Spurred on by the surprise loss to Outram Secondary School in last year's National Inter-School Water Polo Championship B Division final, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) has returned to the top of the perch after thrashing the giant-killers 13-7 in Tuesday's decider, which pitted the same teams again.
To the victors, Tuesday afternoon's win at the Co-Curricular Activities Branch (CCAB) swimming complex had exorcised the ghosts of the previous campaign.
Said ACS(I) coach Lau Kum Weng: "The Secondary 4 boys are really determined to do well this time having lost to Outram last year, and the Sec 3 students (who joined the team this year) are also motivated to win having lost the C Division title to ACS (Barker) last year.
"We did not make any changes to our tactics or training, it was the motivation of the boys which made a difference this time."
ACS(I) captain Eythan Ang added: "The main thing is to do well for the school, but the loss last year did give us extra motivation to win this year."
But Lau revealed that his team had done their homework by studying videos of Outram.
The hard work paid off when ACS (I) raced to a 4-1 lead in the first quarter and stayed in control for the remainder of the final.
Their national youth player Efren Tan played a key role by chipping in with five goals to torpedo the defending champions.
Outram tried to mount a fightback but were unlucky to be denied four times by the posts, while ACS(I) goalkeeper Justin Seah was also in fine form.
Cheered on by an estimated crowd of 600, split equally between the two schools, the atmosphere inside CCAB was electrifying as both sets of supporters produced rapturous cheers.
For Outram's teacher-in- charge Tan Xi Ling, it was probably the occasion that got to her boys. She said: "The game was not the best the boys could have played, as it is a really big game. They could have been too anxious or excited. However, the school is proud of them."
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