Written off for the title by most observers before the match, Chemistry tore up the script and wrestled Singapore's biggest prize from Herron on a day which was expected to be a confirmation of the status quo. Two West clubs played a part in this enthralling story, as the team that never was pulled out all the stops to shock champions-elect Herron 3-0, while Grilled played their hearts out but ultimately fell to a motivated Chemistry side buoyed by the half-time result at Hell Hole.
Grilled had pledged to put in a professional effort despite the outcome having no bearing on their league position, and true to their words brought a full first team including new signing Nawaz Talib
to The Acidic City. Chemistry had no reason to pull their punches either, and with anything less than victory being meaningless to them, they threw caution to the wind with an offensive 3-4-3.
Just over a hundred thousand spectators were in attendance, most of them Chemistry supporters, and they were not pleased to see Grilled gain the upper hand early on. First, van Liere shifted Oh Dong Tse off balance and cut in to strike a dangerous low cross that was almost met by Martinsson at the far post. Then, Simon broke through after his marker committed too early, but his effort was quite mundane and was stopped by Brúnó Lantos without too much difficulty.
Remo Haafkens' booking appeared to be surprisingly met by loud cheers, but those were soon seen to be due to the team that never was opening the scoring at the Hell Hole, an event that was broadcast on the giant scoreboard. The cheering got even louder when Ernesto Enrique Alameda headed in a second for the team that never was, but was abruptly silenced when Fredgård sneaked past the last man and rounded the goalie to get Grilled in front.
Now, the situation was clear - Chemistry needed at least two goals, but had a very good chance of winning the S-League outright with that. Their players surged forward with skill and intent, and Remo Haafkens recovered from his caution to weave in from deep with the ball, beating several Grilled players along the way. The finish was equally exquisite, and Chemistry's hopes were raised even higher with the news that Joakim Ovesson had thumped in a third against Herron.
This was all the motivation that Chemistry needed, as their destiny was back in their own hands again. Grilled attempted to reduce the stifling pressure by holding the ball, with Bona replacing Fredgård in central defence after the hardy Swede's legs gave out just before the break.
Sid might have gave Grilled more breathing room when he was given a free-kick opportunity from just about his favourite sport, slightly left of the head of the penalty area, but he couldn't impart enough curl on the ball this time.
It was all Chemistry after that, and after all was done one may have wondered how they took so long to score that crucial second goal, with the chances they had; Haafkens could have immortalised himself in his club's history books, but after Indian national teamer Michael Bryant nodded solidly down to him from a corner, Haafkens sidefooted wide with Sulaiman at his mercy.
Chemistry's time appeared to have come when the referee blew for a block by Bona in the six-yard box, and Martin eleznik stepped up to propel Chemistry into the lead. He probably knew that it would be more than a formality given Sulaiman's fearsome reputation in these situations, but in the end Sulaiman's actions didn't matter as the Croatian striker nervously poked it outside the left post.
That elicted a chorus of groans from the home fans, who were understandably disappointed. eleznik tried to make up for his earlier miss with an empathic free-kick blasted at the top corner, and this time was truly unlucky to see the ball bend and shave the woodwork.
The hero turned out to be midfielder Eric Niklasson, who had also scored against Grilled in the reverse fixture. Driving past a winded Sid and a badly positioned Talib, the Swede beat Sulaiman with an unsavable grounder that sent The Acidic City into ecstasy. There would be no way back for Grilled or Herron, and the S-League would have a new champion for the first time in four seasons.