It was never going to be a straightforward game against a bigger more physical Irish team but Team Singapore overcame a nervy first quarter to see off their European rivals in the first match of the Mission Foods Nations Cup.
Ireland had the better start as they led briefly in the opening minutes but Singapore came back to tie the game 10 - 10, eventually leading 14 - 10 by the end of the first quarter.
From then on, the Singaporeans did not let Ireland get back in the game, as accurate offensive play by Charmaine Soh and debutant Zhang Ailin kept the visitors at bay.
Singapore's Vanessa Lim (jumping) in action during the match against Ireland in the Mission Foods Nations Cup. Photo: Sport Singapore
It was also a test of mettle for Singapore captain Vanessa Marie Lee who came out of retirement to lead the young team.
“I feel fresh because I took a break and I still have the drive to play,” said the 32-year-old goal defender.
She praised her young team for being “quite mature on their own” and states that it is about how “they bring the whole team together, getting everyone into the right mindset and going on court to play”.
Co-captain Charmaine Soh also praised the home crowd for their vociferous support. “The cheers and screams from everyone else was kind of a motivation for us. We’re all very excited to play the game today,” she said.
Singapore's Charmaine Soh preparing to shoot during the match against Ireland. Photo: Sport Singapore
When asked to identify areas for improvement, Coach Ruth Aitken said that “it was about consistency of performance, we were a bit up and down during the quarters today”.
If Team Singapore manages to continue to improve during the tournament, they are well placed to pull off an upset over the top seeded Papua New Guineans.
Come down and cheer for our Team Singapore netball girls competing in the Mission Foods Nations Cup at the OCBC Arena from the 4 to 10 September.
Mission Foods Nations Cup 2016 playlist: