Netball: Singapore beat Hong Kong to win inaugural Hong Kong-Singapore Cup

Singapore beat Hong Kong during the inaugural Hong Kong-Singapore Cup on Sunday (Feb 19).
Singapore beat Hong Kong during the inaugural Hong Kong-Singapore Cup on Sunday (Feb 19). ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

SINGAPORE - Hosts Singapore beat Hong Kong 45-42 in a netball Test match to win the inaugural Hong Kong-Singapore Cup on Sunday (Feb 19) at Toa Payoh Sports Hall.

The hosts have just returned from a training tour of New Zealand from Feb 4-12, where they played five friendlies against club teams.

Goal shooter Charmaine Soh converted 27 out of 29 attempts to notch 93 per cent accuracy in her shooting to lead the Republic, ranked 20th in the world, to triumph over their 26th-ranked opponents.

Goal attackers Jocelyn Ng and Deborah Rowe made their international debuts. Ng played in the first three quarters and scored 14 goals on 70 per cent shooting while Rowe came in during the final quarter and scored in all four attempts.

Interim coach Yeo Mee Hong was pleased with the team's overall performance and said that the players had benefited from their training tour in New Zealand. The 52-year-old said: "The New Zealand tour allowed us to work on the players' communication and their linking through the court among the team members. We've toughened up as a team, and the players are more gelled together.

"We're still building the team up, and in the upcoming months, we hope to be able to work on our consistency. The connection between the players are still lacking at this moment.

"We introduced new players who earned their first cap today. It was good that they had some court time."

Singapore are gearing up for their SEA Games title defence this August. The national players will now focus on the local inter-club competition, the Netball Super League, which runs from March 4 to April 29.

Those who are shortlisted for the SEA Games squad will go on a training tour in Northern Ireland in June, where they will play Test matches against Papua New Guinea, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The 12-player SEA Games squad will then warm up for the biennial competition in Malaysia by going on a training tour to Fiji in July.