RAMBLERS SC regained the Penang Chinese FA Junior League title after 22 long years.
Noted for unearthing young talents even in the 70s under the late Freddie Wong, Ramblers paraded a team of enthusiastic schoolboys from Jit Sin High School in Bukit Mertajam.
And through sheer determination to make up for their disappointment of finishing runners-up to Sentosa FC last year, the youthful Ramblers side carved out a 2-1 win in the final at the Polo Ground.
This was the second time they managed to engrave their name onto the Teoh Ah Lean Cup, having won it in 1989 — a year after its inception in 1988.
Ramblers coach Eric Lee attributed their success to the hard work and tireless efforts of his players.
“It is a victory the players fully deserved. They proved their critics wrong with their determination and desire to show that even their lack of experience could be made up by hard work.
“Although our rivals Sentosa were undoubtedly the more experienced side, I am proud that my young charges did not let that affect their confidence.
“They stood their ground to overcome all odds. This was evident when they went out for an outright win even though a draw would have been suffice,” he said.
With last year’s Cup final 2-1 defeat against Sentosa still fresh on their minds, it was not a surprise when these young lads played their hearts out recently.
The writing was already on the wall for Sentosa the moment Khor Jun Feng prised open the Sentosa defence to give Ramblers the lead just after 16 minutes.
Then, top goal poacher Lim Ti Wei delivered the second blow a minute after the breather for his eighth league goal this season.
Sentosa managed to pull one back through Lim Chin Jun in the 48th minute but it was not enough to save their crown.
Ti Wei, however, was unable to celebrate further as his eight-goal contribution was not good enough to make him the League’s top goal poacher.
Instead it was Bagan United’s Ang Weei Ping who strolled away with the top scorer award. It helped to make up for the disappointment of having to finish second best in the League when the season ended.
Weei Ping, who had gone into the final match against Bintang Baru ‘A’ with an eight-goal credit, added two more to his tally.
His double strike, which earned Bagan United a 2-0 win, not only made him the league’s top goal poacher with 10 goals, but they also allowed the Butterworth giant killer to beat Sentosa to the runners-up spot by two clear points.
Bagan United’s late charge, which saw them gun down favourites like Sentosa and Bintang Baru FC ‘B’, wrapped up their campaign with 15 points from five wins from seven outings.
Sentosa, who only managed to garnish 13 points from four wins and a draw in seven League matches, were forced to settle for the third spot.