Captain Kan Weng Yean rescues the day for ACS (I) in C Division squash final

Benjamin Koh of ACS (I) playing against Fairfield Methodist's Daven Wong (in yellow) in the opening match of the Schools National C Division final. Daven won the match 8-11, 6-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-7.
Benjamin Koh of ACS (I) playing against Fairfield Methodist's Daven Wong (in yellow) in the opening match of the Schools National C Division final. Daven won the match 8-11, 6-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-7.PHOTO: DON WONG FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

When things did not go as planned at the Kallang Squash Centre, it was Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) captain Kan Weng Yean who led by example to rally his team-mates.

They had lost the first match of the C Division boys' final to Fairfield Methodist Secondary School but Weng Yean won the second match to level the scores.

It proved the spark needed as ACS (I) prevailed 3-2 and captured their first Schools National C Division squash championships title since 2010.

This was also ACS (I)'s fourth C Division final - they lost three straight from 2013-2015 - after their last title and things looked rocky when Fairfield's Daven Wong won the tense opening match 8-11, 6-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-7 against Benjamin Koh.

The 13-year-old Weng Yean, who beat Fairfield's Paterson Wong 11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 11-6, said: "There was some additional pressure because we were trailing. But I had faith in my team and I knew that if I won my game, my team-mates would win theirs as well."

They did exactly that as vice-captain Joshua Lim defeated Gabriel Soon 11-3, 11-6, 10-11 (10-12), 11-3 to push ACS (I) in front before Edward Thng sealed the comeback victory with a dominant 11-1, 11-1, 11-0 win over Zachary Say.

Fairfield's Gabriel Chow defeated Samuel Lau 11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8 in the dead rubber which did little to dampen the mood among the ACS (I) contingent, which comprised about half of the 100-strong crowd.

Edward, 13, said: "I was a little nervous because of the crowd. But the nerves went away when I started playing. I was surprised at my dominance because I thought he would hit more attacking shots.

"There wasn't really a tough part in the game, I was mostly controlling the game.

"It means a lot to me and it also feels good to win in my very first Schools National championship."

Year 2 student Joshua paid tribute to his team-mates' determination and sacrifice.

The 14-year-old said: "We've worked very hard for this moment. We trained up to 12 hours a week and went back during the June holidays. I'm ecstatic that it has paid off."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 08, 2017, with the headline 'Captain Weng Yean rescues the day for ACS (I)'. Print Edition | Subscribe