With the exception of the HKFC-A vs Valley-A match and the Shaheen-A vs HKFC-B one, all other teams had a fairly gentle run in for their first matches of 2014.
The derby game between HKFC-A and Valley-A lived up to its billing with some fast competitive hockey, but Valley-A were short of some of their regular players and it showed in their overall performance. HKFC-A were awarded several penalty corners and a penalty in the early stages of the match that set them on the scoring path and they were 3-nil at half time.
Both sides were fast and determined in their tackling, but Club’s distribution of the ball and finishing gave them the edge. Valley’s goalie, Dan Pickering made some good acrobatic saves, but could not stem the tide of some fast attacking play. The final score was 6-1 to HKFC-A keeping them at the top of the table.
HKFC-B also had a good match and came away with a point from their fixture with Shaheen-A. The 1-all result still gives HKFC-B the possibility of finishing the first round in the top half of the table if they win their next match against Pak-A and if SSSC-A lose to KCC-A. However, KCC-A seem at a very low ebb, so for KCC-A to win against SSSC-A would be a big achievement.
In the other matches, Khalsa-A strolled to victory over SSSC-B 11-nil; Punjab beat SSSC-A 7-5 in a fairly low key manner; KNS-A had a good 4-1 victory over beleaguered KCC-A and Pak-A beat Elite-A 5-2.
Next Week’s Matches
The big match next week is the top of the table clash between HKFC-A and Khalsa-A to decide bragging rights for the top position. This game is rather important to Club-A as if they lose they are likely to drop from first to third in the table as Punjab-A are expected to win their match against Elite-A.
The Valley-A match against Shaheen-A should also be a well contested game.
The seven teams in the women’s Premier division all completed their first round of matches prior to the New Year break and will restart the first of six second-half matches this coming weekend.
The leading teams at the break were Valley-A and HKFC-A, both having 14-points, but Valley are on top of the standings as they have a better goal difference. Shaheen-A are on 12-points, KCC-A 10-points, HKFC-B 7-points, Dutch 3-points and Recreio-A are still waiting their first positive result.