By Chan U-Gene
ANGLO-CHINESE School (Independent) continued their dominance of the Schools National C Boys Squash Championships when they bulldozed past St Joseph's Institution 4-1 to win their fifth consecutive title.
Yet it was difficult to tell just who the victors were in yesterday's David-versus-Goliath encounter at the Kallang Squash and Tennis Centre.
Despite SJI trailing ACS(I) throughout the final, their 70-strong contingent of students and parent supporters were in a celebratory mood from start to end, cheering the players on and passing snacks and drinks around.
SJI squash coach Gan Ai Gee explained why. 'Being here is already a victory for us because, on paper, ACS(I) and Raffles Institution were the favourites to reach the final.
'However, we ended up in the final instead after upsetting RI 3-2 in the round-robin competition.'
SJI last reached the C final in 2005, when they defeated ACS(I) to take the crown. But ACS(I) have dominated the competition since.
Yesterday, ACS(I) vice-captain Pang Ka Hoe put the contest beyond doubt when he beat SJI's Ashley Ong 11-0, 11-0, 11-1 to give his school an unassailable 3-0 lead.
'We were quite confident as we have trained very hard for this. We are really happy to make our school proud,' said the national youth player.
SJI's Darryl Tan then drew cheers from the SJI supporters when he beat Jason Tong 3-1 to improve on his school's 0-5 defeat by ACS(I) in the group stages.
Said ACS(I) coach Victor Koh: 'We expected a tough fight from SJI today as they beat RI earlier. But the boys played their hearts out and they really deserved this victory.'
This article was first published in The Straits Times.