The league trophy had already been collected, but Grilled saw no reason to deny skipper Moey Xin Seng
and comrades another lap of honour around the pitch. The fans roared out their approval as the players took their time, in recognition of an achievement that might well not be repeated by the club, for a very long time.
Indeed, in the entire history of the Singaporean Hattrick leagues, a perfect 42-point season had only been achieved in Division Two four times before today: twice by lcfc's Invincibles in Seasons 24 & 27, thereafter by SingaStyle, and most recently by Villains F.C., in II.3 eight seasons back.
In fact, even coming close has been a feat that has eluded some of local football's most-celebrated names. Only nine other teams have ever achieved 39 points or more in a Division Two Season, for an overall occurrence rate of barely 6.7%: FC Tenochtitlán (twice), JUtd (twice), United Legends FC lately in II.1, Arrogancae, Hattrick all the time, Kampong Dreamer, Pudgy Penguins, Ropelearner FC and Scallop Soccer Team.
A perfect season has however never been accomplished in the S-League - understandable given the sheer competition - with the long-defunct New York DeadRomeos coming closest, with 40 and 39-point runs in two of the first three editions. Since then, the record has been 39 points, achieved in consecutive seasons by Arrogancae and then Rollin' Thunder. Ropelearner FC may be a cautionary tale here: despite having just romped II.3 with 39 points, and capturing the Ruby Challenger Cup, they will nevertheless be relegated from the top flight after a single campaign.
Grilled captain Moey Xin Seng
would not be daunted by such talk, basking as he was, in the glow of his maiden career hat-trick. "There's no real point in discussing our prospects endlessly. We're a football club, not a debate team. The way I see it, there will be eight teams in the S-League, same as always, and one of them will win it - so why not us?"
With his barrage, Moey has joined six other Grilled players in the top ten scorers of II.2, with Polish winger Cyril Künzler
claiming the Golden Boot with eleven goals. Elsewhere, FC Tobi 74's 6-3 away win over Chemistry has seen them relegate the Jokers, and Robbie Football Club avoid what could be a tricky qualifier. Third-placed Kim Tae Hee FC also beat runners-up -= Manchester United =-, in a preview of what should be a key matchup next season.
To add to the joy, Farmer Bunnies captured their first-ever Division Two title too, with their 3-0 victory against Ambush F.C. coming concurrently with JUtd's 4-4 draw against littlehorse, whose Roberto Brandi might well be the most popular man around Clementi after his late goals secured the Buns' trophy.
While word is that the Buns have been scheduled to face Mia San Toa Payoh in a qualifier, it remains to be seen what will happen if the Buns actually win it, given the hard proscription against affiliated sides playing in the same league. "I don't have any additional information on that." head coach Dalibor Kostadinović
admitted. "You'll have to ask the league administration yourself."
"I'm sorry, I don't have much to add on." he continued. "We'll all trying to let it sink in."
Finally, Grilled International would finish second in V.231, with Didi Reidenbach
sending two free-kicks past fc Snoetie's young Portuguese custodian Ilídio Miguel in a 5-2 away win. With Black Trapper auto-promoting to Division Four, International will hope that whoever replaces them will be more pliable.