By REDintern Jasmine Goh. Photos by Joseph Lee/Red Sports
Singapore Polytechnic, Friday, October 11, 2013 –– Defending champions Singapore Polytechnic (SP) completed the 3rd Invitational Handball Games in dominating fashion, winning all their games to take home this season’s championship.
It was double happiness for SP as they swept both the men’s and women’s handball titles. This is the third year running that SP have clinched the title with Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) as runners up for the men’s category.
Both SP and NP remained undefeated throughout the competion, beating the other three teams – Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) and Republic Polytechnic (RP). With a round-robin format with no semi-final and final matches, the game between NP and SP was the championship decider.
Both teams started the match cautiously and settled down early in the game. SP put on a dominant display, holding the lead from start to finish. It was a highly commendable performance put up by NP as well, displaying outstanding team chemistry and resilience throughout the match.
SP’s pivot, Lee Shyh Woei (#22), was red hot in the first half, scoring four goals to fuel his team’s fast start. Likewise, Low Wei Jie (NP #5) was also in top form, scoring the first three goals for his team with his sleek cut-ins against SP’s tight defense.
The game was physically intense. Teo Shi Han (NP #7) drew an early yellow card four minutes into the game which was soon followed by Lee Shyh Woei (SP #22). The first two-minute penalty was awarded to SP’s winger, Lee Jia Ming (#11).
A powerful shot into the bottom corner by Kyle Lee (SP #12) made it 9-3 to SP just before timeout was called.
After timeout, NP stepped up their defense and were determined to come back from the six-point deficit. Their drives were much more effective and the team’s morale was boosted after an assist from Jun Liang (NP #6) to Lewis Syn (NP #2) which saw the first goal being scored. This was subsequently followed by two consecutive shots from NP, a cut in by Jun Liang (NP #6) and a successful fastbreak attempt by Lewis (NP #2).
As the score was narrowed to 9-6 and grew more intense, the crowd grew louder as well. Cheers of “Let’s Go Ngee Ann, let’s go!” and “SP, SP!” filled the air.
A wing shot by Joseph Hoo (SP #10) saw SP going into half time with a 11-7 lead.
NP put up a defiant performance in the second half. Low Wei Jie (NP #5) scored the first cut in, taking the score to 11-8 to SP. A two-minute penalty was awarded to Karl Vincent (NP #4) and he was subsequently followed by Hong Rui (NP #15). SP were able to capitalize on their penalty shots which widened the lead to 14-10.
SP’s keeper, Brian Yeu Czech Den (#16) made some fantastic saves and created many fast break opportunities for his teammates. NP’s keeper Leslie Tay (#1) was on form as well, blocking off powerful shots and not making it easy for SP to get past the goal.
It was a test of both stamina and skill till the very last minute.
Timothy Teo (NP #13) suffered a two-minute penalty and the team was left to play with five onfielders. Taking advantage of the situation, Lim Thiam En (SP #8) went on to score two consecutive fastbreaks for his team, taking the score 20-12 to SP.
The game ended off with a cut in by Karl Vincent (NP #4), scoring one for his team before the final whistle blew.
“It was a little messy in the first half. The second half, I guess we were tired,” said NP vice-captain, Chen Tse Yu (#8). “Nevertheless, we’ve put up a strong fight today. Congratulations and good job guys!”
SP vice-captain, Brandon Khoo (#9) commented: “Our goalkeeper was in top form today and created opportunities for us. That was one of the reasons why we managed to keep the lead in the first half. NP put up an aggressive man-to-man defense and our players were not accustomed to it.”
“All in all, It was a good experience for us and they have really put up a good fight. Congratulations to both teams!” he added.
Jonathan Chuang (#13) – 5 goals
Lee Shyh Woei (#22) – 5 goals
Toh Wei Jie (#5) – 5 goals
Harry (#1), Toh Chin Song Milton (#2), Yeu Czech Den (#3), Ng Yong Rae (#4), Jordan Tay Jin Jie (#5), Teo Kee Chong (#7), Lim Thiam En (#8), Brandon Khoo Wei Ming (#9), Joseph Hoo Kah Ming (#10), Bryan Lee Jia Ming (#11), Ian Kyle Lee Kah Yeong (#12), Jonathan Chuang Kwong Tze (#13), Brian Yeu Czech Den (#16) Koh Jie Wei Jeremy (#19), Daryl Ng Yong Chuan (#20), Alex Lim Zhi Ann (#21), Lee Shyh Woei (#22)
Leslie Tay (#1), Lewis Syn (#2), Leo Chung Sing (#3), Dimaunahan Karl Vincent (#4), Toh Wei Jie (#5), Goh Jun Liang (#6), Teo Shi Han (#7), Chen Tse Yu (#8), Liang How Neng (#9), Andrew Wong (#10), Ong Wee Chieh (#11), Wong Wing Lun (#12), Timothy Teo (#13), Sebastian Low (#14), Hong Rui (#15), Muhammad Hazwan (#16)
Most Valuable Player of the season (MVP)
Yvonne Wiu (SP #7)
Kyle Lee (SP #12)
Wong Sui Chyuen (NP #14) — 8 goals
Mohamad Irfan (ITE #9) — 27 goals
Outstanding Keeper Award
Jasmine Ng (SP #11) — 74.9% saving rate
Brian Yeu Czech Den (SP #16) — 55% saving rate