Despite threats from Typhoon Mawar the Hong Kong Legal League roared back into life this weekend with 28 goals and some eyebrow raising result which suggest this could be a very interesting season.
Last seasons all conquering league and cup winners, Discovery Bay, got off to a bad start as they were beaten 2-1 by Spartans at Happy Valley. DB took the lead from an excellent Jordan Brown free kick midway through the first half but found themselves going into the break level after a classic James Woodhead toe poke at the back post – although “fat boy” and “even fatter boy” were in disagreement over this actually being an own goal. Nonetheless, Spartans came out much more organized in the 2nd half and comprehensively out battled their opponents securing an opening day 3 points through a Chris Balka goal.
Performance of the day went to Club Tropicana who put last seasons woes behind them running out impressive 5-1 winners against Mes. A first half OG and a Remi Delphas goal saw Tropics race into a 2-0 lead before Mes missed a penalty. Kyle Wagner made it 3-0 in the 2nd half before Mes pegged Tropics back but a wonder strike from 2 goals hero Wagner and 40 yard Fergus Handy lob put the game to bed and secured Tropics first opening day victory for three seasons.
J-Leaguers got off to a flying start taking the lead against Forward in the first 10 minutes before four unanswered goals turned the game on it’s head. A late consolation goal saw the scoreline finish 4-2 to Forward with the Forward manager complimenting the work ethic of his opponents throughout the match.
New boys Scottish Stags made the start they’d have wanted coming out 3-2 winners against Goodfellas with goals from Myles Winter, Jordan Touati, Lorenzo Budini securing the points. A rearguard action was required at the end of the match as Goodfellas pilled on the pressure but the Stags held firm.
Krauts showed they are not here to make up the numbers taking out Corinthians in an impressive 4-2 win. Roaring into a 2-0 lead it was looking a comfortable afternoon for Manjeets boys but the Krauts keeper had other ideas and several world class saves provided Krauts the platform from which to attack. A quick goal directly after going 2-0 down was followed up with 3 nice counter attack goals in the 2nd half with goal machine Bastian Braun getting off the mark with 2 and August Waldburg & Juni Holstein adding one each. Cors scorers Jamie Hitchmough and Marcus McMillian
Friday nights opening game of the weekend saw a 2-0 victory for USRC over newly promoted San Pelligrino’s with goals coming via Gwillym Cornes and Mark Jobling. San P’s had some first half chances which may have made a difference if converted but overall USRC ran out comfortable winners. It should also be noted that Eadie the cat had earlier out foxed Jobling from 12 yards, saving a terrible penalty!
In Division 2, curtains were pulled off on Saturday too and we saw Soho Spartan rush to a great start with a 4-0 rout of the Shooters. Golden boot winner in last season, Youngsen Li soon reported duty with two goals while Nick Dashti also scored a brace to complete this convincing victory.
New comers MBFC may need some time to adapt to the league when they were thrashed 1-6 by Revolution. Matt Creighton scored a double while Kieran Richardson, Geoffrey Gardiner, Brian Gillot and Dave Brown all put their name on the score sheet to help fix the victory, while Cao Yuxing won back some pride for MBFC with a consolation goal.
Another new team Old Speckled Men who replaced Ruby in the last minute had better luck with a 1-1 draw with BOCs. Amro Abbas and Jerry Leung were the scorers for Old Men and BOCs respectively.
There was an encounter between two new teams Shui Wei and Vikings, and we saw a potential challenger for the golden boot in the latter team. Lars Nielsen grabbed all the goals in their 4-1 victory over Shui Wei and undoubtedly he is the hero and a man to watch in future games. The consolation goal for Shui Wei was an own goal by Vikings’ keeper.
Bants, who barely missed promotion last season, geared up again for another try and they made no mistake in their 2-1 victory over Team Shotgun. A delightful footwork by Chee Wong left his marker for dead and his low cross was met by the knee of Andy Mitchell to put them ahead. Derek Huang equalized for Shotguns but Jon Irving gave Bants a precious win with a left foot top corner screamer outside the box in the last minute.
A rejuvenated Blue Samurai got a marvelous start after thrashing Legal Head 7-1. Game was quite balanced in the first 20 minutes but Blue managed to score 3 before the interval. Legal Head tried to comeback in the second half and James Dawes scored to pull one back, but pushing up just gave the space the Blues need to score 4 more goals. Chow Ho San scored a hat-trick while Ravi Sukhwani, Sam Wooly, Ahmed Jamli and Won Wook Kang all contributed a goal each to complete the score.
On Monday night, the two KCC teams had different fate. Royals were once ahead but in the end it was Young Guns who could have the last laughter. Tim Moreno, Scott Allen and Frankie Ferreira all scored a goal each but they were not enough to stop the Young Guns from clinching this 5-3 comeback victory, with all goals coming from 5 individuals who were Simon Fan, Dennis Chan, Tatlai Wong, Charles Wu and Kelvin Tsui.
The young Cavaliers had better luck who held off the challenge from TWF in the final few minutes to record a 4-3 hard fought victory. Cavaliers soon rushed to an early lead after capitalizing a mistake in the TWF defence but Wai Lee soon responded for TWF after intercepting a fatal back pass. The young guys escalated the pressure and eared a 4-1 lead, and only by then TWF woke up, rebounded and fought back, first pulled one back with a lob shot by Fung Chan. In the dying minutes Pollan Wong scored after some brilliant solo display to create some exciting moments but it was still too late for them.