Teams in the Division One are a forgotten bunch as far as the Malaysian Hockey League are concerned. It seems that all attention is centered on the Premier League with teams in Division One being give the short straw.
Not only do teams have to pay for their home matches, unlike the Premier League where MHF plays hosts, the Division One teams are compelled to advertise for the league sponsors on the front of their jerseys. And they have to fend for themselves for away matches, unlike the Premier League where teams are provided accommodation as well as travel subsidies.
And on top of that, the official host broadcaster, which will show some 18 Premier League matches live plus some delayed telecast matches, decided not to cover the day one of the Division One.
In the opening day of the Division One, there were surprises in store as Bukit Jalil Sports School went down 1-2 to Armed Forces Juniors in Kuala Lumpur despite taking the lead.
In Ipoh, hosts Ipoh City Council suffered the misfortune of having one of their players red carded in their 1-1 draw against Uniten while in Penang, hosts USM were beaten 1-0 by Malacca City Council.
BJSS, who are really using their participation in the Division One as preparation for the Junior League next year as they have 18 players eligible for the junior competition, have only themselves to blame for the defeat.
With searing heat, after days of downpour, the BJSS players were a spent force after the first half as Armed Forces Juniors dominated the second half.
"We did not play to our strength today and paid the price for it. It was a poor performance as my players gave the opponents too much respect. WE were guilty of wasting chances in the early stages of the match and paid dearly for it," said BJSS coach S. Prakash.
Kavin Karthik gave BJSS the lead in the 19th minute converting a penalty corner and they held on to the lead going into halftime. But Armed Forces Juniors were back on level terms in the 44th minute as Razali Mohd Hazemi scored. They got the winner through Mohd Szuhairi Abd Aziz in the 64th minute.
"We opted to let them dominate the first half as we knew that they will not last the pace. That is why we only played with two forwards in the first half. With the opponents showing signs of fatigue, we upped the tempo in the second half. But it was a lucky win though as our defence made far too many mistakes," said Armed Forces Juniors coach Kamaruddin Misman.
At the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh, Mohd Rasyid was sent off as Ipoh City Council managed to force a draw against Uniten despite playing with 10 men.
Uniten opened scoring in the 17th minute via Abbas Nekmat but they failed to capitalise on the numerical superiority as Ipoh City Council forced a penalty stroke in the 67th minute which was duly converted by Jasdev Singh Dhillon.