The much-awaited A Division Boys Water Polo Finals 2014 took place at the PESEB Pool on the 4th of April. Although the blazing sun shone relentlessly, it did not douse the spirit of the spectators and our water polo warriors. After a tough fight between both powerhouses HCI and ACJC, our boys clinched National First Runners Up with a close score of 7-8.
Here are some information on the game play of water polo:
Water polo is similar to most ball games except that it is played in the water. Both teams send a total of 7 players into the water, 6 field players and 1 goalkeeper into the pool. The game is played in four quarters, each lasting 7 minutes. The team with more points at the end of 4 quarters wins. If a tie results, an additional two overtime periods of 3 minutes are played. If a tie persists, the winner is decided by a penalty shootout at the 5m line from the goalpost.
Now, let us meet our Water Polo boys:
#1 Bryan Putera Santoso
#2 Nicholas Yau
#3 Raynold Toh
#4 Kenneth Tan
#5 Darren Lim
#6 Marcus Ong
#7 Dexter Kuah
#8 Darren Wong
#9 Lim Wen Bin
#10 Huang Lin
#11 Zexel Nicholas Lew
#12 Samuel Moses Yu
#13 Tsang Bao Xian
At the blow of the first whistle, ACJC managed to gain the first possession of the ball. After a few brief passes between each other, ACJC lost possession of the ball after Raynold cleverly intercepted a pass. Our boys swam with lightning speed to the opposing goal post to score. Darren took a gamble and was the first player of the whole game to attempt to score. Unfortunately, the ball ricocheted off the side of the goal post. Following suit, our opponents also gave a shot at goal, but was denied a point by our very own goalkeeper, Bryan.
The first goal was scored by ACJC after two and a half minutes. Unfazed, our boys fought back quickly. They displayed excellent teamwork and passed the ball smoothly to each other, avoiding the opponent’s defense. While doing so, our boys inched closer to the goal post. The passing of the ball distracted our opponents, leading to an instance of an open goal. Seizing this opportunity, Samuel put in one for Hwa Chong, diminishing the lead that ACJC previously enjoyed.
Our opponents were determined to get ahead once more and did a few quick passes between them. When one of their players attempted to score, Darren blocked the vicious shot. Possession changed to our side and Raynold wasted no time in scoring another goal. His ball was shot an angle and at great speed, leaving our opponent’s goalie dumbfounded.
However, ACJC would not go down without a fight. With lightning reflexes, they managed to equalize in the final minute of the quarter. This brought the score to 2-2 at the end of the first quarter.
Once again, ACJC got the first possession of the ball. With a few passes, the ball quickly approached our goal post. In response to the threat, our boys quickly closed in on our opponent. At this critical juncture,Wen Bin committed a major foul, giving our opponents a penalty shot. It was certainly an uphill battle for Bryan to defend the goal. Eventually, our opponent managed to score a goal.
At the 3 minute mark, Wen Bin managed gain possession of the ball. The crowd cheered loudly as he attempted a shot at goal.
Spectators were then treated to a brilliant display of teamwork between Zexel and Nicholas. By repeatedly passing the ball between the side of the playing field and the centre, both of them inched closer towards the goalpost, crumbling the seemingly unbreakable ACJC defense. Seizing a great opportunity, Zexel took a shot on goal, taking our opponents by surprise. That equalized the score to 3-3.
Not backing down, our opponents pushed on and delivered two more goals in the remaining time. Quarter 2 eventually concluded with a score of 5-3, in favour of our opponents.
In this quarter, both sides upped their game with increased speed and aggression. The possession changed frequently as each side fought hard gain possession of the ball. Hearts were pounding as no one was certain how the match would go.
It was only after 2 minutes that the first goal was scored and this time, it was by Samuel from our side! Samuel was right smack in front of the goal when he had the ball but things were not easy for him as he was encircled by members of the opponent team. Despite the sticky situation, Samuel fended off the defenders to send the ball into the goal. With that, our boys inched closer to their opponents with the score being 4-5.
Keeping the momentum, Raynold went forth to get a shot at goal. As he swam towards the centre of the goal, cheers erupted from the spectators’ stand. With powerful strokes, a few of our opponents managed to catch up, forcing Raynold to take a shot. Unfortunately, the shot went high.
As the final few seconds of the quarter approached, Darren bravely intercepted a pass between members of the opponent team. Racing against time, the ball was rapidly passed from one player to the next and eventually to Samuel. Samuel kept his cool and scored in clinical fashion.
The crowd exclaimed with joy as we decreased our opponents’ lead to 5-7.
Soon after ACJC got the first possession of the ball, they made their way to our half quickly. An attempt to score a goal by the opponent took place just 30 seconds into the game. Fortunately, Samuel was alert and managed to block the menacing shot. 30 seconds later, our opponent tried to score again. However, they succeeded this time round, bringing the score to 5-8.
Determined, our boys gave it their all. After a series of passes, Raynold managed to gain possession of the ball. From the side of the goal post, he angled angled a shot into the far end of the goal post. With that, the score became 6-8.
Raynold made another well placed shot soon after, and the score was then 7-8.
The final three minutes soon approached. All supporters from HCI rose from their seats and cheered their lungs out. As our school cheers reverberated throughout the competition venue, our boys fought with all their might in the water. Many of them took a shot at goal, but none of the none of the shots were able to get through the defence of ACJC. ACJC also faced difficulties trying to extend their lead as their passes often got intercepted. It was certainly very nerve wrecking for the spectators to watch such a frequent change of possession.
Eventually, the final whistle sounded and no additional points were scored. The finals concluded with a score of 7-8 to ACJC.
All in all, the blood, sweat and tears that our water polo boys put into preparing for the competition was well worth it. Congratulations to our Water Polo boys for their remarkable achievement. All the best for next year! Let us get the championship title back!
Catch some of the action of the finals here:
40th CCA PROs