Though both schools have faced off against each other several times in their National Schools season, this year’s Squash Boys’ Final was no less exhilarating! Our Boys team put up a tough fight for the team championship title, eventually concluding their season as 1st Runners Up!

Our Boys' and Girls' Team!

Our Boys’ and Girls’ Team!

Overview!

All matches are played in Singles format and each match consists of 5 games. The Point a Rally scoring system is adopted, whereby the winning team is the first to score 11 points, or the first to score 2 consecutive points when both players have scored 10 points.

The first player to win 3 out of 5 games in each individual match wins, and the team that wins 3 out of 5 matches will be crowned the overall champions!

In the spirit of the National Schools Games, all school teams are required to complete all five of the squash matches.

Gameplay

In a rally, each player has to ensure that his ball hits the front wall within the boundaries of the court marked on all the walls. The side-walls and even the glass wall are surfaces that the players may use to direct their return to the front wall. Only one bounce is allowed on the ground before a return is to be made. The player may also choose to return the ball before it hits the ground, which constitutes as a volley.

A “let” can be played when there is interference in the opponent reaching the ball. It is also applicable to the situation when the opponent is in the way when a return is to be made or the opponent is in danger of being hit in the process. In such cases, both the striker and the opponent must make every effort to clear the ball or get to the ball.

Here are some common terminologies:

  • Boast — ball bounces off either side-wall or the back wall before the front wall
  • Volley — to hit back a ball before it touches the floor
  • Drive — a shot that hits the front wall and travels deep to the back of the court
  • Drop — to hit the ball lightly such that it drops in the front half of the court
  • Let — to replay a point because you were in the way of opponent
  • Stroke — a point given to the person whose way was obstructed
  • Cross-court — to hit across the court to the other side

The Team

Chua Man Chin 14S64

Lee Ming En 14A16

Gunn Wei Lim 14S6P

Lee Ming An 15S62

Jonathan Jiang 15S6P

Liau Chi De 15S66

Tan Hua Shin 15S79

 

Match 1 [HCI 0-3 RI]

Player: Lee Ming En

Ming En

Round 1: HCI 8-11 RI

Our player, Ming En, started off with a strong start, scoring the first point of the match. A series of drive and cross-court shots played by Ming En drove the balls to the corner of the court, making it hard for our opponent to return the balls. Thus, this resulted in Ming En gaining a 3 point lead, with the score standing at 3-0. Our opponent quickly retaliated with a series of cross-court shots, which Ming En tried his best to return. However, our opponent nevertheless managed to level the score at 3-3. Our opponent remained in good form and managed to score a series of points, bringing the score to 5-8. Ming En was not fazed and delivered several skilful drop shots, bringing the score to 8-8. However, the game was eventually won by RI with a score of 8-11, after our opponent executed several low shots, which caught Ming En off-guard.

Round 2: HCI 7-11 RI

Ming En returned our opponent’s first serve with a well-executed cross-court shot, scoring the first point of this round. However, our opponent caught up soon after, scoring the subsequent points with several lethal cross court shots, as well as drop shots, which Ming En valiantly attempted to return. This brought the score to 2-6. Ming En’s quick-wittedness resulted in him executing and scoring the subsequent 2 points, narrowing the point margin and bringing the score to 4-6.

Thereafter, both sides engaged in exciting rallies, which saw Ming En deflecting the opponent’s shots with a series of drop shots and volleys. One interesting point in the match was when Ming En managed to deflect our opponent’s shot with a drop shot, such that our opponent could not react in time and could only deliver a weak return. In the end, it was a close fight and the game concluded with a score of 7-11.

Round 3: HCI 3-11 RI

As it was the game which would potentially decide RI’s win for the first match, it was an intense round which was a feast for the eyes of the spectator. The round started off with RI securing a two-point lead against HCI, however, Ming En managed to demolish the two-point lead by scoring 2 consecutive points, one by returning a deadly drop shot executed by our opponent, and another by returning the ball such that it just touched the bottom boundary line. This brought the score to 2-2. However, our opponent proved not to be trifled with, and while Ming En did his best to deflect the shots delivered, the game concluded with a score of 3-11 to RI.

 

Match 2 [HCI 1-3 RI]

Player: Lee Ming An

Ming An

Round 1: HCI 7-11 RI

Ming An started the match extremely well, making several low and tricky shots that made it difficult for our opponent to return the balls. As the crowd roared Ming An on, he secured a 4-1 lead into the first game. However, our opponent began to deliver longer shots that forced Ming An to the corners of the court. Ming An tried his best to return, however our opponent eventually managed to level the score at 4-4. Determined, Ming An was not ready to back down. He managed several cross court shots, making it hard for our opponent to return his shots. This brought the score to 6-4. Our opponent remained unfazed and executed some impressive boasts that made it hard for Ming An to return, albeit some miraculous and impressive saves on his part. Eventually, the game ended with a score of 7-11.

Round 2: HCI 11-6 RI

This was an extremely intense round to watch, as it started with RI gaining a 3 point lead, with the score standing at 1-4. However, Ming An remained composed, and managed to catch up the lead by executing a series of boasts, driving the ball to corners of the court or the side walls, and thus making it hard for the opponent to return his shots.

This resulted Ming An scoring 7 consecutive points, bringing the score to 8-5. This boosted his morale, and while our opponent managed to score another point due a missed return, Ming An continued to secure the subsequent 3 points with spectacular kill shots, which caught our opponent off guard. The round concluded with Ming An securing a convincing win, acknowledged by the roaring crowd of Hwa Chong supporters.

Round 3: HCI 9-11 RI

The opening three balls went to RI, as our opponent constantly remained on form, constantly trying to catch Ming An off guard and to score. Despite the 3-point lead, Ming An played on, managing to secure a nerve-wrecking save to return the cross court shots delivered by our opponent. This brought the score to 3-3. Ming An continued to impress with his tactical play, delivering drop shots, which made it difficult for our opponent to return as the ball was merely lightly bounced on the front wall. However, our opponent proved to be of calibre as well, and the scores were neck to neck. The highlight of the game was when both players tied 7-7, and the score could easily go both ways. Both players were on their toes, as they tried to outwit each other. Eventually, RI managed to regain the lead, and won with a score of 9-11.

Round 4: HCI 3-11 RI

Although Ming An managed to score the first ball, RI proved to be a strong contender, scoring 8 consecutive points, despite valiant attempts by Ming An to return the ball. Eventually, Ming An managed to secure a chance to deliver a drop shot, making it hard for our opponent to return the ball. This brought the score to 2-8. Eventually, despite efforts by Ming An to narrow the score margin, the game concluded with a score of 3-11.

 

Match 3 [HCI 2-3 RI]

Player: Tan Hua Shin

Hua Shin

Round 1: HCI 14-16 RI

This round was an incredibly close one, as neither player was willing to succumb to the other, and it consisted of intense rallies, as each player attempted to outwit the other with unexpected cross court shots as well as drop shots. The highlight of the match was when it reached the 10-10 deuce, and both sides remained on form and tried to secure the two-point margin win. One notable point Hua Shin scored was when he attempted a nick, which resulted in the ball hitting the junction between the floor and the side wall, resulting in the ball having less bounce. This brought the score to 14-13. However, our opponent eventually managed to win 3 points in a row, concluding this fast-paced game at 14-16.

Round 2: HCI 11-5 RI

In the second round, Hua Shin gaining a convincing lead of 4-1 a few minutes into the game. Throughout this game, Hua Shin remained on top of his form, showing much agility and quick-wittedness as he executed his strokes. Never once did he allow our opponent to catch up with him, as he even scored 5 consecutive points, bringing the score to 8-2. Though our opponent managed to secure a few points due to certain lapses on Hua Shin’s part, it was overall a convincing win of 11-5 to HCI!

Round 3: HCI 11-9 RI

This was a nerve-wrecking round, as RI had initially secured a 1-4 lead by continually forcing Hua Shin to hit the ball below the bottom boundary. However, Hua Shin remained undeterred and bounced back, slowly gaining the lead. Even midway through the game, the score was 4-7 and it looked very in RI’s favour. However, Hua Shin was quick to think on his feet, and delivered several drop shots which caused the ball to fall to the floor in the front corner, making it extremely difficult for RI to return the ball. Eventually, the score levelled at 9-9. Hua Shin continued to press on and managed to score the remaining 2 points, winning 11-9 to RI!

Round 4: HCI 1-11 RI

With the overall score of the match 2-1 in HCI’s favour, a win in this game would allow Hua Shin to win his match! He managed to secure his first point by hitting a cross-court shot into the corner of the court, resulting in his opponent unable to return it and he levelled the score at 1-1.Seemingly exhausted from the second and third games where Hua Shin fought hard for his wins, he succumbed to his opponent’s strategically placed shots which were constantly sent to the right side of the court, forcing Hua Shin to execute his backhand shots. Several errors made by Hua Shin, coupled with our opponent’s improvement in form for this game, allowed RI to gain a huge lead and winning consecutive points. Hua Shin did not give up and worked hard, but our opponent proved to be a tough nut to crack, with the game ending in RI’s favour with a score of 1-11.

Round 5: HCI 9-11 RI

In an especially crucial game which determined the result of the match and whether RI would manage to secure championship status in the finals, both players pushed themselves to their limits in the final game of this gruelling match. Our opponent started off well, initially securing a 3-0 lead. Hua Shin remained undeterred, despite trailing at 1-6. It appeared that the game would be another straightforward fight for RI, however Hua Shin made a comeback and gained nearly consecutive points as he caught up with his opponent. By executing long and consistently accurate shots, Hua Shin attempted to tire his opponent out, and forced our opponent to deliver weak returns to Hua Shin’s excellent corner drop shots. Both players took turns to score points, and when the score levelled at 9-9, the crowd was ecstatic as the match would be concluding on a very close fight, with a mere 2 points to victory for either side. However, our opponent made some impressive strokes and secured the next two points, winning with a score of 11-9 in this game. Nevertheless, there was huge applause reserved for Hua Shin, who had fought extremely hard in this long match!

 

Match 4 [HCI 3-0 RI]

Player: Chua Man Chin

Man Chin

Round 1: HCI 11-8 RI

Man Chin, the Boys Captain, was up next in the fourth match! Although the championship title results have already been determined, Man Chin was eager to do his best for the team in the fourth match. Our opponent won the first few points as Man Chin’s returns went offside, thus ahead in the lead at 5-1. However, this was the turning point of the game where Man Chin began to find his momentum, and started to execute cross-court shots that drove the ball to the back of the court, forcing our opponent to run for the ball. The long rallies seemed to tire our opponent out, as Man Chin slowly increased his points to level at 6-6! Man Chin’s brilliant cross-court smashes allowed him to retain his lead at 8-6, and while our opponent strived to narrow HCI’s lead to 9-8, Man Chin remained focused to win the game at 11-8!

Round 2: HCI 11-7 RI

The second round featured exciting rallies as both players were determined to not lose any crucial points, with the score level at 1-1. Our opponent maintained his form as he led by a narrow margin at 4-3. However, Man Chin’s skilful shots, featuring a well-played boast, allowed him to level the score at 5-5 yet again! Man Chin persisted in challenging his opponent with cross-court shots and capitalising on his opponent’s uncharacteristic errors, to narrowly edge out his opponent at 8-7. Man Chin’s consistent performance helped him secure another win, concluding the game with a score of 11-7.

Round 3: HCI 11-3 RI

Man Chin started off in stellar form, only allowing his opponent to win the first point and then proceeding to capture the next 5 consecutive points! A series of excellent shots displayed his experience and agility as while he drove the ball to the various corners at the back of the court, he then contrasted it with drop shots that caught our opponent off-guard. This brought the score to 5-1. Our opponent did not give up and attempted to catch up, however Man Chin retained his lead with his powerful strokes. Man Chin’s high smash towards the corners of the front wall wrapped up the game with a score of 11-3, and this marked the first match where our Boys emerged victorious!

 

Match 5 [HCI 0-3 RI]

Player: Gunn Wei Lim

Wei Lim

Round 1: HCI 2-11 RI

Wei Lim found himself committing several errors due to our opponent’s extremely skilled cross-court shots, thus unable to secure the points and giving RI the lead at 7-0. As his team and supporters encouraged and cheered him on, he managed to win his first point with a drop shot that resulted in our opponent failing to deliver a good return. Wei Lim then gained his second point afterwards, following a powerful stroke that sent the ball towards the leftmost corner of the front wall. Nevertheless, the relatively more experienced RI player forced further errors on Wei Lim’s part, and the first game concluded with a score of 2-11.

Round 2: HCI 9-11 RI

Wei Lim, determined to do even better in this game, improved tremendously in form as he delivered a low shot that our opponent missed, levelling the game at 1-1. Both Wei Lim and our opponent fought hard for every single point and were neck-to-neck in terms of points, with the score at a draw at 2-2 and later 4-4. A spectacular shot that sent RI’s return too low below the boundary line allowed Wei Lim to be in the lead for the first time, at a score of 5-4! However, our opponent did not allow Wei Lim to hold on to the lead for long, as he managed to win consecutive points and bringing the score to 8-5. Wei Lim did not give up and continued to push himself on, by regaining some consistency in his form and levelling the game at 9-9. As the crowd became incredibly excited, they cheered Wei Lim on in the hope of him succeeding in his comeback and winning this game! Eventually, our opponent held on and emerged stronger, winning the game 11-9 in a very close fight.

Round 3: HCI 2-11 RI

A visibly drained Wei Lim remained focused on doing his best, as despite our opponent winning the first point of this game, he took the next point and levelled at 1-1. However, our opponent’s agility forced Wei Lim into making weak returns and unable to end our opponent’s lead. Wei Lim earned his second point through a drop shot at the front wall that resulted in our opponent hitting the ball out. While Wei Lim did his best in attempting to deflect the powerful shots by our opponent, our opponent still emerged victorious in this final game, winning 11-2. Kudos to Wei Lim for pressing on!

 

This marked the end of the Boys’ Squash Finals with an overall score of 1-4 to our opponents, RI. With that, the A Division Squash Season came to a close. Our Squash Boys have certainly done our school proud by putting up a strong fight and improving on their performance from last year! Good job to our Boys team and we wish them all the best in their future competitions!

Categories: CCASports

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