The Malaysian national junior netball team had to dig deep into their reserves to edge Singapore 51-41, for their third consecutive win in the 7th Asian Youth Netball championship at the Thyagaraj Stadium in New Delhi this afternoon.
Malaysia aiming to win the championship for the fourth consecutive time, had to fight tooth and nail in the first two quarters, before slowly but surely pulling away in the third and final quarter.
However, Singapore gave the Malaysians a run for their money till the final whistle.
In the first quarter, Malaysia led by a single goal with the score standing 13-12.
In the second quarter, Singapore had the edge by scoring nine goals to Malaysia’s eight, but both teams were tied 21-21 for the break.
In the third quarter, Malaysia managed to pull away by scoring 15 goals to Singapore’s 9 for a score of 36-30.
Singapore tried hard to level terms with Malaysia in the final quarter, but Malaysia managed to score 15 goals against Singapore’s 11 goals for a final score of 51-41.
There was indeed relief from the Malaysian camp and Malaysian Netball Association’s president, Suraya Yaacob conceded that it was a close call.
“However, I am proud of the players for fighting hard till the final whistle for this hard earned victory,” said Suraya.
“There were anxious moments especially in the first two quarters, but the girls kept the composure to go about their normal game without panicking. In the end, they were rewarded for their determined and disciplined effort.”
It was Norashikin Kamal Zaman again who top scored for Malaysia with a total of 43 from 53 attempts while Izyan Syazana Mohd Wazir scored the remaining eight goals from her ten attempts.
Norashikin had scored 69 goals on Sunday in Malaysia’s 104-10 victory of Thailand.
In the second match of the day today, Sri Lanka defeated Thailand 67-39.
Malaysia plays Sri Lanka tomorrow before their final round-robin match against host India on Wednesday.
All indications are that Malaysia will play Singapore in the final on Saturday. The top four teams from the six teams competing will play in the semi finals on Friday.