Netball: A win, at last

They roared to a 20-4 lead at the end of the first quarter and went on to win by a huge margin of 71-20.

The Singapore team's romp over Taiwan at the Netball Mission Foods Nations Cup at the OCBC Arena last night was hardly surprising, with the hosts ranked No. 15 in the world and their opponents, who only formed a team last year, unranked.

The win at the halfway mark of the competition did inject some confidence into the Singapore team, though, after two defeats in the six-team round robin tournament.

Singapore, the Asian champions, are all but out of the running for Saturday's final, but the goal is to finish with a flourish and the clash with Botswana today will be a big challenge.

Goal shooter Yasmin Ho felt a change in mindset in the encounter against Taiwan will hold them in good stead for the rest of the week.

"We wanted to play simple today because, for the past few games, we were very eager. So today we just wanted to keep to the basics, and I think we achieved that," she said yesterday, after the match.

Singapore coach Ruth Aitken said the win was exactly what the team needed to get back to their usual form.

"The first two days, we certainly didn't have our rhythm. We couldn't find our mojo, I suppose.

"But hopefully, we've turned the corner now and we remember what actually makes us a really good team," the Kiwi said.

"It's about playing for each other and just getting out there and having confidence and having fun."

The Singapore team had other reasons to celebrate yesterday.

Captain Micky Lin became the fourth Singapore netballer to collect 100 caps, while her teammate, Chen Lili, reached her 50th.

Lin joins Jean Ng, Premila Hirubalan and Chen Huifen in the 100-cap club.


It was the team's performance, however, that made the milestone even sweeter for Lin.

"What's more important is how you played the game and how you delivered what you planned to do, so I think the girls delivered that today, which I'm very happy about," she said.

While Aitken acknowledged that a spot in the final was unlikely, she wants to see good performances the rest of the way.

"At this point in time, we actually just want to get our game sorted. So we need to play our style and hopefully, we will do well tomorrow against Botswana," she said.

"It looks like, at this stage, that the final is out of our control.

"But we need to finish the week really well and win Saturday's game, whatever it'll be."


Northern Ireland 50 Singapore Invitational 29

Botswana 49 Papua New Guinea 54


3pm: Papua New Guinea v Singapore Invitational

5pm: Northern Ireland v Taiwan

7pm: Botswana v Singapore

This article was first published on December 16, 2015.
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