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NC2015 Match Report: Singapore Invitational Vs Singapore

The final match on Day 5 of the Mission Foods Nations Cup saw Team Singapore take on Singapore Invitational. Dubbed by Coach Ruth Aitken as the “big sister-little sister” match up, this was the opportunity for Singaporean players on the invitational team to impress the head coach in a bid to make the Asian Championships squad in 2016.

Both teams started off in apprehensive fashion, familiar with the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses, like boxers throwing jabs to gauge the range. Once they began, the teams took turns to trade points as they went blow-for-blow till they tied at 5 all. Both Team Singapore shooters Charmaine, and Pamela were off to good starts as they share the first 6 points evenly. As the quarter went on, Team Singapore took the opportunity to edge in front after a number of misses from Invitational GS Yu Mei Ling. They ended the first quarter 11-7 (a 4-point lead).

The second quarter took similar shape as the first with both teams having a number of cautious passes intercepted by opposition defences. The game went back and forth at a slightly slower pace than seen in previous matches as the familiarity played a part in a very strategically sound match. Team Singapore made the better of their chances, sinking 87% to win the quarter 13-6, and lead 24-13 at the half.

The third quarter of the match saw the introduction of former New Zealand under 21 national Hannah Broederlow as GD as the Invitational team looked to sure up the defence. Her introduction saw Sera Dakuitoga moved to GK, as they looked for a solid defensive foundation to build on. This move paid dividends as they limited the Singapore team to only 13 chances, most of which fell to sharpshooter Yasmin Ho who sank 7 of her 8 attempts. The solid defence allowed the Invitational team to go forward and create more chances, as they scored 50% more in the second half of the game.

The final quarter saw a fightback from the Invitational team, as the momentum gathered in Q3 set in. Despite Singapore’s efficient and clinical finishing, the Invitational team managed to create more than their opposition for the first time in the match, resulting in them taking the tightly contested quarter 11-10, as the match ended 44-32.

Both teams will be happy for the run out, with the real winner being Singapore netball, as the depth of players on show left fans hopeful of sending a strong team to defend their Asian title in Thailand next year.

Highlights
• Yasmin Ho was Singapore’s most proficient shooter for the third match in a row, scoring 90% of her attempts
• Charmiane and Yasmin combined well for a total of 39 points
• Team Singapore averaged an 81% shot conversion rate

Score
Singapore Invitational vs Singapore
Q1: 7 – 11
Q2: 13 – 24 (6 – 13)
Q3: 21 – 34 (8 – 10)
Q4: 32 – 44 (11 – 10)

Quote from Head Coaches

Ruth Aitken, Singapore Head Coach
For tomorrow’s game, Botswana will obviously be very confident, since we lost to them earlier. But we will play our best to give ourselves a chance. We’ve been working very hard this week to set our game plan right and we are looking forward to a big finish tomorrow.

Going forward, I think it’s about making sure our quarters are really balanced, sometimes we do like to play quite close to each other instead of opening the court up so I hope we will have some space to play going forward.

Yeo Mee Hong, Singapore Invitational Head Coach
I thought we didn’t drive towards the ball, we were running more laterally, allowing our opponents to contest the ball. In the second half we were better, we had repercussive run, working on two options and it was clearer. I thought the shooters shot well in the second half and they were hard one-on-one, picking up a number of turnovers. 
We were more connected in the second half, the connection was smoother, and the offer was clearer. I thought we finished well in the second half. It was good through court play, and the team flow was better. 
We have two players not with us today, short of a WA and a GS. Tomorrow we have a full squad and will work on the drive, and will work with another shooter for the front and back combinations. I thought today we worked well in the second half, but not so much in the first as they had double on one shooter. We weren’t using the front option enough on the front circle.
The Nations Cup is a good opportunity for the Invitational team, especially our national squad and invited players from the NSL, it gives them the opportunity to test themselves against the international teams and I think they did really well.

Quote from Captains

Micky Lin, Singapore Captain
Much of today’s performance is similar to what we had done previously. I thought today’s game was much cleaner, and the flow was a bit better so hopefully we can play a good game tomorrow as well.

We had a preview of tomorrow’s match earlier this week, we expect a lot of tight bodies, and that it will be a really tight game so I guess we have to be strong both mentally and physically to be able to tackle that.

Yu Mei Ling, Singapore Invitational Captain
We had a shaky start and the opposition actually settled first and we ended up playing catch up which was quite hard for us.