Two thrillers with sparkling shows of skill
Boys from Cheung Sha Wan Catholic Secondary School defended their title in the Grade A final of the inter-school volleyball competition (Division One, Kowloon) at Siu Sai Wan Sports Centre last Sunday.
The Grade A girls' team title went to STFA Cheng Yu Tung Secondary School.
Cheung Sha Wan played against Diocesan Boys' School (DBS) in the boys' final. Although Cheung Sha Wan were the reigning champions, DBS were seen as the title favourites this year because of their height advantage and skilful play.
The final proved to be a hard-fought affair. With powerful spikes and strong defence from their core players Ho Tsz-kan, Chow Hui-lun and Kenneth Kok Ho-kan, Cheung Sha Wan foiled DBS' attacks. DBS lost the first game 12-25.
DBS seemed to be heading for defeat at the start of the second game when they fell behind 1-8. Yet they rallied and unexpectedly drew level halfway through at 14-14. In the edge-of-your-seat finale, the score stood at 23-23 when DBS snatched their first lead in the game with a one-point advantage at 24-23.
Undaunted, Cheung Sha Wan boys pulled out all the stops. They made three more points to win the deuce by 26-24, and thereby retained their title.
Cheung Sha Wan coach, Ngai Chun-kuen, praised his team's spirit. He said the co-operation of team members was the key to success in the final. 'In addition to our core players, our Form Seven player and team captain Starsky Mak Tsz-chun produced an incredible performance. He was also a great leader of the team,' the coach said.
Starsky said he was delighted with the win. The team has now set their sights on the upcoming Jing Ying Tournament during the Christmas holiday. 'Our target is to defend our title,' he said.
The girls' final made for a similarly intense battle of wits and skills. It turned into a three-set thriller between Cheng Yu Tung and defending champions Heep Yunn School.
Cheung Yu Tung showed better consistency on the day and claimed their first title in Grade A competitions by beating Heep Yunn 14-25, 25-18, 15-11.
After the final, players from both sides burst into tears - either from the joy of victory or despair after the defeat.
Fung Tsz-yan, a Form Six player for Cheung Yu Tung, said the win was like a 'dream' for the team.
'After many years of hard work, we've finally accomplished our goal. This win will boost our confidence for other tournaments,' she said.
Heep Yunn's key players Lai Lok-chi and Hilary Tam Ho-yan, both Form Six students, said the team performed well despite the loss.
'We will also compete for the title in the Jing Ying Tournament, where we lost in the final last year,' Hilary added.
Heep Yunn and Cheng Yu Tung may face each other again in that tournament - or even before that, on December 11, in the final of the inter-school beach volleyball competition.