Double joy for VJC as they bag A Division floorball titles , Latest School Sports News - The New Paper
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Double joy for VJC as they bag A Division floorball titles

Outwardly, Victoria Junior College (VJC) floorballer Gerald Tan looked calm as he strode to the centre of the court to take his penalty during the shoot-out in the A Division boys’ final against Raffles Institution (RI) on May 16.

But the 16-year-old admitted he was trembling and his mind was in a whirl as he tried to keep his focus while the hundreds of fans packed into the sports hall at Our Tampines Hub held their breath.

The stakes were high, with the score tied at 2-2 and RI having failed to score first as the shoot-out entered sudden death.

In the end, Gerald did what he does best, dribbling the ball towards goal before whipping it into the back of the net.

Then he let his emotions all out as he ran in jubilation towards his teammates to celebrate a third consecutive title for VJC.

“I feel like it was the longest walk I’ve ever taken to the centre of the court,” he said. “But I know my teammates all have my back, my goalkeeper did his job and what was left was for me to put the game away.”

The winning effort was Gerald’s fourth goal in the final, after he scored twice as the match ended 4-4 in regulation time and dispatched a penalty in the shoot-out.

Little separated the two teams, with VJC breaking the deadlock 12 minutes into the first period through Amirul Hakimi Fauzi during a power play.

RI responded quickly, with captain Caedan Tan scoring twice for a 2-1 lead at the end of the first period.

A strike by Ayden Irfan Mohamed Yazid and two goals from Gerald turned the tide in VJC’s favour.

Then it was RI’s turn to come back through Tan Kai Zhe before Caedan completed his hat-trick to tie the score at 4-4.

In the shoot-out, RI’s Charles Alexander and Caedan converted their efforts, while VJC scored through Ayden and Gerald. But Charles missed his sudden-death attempt, leaving Gerald to seal the tie.

JC 1 student Gerald said: “Everyone was really nervous and on edge during that last period and the penalty shoot-out, but I’m glad we could put it away in such an intense fashion.”

VJC captain Jayden Ng admitted there was pressure to maintain the school’s winning streak, but felt that the team handled it well together.

The JC 2 student, 17, said: “As a team we are very supportive, so even when we make mistakes, we don’t blame one another.

“Being able to calmly work out our problems has helped us improve throughout this championship.”

While it was RI’s third straight loss in the final, Caedan was proud of how close his team were to the title this year.

He said: “It’s a bit tough for us to take, but I’m proud of my team for bringing it to penalties and coming back in the last period when we were trailing.”

There was double joy for VJC as their girls’ team clinched their first A Division title since 2019 with a 3-1 victory over defending champions River Valley High School.

River Valley took the lead through Tan Shi Hui, but VJC avenged their final loss to the same rivals in 2023 with goals from Goh Yi Xuan, Gwenn Tan and Gabrielle Chiang.

VJC captain Nur Zabirah Shariffudin said the team were determined to get the win this year.

Zabirah, 17, said: “The team have worked really hard. We’ve put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears just for this season and it really showed from the start. We never gave up, were never complacent and fought till the end.”

It was not the outcome they had hoped for, but River Valley captain Chia Kang Hui said: “We put up a really tough fight and for that, I’m proud of my team for coming so far.”