To the delight of the increasing number of field hockey supporters, six Hong Kong Hockey Association Premier League matches were played at the King’s Park Hockey Ground last weekend Oct 6 and 7, with two women’s matches being played on Saturday and four men’s matches on Sunday.
In the first match of the day on Sunday, Pak-A overwhelmed Elite-A by 12 goals to two. KCC-A and Valley-A then played an even contest with a 2:2 draw. The afternoon then became full-on with the matches between Punjab-A and SSSC-A, and Shaheen-A against Khalsa-A.
Both matches were fast, exciting games with accurate passes and hard-fought tackles, and the whole stadium leapt to life at the sight of the spectacle. Indeed, spectators departing the rugby stadium stopped on the roadway behind the goal to get a glimpse of the action and cheer on their sides. The matches were non-stop action, with fast passing, fast running, penetrating shots and all action.
Punjab-A came out of the blocks sending long range passes up-field to their attackers, hoping to cash in with an early goal. They were pressing so hard it looked certain that they would score, but no, it was SSSC-A who steadied the ship and brought the game under control with some good strategic play and scoring the first two goals.
But the Punjab side would not give in and continued their fast electrifying game.
Eventually, Punjab-A started their goal run, which continued through the second half to produce three goals. Both teams played hard right to the whistle, but the score remained at three goals to two to Punjab-A.
Amazingly, in the Shaheen-A Khalsa-A game the score was 0:0 at half time. But soon after commencement of the second half the goals started flowing. Shaheen-A scored first then Khalsa equalised. Shaheen scored again before Khalsa getting on top, added three more goals in quick succession and the match continued in this vein up to a final score of 7:2.
In the home Derby match between HKFC-A and HKFC-B, Club-A won by eight goals to nil. Club Coach Simon Chapman indicated that both teams played well, but he was particularly pleased with Club-A’s performance.
In the Women’s matches, both of the top teams KCC-A and HKFC-A won their matches convincingly to move to the top of the standings table. KCC-A defeated KHFC-B by four goals to 1 and HKFC-A beat Recreio-A, the new comers to the division, by five goals to nil.
Valley-A are on three points after playing only one game and WS Orchid get their season started tonight against KCC-A at the Valley ground.
The men’s fixtures in the HKHA Premier League look just about perfect with all contests looking even and well balanced. It is difficult to pick a match of the week from these fixtures, but the Khalsa-A/Pak-A game may be the highlight. Punjab-A representatives say they have another three top Indian league players that have arrived and should be available for selection for the Shaheen-A match. The women’s matches look easier to predict.