Week 21: Bants are relegated, Dragon Valley Shock San Ps and Shui Wei go 4 points clear at the top

  As DBFC lifted the trophy to celebrate their 2019 title, Bants were relegated after a 4-1 defeat to the Scots. Krauts were on a great escape mission from the relegation zone but were stopped in their tracks by the Champions, losing 3-1 and things don't look bright for them ... Posted at 10:30PM on March 27, 2019 Week 21: Bants are relegated, Dragon Valley Shock San Ps and Shui Wei go 4 points clear at the top

 

As DBFC lifted the trophy to celebrate their 2019 title, Bants were relegated after a 4-1 defeat to the Scots. Krauts were on a great escape mission from the relegation zone but were stopped in their tracks by the Champions, losing 3-1 and things don't look bright for them following a victory for Forward over Trops. Trops weren't happy with the referee, especially with the game finely poised at 2-2 when the ref decided to award Forward a penalty kick. Forward converted and Trops never managed to recover from the decision, losing the game 6-3. This means Forward require just another victory to secure their top flight status for next season given their superior Goal Difference over Krauts.

 

Elsewhere in the league, Cors without their star player, Manjeet Brar, lost the game 4-0 to Wan Chai Spartans. Wan Chai Spartans have been tipped by Cors Manager, Dan Hackett, as the team to watch next season if they keep the current crop of players.

 

Sohos, who also require a win to guarantee top flight status for next season, lost 3-1 to JLeaguers. JLeaguers came out strong, taking a 2-0 lead and swiftly restored a 2 goal cushion when Sohos had pulled a goal back. 

 

On Friday, the Cup finalist, USRC faced the Plate finalist, Goodfellas. USRC won the game 4-1 but it was Goodfellas who led at half time and could have been more had it not been for the USRC keeper. Then Goodfellas fell apart in the second half, gifting USRC a penalty to bring the game back to level terms followed by more defensive mistakes to allow USRC to take all 3 points.

 

Another week and another twist in the Division 2 title and promotion race which is now officially providing more thrills and spills than an open bar at Fire House. With Mes laying it all out, San Pells in a sticky patch and Revo creeping up from behind, all 3 sides are digging deep, fully engaged and searching for the key penetration at the perfect time.

 

San Pells had been the favourites for promotion just a few weeks ago but having suffered a disappointing defeat to KCC Cavs and despite bouncing back against Old Speckled Men, the pressure was on as they took on a tricky Dragon Valley side. Their cause was not helped by only managing to muster up 10 players at such a crucial point in the season and this was to prove costly as DV evidenced again that they are no pushovers in their debut LL season. In a tight game where Pells had come closest to taking the lead, the deadlock was broken at the other end where Justin Davis rose highest to flick home a whipped corner. Despite pressure at the death, DV hung on for probably their best result of the season as they saw out a stubborn 1-0 victory to really put the beast amongst the birds.

 

Mes, therefore, had the chance to create a 4 point lead at the top (with Revo not playing until Monday) and they had no trouble in doing so, swatting aside Wanchai Wolves 7-2. As if any further evidence was needed of the attacking threat carried by the only unbeaten side in the Legal League system this season, this took their jaw-dropping tally to 98 goals scored in 19 league games. Add into that the fact that the Mes boys have a cup final to look forward to (having disposed of Div 1 opposition en route) and it all equates to a memorable year for this excellent side. The damage on this occasion was done by Lar Finnerty (3), Massie Kallon (2), David Quimbayo and Chris Delaglesia. For Wolves, Jason Wong and Henry Li got the consolations as they can draw some positives from a strong first 20 minutes and all in all a good first season.

 

So over to Revo and despite starting the campaign with 2 draws and a defeat, they have put together a dream run since and were looking to make it 15 wins from their last 16 games as they took on KCC Royals on Monday night. In a physical battle full of blood and thunder with tackles flying and temperatures raised, the referee was unable to control the situation, demonstrating a number of bizarre and baffling moments (decisions would imply he was actually decisive). Revo took the lead late in the first half when a long goal kick was flicked on to Matt Creighton who lobbed the keeper. In the second period, the game settled down slightly and Revo began to create some decent opportunities but were unable to find a way past an inspired goalkeeping display. These misses would prove costly as Sam Wolstenholme dropped a shoulder and whipped a beauty into the far corner from 25 yards to level things up with just 10 minutes to go. Knowing that only a win would do, Revo went on the offensive again and got their reward as Matt ‘Le Tissier’ Creighton added his second, dinking beautifully over the final defender before volleying home. Jamie Kelly then made sure of the points as he burst away before drilling a low shot that not even this keeper could get a hand on.

 

In the remaining fixture, Old Speckled Men came away with a highly impressive 2-1 victory over KCC Cavs. In a good game of football with both sides looking to play, OSM surged into a 2 goal lead thanks to a James Chambers double. Cavs managed to pull one back in the most un-Cavs way possible as they converted from a corner with top-scorer Nikhil Narwani the grateful recipient. In a quiet second half, OSM were happy to hold and protect what they had (which proved to be the right strategy), as they saw out the game despite the growing tension, ensuring the Monday night pitch side beers tasted that much sweeter after a fine result. The 3 points also meaning that they are now just 1 behind Wanchai Wolves in the jostle for mid-table places.

 

In Division 3, Shui Wei were afforded the chance to move clear at the top with their nearest rivals Samurai Blue not in action. Since the league split, the Shenzhen based team have been scoring for fun and this trend continued against BOCs. Shui Wei got off to a flyer scoring virtually straight from kick-off before adding a second moments later with Marin Magre and John Coquelin on target. Credit to BOCs who could easily have let their heads drop but didn’t as they fought back to draw level through Jase Lee and Rick Man. With the momentum behind them, BOCs then wasted a great opportunity to take the lead and it was to prove very costly as their opponents re-established a 2 goal advantage by half time.  Both sides went for it in the second half creating a pulsating game which was eventually ended as a contest as Shui Wei benefited from a ricochet before adding a 6th. BOCs were able to pull a further goal back through Mo Lemistef to make the final score 6-3 in a real cracker. SW other goals were shared between Tristan Massart and Eric Keck who got a brace each.

 

In the only other game in Division 3 this week, Legal Head saw off MBFC 3-0 on a wet and misty afternoon in Tuen Mun. After dominating possession, creating plenty of chances and playing their best football in months, Legal eventually took the lead with a Head as James Daws nodded in a corner on his return to the side. After a bit of fortune from a defensive mix up, 1 became 2 when Michael Frank took full advantage to establish a decent half time position. MBFC offered a little more threat on the break during the next 40 but Head were always in control despite coming up against a fine goalkeeping display from Boys stopper. After being nullified by a host of good saves and the underside of the bar, the 3rd eventually came late on when Franks got his second following a decent move to cap off an excellent all round display.

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