

CONFUSION: Royal Malay Regiment goalkeeper Ku Baharuddin Ku Sulaiman (second from left) and his teammates try to prevent Bank Simpanan Nasional's Syed Imran Ali Warsi (right) from scoring during their Malaysia Hockey League match at the Tun Razak Stadium Friday.BSN won 3-1.

Prem Kumar was again on target in the 49th minute to narrow the gap to 2-3. 

Maybank then prevented an Ipoh City Hall fightback by scoring through Suhairi Saidi in the 64th minute to put the match out of the homesters' reach. 

Earlier in another match at the same venue, Sapura enjoyed a brief spell as league leaders when they whipped Dolphins 12-0.  

Skipper S. Kuhan, South Korean Kang Keon-wook and P. Prabahkaran scored three goals each while Keevan Raj contributed a brace. Jivan Mohan netted the other goal.  

Sapura had to toil for 14 minutes before the floodgates opened. In the opening seven minutes, Kuhan wasted three penalty corners. 

Sapura finally found the mark through Keon-wook in the 14th minute.  

Dolphins, however, were unhappy with umpire S. Subramaniam for awarding the goal, claiming the ball had gone out of play before Keon-wook slipped the ball past goalkeeper Khairi Daud. 

Subramaniam stuck to his decision to award the goal and it infuriated the Dolphins. From the restart, Dolphins skipper M. Sivalingam blasted the ball towards Subramaniam's direction and just missed the umpire. 

Keon-wook was on target again in the 21st minute for his second goal. Sapura then snatched two quick goals through Jivan Mohan (28th) and Prabahkaran (30th) for a comfortable 4-0 lead at half-time. 

On resumption, Kuhan scored three straight goals in the 37th, 44th and 47th minutes. Keon-wook notched his hat-trick by finding the target in the 50th minute. 

Keevan Raj (53rd and 61st) and Prabahkaran (58th and 69th) completed the scoring for Sapura. 

Second after the 12th goal, a scuffle broke out between Kuhan and Safik Apandi Atan of Dolphins. Umpire S. Ramaneswaran defused the situation by sending both players to the sin bin. 

At the Tun Razak Stadium, defending overall champions Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) bounced back from last week’s 2-1 defeat in the hands of Sapura to beat Royal Malay Regiment (RMR) 3-1. 

BSN played a scrappy game but still managed to take a fifth minute lead through Mohamed Faizal Mohd Daud from close range. 

BSN earned six penalty corners in the first-half but muffed all the attempts.  

In the second half, BSN continued to press forward and they increased the lead to 2-0 with a beautiful reverse stick goal by Robert Alcantara in the 49th minute. 

Winless RMR, however, managed to pull one back in the 59th minute off a penalty corner goal by Shahrulamin Sidek.  

Four minutes before full-time, Mohamed Faizal was on target again to make it 3-1. 

It was also a victorious day for Srii Aroma. The Penang side edged basement side Johor Baru City Council 2-1 at the Bertam Sports Complex for their second win of the season. 

T. Sivanesan opened accounts for Srii Aroma after six minutes. D. Baskaran then knocked home the second in the 23rd minute. Baljit Singh scored JBCC’s consolation goal in the 44th minute.  

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