Story by REDintern Farah Alsagoff. Pictures by Reader Gary Chew
VJC #16 attempting to regain possession from her MJC opponent. (Photo 1 © Gary Chew)
Choa Chu Kang Indoor Sports Hall, Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - Defending A Division Girls’ Floorball champions Meridian Junior College successfully defended their title for a second time against a tough Victoria Junior College side, outplaying them 4-3 at full-time.
With more than 300 spectators and supporters flooding the stands, the girls' grand final of the 3rd National Inter-School A Division Floorball Championship was definitely an important date in the sporting calendar.
The match started off with captain Chuan Yun (MJC, #21) and Lee Peng (MJC, #81) taking shots at goal, as did VJC's attacking duo of #7 and Harilyn (VJC, #16). VJC came close to opening the scoring when #7 found Harilyn, whose shot hit the top post. The same move shortly after saw Harilyn's shot saved by MJC keeper Nida Khan. Lee Peng (MJC, #81) also had her team’s hopes up as she out-dribbled 3 VJ players, but her shot was off-target.
A goalmouth melee saw Chuan Yun tapping in the ball into the back of VJC's net, securing the first goal for the game, and more importantly, the first goal for MJC. VJC #7 and Harilyn repeated their tag team moves in search of an equaliser, but the eventual shot was off-target.
Later into the game, Gladys (MJC, #27) stepped up and prevented VJC’s #7 shot from following through. Then a pass from Harilyn to Melissa (VJC, #11), brought VJC back on equal standing with a wrist shot into goal. Soon after, spurred on by the goal, Harilyn found Melissa once again and she took another shot to put VJC in the lead.
Coming to the end of the first period, Lee Peng (MJC, #81) equalised for MJC when she spun around with the ball at Â¾ court with a wrist shot into VJC's goal.
With the start of the second period, the match was increasingly tense and exciting, as MJC wanted to defend their title, while VJC was equally determined to cause an upset.
In the 18th minute, Zhi Sing (MJC, #13) was sent off for repeated offences, giving VJC their opportunity to score and break away from the draw.
Melissa (VJC, #11) found Josephine (VJC, #12) who took a shot at the blind side, and it was only a fantastic save by MJC keeper Nida that prevented the goal. Throughout the power play, VJC players were calm and composed; their passes good and to the blade. But VJC could not exploit the given advantage as Zhi Sing's penalty came to an end.
Lee Peng (MJC, #81) attempted to score another astounding goal with a spin, this time from half court. But it was too far for her and eventually went off target. Lee Peng had another opportunity to spin and core, but the enlightened VJC #10 intercepted the spin, causing Lee Peng to lose the ball and VJC to regain possession.
A heart-stopping moment saw VJ's Harilyn took a shot aimed at the top of the goalpost, MJC keeper Nida covered the shot, causing the ball to deflect back into the court. VJC #7 went in for the rebound, which Nida saved once again. Melissa's turn for a rebound saw Nida saving it finally with her hands.
In the 28th minute, Lee Peng (MJC, #81) dribbled down the boards with superb control. When a VJC defender committed on her left, she spun right with a wrist shot into the goal. It left supporters stunned with awe, and brought the score line to 3-2 in favour of MJC. Next, she took a backhand shot that deflected off a VJC defender’s stick. Luckily for VJC, it went just beside the goalpost.
In the 33rd minute, MJC managed to pull another goal when Chuan Yun took a shot from the left sideboard. Her wrist shot lobbed over the VJC keeper into the top corner, putting the score to 4-2 in favour of MJC.
Shortly after, Melissa (VJC, #11) was sent off for an incorrect hit. But just like how VJC were unable to capitalise on the advantage, MJC failed to increase their lead.
VJC’s #7 went up with the ball once again, and attempted to pass through the centre into MJ's slot area. Yuslyana (MJC, #18) blocked her pass, and the next few passes, eventually winning the ball and putting a halt to VJC's play-up. VJC had their opportunity to close the gap when Harilyn received a nice pass inside MJC's slot area. Her shot however was saved by Nida's quick reflexes.
Then, VJC’s persistence paid off, when their #7 took a spectacular shot into the goal in the 36th minute of the game.
Towards the end of the game, in a last-ditch attempt to find at least an equaliser, VJC pulled out their keeper and went in for a 5-on-4 situation. But their attempts were futile as the final whistle blew, with the MJC players and supporters celebrating in jubilation at having brought home the Challenge Trophy for the third consecutive time.
VJC had played a remarkable game. However, luck was not on their side as a lot of shots hit the posts and shots were on-target, but shot directly at the keeper. They played aggressively and credit is due for their undying perseverance throughout the match, never giving up until it was all over.
It was an exciting match leaving supporters from both schools at the edge of their seats, cheering their heart out. No one knows what will happen at next year's A Division Championship. Will VJC seek revenge? Or will MJC lift the Challenge Trophy once again? It has been an exhilarating season for the girls. Good job to all teams and all the best to all in next year’s A Division Championship!
A VJC player shields the ball from her opponent as the crowd looks on. (Photo 2 © Gary Chew)
MJC #11 rushes to defend as VJC #16 looks on. (Photo 3 © Gary Chew)
A MJC player gives chase as VJC player dribbles down the flanks. (Photo 4 © Gary Chew)