ACS(I) win first B boys' squash title since 2012
The best-of-five final was delicately poised at 2-2 and it came down to the deciding match between Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)'s Kieren Tan and Raffles Institution's Li Chu Wei.
Kieren, 16, took all the pressure in his stride as he bounced back from losing the first game to defeat his opponent 8-11, 12-10, 11-3, 11-6 and seal his school's first National School Games' B boys' squash title since 2012.
After Kieren scored the winning point, it sparked jubilant celebrations among the ACS(I) supporters at the Kallang Squash Centre yesterday.
What made the victory sweeter was the fact that ACS(I) had lost in four straight finals before yesterday's win.
"We all played well today, but Kieren's our MVP for sure. He made a great comeback against their best player and won the title for us," said ACS(I) captain Ernest Chua, 16.
Excitement and drama were certainly not in short supply in the three-hour battle between the two arch-rivals.
ACS(I) signalled their intention to reclaim the title when Matthew Wong put his team 1-0 up with a comfortable 11-5, 11-7, 11-5 win over Raffles' Ong Zheng Ting.
The second match between Raffles' Tan Izhi and ACS(I) captain Ernest featured plenty of backhand exchanges but eventually, it was Izhi who walked away with a 3-1 (11-5, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8) victory.
ACS(I) then took a 2-1 lead when David Mow took advantage of an error-strewn Tobius Khoo to win 11-7, 11-2, 11-7.
Raffles' Jovan Lee then forced a deciding fifth match when he used his attacking prowess to down ACS(I)'s Wong Xu Hong 11-6, 11-0, 11-8.
It set up a final showdown between the two teams' top players and they didn't disappoint.
Chu Wei raised the hopes of the Raffles supporters when he took the first game 11-8, but Kieran then mustered all his fighting spirit to win the next three games to seal the title for his school.
Raffles captain Izhi said: "We have done very well in the past few years, but the tide turned today."
In the third-placing match, Fairfield Methodist Secondary School defeated Hwa Chong Institution 4-1.