This weekend the Garden Netball girls boarded the bus to Singapore with hopes set high! This year, for the first time ever GIS entered two teams in the U16 age category. It was great to have so many girls who are new to Netball and indeed new to Dragons sport. There was of course plenty of old timers in the shape of Molly S, Tasha and Sarah to lead the way.
The tournament was huge with 22 teams representing schools from all over South East Asia and Dubai. It was an intimidating sight as we walked into the welcome meeting. But the GIS girls stuck together and all 18 of them took their place in the sponsor’s photo.
The first day of competition saw the B team take to the court first. It took a while for the team to gel and get used to each other but between Sam “never stop running” and Chloe “no ball is too high” they soon bonded together. The day saw several close games for the girls but alas the sacred victory eluded them.
The A team started their campaign against a well-established Tanglin A team. Despite taking an early lead, Tanglin came back to scrape a draw. At this point Garden knew they needed to build up a strong goal difference to ensure they made it into the cup competition. And so it began the Chinese School being the first victims of the Dragons rampage as the girls took victory with a 13-3 win. The day continued in a similar fashion with scores or 17-3, 16-5, 15-0 and 13-5. Easily securing the girls place at the top of their group and seeing them coast into the cup competition the following day. Garden were the talk of the tournament. Coaches had seen the great passing strung together by a relatively inexperienced GIS team – and they were worried!
Unfortunately the B team missed out on their place in the bowl competition but spirits were high and the girls were keen to play again on Sunday, even if in Friendlies. Against a series of teams the girls really came together and started to play some lovely netball. They narrowly missed out on a victory against POWIS and had to settle for a draw instead.
The A team had drawn old rivals Alice first. They were confident having beaten them just 3 days earlier on home turf. However, as usual Alice were hungry for a victory against GIS. They piled the pressure on and caused the GIS girls to rush, our early lead was eaten away at and unfortunately they took the game 11-10 with a penalty shot after the whistle.
The girls were devastated. They knew they hadn’t played their best and were feeling the pressure. Next up was Tanglin Green, this was a great match and GIS kept their cool to take the match 6-5. Next up was a game we knew we had to win and win big! The group was always going to be tight and the rules state in case of a tie goals scored will decide placing. And so the goal was in sight the girls knew they needed a big win and the 16-2 victory met this criteria. Confidence was back and the girls were able to do what they do best – attack!
A dominating AIS gave us a masterclass in netball and we were able to learn some valuable lessons from their experienced team. Which was perfect before our final game, a rematch against Tanglin Blue! The girls knew a win was the only option.
The GIS girls never gave up, Sahar and Clara had a great game in defense, controlling the game and stealing too many interceptions to count. In attack we were patient and waited for the right opportunity. The final hooter sounded and the girls had done all they could securing an 8-6 victory!
Now we had to wait! While the final games were played the results were added and collated. With 2 teams tied on points it went to goals scored. Had we done enough??
YES! Garden take the Silver medal!
Tactical planning had paid off and the girls got the result they truly deserved.
A great weekend with some incredible team spirit, positive attitudes and unbelievable resilience!
Well done Garden!