By Kristal Ng (16S07C), Tasharani Palani (16S03P), Ian Cheng (16S03M)
Photos by Gabrielle Jeyaseelan (15S06A)
The rumble of thunder marked a sense of foreboding over the spectators in Yishun Sports Hall as the A Division Floorball boys took to the floor. Despite the heavy rain, the hall was filled with Rafflesian supporters as they cheered on the floorball boys.
After drawing with them 1-1 during the group stages,the Raffles Boys Floorball team were once again faced with their fierce competitors, Victoria Junior College. Buoyed by an undefeated streak all season, our floorball team looked set to claim their championship trophy once again.
Our boys definitely proved themselves worthy as defending champions as RI flew to an impressive start with three successive goals within the first period. The first was made by Jun Wei (#17) from mid court, and the mint green ball streaked past the the defenders into the waiting net. The subsequent goals by Zong Wei (#88), and Amirul (#45) were no less impressive, and it invoked roars from the watching crowd.
The second period was no less intense with great saves by both goalkeepers, their quick reflexes swooping to scoop up the ball and shut out any attack; Haziq’s (#29) skillful maneuvering was clear as he wrested the ball from VJC players’ grasp. VJC successfully took advantage of a slight falter to slip in a goal at the 10th minute. Nearing the end, our boys seemed to take a more defensive stance, executing practised long distance passing and dribbling.
Tensions were definitely high in the last period, with Amirul (#45) getting whalloped on the head three minutes into the game and having to sit out. However the injury was not serious and he resumed play once more. An alarming clash between Jun Wei (#17) and the opponent goalie also drew gasps from spectators on the stands, but both boys recovered quickly, patting each other on the backs in a show of sportsmanship.
RI regained control of the arena again as Zong Wei executed a “well practised” move of sweeping around the goal to flick in the ball, two and a half minutes before the end. VJC tried to make a last minute comeback in the last 17 seconds, with an impressive shot that flew in an arc over the players heads into the goal, but it was not enough as RI once again emerged as the A Division Floorball Boys’ Champions.
Later, goalie Jared Tan attributed their success to “the three early goals… we expected this game to be close later on and [when] it got closer, we were afraid [we] cannot score.” But ultimately, “We won thanks to a good team.”
To add on, some floorball members pointed out two players who outdid themselves during the game and generally overall during the season. In particular, we have Shaun Pua (#13) (15S06S), who despite picking up the sport only in J1, managed to improve tremendously within the short few months leading up to the season to “become really, an integral member to the team”, to quote a member who chose to remain unnamed. Apart from Shaun, Zong Wei (#88) was also highlighted for his tremendous efforts and performance during the game, scoring “two amazing wrap goals that really got the crowd going and got our team pumped up”, one to get the ball rolling, and the other that eventually sealed the game for RI. Silas (#22) had a few words of commendation for him: “As he and I rotate in the same positions, I know how hard it is to play as a forward and keep our composure at times. He really showed me today how to keep calm and patient and use his chances well, and refocused after every shift to do better in the next.”
To provide a brief behind-the-scenes glance into the floorball boys’ preparation for the season, they slogged for hours at physical training in thrice weekly sessions, that led up to as late as 8.45pm at times. Aside from that, their coach also ensured that they didn’t neglect their personal mental and emotional development as a member of a team, putting them through reflective thinking to analyze their performances during games and trainings. Even as training intensity and frequency lightened, players still ensured that they were in optimal physical condition via runs and exercises in their own time. Thus, it is with resounding agreement that the team members claim that they were “really proud of the team after seeing their hard work come into fruition”. Lee Minhao (16S03P) mentioned that even as “a non-team member of the CCA, I can’t help but feel honoured to be part of this CCA”.
In retrospect, to summarize one player’s sentiments over the game, we quote Silas Choe (16S03P) who said “All in all, we went out on court and got the job done, and that’s what matters. Honestly, the win was not very important to me at the start, but it just made the privilege of playing the match that much sweeter.”
RI – VJC : 4 -2
Tng Zong Wei (#88) – 2 goals
Foo Jun Wei (#17)
Muhammad Amirul Afiq (#45)
Josiah Lim (#3) – 2 goals
#1 Sean Jou (15S03L), #3 Julian Quak (15S03B), #7 Kenny Goh (15S07B), #9 Joshua Teo (15S06N), #10 Ethan Lim (15S06E), #11 Ng Juin Jie (15S03G), #14 Nicholas Ho (15S06S) #13 Shaun Pua (15S06S) #16 Daniel Ong (15S06G), #18 Brian Tan (15S06M), #34 Russell Yip (15A01E), #45 Amirul Afiq (15A03A), #60 Justin Tan (15S06O), #77 Clement Chew (15S06N), #92 Gerald Peh (15S07A), #8 Sean Toh (16S03R), #71 Jared Tan (16S03K), #88 Tng Zong Wei (16S03J), #22 Silas Choe (16S03P), #29 Haziq Rased (16A03A), #19 Kamal Hariz (16S07D), #17 Foo Jun Wei (16S03S)