NIBONG Tebal United FC (NTUFC) and Chinese Recreation Club (CRC) could not have asked for a better way to usher in 2015.
Both teams ended 2014 with a bang by winning their last matches for the year in the on-going Penang Chinese FA Veterans League to top their respective groups.
NTUFC, a 2010 runners-up, handed Paya Terubong SC a 7-0 bashing in a Group B match at the Polo Ground recently while CRC brought down six-time champions Timuran SC with a 4-2 win in Group A recently.
NTUFC’s goal spree more than made up for their hiccup start in the tournament earlier when they were held to a 1-1 draw by debutant Youngsters SC.
Strikers Kang Chee Khuan and Poh Teik Kean delivered a brace and a hat-trick respectively to give their team a 5-0 lead in the first half of the 70-minute match.
Chee Khuan started the ball rolling by scoring just after five minutes into the play before Teik Kean struck thrice in the seventh, 11th and 25th minutes. Chee Khuan delivered the fifth blow in the 30th minute.
Tan Yong Sang scored in the 43rd minute and Oo Chai Teik in the 60th minute for the 7-0 victory.
CRC’s victory in their match against Timuran a week earlier showed that they made the right move by bringing back their ‘old favourites’ such as former key Penang stalwarts Lim Bok Khoon, Thong Chee Eng and goalkeeper Lim Say Hoe to fortify their campaign.
Timuran had gotten off on a good start by enjoying the lion’s share of the attack in the early part of the match but were left in tatters when they got hit against the run of play.
CRC’s Tan Ah Chnua drew first blood in the 25th minute followed by a crunching header from Chee Eng 10 minutes later to give their team a 2-0 lead at half time.
Timuran pulled one back through Teh Teong Peng whose long range attempt from about 25m had Say Hoe well beaten in the 44th minute.
It, however, was a short-lived joy as Chee Eng struck against almost instantly on the re-start to restore CRC’s two-goal cushion. It was all over for Timuran when Bok Khoon delivered the fourth blow, blasting home a loose ball in the 55th minute.
Timuran only managed to reduce the deficit in a 64th minute goal by former Kedah midfielder Koet King Heyong.
RESULTS: Group A (matches played on Dec 21): Chinese Recreation Club bt Timuran SC (4-2); Chinese Wanderers bt Ramblers SC (2-0); Macang Bubok SC bt Butterfly RC (2-0). Group B (matches played on Dec 28) Nibong Tebal United bt Paya Terubong SC (7-0); Butterworth City bt Youngsters SC (2-0); Macallum SC bt Nibong Tebal FA (1-0).
FIXTURES FOR TOMORROW Group A: Timuran SC vs Ramblers SC (Polo Ground A, 3.45pm); Butterfly RC vs Chinese Recreation Club (Polo Ground ‘B’, 3.45pm); Chinese Wanderers SC vs Macang Bubok FC (Polo Ground ‘C’, 3.45pm).