KL Hockey Club defeated Tenaga Nasional 2-1 at the National Hockey Stadium to lift the first ofthe titles at stake for the 2011 TNB Malaysian Hockey League.
But more importantly they gained the three points that gives them a headstart for the season that will be played on a single round.
"It was an important win as the three points gives us a headstart and that is important. We are on the right track to defend our league title with this win tonight," said KLHC team manager George Koshy.
"It was a tough match considering the fact the end result was not known until the final whistle as TNB finished stronger. But in the end we played well as a unit for the win.
"While we were unable to convert from the three penalty corers, its a question of getting the penalty corner battery to gel as the players have been away on national duty.
"That coupled with the fact that we were up against virtually the national team penalty corner defence meant that it was all the more difficult for us to score from the set pieces."
KLHC were the early aggressors and had a first look at goal in the 7th minute when Chua Boon Huat broke through on the left and set up Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor. But Nabil was a trifle too slow to take his shot and TNB keeper S. Kumar smothered the attempt to save his team.
But KLHC was not to be denied in the 9th minute as Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin’s initial shot was saved by Kumar but the Perlis born national striker picked up the rebound to unleash a reverse stick attempt into the roof of the net, giving his team a 1-0 lead.
TNB woke up from their slumber and seized the initiative, pinning KLHC into deep defence. And their persistence paid off in the 14th minute when Mohammad Fariq Saadon put the finishing touches to a well-executed set piece.
TNB were awarded a free hit on the right of the KLHC semi circle, and skipper Mohd Madzli Ikmar played the ball to Muhammad Azammi Adabi who replayed it to Faisal Saari. But his deflection was palmed out by KLHC keeper Roslan Jamaluddin only for Fariq to steer it past a despairing dive by Roslan.
KLHC were awarded a penalty corner in the 22nd minute by Mohammad Razie Abdul Rahim's weak push was easily pushed around the post by TNB skipper Madzli
And a minute before halftime, Mohd Shahrun Nabil saw his deflection sail wide on the left side as both teams trooped off squared 1-1.
KLHC were awarded their second penalty corner in the 39th minute and this time Razie was denied by the TNB first runner Baljit Singh. Though he picked up the rebound, Kumar came charging out to deny Razie a goal.
But things looked up for KLHC in the 48th minute as Kevinder Singh picked up the ball in the TNB last quarter before sending a pass to Chua who laid it up for Azlan Misron to take a reverse stick shot.
The ball hit Kumar's pads and the ball sneaked into goal despite a despairing dive by the keeper and KLHC were infront 2-1.
Though KLHC were awarded another penalty corner in the 53rd minute, this time it was Ahmad Kazamirul who was denied by Kumar. And when the rebound fell to youngster Mohd Fitri Saari, he sent his shot sailing past the upright with the defence beaten.
KLHC held on to win the shield and take home all three points