AFTER dominating the Penang Schools Under-18 cricket challenge for 14 years, the sensational reign of Penang Free School finally came to an end.
They failed to make the final this year after losing to SMK Sains Tun Syed Sheh Shahhabudin (STSSS) at the Stowell School greens in Bukit Mertajam recently.
STSSS served the Frees a stunning six-wicket defeat during the semi-final showdown.
Penang Free School first won the competition in 2003.
Last year, teachers Kupamal Murugasoo and Kalawathy Sebastian, who were instrumental in the school’s success, finally retired.
Kupamal, when contacted, described the defeat as a bitter pill to swallow.
“It was totally unexpected. This is something that is exceptionally hard to accept," said Kupamal.
STSSS, however, could not build on their momentum.
They went on to lose to Bukit Mertajam High School (BMHS), who recorded 101 runs in 20 overs to win by a comfortable 21 runs.
STSSS managed to register only 80 runs in just as many overs.
BMHS, who batted first after winning the toss, started off on a strong footing with skipper Dheevash Roshan showing them the way.
Dheevash delivered a 55-run total to emerge as BMHS's top scorer while his deputy Haziq Zulkarnain capped a 31-run total.
He attributed the success to the dedication and fighting spirit of his teammates.
“We have been playing second fiddle to Penang Free School for far too long.
“I am very proud that we have buried the ghost of having to finish second best each year in the final,” he said.
“We will cherish this moment for a long time and look forward to more such glories in the coming years,” he said.