A THUNDERSTORM over the weekend created havoc on Penang Island but it failed to douse the fire veteran football club Waterfall Rangers SC had for promotion to the FA of Penang’s Division One League challenge.
On a day when the scaffolding at a renovation site was sent toppling and crashing on vehicles parked by the roadside, Waterfall Rangers playing at the Polo Ground nearby braved the bad weather to hand newly promoted Rifle Range SC a 4-1 drubbing in their Division Two clash.
They took to the field eager to show that their recent good run, which included gunning down League leader Suria SC just the week before, was not a fluke.
Just as they had done so against an on song Suria, where Waterfall Rangers charged their way back from an early deficit to burst the Kampong Melayu based Suria’s unbeaten bubble, they did likewise in their showdown with a gritty Rifle Range outfit.
Rifle Range could not have asked for a better start when their striker Azri Faisal Rosli drew first blood to put his side into a third-minute lead.
Waterfall Rangers did not take that early insult lying down. Determined to stay in the hunt for one of the two promotion tickets at stake in Division Two, they quickly settled down and when they did Rifle Range’s joy proved to be shortlived.
Forcing their Rifle Range rivals to backpedal into defence, Waterfall Rangers erased that early deficit with S. Muniandy hitting home the equaliser just five minutes later.
That was enough to get Waterfall Rangers on the offensive. With their team well blended by youth and experience, they continued to punch holes in the Rifle Range defence.
Although it took them a good half hour to claim their lead, a four-minute blitz which saw T. Mahendran hitting home their second in the 39th minute and R. Davendran also getting his name onto the scoresheet in the 43rd minute, was enough to give them a commanding 3-1 lead at the breather.
Confident that they had done enough to put the match beyond Rifle Range, they adopted a relaxed approach when the rain stopped in the second half.
Although Waterfall Rangers toned down their raids, they still managed to inflict the fourth blow with P. Vivantiran burying the ball into goal in the 85th minute.
Inpro SC and Kampong Makam also managed to troop out victorious over their respective rivals at the adjacent pitches.
While Inpro SC struck with a goal in each half to edged Telok Bahang SC 2-1 in another Division two match, Kampong Makam SC hit home two second half goals through Mohamed Ferdaus Mohd Fauzi (53rd min) and Mohamed Fareza Amar Khasim (75th min) to defeat Chinese Wanderers 2-0.
Division One teams at the Universiti Sains Malaysia in Minden, however, were not so lucky as both the scheduled matches were washed out by the heavy rain.
The Penang Port Commission RC-Bukit Glugor SC and the Kampong Makam SC-Jelutong SC matches were forced to be called off when lightning made it too dangerous for the second half to restart.
None of the teams had managed to find the back of the net and was in a goalless deadlock when match officials abandoned the matches.
In the Division Three challenge, which was played at the Polo Ground a day earlier, Timuran SC continued to hog the limelight in Group B as they handed Malays Recreation SC a 4-0 beating to confirm their semi-final ticket to the promotional playoff.
FIXTURES FOR TOMORROW
Division One: Belia Asas Bersatu vs Penang Youth SC-MIFA (Universiti Sains Malaysia B, 5.15pm); Chinese Recreation Club vs Baharol Alam FC (Universiti Sains Malaysia C, 5.15pm).
Division Three: Prisons SC vs Tanjong Bungah Rangers II (Polo Ground A, 5.15pm); Synergy SC vs Youngsters United (Polo Ground B, 5.15pm); Sri Nibong SC vs Customs SC (Polo Ground C, 5.15pm).
FIXTURES FOR SUNDAY
Division One: Nibong Tebal FA vs Jelutong SC (Universiti Sains Malaysia C, 5.15pm); Tanjong Bungah Rangers vs Belia Bukit Glugor (Universiti Sains Malaysia D, 5.15pm).
Division Two: Kampong Makam SC vs Sungai Ara FC (Polo Ground A, 5.15pm); Kampong Seronok FC vs Chinese Wanderers (Polo Ground B, 5.15pm); Kongsi SC vs Telok Bahang SC (Polo Ground C, 5.15pm).