LAHORE: Pakistan’s National Under-18 Hockey Championship, recently held in Islamabad, was a successful event. The matches towards the business end were quite competitive and also drew good crowds. The final was witnessed by a full house. 14 boys of the Dar Hockey Academy were there. They played for four different teams with all reaching the semis. Amazing. Moreover, many academy boys figured prominently. The victorious Punjab Blues side were captained by Abid Bhatti. Tournament’s highest scoring forward was Punjab Reds’ Ali Aziz with nine goals. Another Punjab Red’s boy Hafiz Hammad, six goals, figured high up in the scoring chart. The speedy left winger Waseem Akram displayed big match temperament and scored a vital goal in the semifinal as well as the final for the eventual champions, Punjab Blues. The third position match between Punjab Reds and Punjab Whites went to the penalty shoot outs. Interestingly, it was the battle between the two Dar HA net minders. Both the goal keepers, Waqar (Reds) and Awais (Whites), happen to be academy colts, and Waqar prevailed. Quite a few of these boys had been part of the Dar HA side which toured Netherlands last year. The experience gained showed at Islamabad.