Netball: Singapore fall 34-51 to Tanzania
By Grace Sim/Red Sports
Toa Payoh Sports Hall, Wednesday, December 5, 2012 – Despite a valiant fight, unbeaten Tanzania proved too much to handle as Singapore went down 34-51 on the the fourth day at the Nations Cup.
The hosts saw plenty of home support from fans who cheered them on vivaciously. However, it did not help to calm the jitters as the Singapore side struggled to gain a foothold during the first half of the match. The home team managed to keep up with Tanzania in the initial minutes, but was soon overwhelmed by the speedy and resilient Africans as the quarter wore on.
The Republic could not seem to find an answer to Tanzania’s dynamic attacking duo in the form of Wing Attack, Jacqueline Sikozi, and Centre, Faraja Malaki, who were relentless in connecting the ball to their shooters. At the end of the first quarter, Tanzania were holding a comfortable 16-7 lead.
In the second quarter, Singapore once again matched their counterparts goal for goal at the start before relinquishing their hold five minutes in. The Singapore team eventually slipped further away much to the dismay of supporters and the gap widened to 13-28 by half time.
After ample rest, Singapore managed to regroup and started with a bang. The defending trio – Goal Keeper Chen Li Li, Goal Defence Lin Qingyi and Wing Defence Jean Ng – mixed their strategy and effectively create several turnovers which were capitalised by Goal Shooter, Cassandra Soh.
At one point, the team found momentum to turn the tables on their stunned opponents and scored four consecutive goals. Soh managed 12 out of 14 attempts in the third quarter and Singapore trailed 27-39 heading into the fourth.
New legs were swapped into the Singapore team in the last quarter with Yu Mei Ling coming in as Goal Shooter, rookie Aqilah Andin donning the Wing Defence bib and veteran Jean Ng being placed as Goal Defence. The substitutions brought about a different dynamic to the game — the ball travelled back and forth numerous times before either side could score. Unfortunately, Singapore could not keep up with the stance they briefly adopted in the third quarter and our girls went down 34-51 at full time.
Singapore’s co-captain Lin Qingyi said: “It was a tough match. I think we didn’t start as well as we had hoped to … I was hoping for a better finish.”
Singapore’s technical consultant Kate Carpenter added: “We got a little bit overwhelmed at the start but as the game progressed we had a better understanding. On attack, we had some wonderful phases of play but we didn’t reset and drive-on again enough.”
With the loss, Singapore are tied on points with three other teams — Namibia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka — and separated only by goal differences, while Tanzania sit comfortably on top of the table.
Singapore, who are the freshly crowned Asian champions, must claim victory over arch-rivals, Sri Lanka, in their last round robin match to remain in contention for the play offs.
Looking forward, Lin exclaimed: “It was a really close fight at Asian Champs and I am ready to go. We need to hold our advantage of coming into the match as Asian champions but we know they are tough. It’s going to be like the Asian Champs all over again.”
Singapore will play Sri Lanka at Toa Payoh Sports Hall on Friday, December 7th, 7pm.
Republic of Ireland 60 Sri Lanka 73
(Half Time: 28-40)
Malaysia 59 Namibia 42
Tanzania 51 Singapore 34
Tanzania 67 Republic of Ireland 24
Sri Lanka 66 Malaysia 73
Singapore 51 Namibia 58
Namibia 65 Sri Lanka 69
Singapore 54 Republic of Ireland 34
Malaysia 36 Tanzania 61
Singapore 44 Malaysia 42
Namibia 58 Republic of Ireland 25
Tanzania 67 Sri Lanka 51
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