Category: 2014 Season

Hustle, hit and never quit: Raffles Hockey Rises To the Top

by Joshua Tee (15A01D) and Solihin Samsuri (15A01D)
Photos by Gabrielle Jeyaseelan (15S06A)

Boys

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The last time RI Hockey managed to secure both places in double finals was nearly a decade ago, whereas a double gold had not been attained for over 15 years. Considering the past six to seven seasons of near-misses, dubious decisions and arduous preparations, victory  tasted especially sweet for the Year 6 boys of Raffles Institution (RI) Hockey, who emerged undefeated from this year’s Inter-school National A Division Championships. Bowling over Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC), the imposing score line of 6-0 at the end of 60 minutes was a true reflection of the sheer calibre, discipline and perseverance exemplified by the team as a whole.

Standing strong: RI poised to take a short corner.
Standing strong: RI poised to take a short corner.

Having just ousted the reigning Victoria Junior College, ACJC, whom Raffles previously faced off with in the preliminary round, seemed more inclined to pose a larger threat at such a level of competition. Determined to seize the title after a narrow defeat via penalties last year, morale ran high amongst the players who were “motivated and pumped up” to exhibit the best of their abilities.

Rishi’s resilience: A rock in safeguarding the Raffles goal.
Rishi’s resilience: A rock in safeguarding the Raffles goal.

Keeping to a predetermined structure that minimised unnecessary passes, a focused RI side enjoyed comfortable possession of the ball, allowing for early breaks into the D courtesy of left back, Harshvir Singh. Paired alongside the dominating presence of vice-captain Rishi Ramathas who held his own against sudden counter-attacks, Benjamin Ang was a relentless force that did not balk to hinder any hint of opposition. Maintaining fluid control of the ball in check, a tight defence swiftly converted into an aggressive assault spearheaded by captain Ahmad Ashraf who drew first blood with a resounding shot through the keeper’s legs.

Harshvir coolly diverting the ball upfield.
Harshvir coolly diverting the ball upfield

In response, ACJC’s Gerald Goh swung in a precarious lone strike outside the shooting arc that was disallowed much to the obvious relief of the supporters present. Reeling from such a brash attempt at goal, Raffles redoubled their efforts in their monopoly of midfield with central midfielder Muhammad Ramzi deftly setting up Mohamed Haseef who dribbled along the baseline and coaxed another one in. Proclaiming the match to be the team’s “best performance” this season, Ashraf’s fervour in slotting in an optimum number of goals shone through with a formidable dive which deflected the ball straight into the net.

Ashraf and Benjamin taking aim
Ashraf and Benjamin taking aim

Even the slightest falter in defence was optimised; at one point, ACJC’s Gerald went head-to-head with RI goalkeeper, Ram Kumar who stepped up and instinctively kicked the ball out of harm’s way. Truly, the team persisted in asserting their well-earned dominance of the game even throughout the second half when ACJC made a more concerted effort to regain their footing.

Ramzi weaving through a congested ACJC defence
Ramzi weaving through a congested ACJC defence

Nevertheless, Anglo-Chinese’s close-knit passing did not achieve the equilibrium they aspired for, only to incite a fervent Rafflesian offensive that drilled home their advantage. Easily intercepting and bursting through the opponents’ ranks, it was Ramzi’s confident ball play and Haseef’s precise cross that assisted left winger Gurveer Singh in putting another one past the keeper. Instead of yielding their momentum, the goal finding frenzy intensified by a twofold – via a rebound shot by Ashraf and the combined effort of forwards Yeung Jek and Anirudh Srivathsan in the last few minutes of the game.

Later attributing RI’s success with their tenacious adherence “to the game plan”, the sense of pride and camaraderie for his team was palpable as Ashraf commented, “The feeling [of victory] is indescribable. After so long, we finally did it!” In the face of two reckless green cards and crowd-wowing, mid-air-ball-stopping skills, we could not help but share the giddy sentiment.

Girls

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The beginning of the girls’ game was highly contested, with RI edging a slight positioning lead over the VJC team with regards to ball control, but both teams’ solid defences initially prevented any team to gain a written advantage through an open goal. However, a clean penalty corner led to VJC scoring the first goal of the match, but the advantage that VJC was hoping for soon disappeared after a clean penalty corner with a smooth pass through VJC’s defence equalised the score in favour of RI. The game reached half-time with an equal score of 1-1.

RI controlling the bll despite much pressure
RI controlling the ball despite much pressure

The second half of the game started with a quick succession of VJC penalty corners, forcing RI’s strong defence pressure to weaken and eventually concede goals. VJC also managed to take advantage of RI’s tight defensive structure, issuing passes which managed to allow them to take possession of the ball despite constant pressure.

Alert players start to move towards an approaching ball
Alert players start to move towards an approaching ball

Both teams were able to effectively deliver pressure to the opposing team, leading to a drought of open goals in the game. This was true both offensively and defensively, where defenders were quick to respond and goalkeeping from both sides was extremely solid. However, VJC was slightly more comfortable with gaining penalty corners, where defensive numerical pressures were severely reduced, which contributed to their lead over RI. By the end of the game, all of VJC’s goals had come from penalty corners, signifying their importance in the fiercely-contested finals of which VJC had eleven penalty corners – a large margin over RI’s two. Penalty corners were especially important in this game due to what it seems to be both teams eschewing unpredictable long-range passes for more accurate short-range passes. Additionally, VJC’s slight advantage in mobility in terms of responsiveness to unpossessed balls and interceptions led them to take the advantage in an otherwise equal game of skill.

RI succeeds in gaining possession, one-on-one
RI succeeds in gaining possession, one-on-one

Unfortunately, the game was scarred with a double injury from the RI side, a rarity to most hockey games. During the second half of the game, RI’s Rebecca Kang received a direct impact from the  ball to above her right eye, collapsing immediately and had to be taken off the field. Following soon after was RI’s Beverly Goh, who received a severe debilitating cramp which led to her unable to continue playing. Despite two consecutive injuries, any dampening effect on moral was hardly noticeable in the field; RI’s team continued to play as hard as they had before.

The spectators react to the second unfortunate injury
The spectators react to the second unfortunate injury

Soon after the second injury occurred, the game ended with a final score of 1-5. Although the team might have lost in the end, the determination that the team demonstrated, especially when the team had lost two of its important players, remains admirable. Throughout the game, the RI team possessed both the perseverance and the team spirit worthy of any true sports team. Defender Arina Rashid echoes this sentiment, feeling that “I couldn’t have asked for more of any one of my teammates, and felt incredibly honoured to play alongside them.”

RI Cricket: Fighting Hard Till The Last Ball

by Shikhar Gupta (15S06M) and Mustafa Siddiqui (15S06E)
Photos by Gabrielle Jeyaseelan (15S06A)

The cricket team
The Raffles cricket team before the match

Scorecard:*
ACS (I): 154/5 in 20 overs (Archit – 48, Prateek – 42, Utsav – 38) | (Chirath 3-22)
RI: 136/8 in 20 overs (Sidantha – 35 not out, Lakshan – 28, Vinay – 22 not out) | (Abhinav 2-22)

Coming into the final match at Ceylon Sports Club, the Rafflesian cricketers’ confidence was sky-high. Having steamrolled through their previous matches, including a previous meeting with ACS (I), the mood before the match was casual and relaxed.

The captain of the RI team, Chirath Gunasinghe, won the toss and elected to bowl first, anticipating a quick capitulation of the ACS (I) batsmen thanks to a superior bowling attack on paper, which mainly consisted of pacers.

Vaikunth Seshadri bowls a ball
Vaikunth Seshadri bowls a ball

Opening the bowling was Lakshan Srinivas, who was promptly hit for a powerful cover drive four on the first ball. Even with a rotation of many bowlers, ACS (I) kept the scoreboard ticking, hitting the ball past the rope multiple times before RI got the closest to destabilising the gathered momentum.

A mis-hit by ACS (I) opener Archit Goenka went straight to Harsh Kackar fielding at slip, however the ball slipped through his hands and raced away. It took the RI bowlers a while, but the wicket of the lethal Archit Goenka was finally claimed at 56 runs, but it seemed to hardly affect the ACS (I) gameplan. Utsav Rakshit simply took his place, and continued the scoring.

A series of further poor, short deliveries and misfields meant that ACS (I) had achieved a strong total of 78 runs at the halfway point of their innings.

Lakshan Srinivas applauds after the team claims an ACS (I) wicket
Lakshan Srinivas applauds after the team claims an ACS (I) wicket

Towards the end of the ACS (I) innings, the Rafflesian bowlers managed to recover their form, restricting the opponents’ total to 155 as well as claiming wickets along the way – no mean feat, when it is known that the final 5 overs are when teams throw caution to the wind for maximum runs.

The RI coach, Mr Goh Swee Heng, simply cautioned the team against throwing away early wickets as the batsmen readied themselves, however, disaster struck on the very second ball of the Rafflesian innings.

Kaushik got run-out early due to a miscalculation, and this set the pace for the majority of the game. Chirath lost his wicket in the next over at a total of 8 runs, and the loss was made more bitter when it was revealed that the umpire had made an incorrect decision with the leg-before wicket (LBW) dismissal. With the first seven batsmen dismissed for sixty six runs, even a respectable loss seemed impossible.

Coming in at seven-down Sidantha, younger brother of Chirath, very nearly turned the tide of the game for RI. Sidantha batted sublimely, hitting five boundaries, and achieving a total of 35 runs off 24 balls. Vinay also stepped up when the team needed him the most, hitting 22 runs off an equal number of balls with a sweet slog-flick that went for 6 above the head of the fielder at square-leg. This sudden revival swept up the spectators in the euphoria, who commented that “even though [they] did not initially understand the game, the final overs were really exciting”.

This partnership added hugely to the tally, with the final three batsmen adding 70 runs to eventually end at 136 runs while giving away just one additional wicket; a respectable score by any standard.

Unsurprisingly, the whole RI team felt disappointed by their overall performance, with Mr Goh lamenting that they had “lost the game in the first few overs of [their] bowling”, having given away nearly 40 runs within 5 overs.

Captain of the team, Chirath was dissatisfied with the team’s performance. “Chasing down 155 was no big deal – we used to score 160 in group stages, but it seems like the pressure got to us today,” he said.

When asked about the partnership between the final three batsmen, he also added that achieving a total of 136 runs was really “impressive”.

Sidantha himself was humble about being the top scorer for the Rafflesian side. “When I came out to bat, I came out there to have fun, and I’m sure we gave them a good fight, but ACS was the better team today,” he said.

Second highest scorer Lakshan, a Year 6 player, was regretful that he could not cap off his final RI game with a win, commenting that the game was a “memorable” one. He will still be continuing on at the national level, however, as will many other RI players.

All eyes will be on the new captain, Sidantha Gunasinghe, for next years competition.

*Scorecard format: [School]: [Runs]/[Wickets], (Top batsmen – runs scored) | (Top opposing bowler, wickets claimed – Runs given away)

 

Soccer Girls Give Their All in the Finals

by Marcus Tan (15A01A) and Nurhan Sufi (15S03C)

Additional photography by Isaac Siaw (15S03Q) and Hendrick Soh (15S03I)

Last year, the Raffles Soccer Girls clinched the bronze medal with a goal in extra time to seal a 1-0 victory. This year, extra time proved the curse for them as they fought to be champions for just the second time against VJC at the Jalan Besar Stadium. Beset by cramps and fatigue as the game headed into extra time, our soccer girls unfortunately fell to VJC 1-0 with the last kick of the game.

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It was never going to be an easy game, with RI having to battle a team which was technically drilled and more experienced, with VJC having contested 8 finals in the last 9 years and winning 7 A Division titles so far. The game started at a sanguine pace as 200 odd Rafflesian supporters converged upon the stadium, cheering the team on. Within eight minutes, however, the first shot had already been taken, with VJC sending a shot off target and a free kick from RI’s #6 Jane Ong being saved comfortably by the VJC goalkeeper. The first real chance of the game was not long to come, however, with captain Liza Tay (#13) chipping the VJC goalkeeper which beat the keeper but also beat the post. Both teams then started creating chances, with the VJC team coming close on a few occasions with dangerous cross-shots and set-pieces, but most of them came to naught. Our team sat back for most of the first half, defending deeply to combat the skilful and technically gifted VJC team. With two minutes to go in the first half, the game suddenly sparked into life, with a brilliant ball from Jane sending Louise Lee (#3) clear of the VJC defence. Alas, the offside flag was raised as the RI fans rose to their feet, although Louise hit the post anyway.

The second half started at the same frenetic pace which the first ended in, with VJC taking a long range shot just a minute after the game restarted. This would prove to be a recurring tactic over the course of the rest of the game, with the VJC team alternating between struggling to break down our stubborn defence and shooting from long range. In the 50th minute, this tactic nearly succeeded, with a long-range shot from a VJC player nearly creeping into the goal before a timely intervention from Jane on the line. The game started to become increasingly exciting, with end-to-end football as both teams sought to score the winner before extra time. In the 55th minute, drama ensued as another long-range shot from VJC crashed against the crossbar. Within seconds, however, RI swept forward in a rapid counter-attack which featured Jane going on a stunning Gareth Bale-esque run from her own half to dribble past five or six defenders. Alas, her shot also thundered against the crossbar before being cleared for a corner. The match then headed for extra time as the score remained 0-0.

Even amidst the tension of the game, the VJC captain still had the heart to help #6 Elizabeth Jane Ong stretch her cramped leg. Plaudits to her!
Even amidst the tension of the game, the VJC captain still had the heart to help #6 Elizabeth Jane Ong stretch her cramped leg. Plaudits to her!

Extra time proved increasingly difficult for the Raffles team as cramps and injuries started to set in, with our brave team even playing with only nine players at one point because of the cramps. Yet, despite the tense nature of the final, there was still room for sportsmanship as the VJC captain helped to stretch Jane’s leg after she succumbed to muscle cramps on the field. This sportsmanship continued, with both teams doing their best to keep playing good football. It seemed as if the game would end with a penalty shootout, with neither team edging the other in a close game and the clock ticking down to the end of extra time. Yet, there was still enough time for a final twist; with seconds remaining in injury time (the time added to compensate for time lost in dealing with injuries) VJC won a free kick just outside the box following a foul to stop a mounting VJ attack. From the resulting set piece, the ball was stabbed home by a VJC player, who wheeled away to celebrate as our players crumpled to the floor in defeat. In the final minute of extra time with virtually the last kick of the game, our stubborn resistance had been broken by the more technically accomplished VJC players. The never-say-die attitude of the team continued, with Liza (#13) attempting to charge forward from kickoff to grab a goal back. Alas, it was too late for our courageous players who fought to the very end despite having all odds stacked against them.

When asked about her thoughts on the game, soccer girls captain Liza said: “It was heartbreaking, we’ve worked so hard throughout the year and to come short in the last few seconds of the game was really hard to take. But we left the field with no regrets cause we really put everything we had on the line.” Coach Mr Sulaiman agreed, saying: “Both teams played very good football. Beautiful football. The team performed awesomely and this is a bunch of beautiful girls.” Spectator Ryan Lim from 15S03E was similarly enthralled: “I thought it was a very intense game, we fought our hearts out but unfortunately we lost at the last minute. I felt that I’m very proud of the team and what they have achieved throughout the season.” Our team truly put in their all, coming close to winning several times in the game despite their more experienced opponents.

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There wasn’t just heartbreak in the tournament though, with our soccer girls having set the tournament alight with fantastic soccer, netting 28 goals en route to the final. Elizabeth Jane Ong was also named top scorer of the tournament, scoring an astounding fourteen goals in total.  Yet, despite scoring half of her team’s goals, Jane credited her teammates, saying: “I’m very honoured and very lucky also. Top scorer is just a title but actually the whole thing is as a team, because no goal was a solo thing. It was all an effort as a team and just shows how much effort we put in as a team to put in the goals. I just happened to be the lucky one who managed to finish it.”

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CCAD leads Rafflesian supporters in the Unite cheer

The soccer girls this year may not have won the title, but they definitely showed us how Rafflesians can unite together to fight through the sun, and through the rain. Even though they might not have lifted the trophy at the end of the day, the soccer girls truly won the hearts of their spectators that day.

Raffles Badminton: A Rousing Performance

by Tan Su (15S07A) and Chu Phuong Anh (15S06C)

Photos from RedSports

Source: Redsports
Source: Redsports

The arrival of May, for many other sports CCAs, meant that their competition seasons were over. For the badminton team, however, it meant that the most intense period of their competition was yet to begin. With the girls and guys teams having given their all in their trainings and preliminary rounds, it came as no surprise that both teams qualified for the Grand Finals, held on the 21st of May at Bedok Sports Hall.

The boys team faced-off against ACS(I), while the girls’ team was up against River Valley High School, both of which have been long-time opponents of the teams.

For the teams to clinch the gold medal, they required to win a minimum of 3 out of 5 matches to claim the gold.

GIRLS ‘A’ DIVISION

For 8 consecutive years before this the girls team had brought back the Gold for Raffles, and this year was no exception. After months of intense training, the girls emerged victorious.

The singles winner and Team Captain, Chong Fui Jin, went against a strong competitor from River Valley High School. The intensity of the match was evidenced by the fact that the points were never too far from one another – supporters of both sides were kept at the edge of their seats. The first game was taken by Fui Jin, edging the opponent out by a score of 21-19. Unfortunately, a fault was found in the flooring of the court and the match had to be disrupted, with the girls having to wait for another court to be freed up. Fui Jin refused to let this faze her, however, and did not let the second game go down without a fight. She won the second game 21-17 and thus the match as a whole, getting the ball rolling for the girls team on a high.

Both doubles teams, comprising Lee Shuzhen & Kelly Tan, Joy Teo & Chiu Jingwen did us proud as well. They showed dominance in their respective games and maintained great control of the shuttlecock most of the time, beating their opponents with flair. For the first doubles game with Shuzhen and Kelly, it was clear from the beginning that our girls were a force to be reckoned with. The first game was a thrashing with the Raffles players taking the game 21-4. However, RV did not back down and bounced back in the second game, putting their all into their defenses. Ultimately, Shuzhen and Kelly could not be beat and took the second game 21-17.

Joy and Jingwen were nothing short of brilliant as well, with powerful offences and smart defense allowing the pair to take the lead in both games. The first game kept on-lookers nervous as the scores stayed an inch away from one other. Eventually, our supporters heaved a sigh of relief a our girls took the game with a score of 22-20. The second game was close as well but Joy and Jingwen pulled ahead strongly to take the match 21-16.

Joy and Jingwen Celebrating a Point
Joy and Jingwen Celebrating a Point

One of the most intense matches for the day was by Marissa Ng and her opponent. Marissa started strong with the score of 8-3, but her tough opponent caught on, pressurizing with tricky passes and proceeded to win the first game. However, not being bogged down by the initial disadvantage, Marissa entered the second game with a strong fighting spirit and returned powerful strokes, overtaking her rival towards the end of the game and emerged the winner by 5 points. She went on to the third set and put up a strong defence; however, her opponent won the game marginally at 21-19 and thus won the last match, taking home the last win for the day. Despite that, Marissa’s remarkable determination was felt and her match was nothing short of memorable.

Third singles player Rene was fired up for her match and played the first game amazingly, beating her opponent 21-10. Unfortunately due to the lack of time, she was unable to complete her match. Well done to Rene regardless for giving her all!

At the end of the day, the team can be nothing but proud of themselves for everything they’d achieved both on and off court. Vice-Captain Joy Teo sums everything up nicely; that despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles including injuries, “this season has been the most memorable yet…our team really had the heart and the perseverance to pull through together and we did! All that we went through made our victory so much sweeter. We are glad to have contributed to the 18 years of champions for girls badminton.”

Congratulations, badminton girls!

BOYS ‘A’ DIVISION:

Muhammad Imran Khan, captain of the Boys’ Team, was unfortunately not able to play due to an elbow injury. However, we salute him for all the hard work and spirit he has put into supporting his team every step of the way.

Nigel Siew, first singles representative of RI kicked off the finals on a high, staying consistent throughout. While the opponent from ACS put up a tough fight, Nigel’s deftness and skill throughout both sets meant that he was clearly the dominant player in this match, eventually winning by a fair margin for both games: 21-14 and 21-12.

Nigel Siew Returning a Shot
Nigel Siew Returning a Shot

The first doubles match, played by Li Zheng Xi and Qi Xue Qian, was unfortunately not as successful as Nigel’s. The match was an extremely tough one, with ACS(I) proving to be a difficult opponent throughout. Strong offences on the side of ACS(I) and lightning-quick responses to our attacks meant that defending was an uphill battle for Zheng Xi and Xue Qian. Trailing behind 21-18 in the first game, the pair fought back under the encouragement from the supports above and kept the scoreline nail-bitingly close. Unfortunately, ACS(I) edged us out with a second win of 21-16. Nevertheless, a resounding Kudos to Zheng Xi and Xue Qian for fighting their hearts out and doing us proud.

It was a nerve-wracking, challenging time for the second singles played by Daryl Ng as he went up against his opponent from AC. It was clear that Daryl was nervous and under immense pressure and the opponent was especially strong on the offence, with powerful smashes often catching Daryl off-guard.This consequently led to Daryl falling behind in the first game with a scoreline or 21-9. However, Daryl never once gave up. He kept going and took on the second game with a vengeance, this time more deliberate with his plays. Despite ultimately losing to ACS(I), he bounced back in the second game with a score 21-17, his perseverance and grit an inspiration to all who were there to witness the match.

The second doubles match played by Jackie Tan and Donovan Mui was equally tough and it was nail-biting for all supporters to watch – the results of this match could either lead ACS to victory or move the players into a tie-breaking third singles. The first game was taken by ACS(I) by a mere 2 points, ending at 21-19. Tension and excitement could hardly be contained in the second game, with the score being incredibly close throughout. So close, in fact, that the game concluded only at 24 points. Both sides put up an awe-inspiring display of teamwork and finesse, exchanging skilled passes and working strong defenses. However, ACSI pulled ahead to claim the match 24-22.

It was a heartbreaking moment for Raffles as it came to light that it meant the game was over for the boys’ team – ACS(I), having won 3 out of 5 games, took home the championship title and Eng Chin An was not required to play his third singles match. Regardless, the battle fought by the boys, with matches described by supporters as “intense”, showed us that you don’t need the gold to be an inspiration to others. To quote Jim Courier, “Sportsmanship for me is when a guy walks off the court and you really can’t tell whether he won or lost, when he carries himself with pride either way.” The boys fought hard to get to the finals – an achievement that should not be undermined at all – and strived on till the very end. Neither should this lessen the greatness of what the girls achieved either – they were amazing indeed. But at the end of the day, we are simply proud of both teams; of their tenacity and teamwork, of the heart and soul they pour into the sport. We know that they will come back next year more prepared for the challenges than ever before.

Raffles Softball: Batting to Win It All

by Christopher Liew (15S06E), Celine Liu (15A01E), Mustafa Siddiqui (15S06E)
Photographs by Michelle Ang (15S06Q)

With five wins and no losses under their belt, the Gryphons looked poised to win it all at the final stage in Bedok. The boys softball team has come off with yet another stellar season, with a blitzing 10-0 win in the opener against TPJC, and an 11-5 victory against ACS(I) to send them straight to the finals. The landslide victories in both matchups against ACS(I) during the regular season and in the playoffs built up the team’s confidence for the final showdown. And they did not disappoint, with a 3-0 victory against their rivals to claim their position as champions for the fourth year running.

The relatively calm atmosphere of the finals was punctuated by loud strings of cheers from both sides, as supporters attempted to rally and rile their teams up for the game. The game, which consisted of five innings, proved to be a nail biter. ACS(I) initiated a late comeback in the fourth inning in an attempt to pull an upset, but eventually came up short.

The line-up for Raffles Institution’s A Division Softball Boys consisted of Captain Daniel (#3), Shamus (#22), Schuyler (#71), Malcolm (#46), Joshua (#61), Howe (#52), Brian (#4), Yun Fon (#42), Andrew (#15), Edward (#54), Ki Hyan (#65), Hugo (#17), Thiviya (#56), Vignes (#80)

With one game left in the 2014 season, it all came down to the last five innings. The Gryphons played with vigour and passion, propelling them to a solid start. This manifested in their strong play in the 1st inning, where Shamus and Andrew had back to back ground rule doubles, where the offensive players are awarded two bases, scoring three runs against ACS (I), to put them up 3-0. Behind all of this were the unyielding cheers of our councillors, the softball girls and even Schuyler’s family, who boosted the team’s morale and provided an impetus for the scoring run they embarked on. This 3-0 scoring run in the first inning would serve to be pivotal for their eventual success at the finals.

The ACS(I) team held up a strong defence, with several hits but no scores for the RI side for the rest of the game. RI pitcher Schuyler was remarkably strong, carrying the entire team forward with no-hitters up till the 3rd inning. Yet tensions were high as the opponents stepped up their game, breaking their no-hit streak in the 4th inning and putting two men on the field. The anxieties proved to be unwarranted, however, as two strikeouts quickly ended the inning without a chance for them to score. The final inning, and the last chance for the rival team to catch up, was fraught with apprehension, but after many nerve-wrecking foul balls and near-misses, Schuyler emerged the star of the game pitching three consecutive strikeouts, leaving ACS(I)’s last batter Niels to crumble in the dust.

All in all, the hard work, sweat and passion of our softballers bore fruition as they went on to win by three points, holding their opponent ACS(I) to a scoreless game. Despite another great performance put up by the Gryphons, team captain Edward still felt that they were not on point this game,  stating, “We weren’t performing at our best but we still managed to get the victory.” In the world of sports, winning seems to mean everything, but that was not all that mattered in the minds of our Gryphons that afternoon in spite of clinching the gold. Putting it in the words of Edward, “Although I didn’t play much, I’m still very happy for my team… especially for the J2s since it’s their last year playing softball.” He also seemed  fairly confident when questioned on next season’s prospects, assuring us that the team would not disappoint.

On that note, we look forward to an even more outstanding season next year from our softball boys as they look to defend their title as the ‘A’ division champions and scale greater heights as a team.