By Chan Hui Mui/Red Sports
A CHIJ and Singapore Sports School player (right) tussle for the ball in an earlier Round 2 game between the sides. CHIJ beat the Sports School 29-25 then but the tables were turned on them in the final as they fell 19-20. (Photo © Koh Yizhe/Red Sports archive photo)
Yishun Sports Hall, Thursday, April 22, 2010 – Singapore Sports School (SSP) edged out CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh) 20-19 to grab the National B Division Netball Championship title.
CHIJ, who had six starters from last year’s national championship winning team, failed to defend their title after missing two consecutive shots in the last minute.
In the first quarter, SSP were late in their challenges for the ball, committing several contact fouls, and CHIJ took advantage to take an early 9-3 lead. However, SSP made some good interceptions to narrow the gap to three at 6-9 to end the first quarter.
The second quarter saw both teams with a poor shooting form. However, SSP defenders caught more rebounds than CHIJ defenders to level the score at 10-10. SSP defenders continue to dominate the court, intercepting several balls. Then, inaccurate passes undid the good work to give CHIJ a 12-11 lead at half-time.
In the third quarter, CHIJ tried to pull away by establishing a three-point lead at 16-13. However, SSP shooters had quicker hands in getting rebounds from their missed shots and levelled the score at 16-16 at the end of the third quarter.
Everything boiled down to the final quarter. Both teams lost control of their passes and that kept the scoring low. Trailing 18-20, CHIJ challenged SSP for every passes. Despite having several opportunities, CHIJ shooters were not good enough to level the score and push the game into overtime. CHIJ managed to score only one more goal to yield the game 19-20 to SSP.
"CHIJ had the game but we fought hard to win the game. Having lost to CHIJ in the second round reduced our pressure and the girls were mature about the loss. Fitness, something that we worked hard on since last October, and ability of the girls executing the strategies well helped us to win the game," said SSP's coach Robin Manihera.
"We were not consistent. We were in a good lead at the first quarter,” said CHIJ's coach, Kok Mun Wai. “However, we only played well in certain quarters. We also committed too many unforced errors."