The title race in division three looks set to go right down to the wire as two points separate the top three, with Stray Dogs the main benefactors over the weekend. The Dogs dominated the first quarter against BOC and Kaki Tsang’s ‘boomerang’ free kick around the wall broke the deadlock. Silvio Jit then danced around players before squaring for Leo Mimasu to find the corner. Good work from Dan Yee then set up Nathan Lui and it was 3-0 at half time. Taking their foot off the gas allowed BOC back into the game after the interval though and Matt Chan then Harsha Matura pulled goals back, but Stray Dogs held firm. Shooters also won narrowly with a one nil success against Dragon Valley thanks to Haruto Matsumoto’s goal midway through the second half. The win leaves them a point clear at the top with two games of the regular 21 game season left to play.
Bants remain in a respectable fourth place after a 3-2 win against third placed Dong Feng Express. In a similar fashion to the SD v BOC game, it was Bants who raced into a three-nil lead before the first water break as Perry Sea, Oliver Allcock and Thomas Hale bagging the goals. Despite the heat and a number of injuries, DF fought back with a goal from Li Yong Sen, who then turned provider for Liu Sheng Duo. DF pushed for the equalizer and thought they had it, but for a lineman’s offside flag. In the final div three game, not many details to go on, only that HK ZJ overcame Barbarians 4-2 thanks to a Kong Wai Lo double and singles from Yu Xing Cao and Xiao Yi Liu while Wong Kang Man and Stanley Thijjsen got the Barbs strikes.
Into division two, where HK Scottish Eagles threw their name well and truly into the promotion race after thumping KCC Royals 7-2, moving them above KCC on goal difference and into the top two. Eagles were 2-1 up at HT but ran away with it in the second half thanks to a Ciaran Harte hat-trick, a Will Banner Brace and one apiece from Sam Wolstenholme and Pierre Mounal. Luca Merlone and Raphael Bouchet got the goals for the Royals but they were outclassed. Krauts have all but sewn up top spot after a fine 5-0 win against Wanchai Wolves in the heat at Tai Po. Roberto Pascarelli opened the scoring from the spot and Simon Ranke doubled the lead before the water break. With a large squad to rotate, fresh legs came on in the second half and Jan Lommer, Kei San Chan and Pascarelli’s second ensured an emphatic win for the German outfit. A world class save from the Vikings keeper Martin Raffli helped preserve his side’s clean sheet on the way to a 2-0 win against Legal Head, though it may be too little too late in their fight to avoid the drop. Chris Abild and Rasmus Brendenborg got the all important goals for the Viking men. Lastly in div 2, Limbu Rishi Hang (again) and Ahmed Jemli got the Sam Blue goals in a 2-0 win against Mes, who never got going. That pulls Sam Blue 4 points clear of Mes, who stay second bottom and have a mountain to climb with two games left.
In division one, USRC Gunners struggled past Corinthians 2-1 to leave them needing just one win to seal the title. Cors took an early lead as veteran Andrew Mitchell strolled forward from right wing back to put one into the top corner from 25 yards. James Lewis nodded in an equalizer before half time then Marcus McMillan arrowed a strike home from the edge of the box mid-way through the second half, and USRC withstood late Cors pressure to bag all the points. DBFC were held to a battling 3-3 draw with Revolution, who still need a miracle to avoid the drop but aren’t going down without a fight. Trailing 3-1 at the break thanks to Ethan Squires (2) and Enzo Gomes’, Revs fought back bravely in the second half. Geoff Gardiner got a penalty in the final quarter to make it 3-2 before Calvin Chan equalized 10 minutes from the end to earn a share of the spoils. Joe Johnson had gotten the first goal for Revs.
Soho Spartans overcame J-Leaguers comprehensively thanks to a Marc Beaton hat-trick, as Soho soaked up the JL pressure then caught them on the counterattack three times, the last one with the last kick of the game. HK Scottish Stags also won 3-0, all be it against Goodfellas who ran out of steam in the second half. Will Bright, Miles Winter and Mehdi Bobak scored the goals in 15 quickfire minutes that Fellas were unable to recover from. Lastly on Monday, in another entertaining clash involving KCC Cavs, they went down 6-3 to Wanchai Spartans. Sparts found themselves 5-1 up because of goals from Jorginho, Oli Baijings (2), Ali Thompson and Dan Barrie. Gabriel Ho got the solitary first half KCC goal and Brad Du Plooy got the second after the interval, as Cavs threatened to make a game of it, but an OG made it 6-2. Alvin Shum Yu Wai got a late third for KCC to add a modicum of respectability to the score line. With three games left, KCC remain two points clear of Cors, who stay second bottom a further five clear of Revolution in the battle to avoid relegation.