Cards were flying and tempers flared as players fought among themselves and strongly contested umpires’ decisions in two field hockey matches in the men’s Premier League at King’s Park in Hong Kong on Sunday Oct 14. This created ugly scenes and less than the sportspersonship-like behaviour that we had come to expect at the top club competition level in Hong Kong.
While it’s understood that sporting arenas are emotionally charged environments, some things are unacceptable. And some players crossed that line on the weekend.
In both Punjab-A vs Shaheen and Khalsa vs Pak-A matches—which were expected to be of top quality—passes often went astray or were not collected well and dribbling was not to the normal high standard.
There were rather more stops-and-starts and a lot of quite difficult umpiring decisions to be made.
Both matches erupted into turmoil from time-to-time as players became frustrated with their own performances and umpiring decisions. Particular flash points were the awarding of free hits close to goal and penalty corners. Several green and yellow cards were issued and a red card was displayed on one occasion.
The Kings Park crowd also became very vocal at times.
On a busy day at Kings Park, the middle two of the four of the weekend’s matches featured these sometimes unsavoury affairs. Meanwhile the game at HKFC was the best.
Punjab vs Shaheen
The expected high quality of passes by the Punjab-A team were missing and Shaheen-A’s more strategic play paid off, producing two goals in the first quarter of the game.
Punjab-A pulled one back with 12 minutes left in the first half and at half time the score was two goals to one to Shaheen-A.
Punjab-A hit back almost immediately from the start of the second-half putting the ball in the Shaheen net and, although the goal was disallowed, they hit the target again to make the score two goals each. Punjab-A scored again 10 minutes into the second half to lead at three goals to two and it was not until the last five minutes that Shaheen-A slotted in the equaliser, making the final score 3:3.
Khalsa vs Pakistan Assoc
In the Khalsa-A to Pak-A match, the fans were again highly vocal as they knew this match was very important to their league standings.
The match was even with tight marking frustrating each team’s progress. There were chances at either end, but the stalemate was not broken until four minutes from the end of the first half when Khalsa-A scored their first goal.
The score stayed at 1:0 to Khalsa-A right up until the last 10 minutes when Pak-A scored to equalise, but this was short lived as Khalsa-A retaliated almost immediately.
A drag shot by Ahmed Ewis from a penalty corner made it 3:1 and he added another close to the final whistle to make the final score 4:1 to Khalsa-A.
SSSC vs Valley
In the first match at King’s Park, SSSC-A were at home to Valley-A. This was a fairly even match, but the home team were two goals to the good going into the second half, but Valley-A battled back and scored the equaliser to draw with the score at two each.
HKFC-B vs Elite
HKFC-B defeated Elite-A by four goals to two in the last Kings Park match to keep them midway in the table.
HKFC-A vs KCC
The “match of the day” turned out to be HKFC-A against KCC-A at the Football Club Ground.
Both teams played good quality strategic hockey with fast accurate passing, excellent ball control and good defensive play.
HKFC were one goal to the good at half time and consolidated their lead, making it 2:0 from a converted short corner. Although Club, with home advantage and a supporting crowd, always had the edge, KCC-A played extremely well and, considering they lost three top players during the summer break, they performed well up to standard.
The match finished at 2:0 to HKFC-A.
There were only two women’s hockey matches last weekend: HKFC-B against Valley-A; and HKFC-A against Shaheen-A. Both were played at the Football Club Ground.
In the HKFC-B game against Valley-A, both teams played well and the match was not as one-sided as the 8:2 score line suggests. Football Club have strengthened their B side this year, but Valley-A also have a stronger side and as the score suggests, they should do well in the league standings this year.
The match between HKFC-A and Shaheen-A was also a good game. Although HKFC-A were three goals up at half time, they were by no means overly dominating the match. Shaheen played some good hockey and, particularly in the early part of the second half, the play was fairly even, with both teams scoring to make the score 4:1. But towards the end of the match, Club notched up another two goals to make the final score 6:1.
In the midweek game between the under-18 Hong Kong team WS Orchid and KCC-A played at the Valley Ground, KCC had a comfortable 7:0 win.
There are only two Hong Kong Hockey Association Premier League men’s matches planned for next week and four women’s matches, including tonight’s game between WS Orchid and Shaheen-A, and the following Wednesday’s match between WS Orchid and Valley-A.
Most of the fixtures look straight forward, although the men’s Shaheen-A against KCC-A appears the most even.
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 19 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.