Netball: Hosts Singapore beat Ireland 52-37 for a winning start to Mission Foods Nations Cup

SINGAPORE - Singapore got off to a strong start at the Mission Foods Nations Cup netball tournament on Sunday (Sept 4), beating Ireland 52-37 to win their first match.

Ireland drew first blood at the OCBC Arena, scoring three goals three minutes into the match.

The hosts trailed 4-6 in the first quarter, before pulling ahead with nifty passes and quick footwork to lead 14-10 at the end of the quarter.

Singapore's goal attacker Pamela Liew opened the second quarter with a goal. Although Ireland fired back with five consecutive goals to level the score, the hosts remained steady and led 23-20 at half-time.

Singapore coach Ruth Aitken made three substitutions to start the second half, fielding wing defender Parveen Nair, goalkeeper Shina Teo and goal attacker Zhang Ailin.

Led by captain Vanessa Lee, whose quick interceptions gave her team more possession, Singapore finished the third quarter with a five-point lead (35-30) over their Irish opponents.

Buoyed by a raucous home crowd of 1,910, there was no turning back for the hosts in the final quarter as they powered ahead to post their first win of the tournament.

Said shooter and co-vice captain Charmaine Soh, who scored 43 of Singapore's points: "It's our first match and we were nervous at the beginning, but I'm glad we calmed down as the game went on."