Week 19: Trops win a crucial 6 pointer, Cavs win gives hope and Shui Wei fight it out with Samurai Blue

DBFC are a point away from the Championship following a victory for them and defeat for 2nd place JLeaguers. DBFC beat Forward 3-1 as the bad run continues for the reigning champions. Wan Chai Spartans beat JLeaguers 2-1 to end any chance they had of catching DBFC. Since the title is pretty ... Posted at 4:33PM on March 12, 2019 Week 19: Trops win a crucial 6 pointer, Cavs win gives hope and Shui Wei fight it out with Samurai Blue

DBFC are a point away from the Championship following a victory for them and defeat for 2nd place JLeaguers. DBFC beat Forward 3-1 as the bad run continues for the reigning champions. Wan Chai Spartans beat JLeaguers 2-1 to end any chance they had of catching DBFC.

Since the title is pretty much wrapped up, the same can't be said about the relegation zone as Forward continue to slip closer towards the bottom 2 and have only picked up a point from their last 4 games.  Elsewhere, there were big wins for Sohos and Trops as they edged away from the relegation. Sohos dominated the game and ran into a 2-0 lead in the first half but had to content with a nervy ending when Goodfellas pulled a goal back with minutes remaining. Trops and Bants headed into the fixture with only 3 points separating the two teams, with bottom-placed team Bants aiming to go level on points with Trops. Bants were unable to take their chances were left to ponder what it could have been at the end of a 3-1 defeat. Krauts battled to a 2-2 draw with HK Scottish to continue their unbeaten run as they aim to achieve one of the greatest escape of Legal League history.

USRC and Corinthians had a match with nothing to fight for. USRC winning the first half 1-0 but they couldn't hold on, as Corinthians equalised to tie the game on a peaceful Friday night.

The three way battle at the top intensified further this weekend in Division 2 with Mes, Revolution and San Pellegrino all vying for the prize of top division football next year. With just 2 promotion spots on offer, any slip up at this stage could un-do an entire season of hard work and with competitive fixtures week in week out, the question is who can hold their bottle at this critical point.

Revolution had the chance to go top of the table for the weekend at least with their nearest rivals both playing on Monday, but it was sure to be a difficult challenge against a Dragon Valley side eager to stand toe to toe. In the driving rain and swirling wind at TKO, pretty football was the main casualty as both sides struggled a little to piece anything meaningful together in the opening exchanges. Indeed it was from a more direct route that the deadlock was broken as a deep free kick was clipped to the far post where Revo’s Carsten Jancker (Tim Rechter) duly obliged to head home. This settled the nerves slightly and after a good move and a delightful cross from the right, that man Rechter was there again to stick his big bonce on the ball and double his tally just before the break. Whatever fire and brimstone was dished out at HT worked wonders for Dragons as they came out flying in the second period. After missing a couple of presentable opportunities, they grabbed a deserved way back in to the game as the ever dangerous left winger squared for Max Remington to finish smartly on the run. DV were not able to maintain this momentum and the game drifted slightly until with just a couple of minutes left, Revo made sure of the points and top spot as Jamie Kelly smashed home via the crossbar to continue his fine form in front of goal.

In the other game played on Saturday, Wanchai Wolves took on Old Speckled Men with both sides looking to finish the season strong. Wolves had been slightly unlucky last time out going down narrowly to San Pells but as has been the case so often this season, inconsistency struck again as OSM re-captured their form (and their full team of players it seems) as they cruised to a 3-0 success. Johnny White was the hat-trick hero for the side looking up the league and after already showing remarkable progress from last season and proving they are a match for anyone on their day, the Speckles will at least be satisfied with how this campaign has gone. A big match against San Pells is next up for them as they play their game in hand whereas Wolves will have a week off before their testing encounter with Mes.

Before that though Mes travelled to Kings Park on Monday night to take on a KCC Royals side who never give anything away cheaply. So it proved again as they pushed Mes all the way thanks in part to an inspired goalkeeper dusting off his gloves as he came out of retirement to turn in a fine display. Mes had enough quality to find the victory though as Laurence Finnerty, Yianni Kyriacou and Chris Delaglesia helped them to a crucial 3-2 win. Luca Merlone struck twice in consolation for Royals who will have a big say in the title race with Revolution and San Pells still to play.

Pells will not be relishing another trip to Kings Park any time soon as they were dismantled 4-0 by a much improved Cavs side. This result completed a double over the favourites for promotion for the young KCC side and blew the title race wide open in the process. Not helped by a straight red card after only 15 minutes, San Pells crumbled on Monday night as Nikhil Narwani (2), Gauravdeep Singh Pansotra and Jordan Jarvis found the back of the net whereas Pells were uncharacteristically wasteful hitting the post a couple of times and missing a sitter of their own on a real off night. They will have the chance to get back in to the top 2 again as they play their game in hand on Saturday but with the big 3 all still to play each other, the cushion has gone.

Division 3 is also giving the hordes of neutral fans an entertaining title race with the big game at the top taking place between Shui Wei and Vikings. In what was expected to be a close encounter, it was anything but as the team from north of the border smashed the Scandinavians 7-0. Niko Ntti (3), Marin Magre (2), Tristan Massart and Evan Forrester were all on target to ensure that Shui Wei remain top and have now accumulated an aggregate score of 16-0 in their last two matches – talk about laying a marker down. Vikings were left to lick their wounds and now falling 7 points behind the leaders can probably forget about pillaging silverware this campaign.

With that result, Samurai Blue knew that only a win would do against MBFC to keep the heat on. After a less than clinical display (and match report), the Blues found themselves a goal to the good at the interval. In a game punctuated by a whistle happy referee and a linesman with a flag provided only as a souvenir, MBFC were able to frustrate their more technically accomplished opponents for large periods. Ultimately the class did show though as Ahmed Jemli (2), Peio Burucoa and after a case of mistaken identity Rifan Azis sealed a pretty comprehensive 4-0 win to keep Samurai just 1 point behind Shui Wei in what now looks like a 2 horse race for the title.

BOC have proven themselves tough to beat despite their lowly league ranking and have been close in many games this season. This was to be another day of nearly but not quite against Young Guns as a dull first half ended 0-0 with little incident of note. Tired legs and injured bodies played a part in the second half as the ball was needlessly given away and YG capitalized to head home the opener through Albert Tong.  With momentum on their side, Young Guns sealed the points and Albert grabbed his second following a neat turn and finish to leave the defenders Tong-tied.

In the final game, Legal Head were in need of a result having suffered heavy defeats of late, most notably shipping 9 to Shui Wei last week. They were able to welcome back some of their absentees and despite the departure of Head legend Doug Simmons, went in to their game with Shooters confident of putting in a display. An eventful cameo from Andy Mitchell where he managed to score, get elbowed in the head then go to work all in the space of 20mins gave LH the lead. In classic Legal League circumstances the referee then had a big impact as he awarded a pen to Shooters which was converted by Kaito Nishida to level things up before Head had 2 big shouts for a penalty of their own turned down during a mad goalmouth scramble after a free kick had hit the bar. Eventually though this would not matter as hard working centre forward Darragh Keenan got his reward as he flicked a header home to secure a 2-1 victory.

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