MALACCA: Defending champions Penang Sports Club (PSC) edged homesters Malacca Club (MC) by mere two points to emerge as overall champions in the 14th edition of the annual Straits Settlement Games hosted in the historic city. The Singapore Swimming Club (SSC), the third participating club in the triangular series initiated in 2001,finished third.
For MC, it was heartbreak as hopes of taking the shine off favourites PPC was high given that home ground was a distinct advantage.
According to MC sports chairman Datuk Visvanathan Perumal, there was much optimism of dethroning PPC, as unlike previous years a lengthy centralised training stint was held and the selected club players were all primed to go flat out to secure success.
In fact, home ground advantage held much promise previously. MC did bag overall honours in the 2005 series and shared the spoils with PPC to come out as joint champions in 2008. In both editions, MC was the hosts, noted Visvanathan.
Competing in six team games and adopting a league format, PPC bagged honours at badminton, tennis and football, second best at tennis and snooker plus a third place finish at squash to register 23 points.
Fancied Malacca Club picked up honours in squash and snooker, was runners-up in badminton, table tennis and football and third placed in tennis to garner 21 points.
SSC, the hosts for the 2015 series as part and parcel of Singapore’s National Day celebrations in early August this year, only managed 16 points derived from being tennis champions, runners-up at squash and third placed at badminton, snooker, table tennis and football.
For the records, the recent games were a spin-off of a tri-club series initiated by Malacca Club in 1986. Originally, the local club and their Singapore Swimming Club counterparts were the only two clubs involved in the six-game series in the 1986 and 1987 editions as the invited International Sports Club of Indonesia, declined
participation. The Indon club only participated in the 1988 series.
At that time there were hopes of the Royal Bangkok Polo Club making the series a quadrangular affair in 1991 to further enhance the Asean spirit and fostering of sporting cordiality. However, the move fell through.
Eventually with the Indonesian club a non-starter, the series was discontinued only to be replaced by the Straits Settlement Games which was inaugurated in 2001.