Singapore cracks through for first win

SINGAPORE has finally broken through for its first win over the tournament, scraping home against Sri Lanka in the second preliminary group stage by just three goals. The lowest ranked nation at the tournament way down in 28th, Singapore was able to knock off the 15th placed Sri Lanka in a thrilling, topsy-turvy contest, 55-52.

It started off like a house on fire with the first term going 19-10 the way of Singapore to get its campaign off on the right note. Despite towering Sri Lanka goal shooter Tharjini Sivalingam (10 goals from 12 attempts) proving a challenge, goal keeper Jamie Lim was holding her own with two intercepts despite giving up a whopping 32cm in height.

Luckily for Lim, here teammates were getting it done in midcourt, with Angelina Lim and Ting Fang Khor picking up a combined 14 goal assists. Not committing a general play turnover while finishing with four intercepts and five gains for the quarter, Singapore had the upper hand.

That changed in the second term though, when Sri Lanka opted to sub out Sivalingam with Thishala Algama, while Chathurangi Jayasooriya moved to goal defence, switching with Gayani Dissanayake who rolled back to goal keeper. That seemed to do the trick as Algama went on a shooting rampage in the term, piling on 15 goals from 17 attempts, while Semini Alwis (two goals at 100 per cent and nine goal assists) were fluent in attack.

The defensive pairing of Lim and Shu Ning Yew began to panic a little more as the Singapore penalties rose to 30 for the term after being just 14 in the opening quarter. Similarly, after not committing a turnover in the opening term, Singapore coughed up the ball seven times and went from 63 per cent time in possession to just 35 in the second quarter.

Needing to regain ascendancy after a 19-goal turnaround in favour of Sri Lanka, Singapore brought on Reena Manogaran to replace Yew, with Lim moving from goal keeper to goal defence. That seemed to do the trick, with Amandeep Chahal scoring 10 goals from 11 attempts and Angelina Lim having another seven goal assists, as the defensive pairing up the other end got back on top. Algama still scored 13 goals, but Jamie Lim shut down Alwis who failed to score.

Sri Lanka rolled the dice bringing Sivalingam back onto court for the final term, while Singpore’s only change saw Khor come off in exchange for Yi Jie Tan in centre after Sri Lanka shot four consecutive goals to level proceedings four minutes in.

It was neck-and-neck throughout, with Chahal becoming the savour shooting three consecutive goals in the final few minutes. Sivalingam gave Sri Lanka some hope with a goal to cut the deficit to two with a minute to play, but Singapore cleverly chewed up the clock and Chahal final goal – her 10th of the quarter – resulted in a final margin of three, 55-52.

Jamie Lim won Player of the Match, finishing with three intercepts, four gains and seven deflections, while Aqilah Andin (three intercepts, three gains and three deflections) did well out of wing defence. In the front third, Angelina Lim finished with 24 goal assists, while Chahal (32 goals from 36 attempts) and Toh (23 from 29) both shared the scoring load.

For Sri Lanka, despite only playing a half each, Algama (28 goals from 31 attempts) and Sivalingam (22 from 27) had some big numbers, doing almost all of the scoring, while Alwis shot two goals at 100 per cent, while having a team-high 23 goal assists.

Jamaica (61) defeated Uganda (49)

Jamaica proved far too strong for Uganda in the first half of their contest with the Sunshine Girls racing out to a 17-goal lead at half-time. Though the She Cranes did show their improvement by cutting the final break margin back to 12 goals, they could not make any further inroads and went down, 61-49.

Despite playing a in a loss, Shadiah Nassanga earned Player of the Match honours or 15 goals in 18 attempts and 10 goal assists, helping share the load with Mary Cholhok (28 goals from 33 attempts and five rebounds). Jamaican shooters Jhaniele Fowler (28 goals), Romelda Aiken-George (15) and Shanice Beckford (10) all shot at 100 per cent in the win.

England (72) defeated Tonga (46)

Experience proved key for the Roses who took care of Tonga by 26 goals to remain undefeated in the World Cup. Getting away to a strong start to lead by 16 goals at half-time, Tonga showed some great fight in the third term, before England kicked clear again in the final quarter to run out 72-46 winners.

Midcourter Imogen Allison (eight goal assists, four intercepts) earned Player of the Match honours, with the Roses getting everyone on court once again. The likes of Eleanor Cardwell (30 goals from 34 attempts) and Helen Housby (29 from 33) were both prolific. For Tonga, Uneeq Palavi shot 37 goals from 42 attempts, while Hulita Veve hauled in a massive six intercepts and had 11 goal assists.

South Africa (69) defeated Trinidad & Tobago (28)

South Africa stormed to a massive win over Trinidad & Tobago with a full four-quarter performance. The Calypso Girls tried hard early to reduce the deficit and only trail by six goals at quarter time, but the Proteas stormed to a massive win off the back of 51 goals to 16 in the final three terms and win, 69-28.

Nichole Taljaard was superb shooting 24 goals from 30 attempts, as well as having 15 goal assists, two rebounds and one intercept en route to the Player of the Match honour. Shadine Van der Merwe (three intercepts and only five penalties) and Bongi Msomi (16 goal assists one intercept) were crucial in midcourt. For the losing side, Afeisha Noel (11 goals from 13 attempts) and Joelisa Cooper (10 from 11) both tried hard in the shooting circle.

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