Northland bounce back to beat Bukit Merah

Northland bounce back to beat Bukit Merah

Knocked off their perch at the top of hockey just over two weeks ago, Northland Secondary School salvaged some pride at Bedok Sports Hall yesterday with a successful defence of the B Division floorball title against the boys of Bukit Merah Secondary School.

For Northland, players in the hockey team also form the floorball squad and a 10-5 win in the final of the Schools National Floorball Championships went some way to make up for their failed defence of the hockey title.

Captain Muhamed Syahmi, 17, said: "We wanted to retain both titles this year and we were very disappointed when we lost in the hockey semi-finals to Raffles Institution.

"We learnt we must give our best throughout the whole game to win and we carried it to here."

Syahmi also noted that as defending champions, they faced more motivated opponents who wanted to defeat them.

Northland were given a good challenge in the semi-finals from St Gabriel's Secondary School but eventually scraped through with a 9-8 win.

Coach Sharil Ismail revealed that the close shave led to an extra training session on Tuesday to iron out the errors.

Despite losing, Bukit Merah were happy with their result.

"We only aimed to reach the semi-finals, as most of the boys are still in Secondary 3, and we wanted to give them exposure this year," said coach R. Saravanan, who added that the school will gun for the title next year.

The girls of Bukit Merah, however, retained their B Division gold. Having edged out St Margaret's Secondary School 6-5 in the second round, they soared to a 13-2 victory against the same opponents yesterday to claim their third consecutive crown.

Captain Shermaine Goh said: "We were nervous in the previous meeting with St Margaret's and did not play well but we encouraged each other and put in more effort this time."

twtoh@sph.com.sg

This article was published on April 24 in The Straits Times.

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