THE legendary Datuk Poon Fook Loke did not turn up during the 21st Penang Sports Club (PSC) International Hockey Fest.
Yet, the annual showdown was nothing short of excitement.
The presence of several other former national players like Sarjit Singh and Mahinder Singh were enough to add glitter to the one-day challenge at the PSC field recently.
The Penang teams, too, gave the home fans plenty to shout about by winning all three titles at stake. Fittingly, it was host PSC who showed them the way.
The PSC ‘Spiders’ became the first team in 21 years to register a back-to-back victory in the tournament.
They struck down Wild Hogs of Negri Sembilan 3-2 on penalties after a goalless draw in regulation time during the final.
Wild Hogs were powered by former national aces like Sarjit, Mahinder and Mahinderjit Singh.
And the player who stood out was PSC goalkeeper Inderjit Singh, who did well to blank out the experience of Wild Hogs in normal play.
In the penalty shootout, Sunil Prasad, I. Vicneswaran and Manjit Singh converted from the spot for PSC.
Wild Hogs’ Avtar Singh Khosa saw his attempt stopped by the post, which spelled the end of their campaign although teammates Sarjit and Mahinder made no mistakes from the spot.
PSC captain Kuldip Singh said it was a memorable tournament considering it featured many former hockey greats this year.
“Emerging as the first team to register back-to-back honours is indeed a great achievement.
“I am exceptionally proud of the determination shown by the players,” he said.
To add icing on the cake, PSC ‘Scorpion’, the second outfit of the club, also made it to the rostrum despite fumbling in the Cup challenge.
They were crowned Plate champions, beating Royal Selangor Club 2-1 in the final.
The Penang Ladies were no different.
Being the only women’s outfit in the competition, they edged Old Frees Association 3-2 on penalties to be crowned Bowl champions.
Both teams had battled to a goalless deadlock at full-time.
S-finals: Wild Hogs (Nse) bt MIC United (Kul) 3-0; PSC ‘Spiders’ bt Mugs (Kul) 1-0.
Final: PSC ‘Spiders’ bt Wild Hogs (Nse) 3-2 on penalties (FT & ET: 0-0).
S-Finals: Royal Selangor Club (Kul) bt Singapore Airlines (Sin) 3-1 on penalties (FT: 0-0); PSC ‘Scorpions’ (Pen) bt Hockey Master Sports Club (Sin) 2-0.
Final: PSC ‘Scorpions’ (Pen) bt Royal Selangor Club (Kul) 2-1.
S-finals: Penang Ladies (Pen) bt LA Hockey Club (Joh) 2-1 on penalties (FT: 0-0); Old Frees Association (Pen) bt Liquorice All Sports (Kul) 3-0.
Final: Penang Ladies (Pen) bt Old Frees Association (Pen) 3-2 on penalties (FT: 0-0).