Asyraf’s flick does the trick

Youngster Mohd Nur Asyraf Ishak joined Maybank after a barren year with TNB Thunderbolts and suddenly saw his penalty corner drag flicks becoming potent in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

The 20-year-old defender from Melaka converted two penalty corners to steer the Tigers to a humiliating 9-3 win over hapless Kedah-Nurinsafi at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday. Asyraf was on target in the third and 14th minutes. He has now scored three goals in four matches.

Former international forward Mohd Haziq Samsul scored a hattrick in the sixth, 19th and 58th minutes. Hafifihafiz Hanafi (44th and 47th), Alfarico Lance Liau Jr (17th) and Amirullah Zainol (41st) netted the other goals for the Tigers.

Nur Rahull Hrsikesa Thaitchana Muruthi also scored a hattrick for Kedah in the 18th, 41st and 45th minutes.

It was Maybank’s biggest victory in four matches. The Tigers and Terengganu both have nine points from three wins and a defeat but the east coast team are in third spot with a better goal difference. Tenaga and UniKL are sitting in the top two spots with 12 points each.

Maybank won their first two matches against Hockey Academy of KL and Universiti Teknologi Mara with identical scores of 4-1 before losing to Tenaga Nasional 2-0.

Maybank’s next match is against TNB Thunderbolt and Nur Asyraf is looking forward to it.

“Last year, I played for TNB-Thunderbolt but I failed to score a single goal. I thank Maybank for hiring me and I’m glad I repaid them by scoring three goals so far.

“I am quite satisfied with my conversion rate and I hope to continue scoring goals in the league.

“It was a morale boosting win over the Kedah side and I hope we can pull off another win against my former team on Wednesday, ” said Nur Asyraf, who played for Malaysia in the Sultan of Johor Cup.

“My mission this year is to help Maybank to a top four finish in the league and help them get into for the semi-finals of the TNB (overall title).

“I also want to play for Malaysia in the Junior Asia Cup (in Dhaka, Bangladesh from June 4-14), which is the qualifying tournament for the Junior World Cup next year, ” added Nur Asyraf.

Maybank coach Azrul Effendy Bistamam was clearly delighted with the big win.

“We took an early lead and this enabled us to continue scoring. The win today has boosted us for our upcoming matches, ” said Azrul.

“We are also pleased with Nur Asyraf. He has been playing well and scoring regularly in the league. We hope that he will keep his good form going, ” he added.

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