THIS year’s National Day celebration was much sweeter for the Malaysian Bar hockey team as they beat their rivals from across the Causeway in the 51st Malaysia-Singapore Bench and Bar Games in Johor Baru.
This annual event, which has been taking place since 1969, covers 17 competitive and three non-competitive sports.
This year’s Malaysian delegation was led by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat.
This event also marked the first time that Johor played host to the games.
The hockey match, traditionally the first game played, took place at Taman Daya Hockey Stadium on Aug 31.
Malaysia got off to a good start when Khairul Idham Ismail scored after dribbling past Singaporean defenders for a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute.
The team then doubled their lead in the third quarter when team captain Sanjay Kumar Saigal scored from a penalty corner in the 42nd minute.
However, Singapore pulled one back in the 55th minute.
The visiting team kept up the pressure on the Malaysian side but Malaysia put on a defensive masterclass display to stop the onslaught.
The final score was 2-1 much to the delight of the Malaysian contingent.
The hockey win was a morale boost for the Malaysians as they went on to become the overall winner of the games.
Johor Bar chairman and organising committee co-chair R. Jayabalan said it was an honour to host the games.
“The Malaysia-Singapore Bench and Bar Games fosters camaraderie and friendly competition among legal professionals from both our nations.
“It strengthens the bonds that exist within our legal fraternity.” he added.