Yau Yee League: All Over Bar The Shouting
The class act of the 2011/12 Yau Yee League season, Kowloon Cricket Club’s Dragons, need just two points from their remaining four games to seal a magnificent campaign with a deserved title, their first for over ten years.
The fire-breathing Dragons are an amazing eleven points clear at the top of the table after ending any remaining discussions about the destiny of the silverware on Sunday, when they overcame second-placed 816 by a narrow 1-0 scoreline. A tight game was settled by a penalty from KCC right-back John O’Reilly.
“With both teams set up in the same way the game was very cagey for long periods,” said Dragons boss Luke Schroder. “There were very few clear cut chances and it looked as if a 0-0 would have been played out by the two highest scoring teams in the league.”
“Fortunately, the break came our way in the form of a penalty, which John O’Reilly calmly converted,” added Schroder. “816 came on strong in the latter stages but we held strong, with our keeper Richard Young making some excellent aerial interceptions.”
So, a victory next week over third-placed USRC will bring home the title. And with a record of played 18, won 17, and the best defensive record of all 50 league teams, who would bet against it?
The aforementioned USRC moved clear into third place after a last-minute scrambled goal gave them a 3-2 win over GAS. Club Wanderers stay in fourth despite going down 1-3 to fellow Sports Roaders Albion, who moved up to fifth.
KCC Knights, arguably the success story of the second half of the season under the intelligent stewardship of Neil Picknell, scored the only goal in their game with Colts. However, despite all their heroics since Christmas, the Knights are not out of the relegation mix just yet. And with plucky Squadron beating the free-falling Mobsters 2-0, the relegation battle will be the gripping ‘must-see’ in the final month of the season. Intriguingly, the bottom five teams play almost all their remaining games against each other. The fight to stay up will go to the wire.
The battle to replace one of those teams (along with the marooned Antonhill) now looks a little clearer. With a maximum 12 points remaining, the top two sides Colloids and San Miguel Boca Seniors have opened up a five-point gap over third-placed French Kiss. The battling ‘oids came from a goal down to beat the Frenchmen 3-2 in an epic encounter, with the winner coming from the flying boot of William Da Silva with only minutes remaining.
The San Miguel beer boys made it an incredible seven clean sheets on the trot with a 2-0 victory over HKUSA and have now not conceded a goal in over eight and half hours of football – an impressive statistic. Boca’s defence was last breached on December 18th, and on Sunday the force-field around their goal was provided by backup keeper Gareth “Sausage” Bousfield. The barbecue-loving chubster produced a terrific penalty save to keep the record intact. “I’m just happy to have helped out,” said the rotund reserve afterwards. An understatement, indeed.
HKDC Hearts puffed some life into their own relegation battle with a 6-0 thumping over bottom side University, who now look a certainly for the drop. Hearts are now only a single point behind HKUSA.
In the third tier, OBA kept the top spot with a 1-0 win over CSOB, while Oxford stay clear of Corinthians in second, disposing of WYFC84 2-0.
In Division Four, HKU70s remain in first after a comprehensive 5-1 win over Scorpions (70’s ace marksman William Chan has over 30 goals for the season). Power 22 remain second and two points behind with a game in hand after they beat IES 2-0, a result which most likely ends any lingering IES hopes of promotion.
– Barry Pearce
First Touch would like to thank Barry for his entertaining and lively Yau Yee League reports this season. Barry is returning to London where he will be hanging up both his boots and his keyboard. In his own words: “800 games, 280 goals. A broken leg, collar bone and 2 lots of cracked ribs. I’ve had a ball, and loved every minute of it.” All the best Baz!
The Yau Yee League coverage in First Touch is sponsored by Physio Central, a physiotherapy clinic in Central. Physiotherapy is covered by most insurance companies.