After a grueling season, the Sneakers Stingrays (in purple) surprised powerhouses Magic Marlins to claim the 2015 Netball Super League title with a 45-37 win. (Photo by VoxSports)
Magic Marlins had entered the finals with a perfect record, with six wins from six games, thus asserting their position as title favourites.
In contrast, the Stingrays had suffered two losses during the first five rounds, and only made it to the finals by the skin of their teeth after they overcame Tiger Sharks in the semi-final after extra-time.
The Sneakers Stingrays had a much tougher journey to the finals, having lost twice during the opening rounds, and barely beat Tiger Sharks in the semi finals. (Photo by VoxSports)
“The feeling of winning the championship was indescribable. It’s everything we have worked for, from pre-season and during the season,” captain Carmen Goh said.
Sneakers Stingray captain Carmen Goh and coach Goh Seck Tuck hoisting the winner's trophy aloft. (Photo by VoxSports)
The victorious Sneakers Stingrays. (Photo by VoxSports)
The game had started at neck-breaking pace, with the Stingrays leading from the start while the Marlins stayed in the hunt and never allowed their opponents to pull too far away.
By the end of the third quarter, the scoreline read 32-28 in Stringrays’ favour, and set up for a nervy last quarter for both teams.
The finals was a nervy affair, with the halftime scoreline at 32-28. (Photo by VoxSports)
Marlin’s vice-captain Pamela Liew (in green, far left) tried her best to reduce the deficit but Wong Pei Ying and Yasmin Ho of the Stingrays combined to render her efforts futile. (Photo by VoxSports)
“At times it seems like getting the championship was a bit unreachable. But I am glad that we managed to pull through. I think it just shows the strength of the team,” Goh shared.
“Our understanding got better throughout the game days and I guess the closer we got to our final game, the more we believed in ourselves that we have the ability to win this and that was what made the difference,” she added.
“Our coach also train us specifically against our upcoming opponents every week. So for example, if we know that we are playing against a tall shooter, we will try to work on our defenders and prepare them for such an opponent.”
Despite the loss, Marlin’s team captain, Nur Liyana Noordin praised the team for their resilience, determination and the spirit to win.
“I think we performed pretty well. We come into the season with a lot of new players and it was actually good to see them stepping up during the game,” Liyana said.
In the earlier game, Tiger Sharks took third place in their debut season after a win over Blaze Dolphins with a score of 49-36.
Fijian Alisi Naqiri from Tiger Sharks was awarded the league’s top international player accolade, while the Coach of the Year award went to Stingray’s coach, Goh Seck Tuck.
The following players were also named as the Most Valuable Player in their respective teams:
Toh Wan Ling (Blaze Dolphins)
Shina Teo (M1 Sunfish)
Pamela Liew (Magic Marlins)
Nurul Baizura (Mission Mannas)
Yasmin Ho (Sneakers Stingrays)
Ang Shi Qi (Tiger Sharks)
Also, if netball is your thing, show your support for the Team Singapore netballers at the SEA Games 2015 by tweeting or posting a status on FaceBook with the hashtag #OneTeamSG !