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Friday, May 18, 2001

Miri Water Festival - Brunei paddlers for regatta

The Miri Water Festival in Miri this weekend will see Brunei paddlers taking part in the regatta competition.

The Brunei paddlers will compete against the might of other teams from several parts of Sarawak such as Miri, Mukah, Bekenu, Limbang and Bintulu.

A total of 224 teams have confirmed participation in the regatta competition including those from Brunei Darussalam.

The regatta is categorised into Row Boat Race for 30 paddlers, 25 paddlers, 20 paddlers, 15 paddlers and 10 paddlers, Fishermen Boat Race, Speedboat Race for 18hp and 30hp engines and Fishermen Engine Boat Race.

The majority of the row boat events are for men.

The Sarawak Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud is expected to officiate at the regatta on Saturday afternoon.

Many other activities are also scheduled to be held at the Miri Port Authority wharf like stage shows, food and handicraft sales and Miri Resort City exhibition.

The Piasau Boat Club will also hold sea and river cruise, banana boat ride, sail boat ride, water skiing, beach volleyball, boat display, and sand castle building.

Other activities include poems recital, karaoke and fishing competitions.

(By Rosli Abidin Yahya)

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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FA Cup - No guarantees for Rhinos

KOTA KINABALU: Despite the fact that Sabah hold a three-goal cushion for the return leg next Tuesday, as far as Rhinos coach Ken Worden is concerned the battle is far from over.

For that very reason, the no-nonsense coach wants his charges to be on their toes for the second leg and confidently said that they should be able to cruise into the next round.

"Even though we got three goals, anything can happen in Perak. But if we lose in Perak, we need to kick our..if we lose the tie, not the game," Worden said of their chances in the competition.

Worden also expressed his happiness about the convincing victory, and said: "Overall, Iím absolutely proud (of the team). In spite of all the problems that the boys have had, they stay with the systemÖthey work hard in the system and they fight for each other. Iím absolutely proud with the way that they have come out today (Tuesday)."

However, the Aussie is far from happy with the tight schedule the team is facing.

"I have no training (proper) for the game and this is crazy. Our players are getting no rest. And when we come back, we canít get them together for one training session because tomorrow (Wednesday) is our rest day, which is not enough because they should have 48 hours of rest," said Worden.

"And the day after is travelling day (Thursday), so itís really impossible to get them together (training).

"We need to play different tactics in Perak and to play different tactics we need to practice it and we canít find any space and time," Worden lamented.

For the record, the Sabah-Perak FA Cup clash on Tuesday was Sabahís third in one week. And come Friday, they have a tough league encounter against Kelantan JKR at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium in Kota Bharu before taking on Perak four days later.

At the same time, Worden is also fused and saddened with the condition of the field of the Penampang Stadium, pointing out that it is not properly maintained.

"The pitch is an absolute disgrace and Iím sure Mr Karl Heiz Weigang (Perak coach) agrees with me. There is a roller there (seen at the left side of the field) and there is nobody to pull the roller. I have told the management we could have pulled the roller (to flatten the surface of the field). Everyday, the pitch is waiting to be rolled and it has not been rolled since the last game," Worden pointed out.

"I get sad to see this happen because it is important for professional players to have a reasonable surface to pass the ball on," he added.

Worden must be right in pointing out the matter, as it is not only the Penampang Stadium (field) that is not properly maintained but there are many more sports facilities not in proper order.

To name a few, just look at the field next to the Penampang Stadium or go to the Likas Sports Complex Field C.

(Match Review By Francis Xavier)

Source: New Sabah Times

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Thursday, May 17, 2001

FA Cup - Jalil's boys deserve win

SARAWAK footballers deserved a 3-2 victory against Johor FC in FA Cup in Pasir Gudang on Tuesday night as they spent seven valuable days of training after the match (Premier League) against Selangor scheduled for last Saturday in Kuching was postponed.

In the quarter-final first leg clash against Johor FC, Jalil's boys played one of their best games, celebrating three goals courtesy of Halim Jantan and Ramles Sari.

Jalil, who has been working hard to shape up his boys after the loss to Terengganu at home and the draw against Negri Sembilan, was impressed the Crocs performance.
"They have a good touch on the ball and I believe they are starting to play some good football now after the draw in Negri Sembilan.

"I hope they will keep it up," Jalil said delightedly yesterday.
"I'm impressed with the way they played last night, they had a good control over the ball. Their attacking was well arranged and they did not show any signs of being pressured," he added.

Despite playing in front of more than 12,000 Johor FC supporters, Jalil believed that by the way his team played, they could have won by a big margin.

"With the way they attacked and defended, I should say they could have won 3-0, " he said.

However, he said the scoreline was not that important but winning the match itself is a big success for the team.

"It was a big improvement for Sarawak as they have been playing some yo-yo games previously.

The draw in Negri Sembilan which followed the big slam by Terengganu at home was their peaking up moment and this win in Pasir Gudang, I hope, will give the Crocs more encouragement to go on," he said.

For the triumph, Sarawak have created double records for themselves. They have proven their unbeaten record in the FA Cup as well as broken Johor FC unbeaten record.

Happy skipper Ali Sapiee said: "Although the Pasir Gudang Stadium pitch had causing the ball to move a little faster than other pitches, we played a well-arranged game to win the match."

He commented on the unusual windy environment where caused them problem in judging how strong to kick the ball. "But real teamwork and team spirit did help us towards victory," he said.

The Crocs will have a long schedule after their Premier One League match against Kuala Lumpur this Saturday at the Cheras Stadium.

They will play their FA Cup quarter-finals second leg against Johor FC on May 22 (Tuesday) before meeting Selangor in the Premier One match at home on May 26.

(By Scott Apoi)

Source: Sarawak Tribune

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M-League - Taha keeping a close watch on the Crocs

IT MAY sound like big brother watching over them, but the Crocs know that in this professional era their performance will be closely monitored.

The fans demand good results. The coach knows that his team needs to perform to fill the stadium. And only a successful team get the cream of sponsorships.

Datuk Haji Taha Ariffin takes that important step to keep a close watch of the Crocs - the team and individual performance. He will receive reports from a special committee.

"I monitor the situation very closely. I ask for detailed reports from the coaches ," he said at the news conference yesterday, though the Football Association of Sarawak president preferred to keep details of the special committee close at heart. Also present was FAS secretary-general Abang Zainuddin Abg Abdul Rahman.

The Crocs have grown from minnows to be a team feared by the M-League teams since Taha turned the team around with the hiring of coach Alan Vest. The FA Cup, the Charity Shield and the league title have been brought to the Sarawak shores.

Coach Jalil Ramli continues the good work of Vest when taking over two seasons back. This may have given the fans a high expectation, and a handful had found it hard to stomach defeats, especially at the home ground of Sarawak Stadium.

The Crocs were beaten 1-3 by Terengganu (April 24) and the Kijangs inflicted another wound winning 1-0 at the Sarawak Stadium a week later. A handful of fans at the Sarawak-Kelantan match played on May 1 vented their anger by destroyed a number of chairs.

Taha again appealed to the fans to give their fullest support to their team. "It's not always the best team will win. We have to be realistic about it. I appeal for the good sense of the spectators."

The fans should not give advantage to the visiting teams, he said, obviously referring to the applause for the opponents in the last two home matches.

"You do not help the team at all by giving the opposing team the competitive edge when they play in Kuching," he said, adding that the Crocs didn't have that competitive advantage in away matches.

Taha said he had asked a special committee to look into the unsporting behaviour of some spectators.

"We've to be matured enough to accept defeat and victory in the right spirit." He pointed out that spoiling stadium properties would not solve anything. He rather that those so-called fans stayed home rather than to have them at the matches.

Touching on youth development, Taha said the FAS had requested for the Sarawak State Schools Sports Council (MSSS) to work closely with them to look at football development in schools.

"We expect cooperation from the Education Department, especially the MSSS to look at football development in schools." He expressed encouragement from the assurance given by MSSS. "It's a symbiotic relationship," he said.

Taha also announced that the Sri Aman Football Association have been re-registered. "It will be fully revitalised. We expected them to play an important role in football development in Sri Aman Division," he said.

Source: Sarawak Tribune

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Issue - Minister allays fears over Likas sports complex renovation

KOTA KINABALU: DOUBTS were cast in the House yesterday on the RM113mil renovation of the Likas sports complex for Sukma which Sabah will host next year.

Yong Oui Fah (PBS Sembulan) asked the state government to clarify if "rumours" that an architect and a consultant of the project were sacked because they refused to authorise the use of sub-standard piling for the grandstand.

He said he wanted the government to check on such matters because if there was truth to the "rumours" it would pose a threat to the safety of spectators.

State Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Yahya Hussin, however, allayed such fears by explaining that the project had been scaled down and piling work would no longer be required for the grandstand.

"We have scaled down the project. There is no more piling work," he said, adding that he ordered a review of the project after he took over the ministry in March.

"The review was necessary to cutback on elaborate and massive renovations to ensure that all work was completed before Sukma," he said.

In answering an earlier question by Datuk Yong Teck Lee (BN Likas), Yahya said the scope of work for the sports complex project included upgrading, repairs and building new facilities.

"It involves the upgrading and repair of the Kota Kinabalu Stadium, Kota Kinabalu Multi-Purpose Hall and the swimming pool. Other work includes installing floodlights at the hockey field and improvements to the tennis courts," he said.

The Star

Source: The Star

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Sukma - $ incentives for Sabah medallists

KOTA KINABALU - The Sabah Sports Council will give cash incentives to state athletes and teams who win medals in the ninth Malaysia Games (Sukma) which Sabah will be hosting next year.

Assistant Youth, Culture and Sports Development Minister Datuk Sapawi Ahmad said the incentive for individuals was RM500 for a gold medal, RM300 for a silver and RM200 for a bronze, while the team reward was RM2,500 for gold, RM1,500 (silver) and RM1,000 (bronze).

The ministry was also looking for suitable incentives to be given after the games to those involved in making the event a success, he said when replying to Frankie Chong Yu Chee (nominated state assemblyman) in the State Assembly here.

So far, the incentives given were in the form of apparatus, monthly travelling allowance (between RM30 and RM50) and extra diet at the rate of RM30 to RM50 a month according to the sport, he said.

On the preparations for the Sukma IX 2002, Sapawi said early preparations started when the eighth Sukma ended in Penang.

He said the ministry had appointed team managers for the 27 sports that would be contested. Fifty-eight part-time coaches had also been appointed so far.

Sapawi said the ministry, through the Sabah Sports Council, had listed 402 athletes to represent the state and decentralised training in several districts in Sabah started last January.

Athletes for sports like aquatics, karate, taekwondo and lawn bowling started their training earlier, in October last year.

(By Catherine Ong)

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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Cricket - RBYC win by 10 wickets

Royal Brunei Yacht Club (RBYC) beat Manggis by 10 wickets in the third match of the second round of the PKNBD League at Panaga Club in Seria on Sunday.

Manggis batted first and scored 99 runs out of 35 allotted overs, out of which 46 runs were scored by their first batsman Jenkins. Jenkins punished almost all of the good bowlers of RBYC but the quick fall of wickets at the other end, narrowed the chances of Manggis making a winning score.

Almost all the other good players had gone to the pavilion at the score of 50. Two other players Ahsan (11) and Sunil (13) reached the double figure and others were the easy prey of RBYC bowlers.

Sanjiv with 1 for 15 and Sam with 3 for 19 from allotted 8 overs were the most triumphant bowlers of RBYC of the day.

Though Justin gave 27 runs out of six overs but he got two very valuable wickets of Jenkins and Ahsan. RBYC scored 100 runs in just 20 overs for the loss of one wicket.

J McLellan scored the highest score of the day 54 and played not out. Ahsan bowled Justin 25. Khalid of Manggis was a successful bowler. He gave only three runs out of three overs.

A row took place in the seventh over as the umpire did not entertain the strong appeal of Manggis that Justin was caught on a Jenkins delivery. The game remained suspended for almost 20 minutes. After the resumption of the game no good bowler of Manggis was seen bowling.

The next match is between Menglait and RBYC on May 20.

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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Football - AH United in second spot

AH United outclassed Youngsters FC 4-1 in a thrilling encounter at the Pepsi Cup 2001 tournament on Tuesday night, which resulted in them taking the second spot of Group A.

Dominating the first half with some classy football, AH United were able to impose themselves on the game, overpowering their hapless opponents at will.

It didn't take long for them to open the scoring as Rosmin Khamis powered home his header from a corner in the 10th minute.

It took another 20 minutes for AH United to double their lead as Fazry Jumat used his electric pace to get behind the defence before firing home his side's second goal.

A low cross from the left found Pg Kamarulzaman Pg Hj Kula inside the penalty area, who unleashed a right footed shot in the 38th minute for AH United's third goal.

AH United fine form was helped by Zurkumi Dawat, who marshalled the defence well enough for them to create chances up front in the first half.

Down 3-0 at the half, Youngsters tried their best to claw their way back into the game, using some clever offside traps to limit their opponents to only a handful of attacking opportunities.

They were rewarded with their first goal in the 79th minute through Sahrin Hj Bahar, who simply tapped

the ball into the net courtesy of a fumble by the AH

United goalkeeper in handling a swirling cross from the right.

But AH United had the last laugh when they responded with a powerful volley from 30 metres out, fired by Othman Apong in the 88th minute for their fourth goal.

With this result, Jerudong FC still lead Group A with 15 points followed by AH United and Kama FC both with six points, Kilanas FC (four points), Berakas United (three points) and Youngsters FC (one point).

(By Khairul Jafni H. Ali)

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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Wednesday, May 16, 2001

Premier II side Sabah stun big guns Perak in quarter-final

KOTA KINABALU: "Supersub" Shahrin Majid brought Premier II Sabah back to life and took them to a 3-0 victory over Premier I outfit Perak in their FA Cup quarter-final first-leg match played in the sweltering late afternoon heat at the Penampang Stadium here yesterday.

Shahrin, who hit a brace in Sabah's 3-2 league win over Negri Sembilan Chempaka at the same venue on Saturday, came on in the second half after a scoreless first 45 minutes and, although he did not score, created two of Sabah's three goals.

Former international Rizal Sukiman got Sabah going in the 48th minute before another second-half substitute Suharmin Yusof completed the scoring with a double in the 85th and 88th minutes.

There was good news for the Rhinos when injured K. Sanbagamaran and Burhan Ajui passed a late fitness test for their hamstring injuries while Malaysia Cup champions Perak were without strikers V. Saravanan and Khalid Jamlus and midfielder Azrul Amri Burhan, all out injured.

Shahrin, who started on the bench, replaced Rizal Awang Jad after the breather and immediately brought life to the frontline.

Three minutes into the half, Shahrin gained possession just outside the box and pushed the ball to the left for Rizal to send in a powerful grounder past Perak goalkeeper Azlisham Ibrahim.

Perak never recovered. Although striker Norizam Ali Hassan and midfielder K. Nantha Kumar tried, it was all in vain.

After Rizal's goal, Sabah had to wait till the 85th minute. Suharmin, who had a poor game against Chempaka, delivered this time after coming on for Zainizam Marjan.

Off a pass from Shahrin on the left, Suharmin beat a defender before planting a firm grounder past a rooted Azlisham in the 85th minute.

Three minutes later Suharmin got his second and Sabah's third--this time another grounder from a cross on the right by Henry Soimpon.

Sabah: Khairul Azman Mohamad, Jelius Ating, Burhan Ajui, Reithuddin Awang Embran, K. Sanbagamaran, Madzalan Emoi, Shahril Arsat, Henry Soimpon, Rizal Sukiman, Rizal Awang Jad (Shahrin Majid), Zainizam Marjan (Suharmin Yusof).

Perak: Azlisham Ibrahim, K. Rajini (Shamsul Akmar Japperi), Chan Kok Heng (Liew Kin Kong), Syamsul Saad, Shahrul Azhar, M. Nagarajah, Indra Putra Mahayuddin, Abu Bakar Fadzim, P.Gunasekaran (Harizul Izuan Rani), K. Nantha Kumar, Norizam Ali Hassan.

Source: The Star

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M-League - Still work to be done for Brunei

Despite getting back to winning ways on Monday night, it is safe to say that promotion is still anything but a certainty and as even coach Mick Jones must admit, there is still plenty of work to be done.

The potential is there and the future looks a bright one but the players must understand that unless they can capitalise on more of their chances, they could be in for a few more let-downs yet.

Make no mistake, the 2-1 win against Kedah JKR on Monday night was a convincing one but the one thing that stands out and the one thing that Jones will be stressing to his players is the fact that a one-goal advantage is never enough. Said Jones, "With a one-goal lead, you're never safe enough. It is a major concern because we haven't been taking our chances. In the three games that we lost, we had the chances to score at least three goals in each of the matches."

"And unless we do so, we're always giving the other team a chance, no matter how slim, of salvaging something from the match."

The one exception was against Malacca Telekom where Brunei took all their chances and won 5-0 but it's not always going to be that easy and by not taking their chances, the pressure will build on the defence.

On Monday night, they dealt with the pressure well and that pleased Jones greatly but at the same time, it was something that the Brunei coach felt was a long time coming. "We have a history of conceding soft goals by making silly mistakes so this week we have been working very hard at correcting that. I've told the defenders that it's up to them now to stand up and be counted.

"To their credit, they responded magnificently yesterday and dealt with everything Kedah JKR could throw at us," added Jones.

But in Jones' eyes, the most important thing about Monday's result was nothing other than the three points, the end result being more important than how it was achieved.

"To be totally honest, the win was the most important thing. Getting the three points after having lost two in a row was vital for the players' confidence, especially the youngsters. Had we lost three in a row it would have been hard to mend.

"But we got the win, we got the three points and perhaps that will help the players a little more getting back on track." The Englishman knows from first-hand experience the effect of confidence loss in a young player and is determined that it will not affect his players.

"When I joined Notts County from Derby as a youngster, I went through a torrid time. Expectations were high and I struggled with my confidence. Lucky for me, I had a great boss then who helped me through it and that is exactly what I am determined to do with these young boys," added Jones.

The Brunei coach was justified for his selection of Radzi Tamat on the right flank in place of the suspended Fadlin Galawat as the Kesuka boy supplied the cross for Riwandi to score in the fourth minute.

And while the crowd at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium were left in awe of his piece of trickery that led to the goal, Jones himself was not surprised, having seen just what Radzi is capable of in training.

"He, along with Shahrom and Affindi, are going to be great players. They are all very mature for their age and the fact that they are back in school today just one day after representing their national team speaks volumes of their inexperience. "But they have what it takes and they are going to be very exciting players for Brunei in the future, that's for sure."

(By Benny Ang)

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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