By Lorna Campbell
Toa Payoh Sports Hall, Tuesday, May 21, 2013 — Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC) brushed aside Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) 63–36 to claim the National A Division Netball Championship title for the fifth consecutive year.
The match started off very close with end-to-end action but ACJC had stretched ahead 32–19 by half-time and never looked back, taking the match by 63 goals to 36.
The colourful crowd with their supporters signs, flag-waving and clapping lifted the atmosphere in Toa Payoh Sports Hall as their school chants vibrated around the amphitheatre. The girls seemed to thrive on this level of support and put everything into the match but at times they played too fast for their fitness or control and a lot of errors crept in as the match developed.
Both coaches however were pleased with their teams’ performances.
Kok Mun Wai, coach of ACJC, said: “I told them to stick to their own game and play the way they had been doing and it worked. I didn’t look at the score throughout the match so I thought it was going to be closer than it actually was so that was a nice surprise.
“The players really put in a lot of hard work and we’ve been doing a lot of conditioning in the off season and taking our physical conditioning as seriously as our skill work.”
Their fitness level definitely showed in the latter part of the match and Mun Wai’s methods seem to be paying off as she has also coached CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh) to victory in the B and C Divisions this year with her Primary team also having the potential to take the top spot, too.
Lin Shuang Ru, coach of HCI, has been coaching the team for five years and last took them to the final in 2010. She said: “For the girls to get back into a final is a real achievement. We are known as a netball school but over the past few years, ACJC have been really strong too. I thought everyone tried very hard but ACJC made fewer errors than us and controlled the attack.
“I am disappointed as we came here to win, not to come second but they kept fighting all the way.”
Tan Xin Yi, 17, of ACJC had a standout performance as Goal Shooter, rarely missing a shot. Describing how she coped with the pressure on court she said: “I just tried to calm myself down and focus on each shot. I was nervous but didn’t let it affect my play.”
ACJC co-captains Ainsley Chew and Wong Pei Ying who were both members of the national under-19 squad in 2012. This was their second time in the final so they already knew what victory tasted like.
Ainsley explained: “We all worked very hard for each other today. We have been training since November last year as we really wanted to win again. We tried to steady ourselves as quickly as we could. Our accuracy of passing at times was affected by our nerves but we did it and our hard work has paid off.”
In the earlier match to determine third, Raffles Institution defeated St. Andrew’s Junior College 49–41 in a close match.
Score by Quarter
HCI vs ACJC
1st Q: 11–17
2nd Q: 8–15 (19–32)
3rd Q: 9–17 (28–49)
4th Q: 8–14 (36–63)
Tan Xin Yi (GS), Wong Pei Ying (GA, Co-Captain), Vivian Koe (WA), Eng Yu Zhen (C), Ng Yi Qing (WD), Esther Cheah (GD, Vice-Captain), Ainsley Chew (Co-Captain)
Reserves: Amanda Ng, Koh Sze Lin, Chloe Kwek, Samantha Chew, Bernice Ng
Teo Xin Yu (GS), Ulanda Oon (GA, Vice-Captain), Jill Chew (WA), Olivia Wu (C), Khor Ting Fang (WD), Claudia Tan (GD), Ng Ling Ting (GK, Captain)
Reserves: Tan Li Yi, Avril Tan, Clara Khoo, Jerlyn Lim, Tan Xin Ee
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