ISLAMABAD - Punjab Colours, Islamabad, Punjab Whites and Pakistan Board teams qualified for the semifinals of the 4th U-18 National Junior Women Hockey Championship 2016 here at Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium.

Four matches were played on Wednesday. Tabinada Safdar was star of the day for Punjab Whites, as she scored only goal for the winners in the fourth and last quarter of the match against Punjab Colours, who were deprived of securing a place in the last four of the event. It was a classic encounter which was evenly poised in all the four quarters and it was only Tabinda’s solo effort, which gave Whites victory and a place in the semifinals.

In the second match of the day, Islamabad thrashed Baluchistan 7-0, thanks mainly to golden girl and centre forward Nabeela, who scored 5 goals, while Fareeha and Fatima also chipped in with a goal apiece. Islamabad managed to score two in the first quarter, both goals were scored by Nabeela. Islamabad scored four goals in the third quarter, no goal was scored in the fourth as the victory gave Islamabad berth in the semifinal against Punjab Colours.

In the third match of the day, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa thumped Sindh 4-0. Amina Ali and Haseena Ali scored a brace. No goal was scored in the first quarter while KP scored two in the second quarter. Amina and Haseena scored one goal each. The third quarter remained goalless as Islamabad struck twice in the fourth and last quarter through Amina and Haseena. In the fourth and last match of the day, Pakistan Board hammered Sindh Colour 4-0. Madiha scored a brace, while Faiza Riaz and Maham Fayyaz contributed a goal apiece for the winners.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) women wing secretary Tanzeela Amir Cheema lived up to her promise, as arrangements were quite improved on the second day of the championship.

Tanzeela appointed not only media coordinator but she also made sure her presence during all the four matches, which was highly appreciable and it is a lesson for other PHF officials, who don’t bother to pay visit to the highly significant event, which was being held after a gap of two years. The way, the young girls demonstrated their skills despite not having the exposure or experience of playing at national level, was a treat to watch for a sizable crowd.

Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Deputy Director General Facilities Agha Amjedullah made excellent arrangements and credit should also be given to Assistant Director Hostels Malik Imtiaz Hussian and his team for providing spectators and players tea, water and other required stuff.

The PSB should have mercy on players, who had to carry kit bags and travel for around 2 kilometer from Allama Iqbal Hostel to Naseer Bunda Stadium on foot. The board has the facility of flying coach as well as van, which could have easily utilised for pick and drop purposes, but the players are being deprived of such basic facilities while near and dear ones of the PSB DG have been enjoying VIP treatment.

The PSB DG should provide pick and drop facility to young players from hostel to venue, so that they may focus on performances, rather than getting tired due to walk with carrying heavy kit bags. It is hoped that PSB DG will spare some time form his other important assignments and pay some heed to this highly important issue.

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has only allocated Rs 6 million annually to women wing to conduct junior national championship and Rs 1 million for senior championship, which is not more than peanuts. The federation should at least enhance both amounts to double, so that the standard of women hockey may be raised.

The women wing has managed to arrange a sponsor, which enabled them to announce a hefty Rs 50,000 cash for the winners, Rs 30,000 for losers and Rs 20,000 for third place team, while Rs 10,000 each for participating teams. Tanzeela also promised to give cash prizes to top scorer, best players and best goalkeeper of the championship.