HONOURS EVEN: They shock Kepala Batas in team final after losing regu title
HIGH-flying Kepala Batas failed to leave up to their reputation when they lost to arch rivals Nibong Tebal in the sepak takraw team final of the Penang Schools Sports Council Boys' Under-12 championship at SMK Desa Murni Multipurpose Hall in Tasek Gelugor recently.
Earlier in the individual regu final, the Kepala Batas regu of Mohd Muhaimin Zaini, Mohd Nazhan Noor Zamri and Mohd Haikal Md Jamil defeated Nibong Tebal's Mohd Amir Safuan Sidek, Amir Syahiran Mohd Fuzi and Mohd Fitri Shukri 15-8, 15-13.
After losing easily in the first game, Nibong Tebal tried to put up a gallant fight and at one stage, were even leading by four points, but the aggressive Kepala Batas players levelled the score at 13-13 and went on to win the game and the title.
With the individual regu title in their pocket, Kepala Batas were confident of clinching the team gold but Nibong Tebal had other ideas.
The victorious individual regu team played the first match and thrashed Nibong Tebal 15-5, 15-9 but that was to be the best for them as Nibong Tebal took the second regu.
In the decider, watched by over 500 spectators, Kepala Batas took the first game but the second and third games were easily won by Nibong Tebal 15-9, 15-5.
Meanwhile, Penang schools sepak takraw technical and sports development chairman Husni Abu Bakar said the Under-12 category was the vital link for the future of the sport.
He said the most important lesson, even before the players got to kick the ball, was to instill discipline as this forms the vital part of any national or international player.
Husni said if an individual player or a team had disciplinary problems, then the image of not only the team but the nation and its leaders was effected.
He stressed that it was better to face the problem immediately rather than to sweep it aside and only try to tackle it when it had reached a point of beyond repair.
RESULTS -- Individual regu s-finals: Nibong Tebal bt Balik Pulau 14-16, 15-4, 15-8; Kepala Batas bt Bukit Mertajam 15-12, 15-10.
Final: Kepala Batas bt Nibong Tebal 15-8, 15-13.
Team s-finals: Kepala Batas bt Bukit Mertajam 15-11, 15-7; 17-15, 15-13; Nibong Tebal Permatang Pauh 15-6, 15-8; 15-12, 15-10
Final: Nibong Tebal bt Kepala Batas 5-15, 9-15; 17-16, 15-10; 14-16, 15-9, 15-5.