HKFC Slip as Khalsa and Punjab Maintain Joint Hong Kong Hockey League Lead
HKFC Slip as Khalsa and Punjab Maintain Joint Hong Kong Hockey League Lead
Hockey—Premier Division

There was almost a carnival atmosphere at the Valley Ground on Sunday (Feb 16) as leaders in the Hong Kong Hockey Association Premier Division Punjab-A and Khalsa-A both won their matches. Adding to the mood, the Valley-A team had returned to their home ground to watch after tying their game against HKFC-A.

Punjab-A and Khalsa-A are still heading the standings on 35 points each, while HKFC-A dropped to 3-points behind.

The final three rounds of fixtures feature mouth-watering clashes for the top three places.

This weekend: HKFC-A hosts Punjab-A; Valley-A play SSSC-A; and Shaheen-A play Khalsa-A.

In the penultimate round the following weekend: SSSC-A play HKFC-A; while Punjab-A play Khalsa-A.

The final week of matches sees: Khalsa-A play HKFC-A; and Punjab-A vs Valley-A.

SSSC vs Khalsa
Khalsa-A played superbly to overcome an SSSC-A team appearing to lack team spirit and full determination. SSSC defended well particularly in the early stages of the match, but lacked vision in trying to penetrate a well organised Khalsa defence, resorting to hard-hit long balls that often missed their target attackers.

Khalsa on the other hand were superb in all departments. Solid in defence, skilful and accurate in distributing the ball; while resourceful, fast and penetrating in attack. SSSC had their moments and scored to bring the game back to 2-1 after going two goals down. However, Khalsa tucked away two more goals – an Ahmed Ewis signature drag flick penalty corner; and the other from a superb strike by Inderpal Singh – to take the score to 4-1.

SSSC hit back by converting a dubious penalty stroke to keep them in touch at 4-2, but two goals towards the end of the match—one a defender deflection from a hard Ewis hit into the circle and the other by Ashad Mohammad—took Khalsa to a thoroughly deserved 6-2 final score.

Punjab vs Shaheen

Shaheen-A held Punjab-A fairly well in the first half to keep the score down to 2-nil, but Punjab were too strong—although the Ali brothers Asghar and Arif showed good skills and determination – and too good in defence to cause them any major problem.

Three more goals in the second half saw the division co-leader finish with a 5-nil score-line.

Valley vs HKFC

The match between Valley-A and HKFC-A was a very hard fought local derby, with both teams playing well-structured pattern hockey.

The match was all-square at 1-all at half time and the second half continued in similar vein.

Club were delighted to move ahead 2-1 in the final quarter of the match, but Valley forced a penalty corner in the final minutes that was well taken to level the match at 2-all.

There was disappointment for Club, who thought they had done enough to win the match, but this drawn result now puts them on the back-foot going into the final matches.

Bottom-half Matches

In the lower half of the table, Pak-A beat HKFC-B 4-2; SSSC-B won 4-2 against KCC-A; and KNS-A beat Elite-A 4-0. This latter result puts KNS-A one point ahead of HKFC-B in the lower half of the table.

Next Matches

The next matches take place on Sunday Feb 23 when HKFC-A meet Punjab-A and KCC-A play HKBC-B at HKFC; and Valley-A play SSSC-A, Shaheen-A play Khalsa-A, Pak-A play Elite and SSSC-B meet KNS all at HV1.

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