Category: IHC Sports 2012

IHC Day 7: Touch me if you can!

By Zara Nicole Toh (13A01B), Jeremy Yew (13A01B) and Jonathan Tan (13A01C)

Organized by the Touch Rugby girls, IHC Touch Rugby was certainly the place to be for high-speed entertainment. It kicked off at the main field on a grey Friday evening – however, the contrast was stark between the weather and the hyped-up atmosphere, enthusiastic players and a strong showing of supporters. The boy’s results were pretty mixed, with many teams having both draws and wins, and no clear-cut leader. The BW girls dominated that Friday though, with 3 wins out of 3 matches. However, dark clouds had been rolling in throughout the entire afternoon and halfway through the matches, the heavens opened up and rain poured down with such a purpose that the games had to be postponed to Monday evening.

MT boys giving death stares to the photographer who tried listening in to their team talk

The postponed matches were played on Monday evening at the Marymount field with some new players, as many who had played on Friday could not make it on Monday. This allowed for some degree of uncertainty as some players had to play with new and unfamiliar teams. However, the smaller turnout of spectators and players did not deter the touch rugby players, who were all there for one reason – to fight for their house, and to have fun!

Gerald (MR) grabbing onto Ezra (BB): spreading the love, guys!

The competition on the boy’s side was tight, with MR eventually earning a place in the finals with a total of 2 draws (against MT and HH) and 2 wins (against BB and BW). All attention turned to the remaining round-robin match between HH and MT that would decide who faced MR in the finals, BW or MT. By a twist of fate, BW’s spot in the finals relied on MT either losing or drawing with HH, who were the underdogs throughout the tournament. Well, the wishes of the BW supporters came true as the exciting match ended with a recorded score of 4-4. It had been decided: MR and BW were to play in the finals.

Jeremy (MR) dodging Ezra’s (BB) outstretched hands

Dramatic falls were the name of the game as participants flung themselves all around in a bid to score tries and earn points for their houses

Throughout the final boys’ match, BW’s experienced rugby players and strong runners ensured that they kept a steady lead of one or two tries ahead of MR. Despite having been overcome by MR during the round-robin stages, they exacted their revenge as they won with a final score-line of 7-5. The female side of the field saw a parallel in outcomes; with both MR and BW making it into the final and BW eventually emerging victors. The double victory helped BW maintain their slim lead ahead of MR as the Sports IHCs season drew to a close.

BW’s double champions enjoyed an exhilarating victory

It must be said that despite countless situations where rulings were ambiguous and heatedly contested by adrenaline-pumped players and spectators, the Touch Rugby girls admirably kept their cool amindst the shouts of “touch first meh”, “that was so forward pass”, “eh offside la” or “referee kayu” and stuck to their decisions as referees.

The Touch Rugby girls displayed commendable effort as referees

Also held on Monday at the adjacent Marymount Field, Frisbee was a popular IHC as it drew both participants and supporters alike. After a good showing by all participating teams, BB emerged as winners of IHC Frisbee with MR and MT coming in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Day 7 marked the last day of IHCs, and the fate of the Houses and the points they have accumulated now lay in the outcome of the IHC Track and Field relay events. We are sure that all of you had bucketloads of fun participating in the various IHCs and engaging in friendly competition against your batchmates, all in the name of House spirit! Now, we wait with bated breath for the final House standings to be announced.

Photos by Claudia Koh, Tiffany Ow and Naman Shah (Raffles Photographic Society)

In Full Swing – IHC Day 3!

By Jonathan Tan (13A01C)

Day 3 of IHC sports saw three sports being contested, namely Tennis, Swimmming/Waterpolo and Basketball, which was the main event held at the newly opened indoor basketball arena.

The Basketball event was hotly contested in the Boys’ category, with the rules allowing for current players to participate in addition to many ex-players who had since quit Basketball since coming to Year 5 – it set up an exciting encounter for all 5 houses.

Wee Xuan (BB) and Melvin (MT) raising hands in unison to use combined forcefield to keep the basketball suspended in midair while everyone looks on in awe

Similarly, the competition on the Girls’ side was equally physical and demanding, with the 5-a-side full court format resulting in breathtaking end-to-end play that exhausted players and required constant substitution to get fresh legs into the game.

The power of the forcefield can only hold up for so long

For the Boys’ event, BW wrapped up 1st place convincingly with victories in all of their round-robin matches, being boosted by a good mix of ex-basketball players and a slew of key members in the current school team line-up. As for the 2nd and 3rd places, MR and MT were tied after the 4 round-robin matches and thus had to enter a playoff game to decide the overall standings.

This match was undoubtedly one of the most physical matches as both sides pressed hard, determined not to give their opponents any time on the ball or any opportunity to aim a shot properly. BW supporters decked in yellow were vocal in their unabashed support for MT, because a Morrison victory would have ensured that the overall title for basketball for both genders would go to MR.

While the MR-MT decider was played out, the Girls’ final was being concluded on the adjacent court. Due to a two-way tie for 1st place, the ensuing free throw playoff saw MR emerging victorious over HH – everyone’s attention were keenly fixed on the remaining Boys’ match.

The real action of the match came in the last minute, when key plays were executed. With about a minute or so to go on the clock, MT scored a go-ahead goal through Alexzander Loh to lead by 2, only for MR’s Zheng Shun to tie the game up again with a quick reply.

Alex Loh then scored again to give MT the lead, but MR came roaring back, as Zheng Shun not only equalized once again, but scored another layup on a fast break to take a precious lead. With seconds remaining on the clock, MR defended strongly and managed to hold on to win the game, placing MR as overall champions for basketball.

MR vs. MT – Physical and competitive on court, but all smiles off court :)
Daniel Sebastian (MR) and Wee Xuan (BB) executes “criss-cross dance style” with some ball tricks in the middle to leave the MR bench ogling
Yao Zhong (HH) tries to dribble around the BW defender but he is unaware of the BW’s player’s attempted ninja skills in sneaking up on him
Dawne (MR) shields the ball away from BW opposition

In addition to Basketball, Day 3 also saw two other events being contested, namely Tennis and Swimming/Waterpolo.

The referee spins the racket to decide who starts the doubles match between MT and BW
Ekdanai (HH) reaching out for the sky – a nice pose while performing an overhead serve
Daniel (BW) confronting his opponent with a fiercely focused face
Benjamin (BW) rises high above the water to block a shot…
…but here he is powerless to stop an effort from going in
Shayna (BW) tries to take possession of the ball while her opponent takes an underwater breather
IHC Swimming certainly made a splash!

Photos by Nandaru Annabil, Zhi Xuan and Edwin Chow (Raffles Photographic Society)

IHC Day 4, Girls’ Soccer: Not Just a Man’s Game

By Jonathan Tan (13A01C) and Zara Nicole Toh (13A01B)

Photos by Chen Zheng Wei and Ng Siyuan

(IHC Day 1 and Day 2)

IHC Day 4 kicked off with a line-up of only one event: Girls’ Soccer. This ensured that the attention of all the supporters would be centred on the main field as the girls from each house battled it out to prove that girls too can play soccer.

HH’s Yushi striking the ball with such grace and elegance

Apprehensive looks were on the faces of most participants during the briefing, as their soccer experience was largely limited to attempts at kicking the soccer ball during PE lessons. However, when the whistle blew for the matches to begin, all thoughts of nervousness and apprehension were forgotten as the girls gave their all to earn invaluable points for their house.

The BB team getting a pre-game pep talk from their captain, Abhilash

The matches were contested in a round-robin manner, before the top 2 houses would go on to compete in the final match.
Sweat dripped and blood was spilt as the girls lunged, ran and fought for every ball in the name of house spirit. Balls flew in all directions as both shots at goal and last-minute clearances were made, and goal attempts were saved. In most of the matches, the brave goal keepers like Rachel Tay of MR and Nicole Heng of MT proved to be the most valuable players of their teams as they kept out numerous shots, sometimes even diving to the ground in an attempt to protect their goals.

MR’s Renisha in a one-on-one face-off with Ida of BW.

After a series of tough round-robin matches, BW and MT emerged as the 2 teams that would contest the final. MT were the overwhelming favourites as they had not lost a single game during their round-robin matches, often scoring numerous goals in the process of defeating their opponents.

Crystal (BW) on the counter-attack against MT

The final matched kicked off, the field surrounded with supporters of both houses. BW were forced to defend with all their might as MT’s attacking duo of Tasneem and Amelia were in top form, often breaking past the BW defence only to find their shots blocked by Ida, BW’s goalkeeper. Due to a combination of luck as well as some marvellous defending on BW’s part, BW managed to keep out all of MT’s attempts at goal, even going on the counter-attack at some points in the match. However, just like the boys’ match last week, the match ended 0-0 and proceeded into extra time.

Tasneem (MT) taking on 4 defenders at once

During extra time, both teams tried their hardest to break each other’s defences and get onto the scoreboard in order to gain the upper hand. Tasneem and Amelia once again threatened the BW defence numerous times, only to have their shots miss the goal mouth by a hair’s breadth. Crystal, BW’s striker, also proved to be equally unlucky as her shots at goal were comfortably saved by Nicole, MT’s goalkeeper. As the whistle to signal the end of extra time was blown, both teams prepared themselves to take the penalties that would decide who was to be the champion house.

Remember Shaun Sia using the force-field to keep out a shot during handball? Well, Ida proves that girls too can use the force-field!

Each team had to take a mandatory 3 penalties, and if the results were still inconclusive the game would then move to sudden death. Huifen, MT’s first penalty taker, took a shot that rebounded off the inside of the post and onto Ida’s face before crossing the goal-line, ensuring that the game was not without any drama as people rushed to check that her nose was still intact. The score was 1-0 to MT as Shayna stepped up to take BW’s first penalty. Nerves evidently got the better of her as she blasted the ball straight into the waiting arms of MT’s keeper. Tasneem doubled MT’s lead with a powerful shot that Ida stood no chance of defending. Linh took BW’s second shot with a unstoppable shot to the top corner of the goal. With the score 2-1 to MT as Amelia stepped up to take MT’s 3rd and final penalty, MT would be the winners if she scored. And fortunately for MT (unfortunately for BW), she did not disappoint, blasting home a shot that left some boys at the pitch awestruck.

MT players celebrating their win

MT players jumped on each other in ecstasy and happiness, celebrating their deserved win as they had been the outstanding side throughout the entire tournament. Each and every player deserved praise as they fought hard and played well for their house.

The winning team
The proud runner-ups
At the end of the day, House unites rather than divides

Photos by Chen Zheng Wei, Ng Siyuan (Raffles Photographic Society)

IHC Heats Up!

By Jonathan Tan (13AO1C) and Zara Nicole Toh (13AO1B)

The handball event was destined to be the centrepiece of Day 2, with its prime location at the netball court, attracting even more onlookers than Day 1’s Soccer event. The courts were surrounded on all sides by supporters, comprising reserves, house representatives and ordinary students – even ushers for PTM who were dressed in formal attire crowded around, savouring the action. People who wanted to avoid the crowd planted themselves on the second floor to get a bird’s eye view.

Bird’s eye view!

The atmosphere was perfect. Let the games begin.

The round robin matches were held in 2 courts. Gameplay was at such high intensity that teams required constant substitution of players. The match between MR and BW was one of significant tension. As the players battled for a place in the final against HH, the larger battle between the 2 houses at the top of overall house standings loomed over. Breathtaking end-to-end play ensued, but MR eventually clung on to win BW,  leaving BW to play a 2nd/3rd placing match against HH.

Abhiraj pumps his fist after scoring a goal against fierce rivals BW

The HH-BW match was a high octane, emotionally charged affair with a series of clashes between both sets of players, with two almost coming to blows after a particularly bruising encounter. In the end, HH narrowly scraped past BW to book a place in the final.

MR, having been dominant in the round robin matches, were raring to go and exuded confidence as they immediately took to the court for warm-ups, even practicing some impressive set plays. HH, on the other hand, only entered the court just before the match started, presumably to get as much rest as possible.

Physicality from the previous match seemed to have spilled over into the final as it started off with some skirmishes, but MR quickly seized the initiative: House captain Wei Hing picked up a loose ball just outside the D and evaded HH defender Chandra to score the first goal of the game. 1-0 to MR.

MR’s strong defense included Yunting (MR), remaining compact in the middle to prevent HH from taking shots

HH players were visibly disappointed. To their credit, they regrouped and launched waves of attacks on MR for a sustained period, but MR’s resolute defence by forming a “wall” of players to tighten the centre and drive the HH players to the flanks proved a worthy obstacle.

MR also had goalkeeper Shaun Sia to thank for making some crucial saves to keep HH at bay. Throughout the match, he was an impenetrable barrier and entertained both his teammates and the crowd with his animated hand gestures and rallying cries to his teammates.

MR goalkeeper Shaun Sia was vocal in rallying his teammates forward with his animated hand gestures and punchlines. Here, he is seen demonstrating the power of force-field.

MR’s Nathaniel went on to score a goal that was disallowed (he was judged to have stepped into the D) but MR was not to be denied. A crosscourt pass found Abhiraj, who summoned his cricket experience to place an inch-perfect shot into the corner, just out of the reach of HH’s Chandra.

If HH’s morale had lifted after the first goal, this second goal dealt a tough blow to the team. Eventually, the game fizzled out to an eventual 2-0 victory for MR to bring their 1st place finishes in IHC to a total of 4 after the end of Day 2.

Other events contested on Day 2 include Judo, held at the RI Gymnasium, and Canoeing’s Pull and Build, held near the cage. Fortunately for BW, both events secured them precious 1st place finishes. Table Tennis was also played at the MPH and the first of three sessions of minigames also kicked off at the Hodge Lodge.

Overall Summary of Day 2 Results:

Sport 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Judo BW BB MR HH MT
Handball MR HH BW MT BB
Canoe BW BB MR MT HH
Players enthusiastically going for the ball
Abhiraj – MR’s star shooter, preparing to launch yet another shot at an opposing goal
At the Canoe IHC, many found doing pull-ups way too easy and tried out new things like going way above the bar…
…striking a gymnastic pose (note the pointed toes!)…
…or enjoying a zen moment
Matthew (BW) lifting Atsushi (HH) into the air
Is that a party in the RI gymnasium? No, it’s BW celebrating their Judo 1st place finish!

Photos by Claudia Koh, Sim Xiang Rong, Deng Jia and Zhi Xuan (Raffles Photographic Society)

IHC Begins!

By Jonathan Tan (13AO1C) and Zara Nicole Toh (13AO1B)

The IHC Soccer event was perhaps the most appropriate curtain-raiser for IHC Sports 2012 as it took centre stage in the Main Field on the Wednesday, 25th July. It did not disappoint, serving up some exciting action between the houses, with mere goal difference separating most of the houses at the end of the round-robin matches.

 

MT’s makeshift goalkeeper Lum Dong Yee making a clearance from Clarence

Prior to this event, BB was widely tipped as the hot favourites with their strong line-up containing a good strong defence supporting an array of attacking talents. Nonetheless, the rest of the houses were no pushovers and gave it a real go, but eventually the final was to be contested between MR and BB, with MR proving the surprise package of this tournament, having been written off by most.

The widely-tipped champions: BB

It seemed like a real walkover was about to ensue, but this was not to be. Although BB predictably dominated much of the possession and pegged MR back in their own half for long periods of time, MR were not about to give in and launched a few counter-attacks that threatened the BB goal. Apart from hitting the post with a header, MR’s Ong Marcus had a golden opportunity to put the underdogs ahead having been sent through on goal by a brilliant through pass, only to muster a weak attempt on goal due to cramps. As BB cranked up the pressure in the second half, they were denied by the woodwork and also found MR’s goalkeeper Toan in inspired form, keeping them at bay for the remainder of regular time.

Clarence (MR) launching into a sliding tackle to halt the run of Kiran (BB)

Extra time kicked off and BB camped in the MR half. It seemed a matter of time before they found the breakthrough and sure enough, they took the lead through Joel Chong and it seemed that MR’s dreams were all but over. Yet, despite being dealt this hammer blow, MR kept their heads up and went in search of an equalizer. Complacency began to creep into BB players, and this allowed MR to launch a wave of attacks resulting in a slew of corners. As the final whistle approached, Shaun Lim made a trademark dribble through the BB defence and unleashed a powerful drive that the BB goalkeeper could not keep out, securing a precious equalizer.

MR players jubilant after Shaun Lim (middle) equalized as time was running out

With seconds left on the clock, every ball was meant with a hashed clearance. The final whistle brought a sense of frustration in BB players, but the feeling among the MR players was clearly an overwhelming sense of relief that they were still in with a shout. Penalty kicks beckoned.

The penalty shootout was immediate sudden death, so there was absolutely zero margin for error. BB were to go first. Kiran stepped up and sent a low powerful drive down the middle that Toan could not get his hands to. 1-0 to BB.

MR’s turn was next. Shaun Lim stepped up but he was clearly walking gingerly (he had actually torn his ankle ligaments and even played the last two matches with an injured left ankle – get well soon Shaun!) up to the penalty spot. He took a short run-up and drilled a shot that kept rising. With goalkeeper Joel Chong stranded, the ball struck the crossbar and ricocheted back. The game was over. BB had won 1-0 on penalties.

Shaun Lim’s powerful penalty hit the crossbar to hand BB the victory in sudden death penalties

The BB players immediately ran and swarmed around goalkeeper Joel Chong and piled on each other on the field in celebration of their win. The MR players, however, were predictably upset and Shaun in particular was disconsolate at missing the penalty after working so hard to equalize earlier.

BB players piling on each other in celebration of their victory

Nonetheless, it was an admirable effort by the MR players who were written off from the start but emerged as the underdogs to reach the final, holding their own against a clearly technically and physically superior BB side. Kudos must be given to the BB side for not letting complacency set in and fulfilling their potential in winning 1st.

Soccer aside, there were other events happening around the school on Day 1, which was a good day for MR, who added three 1st place finishes in Squash, Dodgeball and Volleyball to the 2nd place finish in soccer to take the lead for IHC sports. In terms of IHC standings, MT and HH followed closely behind with two 1st place finishes respectively.

However, in the greater scheme of things in terms of the overall house standings, MR certainly gained much as BW found the going tough on Day 1. Apart from two 2nd place finishes in Girls’ Floorball and Squash, they had a mix of 4th and 5th places for the remainder of the sports, even suffering a walkover in Volleyball. This certainly does not bode well for BW and the onus is on them to pick it up in the following days to keep their noses ahead as MR breathes down their necks.

Overall Summary of Day 1 Results:

Sport 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Dodgeball MR BB HH MT BW
Gymnastics HH BB MT BW MR
Volleyball MR BB MT HH BW
Girls Floorball MT BW MR BB HH
Boys Foorball HH MT BB BW MR
Soccer BB MR HH MT BW
Fencing MT HH BB BW MR
Squash MR BW MT, HH   – BB
Janielle (BB) and Emiline (HH) queue up for the ball but find it stolen from right under their noses
Jesse (BB) and Herman (MR) face off — Jesse showing true commitment to the BB cause by rushing over to play
floorball with his soccer boots on
Matthias (MT) looks to a play a pass out wide to the other side
Two ex-squash teammates face off against one another — Yee Kiat (MR) eventually got the better of Sean (BB). With a host of ex-squash players, MR stormed to victory in squash, only dropping one game in every match
Wee Toh looks like he’s straining every bit of muscle to fling that ball while James excitedly jumps with the ball firmly in his hand — dodgeball!
HH’s Krishna gesturing — either “What did I do wrong?” or more likely, “Is that all you’ve got???”
Ninja Warrior Gladiator: They’re either maintaining balance really well or they’re falling straight into the sponge pit…
…or some summon superpowers to maintain balance, like Aaron of BB
HH players all looking in one direction, presumably at the ball…or maybe a plane?
Winning MR Volleyball team

Unleash the power of IHC!

In all, Day 1 ended as a thrilling start to the IHC, leaving everyone craving for more exciting and exhilarating action over the next 2 weeks.

Credit goes to Nandaru Annabil, Chen Zheng Wei, Zhi Xuan, Naman Shah and Edwin Chow from Raffles Photographic Society for the photographs.