Table tennis: Raffles prove mettle against Singapore Sports School

They beat S'pore Sports School 3-2 in q-final round; RI coach disputes his first red card in 20 years

It was not even a final, yet had been touted as a must-watch of the year's school sports season.

Still, the Schools National B Division Table Tennis Championships quarter-final round showdown between Raffles Institution (RI) and the Singapore Sports School (SSP) served up a lot more spice than expected, before RI wrapped up the tie 3-2.

As if the political drama over a selection row that surrounded the tie was not enough, the match also saw RI's coach sent off.

With RI leading 2-1 in the best-of-five tie, doubles pair Yee Jin Koi and Chua Shao Shxuan were in the driver's seat to send their school to victory.

But the duo were left to play the bulk of their match without the guidance of coach Li Shuhe. He was sent away from the playing area after being issued a red card for exceeding the one minute allowed to advise players during intervals.

Li had already been issued a yellow card for a similar time violation in the tie's first match.

Said Li, who watched on silently as his charges fought off three match points to win the match 3-2: "What the umpire should have done is come to me, show me the card and tell me what rule I've violated.

"Nobody knows what she's showing the cards for when she's doing so from her seat."