In the baking sun of Bangkok, the Western Dragon’s emerged from two hard days of competition to finish a fantastic 3rd place in the Bangkok Easter Tournament.
The team was predominantly made up of Spartans players, Lionel, Bobby, Alan, Wayne, Tony, Ming, Flabbo, Terry, Carl and Paul, but also included the likes of former Spartans heroes Russell Pang and Eric Jordan, a troop of anglo-chinese scoosers, fast Eddie and Keung and virgin tourers Tim and Tim.
The Dragons were pitched in a tough group of 5 teams for the preliminary round matches, which included old nemesis HK Squadron.
In years past the Dragons have somewhat under achieved in this tournament, and when we were thumped 4-1 in our very first game, it seemed that history would repeat itself. However, the team back under the leadership of maestro Pang, showed their fighting spirit and waltzed into the cup competition after turning in great performances:
Dragons 1-4 Olympique Paris de Singapour
Dragons 1-0 Hanoi Drinkers
Dragons 0-0 HK Squadron
Dragons 0-0 Seoul Jokers
Tense moments for Russell, as he ponders bringing himself on (or off !!!).
Sunday introduced the knockout stages of the competition and were pitched against the German All Stars of Bangkok. With Jonny Westerby know having switched allegiances, the Dragons were more than confident of exploiting the new German back line (and westerbubbly). After a very tense game, where both teams could have won it in regulation, the game went to penalties. With 5 penalty takers nominated, Lionel uttered the following immortal words….”keep your heads up and keep the ball low!!!” Well that was all well and good, but the stupid bugger forgot to apply the same rules and duly skied his kick into orbit……Fortunately, the others held their nerve and we triumphed 3-2.
Give it up Russ !!!! Your management days were numbered last year.
Next up Swiss Club from Singapore. Again, after a goalless draw in regulation, the Dragons marched on with a 2-1 penalty win. (Successful kicks by Alan and (small!!) Tim).
This now catapulted the Dragons to the dizzy heights of a semi-final showdown with the strongest (and eventual winners of the Tournament) the Shanghai Shooters.
Limbering up in our sexy attire…..on the eve of our semi-final showdown.
Thoughts of making the final were soon dashed by 2 quick fire goals from Shanghai. This soon became 3, then 4 just before half-time. The game was lost.
The Dragons showed more spirit in the second half, but could not break down a stubborn Shanghai defense.
This was indeed a superb effort by the team, considering Shanghai hailed as eventual winners of the tournament, but more significant was Western Dragons emerging as the highest placed team representing Hong Kong.
Management happy with their silverware!!!!