Singapore: Old themes on familiar ground |
July 2, 2005
Singapore Hockey Federation
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By Eddie dos Passos/Singapore Hockey Federation
Is it going to be the same old story of the giant vanquishing the underdog or are the fans going to be treated to good old fashion entertaining hockey at Delta Sports Complex as defending men?s Premier League champions Singapore Recreation Club face off Padang neighbours Singapore Cricket Club for the league crown this evening.
It will be interesting to note as these two teams enter familiar territory heading into these finals as both SRC and SCC have met at the start of the season in the National Sixes which SRC prevailed and won in the penalty shootout.
But we are not talking about Sixes hockey and instead, it is the full blown version and as we all know, this time around it will certainly be a David versus Goliath scenario with the emphasis on SCC starring in the obvious role of David.
Looking at their head-to-head record this season, SRC have held sway posting 3-1 (home game) and 2-0 victories over the SCC side while dominating the league, maintaining an unbeaten record to close off the regular season.
SCC on the other hand, have had a tough season, finishing third in the standings and collecting five wins from 10 matches and earning 15 points from a maximum 30.
But they can be buoyed by their recent performances including last week?s semi-finals where they denied Chenab Hockey Club with their never-say-die attitude which saw them fight back from the edge of elimination and snatch a goal in the dying minute to earn a 2-2 draw and a lifeline into extra-time and then winning the resulting penalty-flick shootout.
This time around, SCC mean serious business and if they can outsmart SRC to take home the senior title, it will cap off a fantastic season for the club who have already clinched four youth titles this year.
Speaking to SCC captain and goalkeeper Christopher de Souza, he was giving little away in how they will take on SRC, only admitting there was a chance for them.
?You never really know in a final. Naturally we have a strategy but that is as far as I am going to say about it,? he said.
He was optimistic about their chances after learning his side enter the fray with a full team without injuries or suspensions.
The captain wasn?t willing to say too much or give any part of their game plan away but admitted that the past week was dotted with ?lots of special training? without emphasizing what that fully meant.
He felt too that playing against Chenab was one game while SRC provided new obstacles and he would not be put on the spot to compare the two matches or an outcome.
?It?s a different game and there are different stakes so I can?t really answer,? he said.
SRC have more positives than negatives entering the final. They have had a solid season without fail and they go into the meeting without any injuries or suspensions with the exception of Ramesh Thagarajan who is out of town on personal business.
SRC will also see the welcome return of their seasoned goalkeeper Lawrence Lee, who missed last week?s semis? after attending to his father?s funeral arrangements.
SRC captain Edwin Tan had only one word when rating his side?s chances to again lift the trophy, ?Good?.
His team is overflowing with confidence although Tan admitted they were given a fright in last week?s semi-final when a battling Jansenites gave them a stern test before SRC walked away 5-1 winners.
The confidence level is on such a high that they are taking the game as any normal league encounter instead of a winner-takes-all final as it is supposed to be.
?The boys know what needs to be done and will play according to our game plan,? he said.
Even where normal commonsense would dictate to planning out a strategy against their tricky Padang neighbours, SRC will take whatever is thrown at them in their stride.
?Nope, we will play our normal game,? he said.
Schedule at Delta Sports Complex:
Women?s Premier League final:
Singapore Recreation Club vs Theresians, 17.00
Men?s Premier League final:
Singapore Recreation Club vs Singapore Cricket Club, 19.00
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