By Chew Cheng Yu (16S06L)
Photos taken by Hee Xin Wei (15S03I), Nigel Gomes (15S06R) and Gabrielle Jeyaseelan (15S06A)
Amidst the cloudy weather that afternoon, the humid air was heavy with expectation as the hockey boys broke from their huddle and tensely walked to their positions, ready to play.
Last Thursday, 7th May, at Seng Kang Sports and Recreation Centre, this year’s A Division Hockey Finals saw our boys pitted against Anglo-Chinese Junior College. In a spectacular show of skill and control, our hockey boys emerged as champions once again, earning them their fourth gold in five years. While our RI hockey team is well-known for being a powerhouse, their streak was stopped in 2013, with Victoria Junior College claiming the Gold instead. Sheer hard work brought them back the gold in 2014, and it seems to be the case this year as well. In an interview with captain Darryl Ong Ming En (15S06R), he said he was “feeling a little wary and anxious at the beginning of the game, as ACJC definitely had a good team”, but they just had to keep a cool head and play on.
A whistle blew; there was a wild scramble for the ball; the game had started. Keeping up a ruthless attacking front, RI made several scoring attempts, including a penalty shot, but to no avail. However, RI eventually managed to break through ACJC’s defensive ranks, with Adam Aniq (16A03A) scoring our team’s first goal barely 10 minutes into the game. This was followed in quick succession by the next goal; Ryan Jay Naidu(16S03J) received a deflected ball to score successfully, bringing the score to 2-0 for the first half.
Throughout the first half, ACJC was forced onto; they made an incredible effort to land a shot during the first few minutes of the second half, and even received a penalty, but they missed their chances due to excellent defence and goalkeeping on RI’s part. Regaining control of the field afterwards, RI managed to get a penalty shot, which was handled well by Gurveer Singh (15S05A), with a lob over the goalkeeper’s head. Despite the score disadvantage, ACJC put up a brave front, constantly pushing the ball towards RI’s side, maintaining the score. Eventually, RI managed to break the ball out of ACJC’s lock, and Mohamed Haseef (15S06P) scored the final goal of the match.
The game was set – RI defended their title with relentless offensive and solid defence. However, ACJC had been no pushover either; despite several of their players sustaining injuries and having to be subbed out during the second half, they pushed on with unwavering spirit – Captain Darryl Ong mentioned that the ACJC team had “put in a lot of effort, and improved a lot overall”, and that it was “very commendable”.
With this, the A Division Hockey Boys have secured the Champion title for the second year running. We at Raffles Press would like to congratulate them, as well as wish good luck to others in their upcoming seasons!