MGS win first girls' C Div squash title in seven years
Underdogs beat SCGS to win first C Div squash title in seven years
It's been seven years since they last won the National Schools girls' C Division squash title.
Methodist Girls' School (MGS) ended the drought yesterday when they outfought defending champions Singapore Chinese Girls' School (SCGS) 3-2 in the girls' C Division final at the Kallang Squash Centre.
Since they last won it in 2010, Raffles Girls' School (2011, 2014, 2015) and SCGS (2012, 2013, 2016) have dominated the competition.
Coach Jazreel Tan described his first C Division triumph with MGS as one of "mixed feelings".
After all, the 54-year-old had coached SCGS for 17 years from 1996 to 2013 and won seven C Division titles with them, before joining MGS.
"To carry over the glory of winning titles from SCGS to MGS is indescribable, because I have fond memories in my time as a coach with SCGS," Tan told The New Paper yesterday.
"I coached SCGS for 17 years and I decided to leave in 2013 because I felt that it was high time for fresh blood to take over my place. I also wanted to have a fresh start.
"Incidentally, I coached at MGS for seven years before going to SCGS so, in a way, this is a bit of a homecoming for me. I earmarked the third year for a title win, but it came a year later. However, it is better to be late than never.
"Coming in, we knew that SCGS were the favourites and we were the underdogs. Every game was nerve-racking for us, so this victory means a lot to me and I am very proud of the girls."
SCGS drew first blood through Hanaan Khaleel Hussein who eased past MGS' Gabrielle Chong 11-2, 11-4, 11-1 in the first match.
But MGS stunned the defending champions when Michelle Lai beat SCGS' Felicia Ong 11-4, 11-8, 11-9 and Cheyenne Mah battled past Waverly Wu 11-9, 11-7, 11-8.
SCGS' Rachel Tan set up a nail-biting rubber match when she outplayed MGS' Joanna Elizabeth Lim 11-1, 11-4, 11-3 to pull her team level at 2-2.
When it mattered most, MGS' team captain Erin Chan delivered their winning point in a 11-2, 4-11, 11-6, 11-7 victory over SCGS' Lim Yu Xuan.
"In squash, whoever cracks first loses. So I tried to stay as calm as possible," said 14-year-old Erin.
"I was constantly telling myself to take one shot and one point at a time.
"It was just crazy. In all honesty, I did not expect to win because SCGS are a very good team.
"This is truly a miracle, and I am very proud of the teamwork and spirit that we showed today."
Despite the loss, SCGS teacher-in-charge Linda Lee was proud of her charges.
Lee, 52, said: "Both teams were evenly matched and it was a very close final today. My girls played their hearts out and I could not be more proud of them.
"We will have a new team next year and we are looking forward to fighting hard for the championships next year."
In the third-placing match, Raffles Girls' School beat National Junior College 4-1.