KUCHING: The TNB Sarawak Hockey League kicked off over the weekend with some close matches amid two blowouts.
Last year’s finalists, UNIXX and Belia Git, were also in action with contrasting fortunes.
The opener of the eagerly awaited league saw Army side Eleven Warrior matching up with MatHoc on Saturday morning.
It resulted in a blowout for the servicemen as they blanked MatHoc 12-0.
Iskandar Fahmi Razali started the rout in the first minute with the first of his hattrick.
Even so, M Sufian Marsom emerged as the top marksman with his four goals.
M. Ashraff Taha and Ahmad Rafifi each had a brace while Amir Sazwan had a lone marker.
The other lopsided match also resulted in a 12-0 whitewash with One XOX getting the runaway win over Batu Lintang HC.
It was already 4-0 at half-time but the floodgates really opened in the second half as One XOX seemed to score at will.
M Izzat Afifi looks to have the scoring race locked up as he single-handedly destroyed BLHC with seven goals.
Nick Keffler James and Dielven Mula each had two with Muhd Salwadi sounding the board once.
Defending champions UNIXX began their campaign on a shaky note with a loss to One XOX.
UNIXX had started on a positive tone with Roma Utok opening accounts first in the 20th minute only to have XOX equalise just before the break.
XOX would go ahead in the 43rd min with UNIXX equalising two minutes later.
Taserick Reduan then scored the winner for One XOX with eight minutes left.
In contrast, 2017 losing finalists Belia Git won their opener in style with a 4-0 shutout of Warrior.
Former national player Dangerous Lee Mathew sounded the board for Belia as early as the 4th min but the Warrior defence held steady.
Belia’s Davieson Voon finally scored the insurance goal in the 41st min with Dangerous getting his second three minutes later.
Belia could have ended with a perfect record after the weekend’s fixture but had to settle for a 2-2 draw with Borneo Young Blood on Sunday.
It was a close affair with the match scoreless at half-time.
Douglas Gabriel Kho put Belia in the lead three minutes into the second half.
Dangerous would then convert a penalty corner in the 36th min. to give Belia a 2-0 lead.
Unfortunately, the Belia players decided to go into a complacent mode with their lead.
With time running out, BYB’s Nigel sounded the board to narrow the deficit to 2-1.
Five minutes later, Umarol Rohaimie completed their comeback when he slotted home a field goal just outside the ‘D’ in the 54th min. BYB had beaten Muara Tung Old Boys 3-1 on Saturday.
This weekend will see the start of the women’s and Under-16 boys matches.