KUALA LUMPUR: The initiative for the Premier Division title in the Malaysia Hockey League has now shifted to defending champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) as the competition moves into the half way stage.
KLHC are second in the nine-team standings on 15 points after six matches. They are one point behind Tenaga Nasional but have a game in hand after their match on Friday against UiTM was abandoned due to heavy rain.
The highlight for KLHC in the last round of matches in the league was ending the unbeaten run of Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) with a 4-0 win.
However, coach K. Dharmaraj does not think that the tide has turned to their favour yet.
“Of course, we are now looked at as favourites (for the title) as we go into the half way mark. But as far as I am concerned, there are still three other teams in contention and we will be facing some crunch matches,’ he said.
Dharmaraj is pleased that KLHC are now firing in all cylinders.
“Yes, the forwards are really doing well and veteran Chua Boon Huat is scoring regularly. He has been with us for a long time and he is going great guns like never before,” he said.
“It’s good for the team to have goals coming from field attempts as well as penalty corners. The performance level is high and we have to keep it that way.”
Boon Huat has scored nine goals and is the league’s leading scorer. Others who have contributed goals include penalty corner specialists Mohamed Razie Rahim, national forward Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin and Azlan Misron.
Dharmaraj added that Tenaga would keep breathing down their necks and there will also be pressure from Yayasan Negri Sembilan (YNS) and UniKL.
Tenaga had a good weekend, collecting full points from matches against Nur Insafi (3-0) and Sapura (3-2).
KLHC have made a request to the MHF for the match tomorrow against UiTM be played at the KL Hockey Stadium beginning at 7pm instead of at the Tun Razak Stadium.
The weekend’s round of matches will be played at the USM Stadium in Penang and the results will give a clearer picture of the front runners for the title and the group vying for a top six finish to get into the knockout stage.