By reader Zulfiqar
Saturday, March 26, 2011 — Football powerhouses Greenview Secondary and Victoria School surprised observers when they failed to qualify for the National B Division Football Championship from the East Zone. The Victoria School team included Youth Olympic Games captain Jeffrey Lightfoot. Including Jeffrey, Victoria School had two national Under-16 and three national Under-15 players.
The first round games were straight forward. Tanjong Katong Secondary and Greenview eased through Group A. Victoria School cruised through Group B, with Bedok South Secondary following suit. Bedok South exhibited grit and power to show why they deserved to follow Victoria above the others in the group.
St Patrick’s School had one of the easiest campaign of all time, thrashing every group in the group bar Tampines Secondary who put up a good fight. In the end second spot went to Pasir Ris Secondary who pipped Tampines Secondary and Dunman Secondary to it.
Group D saw Siglap Secondary ease through while second spot went to Springfield Secondary who pipped Loyang Secondary and Bedok View Secondary.
The surprises kicked in in the second round. Victoria School, Tanjong Katong, Springfield and St Patrick’s School were in Group X while Group Y pitted Greenview, Siglap, Bedok South and Pasir Ris together.
All eyes were on Greenview and Siglap in Group Y as they would usually cross paths in the semi-finals or final. Elimination at this stage for either team would be considered an under achievement.
Group X was as open as it could get although St Pats and Victoria were expected to make it to the semis.
Rain disrupted the competition and there were many postponements, extending the tournament at the expense of the players and coaches alike. St Pats showed why they were champions last year and won all three Group X games. Tanjong Katong ended up with zero points and to the surprise of many others, Springfield overcame Victoria to join St Pats in the semis.
The surprises did not stop there.
In Group Y, Greenview had a forgettable campaign as they routed Pasir Ris 8-0 before being upset 2-1 by Bedok South. Pasir Ris then battled hard and beat Bedok South 2-1.
Siglap had beaten Bedok South 7-0 earlier and next up was Greenview. It was a brilliant game with Siglap leading 3-0 before Greenview came back with two goals but failed to prevent Siglap from winning the game 3-2.
Greenview then needed Siglap to beat Pasir Ris to qualify but the two teams drew, allowing Pasir Ris through to the semi-finals at the expense of Greenview, another surprise.
Springfield and Pasir Ris made it this far by showing a different style of play but their semi-final opponents proved too strong for them. Springfield went down 1-2 to Siglap while Pasir Ris, known also as the Oranges, lost 0-3 to St Pats.
The 3rd and 4th playoffs displayed why both Pasir Ris and Springfield were here. Springfield lead 3-1 at half time but Pasir Ris showed their never-say-die attitude, attacking the whole of the second half. However, they could only get another goal and eventually lost 2-3 to Springfield.
The final saw St Pats taking on Siglap Secondary. Siglap lead early but St Pats show their superior fitness as they battled to come back and win 2-1. Siglap tried every way possible to find the equaliser but did not get it.
East Zone Final Four
1st St Patrick’s School
2nd Siglap Secondary
3rd Springfield Secondary
4th Pasir Ris Secondary
Players who caught our attention:
St Patrick’s School: Ahmad Nadhier b. Adnan (#8), Md Deferdauz b. Noordin (#17)
Siglap Secondary: Mahathir Bin Azeman (#3), Ahmad Khidhir Bin Khairul Anuar (#13)
Springfield Secondary: Muhammad Afiq B Nordin (#8)
Pasir Ris Secondary: Muhammad Asyraf Bin Ahmad (#7), Muhammad Ramdhan Bin Azman (#17)
We wish all 4 teams all the best in the national championship and may they make East Zone proud.