Sunday, January 19, 2014

IHG Swimming Heats & Finals

Saturday, 18 January 2014



1. Melissa Choo
2. Brenda Teo
3. Artrillian Ng
4. Wu Zhe Kang

1. Toh Zhi Hong
2. Ray Lim Ng
3. Francis Koh
4. Van Myran Neo

1. Melissa Choo
2. Leong Hui Min
3. Cheyenne Ching
4. Brenda Teo

1. Kenryu wang
2. Ng Kah Leong
3. Van Myran Neo
4. Ng Yang Theng

1. Andy Leong (Backstroke)
2. Ng Kah Leong (Breaststroke)
3. Wu Zhe Kang (Butterfly)
4. Artrillian Ng (Freestyle)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

IHG Waterpolo Prelims by Chua Yuan Pin

SRC Swimming Pool, NTU

Hall 2 Water Polo won with a convincing score line of 19-2 against Hall 15 for the first preliminary round of the IHG season. The legendary SEA-games gold medallist, Toh Zhi Hong, was a beast in the pool. Not satisfied with simply scoring routine goals, he set a personal goal of trying to head the ball in. The effort was close but the ball rolled off the post and the keeper pushed it out. Before he could try his overhead kick, he was taken out of the match for fear of the opponent team giving up and leaving the pool before the time was up. 

In the team of 13 selected, majority of the players were new to this sport. However, their performance in the pool was of no novice level. Several of the goals were scored by Myran and Yuan Song. A special mention goes out to the amazing Kor Kiat Yao, who scored a new personal best of 3 goals in this match. He will no doubt be scoring another hat trick in his room.
The Water Polo team would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the supporters that came down. Despite the utter dominance of this match, it would not have been possible without the loud cheers from the sides.

Monday, January 13, 2014

IHG Hockey (F) Finals by Sean Lim

Hall 2 v Hall 14
WIN 1-0 (AET)

Thursday, 9 January 2014

NIE HOCKEY PITCH, NTU – In a largely one-sided final, the Hall 2 female hockey team emerged victorious after extra time with a 1-0 win over Hall 14, winning the championship for the first time in a long, long while.

The female hockey team has been dominant all season, scoring plundering goals from all corners, yet only conceding 1, and an own-goal at that. Meanwhile, Hall 14 were surprise finalists, after upsetting defending champions Hall 3 in the semi-finals with some smash-and-grab tactics. It was no surprise that we started the game as favourites, but finals being finals, everything gets thrown out of the window once the game starts.

Fortunately, when the game started, we started on the right note. From the get-go, our girls proved exactly why they were such strong favourites coming into the game, with Shireen dribbling past a few dazed-looking defenders and finding herself through on goal. Sensing that Artrillian was in a much better position, she squared the ball to Art but Art failed to convert. No matter, a warning has been served, that Hall 2 is out for 
the title.

That move from the first minute set the tone for the game, for the rest of it pretty much consisted of Hall 2 camping in the opposition half of the pitch, trying all sorts of ways to force the ball into the net.  Credit’s due where credit’s due, Hall 14 did put up a valiant backs-against-the-wall defensive effort, scrambling the ball away from the goal line on many occasions just when it seems a goal was inevitable.

There were a few occasions that Hall 14 did manage to break out of their half into ours, but those were far and few between, and on those occasions, they would find the majestic figure of captain Esther, or ‘Bobby’, in their way, thwarting whatever designs they may have on our goal.

Hall 2 thought all their offensive pressure had paid off when Petrina shot from the edge of the D into the top corner, only for the referee to inexplicably disallow the goal for a high stick that did not really seem like a high stick. The whistle blew, ending all sorts of celebrations that already began.

Into extra time we went, and it was a sense of déjà vu as Petrina attempted a nearly-identical shot with identical results: ball in goal. This time, there was a sense of trepidation among the supporters and the players; no one wants to celebrate prematurely again. But this time, there was no whistle.

Goal given. Cue celebrations.

Hall 2 were female hockey champions.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

IHG Hockey (F) Semi-Finals by Sean Lim

Hall 2 v Hall 16
WIN 2-1

Monday, 6 January 2013

NIE HOCKEY PITCH, NTU - Our hockey girls defeated Hall 16 by a score of 2-1 to qualify for the Finals for the first time in quite a while.

A tense atmosphere filled the air on this otherwise chill and damp morning, borne perhaps of the consequences that were riding on the match result; it would be the finals for the victors, and game over for the other.

Pre-match nerves were to be expected, but our girls headed into this game in fine form; not only did they beat Hall 10 by a comfortable margin of 3-0 in the quarters, they had also yet to concede a goal. A defence that has been led imperiously by captain Esther "Bobby" Ng has proved unbreachable thus far, while a stellar midfield led by Shireen and Petrina  has bamboozled every team they have faced. On paper, Hall 16 had every reason to fear facing the nouveau hockey powerhouses Hall 2.

And so the pre-match predictions were proved right. After some early tit for tat, in which both Halls slowly felt their way into this contest, our Hall soon asserted its technical dominance. Shireen and Petrina were soon running the show in midfield, while Clara Chin was having the game of her season by intercepting everything Hall 16 could throw at her.

It wasn't long before we finally grabbed the lead, albeit in a slightly unusual fashion for Hall 2. Usually Shireen picks the ball up in midfield before going on a slaloming run that ends with a shot at goal, but perhaps due to the weather, our pressing was more intense today, and it was this pressure that led to the goal. Shireen dispossessed a Hall 16 player near their goal after a restart, squaring the ball for Petrina to finish.

The priority then shifted from breaking down a stubborn Hall 16 defence to stopping a previously blunt Hall 16 attack from scoring. Yeo Mingen and Mainisah Buang may not be the most technical of players but their hard-running upfront ensured that Hall 2 always had an outlet from defence, one in which Esther tried to exploit a few times with hard hits from the backline.

Just when it seems that Hall 2 would simply ride the game out, an unscripted twist happened. Hall 16 managed to win successive penalty-corners, and after one of those they managed to get a good hit in the D. In the most vicious of ironies, Clara who until then had not put a foot wrong at all, unfortunately deflected the hit into her own goal. There was some dispute as to whether the goal stood hence-after, but the rules were clarified for the goal to stand.

That is, until Shireen again stood up and took matters into her own hands. Picking up the ball in midfield, she beat 3 players, found herself 1 on 1 with the goalkeeper, and calmly slotted home to send Hall 2 to the Finals.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

IHG Soccer (M) Prelims by Sean Lim

Hall 2 vs Hall 13
WIN 5-0
Hall 2                     Vinoth 39, Farhan 40+1, Brendan 58, 74, Billy 78 (P)
Hall 13
Tuesday, 24 December 2013

ST WILFRID’S SPORTS COMPLEX – In the end, it was a relatively straightforward win for Hall 2. They made neat work of their inexperienced opponents, to the extent sometimes we wonder if the “mercy rule” should be introduced to avoid instances such as these.

There was a makeshift look to this Hall 2 side, a consequence of both the graduation of senior players as well as the absence of key players. Long-time stalwarts of the team such as ex-Hall President Teo Yu Hao and ex-captain Chai Ming Long have left the Hall, while Tan Yong Geng and Christopher Gan missed out on this one.

Hall 2 lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with the surprise deployment of Brendan Liang at centre-back, probably to give a relatively inexperienced backline some much-needed tactical nous. Another surprise inclusion was that of Nicholas Tai at left-wing, perhaps hoping that the chemistry with his loomie, the makeshift left-back Arnold Wee, might deliver the goods. Billy Wong lined up in the hole behind the lone striker Farhan, while elsewhere there were debuts for Dalston Leong and Blven Chan.

Hall 13 on the other hand lined up in a Mourinho-esque 4-3-3, with their midfield triangle sitting very deep. The end result of this was the lack of space in midfield, with Billy largely anonymous in the first quarter as he was starved of space he needs to thrive; it was not uncommon to see Billy completely surrounded by Hall 13’s midfield trio, unable to affect the play in any way other than set-pieces.

Hall 2’s main avenue of attack in the first half largely involved playing balls behind Hall 13’s left-back for right winger Terence Cheng to exploit the left-back’s lack of pace. It was a good strategy, taking in account the high positioning of Hall 13’s left-winger, the narrowness and high line of the defence, as well as their midfield’s determination to deprive Billy of any space at all. This left their left-back isolated against Terence, who was able to send in a couple of crosses into the box, but they were all either overhit or comfortably cleared by the Hall 13 defence, with Farhan, Billy and Nic Tai not providing much of an aerial presence in the box.

The unexpected injury suffered by Nic Tai in the 13th minute put a premature end to his loomie partnership with Arnold, the duo enjoying solid, if unremarkable, games. The introduction of Vinoth in Nic Tai’s place gave Hall 2 an extra dimension in attack, providing both directness on the left wing and an aerial presence in the box. The way he would start out wide, receiving the ball from deep before either driving infield towards goal or down the touchline was reminiscent of Balotelli in his Manchester City days.

Before the first goals arrived however, Hall 2 was exerting pressure with no real danger. Terence’s crosses, Billy’s corners and freekicks all contributed to the feel that Hall 2 was in control, but to call it a siege would be overstating the case; other than a Billy freekick in the 16th minute and a Billy cross that left the Hall 13 keeper flapping at thin air, he was largely unbothered.

Vinoth’s influence on the game finally told in the 39th minute. 2 minutes before, he had cut in from the left to fire a shot that flashed just wide. Lesson not learnt, Farhan, who was working hard to run the channels and occupy both centre-backs, had a shot on the turn that ricocheted off the crossbar. The resultant scramble outside the penalty area eventually found Vinoth completely free in the box for an easy sidefoot home.

Hall 13’s pressing and compactness up till the 30 minute mark was a crucial factor in keeping Hall 2 at bay. Such incessant pressing, however, would eventually take its toll, and as they tired towards halftime, space started to appear; spaces that Billy would soon exploit.

Billy’s positioning throughout the game was very interesting. Early on, he was crowded of space in the middle of the park, thus he resorted to either floating towards the flanks to create overloads and send crosses in, or hovering around Farhan waiting for the second ball to drop, akin to a second striker. As Hall 13’s pressing started to drop, however, Billy became more involved in the game as he dropped deeper and deeper into spaces where the Hall 13 midfield was reluctant to follow him.

One such instance led to the 2nd goal in the 41st minute. Receiving the ball deep on the left, Billy drilled an angled crossfield ball that Scholes would have been proud of into the inside-right channel for Farhan to run onto. With the Hall 13 backline caught flatfooted, Farhan slotted home to give Hall 2 a 2-0 lead at halftime.

From then on this became Hall 2’s main mode of attack, and everything good about Hall 2 flowed through Billy, a sharp contrast to his performance for large parts of the first half. Having said so, a contributory factor towards Hall 13’s fatigue was Hall 2’s ability to retain the ball and recycle possession, denying Hall 13 the chance to rest on the ball.

The overall technical superiority that the Hall 2 backline and midfield duo enjoyed was at times painfully obvious. Sathiya occasionally dropped into the backline to provide a passing option for Kenneth Gan and Brendan Liang, reliving the pressure on the Hall 2 backline. Dalston played slightly further ahead, his passing neat and crisp, keeping the play going. Arnold and Blven just did what they were supposed to do, staying back, keeping it simple.

Having ran himself into the ground during the first half, Terence’s influence on the game started to fade, just as Billy’s was growing by the minute. No matter, the job was done. 29th President Parthiban came on for Terence, prompting a tactical reshuffle for Hall 2. Parthi slotted in at centre-back alongside Captain Kenneth, Brendan moved all the way to centre-forward, Farhan dropping slightly deeper, while Billy took over Terence’s place on the right. Hall 2 morphed into a lopsided 4-4-2; Vinoth continued to stay high and wide, and while Billy was the notional right-winger, he was really just moving wherever that allowed him to spray balls towards the 3 forwards on his left.

Brendan’s change of position was to prove the pivotal change for the 2nd half, as he played a role in the next 3 goals. He scored the first off a Billy inswinger from the left, with the Hall 13 defence completely lost at sea. 

His next was a work of art. Kenneth spotted the run of Brendan and lofted a ball over the Hall 13 defence, while Brendan did superbly to not only beat the offside trap but to lob the goalkeeper from 25m out. He then showed that his link-up play was up-to-scratch as well, playing the through ball that led to Billy’s penalty, which he converted with aplomb for Hall 2’s 5th goal.

Billy’s crowding out in the first half and Brendan’s deployment as centre-back contributed to Hall 2’s relatively muted start. However, once Hall 13 started to tire, Billy promptly grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck, and was ably supported by Brendan in the 2nd half. With Christopher and Yong Geng to return for the next games, a full-strength Hall 2 side is a terrifying proposition for anyone to face.