By Zachary Foo/Red Sports. Photos by Joseph Lee/Red Sports
Singapore Polytechnic, Friday, Oct 4, 2013 — Singapore Polytechnic (SP) took down defending champions Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) 17–10 in their opening match of the 3rd Handball Invitational Games. It was a see-saw battle all the way, with SP holding the fort late in the second half to seal the victory. Yong Wei Fong (NP #5) led all scorers with five goals.
The win put SP in the driver’s seat for the title and a win against Temasek Polytechnic (TP) in their next match will guarantee the title.
The game was a very physical affair, with both teams scrapping for the ball from the start. As a sign of things to come, Lim Jiaqi (NP #9) drew an early yellow card three minutes into the game. This would continue to haunt NP for the rest of the game, as their penalties allowed SP to have a 6-on-5 advantage, and on two occasions, a 6-on-4.
Both teams started off warily, as they tried to get a feel of each other. Jasmine Goh (SP #9) found the breakthrough for her team, cutting into the gap of the NP defence and scoring the first goal of the game. NP seemed rusty at first, as they kept turning the ball over. They were only able to muster one shot on goal in their first five possessions.
Lim Jiaqi (NP #9) again drew a penalty in the middle of the first half, forcing her to sit out for two minutes. SP capitalised on the man advantage, scoring two quick goals while she was out. This helped SP to compile a 6–0 run, before Tok Wan Ling (NP #4) responded to stop the bleeding.
NP found their groove after that, utilising some strong defence to prevent SP attempts. They also started scoring on the offensive end, eventually cutting the SP lead to just three goals (9–6) at the end of the first half.
The start of the second half saw a more desperate NP, as their players started to take shot attempts at any chance they could get. This was not effective, as it resulted in a lot of missed shots. They were also unlucky, hitting the post countless times.
SP were methodical on offense in this half, purposefully waving at the right times and getting good opportunities to score, allowing them to stretch the lead. The defense was sublime, as players were calling out and catching the correct NP players cutting in on the wave. Even when they were beaten, Jasmine Ng (SP #11) was rock solid at the back, stopping multiple NP shots at goal.
In the end, SP weathered the storm, holding off a last-ditch NP assault for the 17–10 win. The bench broke out into cheers at the final whistle, evidently excited to finally beat the defending champions.
SP vice-captain, Cassandra Ooi (#19), said: “It was awesome! As this is my last year to win this. We drew with them last year, so this is a good parting gift for the team. The game was very physical and many fouls were not called, but we managed to pull through.”
SP captain, Danielle Choong (#18), said: “Many of the players also played in last year’s Handball Games. We’ve been training hard for this and our team spirit and effort carried us through. We haven’t seen TP play yet, but we will use the game to try new strategies.”
Ngee Ann Polytechnic
Yong Wei Fong (#5) — 5 goals
Yvonne Wiu (#7) — 4 goals
Ngee Ann Polytechnic Roster
Goh Yun Jia (#1), Charlene Ng (#3), Tok Wan Ling (#4), Yong Wei Fong (#5), Julia Nga (#6), Lim Jia Yi (#7), Lim Rui Yi (#8), Lim Jiaqi (#9), Huang Meiting (#10), Elizabeth Wang (#11), Alina Chia (#12), Kimberly Chow (#13), Wang Sui Chyuen (#14), Alicia Chia (#15)
Singapore Polytechnic Roster
Ng Shi Hui (#2), Crystal Teo (#5), Siow Hui Min (#6), Yvonne Wiu (#7), Poh Yun Jie (#8), Jasmine Goh (#9), Yeo Yu Ping (#10), Jasmine Ng (#11), Chanel Ding (#12), Low Lin Hui (#13), Vernice Chong (#14), Verlynn Chong (#16), Carolyn Yong (#17), Danielle Choong (#18), Cassandra Ooi Pei (#19), Vavarly Chong (#22)
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