After a topsy-turvy C Division boys' badminton final, it seemed almost cruel that it was a careless error on match point that handed Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) a dramatic 3-2 win over the Singapore Sports School (SSP).
Not that ACS (I)'s match-winner Chin Yuan Tian minded as he was mobbed by his jubilant team-mates at the Jurong East Sports Hall.
The Secondary 2 student's 12-21, 21-12, 21-15 over Ryan Tan not only prevented SSP from achieving a clean sweep of all four finals yesterday, but also delivered ACS (I)'s first C Division title since 2000.
Yuan Tian, 13, said: "When I got the winning point, I felt a huge sense of relief as I was glad the match was finally over. Instantly, the championship trophy flashed through my mind.
"The entire team was depending on me, but I just tried to complete the game to the best of my abilities. I put on the best fight I could give."
SSP had taken the lead through Marcus Tan when he beat ACS(I)'s Tong Xian Yi 21-11, 21-18 in the opening singles match.
Team captain Jacob Tan then partnered Kendric Cheng to a 22-20, 21-18 win over SSP's Torance Jng and Nge Joo Jie in the first doubles match to level the tie.
That gave them the belief despite being underdogs, said Jacob, 14. He added: "It's really an amazing feeling, because we have been training so hard for this day, and I couldn't have asked for a better team."
SSP regained the lead when Kenny Khew beat Basile Koh 21-18, 18-21, 21-17 before ACS(I) responded in the second doubles match as Chua Siang Ray and Larry Lim defeated SSP's Lucas Saw and Johann Prajogo 21-9, 21-15.
"The win's been a long time coming. For the players to come so far and do so well, it really brings a lot of satisfaction to not just me, but to the players themselves and to the school," said ACS (I) C Division coach Samuel Sim, 51, who also was in charge of the team in 2000.
It was still a productive outing for SSP, who won all four schools badminton titles last year, settling for three instead this year.
They beat Raffles Institution 5-0 in the B Division final. Their girls' team beat Singapore Chinese Girls' School 4-1 in the C Division final and Raffles Girls' School 4-1 for the B Division crown.
SSP's B Division captain Aaron Yong praised his team-mates' humility and winning mentality. He said: "We expected a tough fight, but overall, we played very well and played to our potential."
Correction note: This story has been edited to correct the name of SSP's B Division captain Aaron Yong. We are sorry for the error.