UiTM clinch TNBMHL Division One title after routing ATM Airod

UITM are the TNBMHL 2015 Division One League champions following an incredible comeback in the fourth quarter to seal a 6-1 victory over ATM Airod at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil today.

Coached by K. Gobinathan, UITM who finished top of Group B with a one-goal advantage despite sharing 23 equal points with ATM Airod at the conclusion of the preliminary round matches, took home the winner’s purse of RM20,000 while ATM Airod settled for RM15,000.

Earlier in the day, TNB Thunderbolt defeated Ipoh City Council 4-1 to take third spot which come with a prize money of RM7,000 while Ipoh City Council received RM3,000.

“We know ATM Airod play a fast game and we were cautious in the first quarter. However, when they started opening up their game in the third quarter this allowed our forwards to score from quick counter attacks,” said Gobinathan.

“This is a relatively new team and I am proud of their fighting spirit and finishing touch to score six goals. It’s an amazing victory for us today. As for the President’s Cup, we will take a rest in the next two days before even thinking about it. The players are very exhausted,” he added.

UITM grabbed a 14th minute lead through Abdul Rauf Mohd Nazri’s penalty corner. ATM Airod, who emerged champions in the 2012 edition of the league, however, had their fair share of opportunities to equalise but squandered the many chances that came their way.

unnamedIt was only in the 41st minute that UITM extended the lead to 2-0 after Mohamed Khairul Ikhwan struck home from a penalty corner before allowing ATM Airod to claw back through Mohamed Fahmi Abdullah from a field goal four minutes later.

But UITM continued to produce a mesmerising performance at the start of the fourth quarter by scoring four more field goals which totally dampened ATM Airod’s plans of any fight back. The scorers were Mohamed Asraf Bahari (54th), Muhammad Syafiq Zulzairin (56th and 64th) and Mohamed Hafify Mohd Rodzi (62nd).

Meanwhile, TNB Thunderbolt grabbed a 3-0 lead going into the fourth quarter of the match with goals from Muhammad Fariq Saadon (7th, field goal), Muhammad Fikri Bassar (35th, penalty stroke) and Zulhamizan Awang Abas (47th, field goal) before Ipoh City Council pulled one back in the 54th minute through Shahrusahadan Basri’s field goal.

Towards the end of the match, it was TNB Thunderbolt who kept the pressure on their opponents and was rewarded with a penalty corner which Muhammad Sabri Mohamed duly converted to give his side a comfortable 4-1 victory.

It was Sabri’s 10th goal in the 2015 Division One league which makes him the current leading scorer.

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