Tenaga Nasional Berhad put a huge dent in the aspirations of Maybank and put one foot in the final of the TNB Cup when they defeated the Tigers 6-2 at the National Hockey Stadium.
And in the President's Cup TNB Thunderbolts scored a convincing 6-3 win over Ipoh City Council and look safe for a place in the final.
It is curtains for Maybank as there is no way that TNB will concede four goals without reply and for TNB, they can start planning for the final where they are likely to be playing KLHC.
Maybank suffered from some rater harsh umpiring decisions and that largely affected their game as the umpires awarded penalty corners for some good dives by the TNB players.
Though the scoreline shows that KL Hockey Club holding a 3-1 lead at the end of the TNB Cup, in reality the place in the final is still up for grabs. And in the President's Cup, Uitm held off Sunday 2030 for a slim 2-1 advantage.The KLHC v Sapura match lacked the excitement that was expected from a match between the two teams and in the end KLHC will probably be regretting not taking advantage of the chances they created.
KL Hockey Club have no intentions of falling into a lull of complacency as Sapura continues to play mind games prior to the first leg semi final that will be played on Friday.Rather the defending champions are just taking it one step at a time and would rather be cautious in their approach although all associated with hockey have installed KLHC as the overwhelming favourites.
The last time Maybank defeated Tenaga Nasional Berhad in the knock out stage of the MHL was in the 1999 season. But they went on to lose the final against Bank Simpanan Nasional. And prior to that Maybank won the double in 1994 and the overall title in 1995.
Ironically both Maybank and TNB are the pioneers of the MHL, as the two clubs have never missed out on any edition since the MHL was introduced to replace the Champions Club tournament in 1987.
Several players will be walking on a tight rope in the semi finals of the TNB Cup, the first leg of which will be held at the National Hockey Stadium at Bukit Jalil this Friday.
The semis will pit defending champions and the TNBMHL League Champions KL Hockey club against Sapura while the other semis will be between Maybank and Tenaga Nasional Berhad.