KUCHING: 11 RMD (Pemerintahan Medan Timur) beat ONEXOX Warrior 4-1 to lift the Men’s Open title in the Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) Sarawak Hockey League at the Sarawak Hockey Stadium, Jalan Padungan last Sunday.
It was the Warriors who drew first blood through a penalty corner in the 14th minute by Taserick Reduan but Mohd Sufian Mansur equalised in the 29th minute also via a penalty corner.
11 RMD began to show their superiority thereafter with two more goals via penalty corners from Mohd Izwan Mohd Noor (34th min) and Mohd Suffian again (57th min).
Two minutes later, Ahmad Rafifi wrapped up the match for the soldiers with a field goal.
“We are very happy to win today after playing the bridesmaid last year. It is also a sweet revenge for the boys because we lost to the Warriors in the final last year and they are overjoyed to have won in this repeat of last year’s final,” said team manager Major Zulkarnaien Muda.
“I think we won because we are better prepared this year and we had two new players Mohd Suffian and Ismala Aripen who are Sarawakians in our line-up, said Zulkarnaien who added that there were five Sarawakians in the team.
He also attributed their victory to the team skippered by Mohd Fahmi playing according to their game strategy.
“Yes, we will definitely be back next year to defend our crown,” he declared.
11 RMD received the RM1,200 cash prize while ONEXOX Warrior settled for RM800.
In the play-off for the third/fourth, Borneo Young Blood edged the Kuching Hockey Association 1-0.
Meanwhile, SMK Paku, led by former national player Catherine Lambor, lived up to their reputation as the new powerhouse in school hockey when they made a clean sweep of the Boys and Girls U16 titles.
SMK Paku topped the boys competition after beating SAKURA 5-1, SMK Bako 4-0, Sekolah Seni 11-0 and SMK Semerah Padi 9-0 to collect 12 points.
In second place were SAKURA with nine points from three wins while SMK Bako finished third on six points and SMK Semerah Padi were fourth with three points.
The girls competition saw SMK Paku winning all their four matches, beating SAKURA and SMK Bako by similar 5-0 margin, Squad 2020 (SMK Taee) 4-1 and thrashing Sekolah Seni 11-0 to accumulate 12 points.
Occupying second to fifth spots were Squad 2020 (9 points), SMK Bako (6), SAKURA (3) and Sekolah Seni (0) respectively.
The champions of both categories received RM500 each.
Prizes were given away by Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee, Sarawak Sports Corporation CEO Dr Ong Kong Swee and Hockey Association of Sarawak president Datin Mary Sadiah Zainuddin.
Also present were Johnny Rasit who represented the Sarawak Education Department director Dr Azhar Ahmad and 3rd Brigade Head Of Staff Lieutenant Colonel Salleh Muhammad.