A winning start at World Youth Netball Championships
23rd August, Glasgow - The World Youth Championships were officially opened yesterday but it was today when Singapore got the chance to open their campaign in a late afternoon match (GMT) against Papua New Guinea (PNG). It was a nervy start for the Singapore side as they adjusted to the Pacific Islanders style of play and the pressure of playing inside the 7,000 capacity Emirates Arena. They managed to gain composure in the closing minutes of the opening quarter however and get their nose in front for a 14-12 lead. Melissa Teo and Jocelyn Ng worked well together in the scoring circle, aided by a consistent supply of possession from mid-court players Shelby Koh and Sitti Nurshawallah to give them the shooting opportunities. They stretched ahead by half time with a 30-19 advantage.
PNG came out after the break with an increased intensity and rattled Singapore’s rhythm gaining several turnovers to reduce the scoring margin. Singapore maintained their composure however and finished the quarter strongly for a 41-32 edge. Singapore pushed further ahead in the fourth and final period ending their opening match with a convincing 54-39 victory. Coach Joanne Loo gave her post-match comments with a smile. She said, “I am very happy with that result. They stuck to the game plan of keeping this short and sharp and they looked to enjoy their time on court which always helps them play well.” Co-Captain Shelby Koh added, “That went really well for us. We were always expecting a tough match and they made us fight for our win so I am really proud of the girls’ performance tonight.” Tomorrow will be a different story when they face their toughest challenge of the tournament – England – who are ranked third in the competition. Loo continued, “We will use tomorrows match as preparation for the remaining matches in the group stage which will be close ones for us. It will be a real challenge tomorrow but we’ll give it our all and it is a chance to give more of the team some court time.”