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Singapore blitz past Sri Lanka in Netball Nations Cup opener


Singapore outplayed tournament 'powerhouses' Sri Lanka, to net their first victory with a 73-36 thrashing. (Photo:SSC) 

The Singapore national netball team raised the roof of Toa Payoh Sports Hall when they beat Sri Lanka, 73-36 in the opening match of the sixth edition of the FairPrice Foundation Nations Cup.

Sri Lanka has constantly been the nemesis of the Singapore team in three previous losses - at the 2008 Nations Cup (66-63), the 2009 Asian Netball Championships (77-48) and, recently, at the Mission Foods World Netball Championships in July, where Singapore was beaten 62-51 in the classification match.

Without the likes of Captain Jean Ng and veteran custodian, Premila Hirubalan in the starting line-up, many would have predicted another Singapore loss.

Remarkable Start

However this time, Singapore had other plans and started the game impressively by scoring nine goals in the opening five minutes.

The lethal combination of Goal Attacker, Chen Huifen and Goal Shooter, Cassandra Soh gave the Sri Lankans a headache, as the deadly duo continued to pile pressure on Sri Lanka with several more goals ending the first quarter with a 20-8 lead.

The second quarter’s limelight fell to the youngest player on the team, Shelby Koh. The debutant’s splendid runs and passes made Sri Lanka pay heavily as the 17-year-old proved to be too fast for them.

The Lioness’ maintained the leading momentum and relied on their basic passing to unlock the Sri Lanka’s defence to score 14 more goals, outplaying Sri Lanka, ending the second quarter 34-17.

Maintaining the Lead

The third quarter started differently, with the Sri Lanka’s towering 2.06m Goal Shooter, Tharjini Sivalingam (Siva) taking the game into her own hands to score 11 goals in search of a comeback.

Determined not to lose the lead, Singapore’s 21-year-old debutant, Goal Keeper, Chen Li Li and Wing Defence, Nurul Baizura combined superbly to make countless interceptions and seamlessly denied their opponent from establishing a flow in their game ending the third quarter 54-28.

Comfortable Win

With the game almost in the bag, Singapore’s coach made a few substitutions in the last quarter to rest some key players such as playmaker Vanessa Lee and both attacking zone players.With the substitutions, Yu Meiling achieved her first cap for Singapore as she replaced top goal scorer Chen Huifen. With big shoulders to fill, Meiling courageously aimed for the nets and scored 14 goals in the fourth quarter, thumping Sri Lanka to a 73-36 win.

Rising Singaporean Starlets

At her very first media interview, Shelby said, “That was a great experience for me today. I really enjoyed getting a victory over Sri Lanka in my first cap for Singapore and I am happy with how I played.

1.96m Singaporean, Li Li shared her feelings after the game, “I am happy with the end result and my performance as I was worried before the game, on whether I would play well today.”

Good Blend of Talent

Singapore’s Head Coach, Kate Carpenter expressed her views about the match, “It was good quality netball action and the girls on debut did extremely well.”
Singapore will looking for a win against, 2008 winners and world ranked 17, Papua New Guinea tomorrow at 6pm. Do come down to show your support and enjoy the high-intensity netball action at the Toa Payoh Sports Hall. For ticketing information or additional details, log onto: www.netball.org.sg or Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=38293156725

Other Results

Namibia 48-55 Papua New Guinea (HT 20-30)

Fiji 61-37 Malaysia (HT 27-19)