SINGAPORE - This was unfamiliar territory for Queensway Secondary School, defending champions and overwhelming favourites for the B Division girls football title.
Just six minutes of Friday's (April 12) final had elapsed and they were already a goal behind to Bowen Secondary School.
Not only did Queensway have five members in their starting XI who were national players - Bowen had none - but the 2015 champions had not conceded a goal during this season's competition. Through seven games and 490 minutes in the group stage and semi-final, their backline had not been breached.
Led by star midfielder Putri Nur Syaliza, Queensway recovered from that early setback and relied on their experience and quality as they thrashed their rivals 7-1 at Our Tampines Hub for a one-sided win.
Putri scored twice to bring her season tally to 27 goals - she was the tournament's top scorer - while striker Dorcas Chu finished her last B Division match with a hat trick.
Putri, 16, said: "We let in the goal because weren't warmed up properly and we weren't focused on the match yet. We arrived late because there was a traffic jam on the way here so we when we reached everything was rushed."
Bowen's striker Rachel Chan took advantage of that initial disorientation. She had found herself unmarked in the Queensway penalty area and calmly slotted the ball past goalkeeper Hazel Lim.
Their lead however, lasted only four minutes. Queensway were awarded a penalty after midfielder Atikah Ardini was fouled. She made no mistake with her spot-kick.
Thirteen minutes later, Putri dribbled into the Bowen penalty box and despite having three defenders closing her down, managed to score to give Queensway the lead.
On the stroke of half time, left winger Summer Chong scored Queensway's third to double their advantage. Goals from Dorcas and Putri in the second half completed the comfortable victory.
Dorcas was thrilled with her contribution and dedicated her opening goal to teammate Lim Yoke Peng, who missed the final due to injury.
The 16-year-old said: "I'm really happy that I scored three goals because it's my last year in this school so I'm glad I ended it with a bang."
Putri added that her team needed time to get comfortable on the field.
"We were very shaky initially but we slowly built up our confidence and started focusing on our tactics so that helped us to play better. "
The score may have been one-sided but Bowen's captain Eva Rushdina, 15, was nevertheless proud of the attitude shown by her teammates.
"During our training we would work on passing and building up the play. We managed to execute that during the final despite not really doing it in the previous matches," said the defender.
"We put in our hundred percent and if this is what the scoreline is then there's nothing much that we can do."