19th April, 2017
ON TRACK … SSMS Resilient’s team captain Muhammad Saifuddin bin Azli being challenged by unidentified MSSWPKL player during their TNB Malaysian Junior Hockey League Division II tie in Likas yesterday.
By FRANCIS XAVIER
KOTA KINABALU: SSMS Resilient sealed their ticket into the second round of the TNB Malaysian Junior Hockey League 2017 with a perfect record and a match to spare in the Division II challenge.
They clinched their berth after registering a 4-2 comeback victory over MSSWPKL in a Group B encounter at the Kota Kinabalu Sports Complex hockey pitch in Likas yesterday.
Despite dominating the tie, the hosts were trailing 2-0 at half time where Shafiq Ikhmal Daniel Suzaini blasted home the opener for the visiting MSSWPKL from a penalty corner after seven minutes of play.
In the second quarter, Muhammad Azreen bin Mustama coolly converted a penalty stroke as the opening half ended 2-0 in MSSWPKL’s favour.
But that did little to dampen the spirits of the Sekolah Sukan Malaysia Sabah (SSMS) boys as they started the third quarter strongly.
Muhajir Abdu Rauf reduced the deficit one minute after the break from a field effort before Nasrul Syahkir bin Sadikul levelled the scoreline in the 38th minute from a field goal.
Nasrul put his side into the lead with his second in the 47th minute before Mohammad Zulhilmi bin Barkary@Bakri added the fourth with his 51st minute effort that eventually sealed their win.
That was SSMS Resilient’s fifth consecutive win. They had opened their campaign registering an 8-1 win over Anderson PHA, before drubbing Malay College (MCKK) Kuala Kangsar 11-2 in the second game.
Then they were forced to fight back from 3-0 down before registering a hard-fought 6-5 win over MBFM-Felda Juniors, followed by an 11-0 victory over MISCF UFL.
They would conclude their group campaign by taking on Terengganu Junior Team on April 26 in Likas.
SSMS Resilient lead the seven-team Group B standings on 15 points, followed by Terengganu Junior Team, who have two games in hand, in second on nine points, while third-placed MBFM-Felda Junior have six points.
MSSWPKL are in fourth on four.
For the record, only the top two teams in the three-group Division II will make the second round.