Junyuan Primary get one last hurrah

The triumphant Junyuan Primary tchoukball team with their trophy. They beat Greendale Primary 14-11 in the final.
The triumphant Junyuan Primary tchoukball team with their trophy. They beat Greendale Primary 14-11 in the final.PHOTO: MARCUS TAN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

The team had been playing as a unit since they were in Primary 4 but never captured the national title.

Jaydon Kua, 12, and his team-mates from Junyuan Primary School's senior boys' tchoukball team finally had a last hurrah yesterday when they won the Singapore Press Holdings Foundation National Primary Schools Tchoukball Championship. They beat Greendale Primary 14-11 in the final to regain a title they last won in 2012.

Yesterday's victory was all the more poignant as it was the last time they would compete as a team before Jaydon and his mates move on to secondary school next year.

"I feel very happy," said Jaydon, the team's captain. "This is the first time we've won the nationals. Previously, due to making a lot of mistakes, we lost a few matches and got fourth place."

Trailing Greendale 6-8 at half-time, Junyuan took the lead in the second half with 21/2 minutes to play.

Greendale levelled the score at 11-11 but Junyuan retook the lead and never looked back. They eventually won 14-11.

"I told them (the boys) to cut down on their mistakes because I knew that they could do it," said Junyuan coach Lin Sun Tang, 25. He had a half-time pep talk to rally the boys.

"They have been training very hard for the past five months and I told them that they could do it and to push hard."

Lin picked out Jaydon and vice-captain Muhd Rayyan for helping "pull the team together when they're lost".

Jaydon said: "I feel that we had to make fewer mistakes and shoot to the best of our abilities and try not to let our coach down.

"Greendale are a good team as well. They have also worked hard for this tournament and they had more teamwork and communication.

"Overall, due to hard work and maybe luck, we managed to win."

Correction note: An earlier version of the story misspelt Jaydon Kua's name. We are sorry for the error.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2017, with the headline 'Junyuan Primary get one last hurrah'. Print Edition | Subscribe