SCAFL Round 2
Hong Kong Reds Vs Hong Kong Blues
Sunday 3rd April 2011
Happy Valley Racecourse
Round 2 of the SCAFL and the first installment of the ‘battle of Hong Kong’ took place on the 3rd April with the HK Reds taking on the HK Blues inside the Happy Valley Racecourse on a mild Sunday afternoon.
Both sides were boasting solid numbers for the 12 a-side format and fresh legs were aplenty after the 3 week break since the opening gala round in Guangzhou. There was 1 exception however with Reds VC Brendan Kean having crossed the finish line of a 65km HK island trail race less than 1hr prior to bouncedown! Keano (typically a wiry fast paced wingman) subsequently placed himself in the forward pocket and proceeded to dish out assists via handball to all and sundry for the entire game.
On the small playing field available scores were always going to be high and turnovers critical and it was the Reds that jumped out of the blocks early through the solid ruck – rover combination of Jacko & Jacko (not related) in the 1st quarter. The Reds managed 5 majors for the quarter restricting the Blues to just 2.
After a quarter time rev up and advice on playing more ‘corridor’ footy from Darren Flanigan the Blues came out in the 2nd quarter with a new lease on life and through superb midfield work from Crights and Cooky, plus some strong finishing from Drummo and Coops up forward, the Blues slammed on the first 7 goals of the quarter and the Reds were out on their feet. 2 late quarter goals from Man Cheung kept the Reds within striking distance though and it was the Blues by 14 points at the main break.
The 3rd quarter saw the Reds begin a slow fight back getting within a kick at one stage but it was the Blues youngsters in Christian Romano and Thomas Murphy who had all the legs at this stage in the game. Long time Dragon and Swiss national Stefan was also very important and a couple of late Blues goals saw them maintain a lead of 9 points going into the final term.
The last quarter provided the most excitement all day and it was a seesawing battle for the entire 15 minutes. This game proved to be an absolute nail biter and after the Reds hit the front early with 2 quick goals through Stuch and Jacko the lead was to change 4 more times before the final siren had rung. A late assist (and his 5th of the day) from trail runner Keano allowed Wilbur to slam one through the goals and although cries of ‘touched’ were heard from the desperate Blues defenders it was all too little too late for them and with the siren sounding shortly after it was the Reds maintaining their undefeated record in the SCAFL with a 3 point win.
Hong Kong Red: 15-6-96
Hong Kong Blue: 14-9-93
Hong Kong Red: Matthew Jackson, Brian Jackson, Dwight Stuchbery, William Dunn, Peter Kenny
Hong Kong Blue: Christian Cook, Jarrad Crighton, Richard Drummond, Stefan Aebi, Warwick Kendall
Hong Kong Red: Brian Jackson 3, William Dunn 3, Matthew Jackson 2, Dwight Stuchbery 2, Ryan Lawson 2, Man Cheung 2, Paul Greening
Hong Kong Blue: Jarrad Crighton 4, Stefan Aebi 3, Richard Drummond 3, Christian Cook 2, Christian Romano 2
Of particular interest was the SCAFL debut of local star Sky ‘Saints’ Takyee. Sky, originally drafted by the Blues, was presented with a last minute opportunity to play for the Reds and grabbed it with both hands possibly proving the difference in this close, hard fought game!
The strong crowd of Dragons supporters, mums, dads, wives, girlfriends, children and interested locals in the outer were certainly treated to a great spectacle and well done to all players involved. Also a huge thank you to those that helped out on and off the field including Flaners, Visey, Mals, Jules, Chris and Anthony.
The Blues now look forward to hosting Guangzhou on Saturday April the 30th whilst the Reds will be playing their round 3 match away against Macau on May the 14th.