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They Came, They Saw And They Almost Conquered
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They Came, They Saw And They Almost Conquered Thursday 1st June 2017

The Yau Yee League masters' first game was against what looked on paper the toughest opposition of the masters, with the PlayOn Pros boasting the likes of Emile Heskey, David James and Des Walker in their ranks. The game started with the YYL select team having the upper hand, and with the extensive training they had better shape and understanding of the 7s format. A great through ball from Steph Bulgarelli led to Chris Ransford of Spartans bamboozling James to score from 4 yards out. The team then defended gallantly with Kurt Lettani having Heskey in his back pocket to win the game 1-0. The last game of the evening was against a defensive KCC team. In a defensive game this was a stalemate and finished 0-0.
The next day saw the Masters team take on the Wallsend Boys Club who had a lot of pace and quality in their team. After more resilient defending and great goalkeeping from Adam Bilbey the YYL team had a good chance created by Gorka cleared off the line. The North Eastern Club hit on the break to score 2 goals and win 2-0.
In the second match of the day the team had to beat HKFC chairman's team and hope other results went their way to stay in the draw for the coveted cup draw. More great teamwork at the start looked to give the YYL team the upper hand. Early in the second half some skills down the left from Warren Tilley created enough space for him to square the ball across goal for an oncoming Daniel Turner to slide the ball in the net. The YYL team were never really troubled until a scare in the last minute which HKFC were unable to finish and they won 1-0. With Wallsend later beating the PlayOn Pro's the YYL select went into the cup semi-finals for the first time in history.
The semi was against last year's winners Citibank All Stars who had players such as Frank Sinclair and a fast Louis Boa Morte. The game started at a belting pace with YYL holding their own against a class outfit. Late in the first half they created the most clear cut chance with Gorka stripping the defender and laying across a perfect ball to Ransford who had his first shot excellently saved by the keeper and his follow up somehow cleared off the line by the Citibank defender. At half time the match was still 0-0 but there was a feeling that they may have created their best chance. Unfortunately this was the case. A spirited team effort couldn't quite stop the Citibank team who scored twice in the second half to win the game 2-0. Well done to all who played in an exceptional weekend of football making the YYL proud.

The team: Adam Bilbey (GAS), Barry Brown (Corinthians), Warren Tilley (Colloids), Mark Tupper (Colloids), Kurt Lettani (Captain, French Kiss), Stefano Bulgarelli (Colloids), Martin Rigby (GAS), Daniel Turner (GAS), Gorka Garcia-Tapia (Squadron), Nathan King (Spartans), Chris Ransford (Spartans).

Coached by: Barry Brown (Corinthians), Nick Day (Spartans), John Thompson (Dynamo).



In the main competition, the YYL Select played Premier League team West Ham in their first game. This was a cagey affair with the YYL Select never looking in too much trouble throughout, thanks to their great work rate and tracking, nullifying any of the West Ham attacks. They drew 0-0 to get their campaign off to a good start. Later in the afternoon the team played French team Olympique Marseille in one of the games of the day. A brilliant start, with a brace from Rob Davis of French Kiss, saw a shell shocked Marseille trailing 2-0. The heat and pace of the game started to take its toll in the second half and the French team managed to fight back and score in quick succession with time running out, to square the game 2-2. The last game of the day saw YYL come up against current HK Premier League Champions, Kitchee. A nice Matt Zoeller finish ensured that the YYL team finished the day unbeaten as they drew against the HK football powerhouse 1-1.
On the final day of the tournament the team were in the plate quarter finals and played Kashima Antlers. Unfortunately, the YYL team conceded an early goal which put them on the back foot and meant the Kashima team could play possession football. Fantastic work by the team couldn't break down the opposition who managed to sneak another goal and win the game 2-0. The YYL select team drew three and lost one all weekend which against the high calibre opposition was an outstanding achievement. Well done to all and here's to more of the same next year.

The team: William Donker (Colts), Alex Jojo (Colts), Thomas McGillycuddy (Albion), Christopher de Laiglesia (French Kiss), Matthew Cross (Spartans), Sebastian Beer (Wanderers), Matt Zoeller (Captain, GAS), Robert Davis (French Kiss), Daniel Loup (KCC Dragons), Dan Houmann (Squadron).

Coached by: Chancy Cooke (GAS), Byoung No Ha (Azzurri), Lee Tsang.
 

Congratulations To YYL Select Teams At The 7s


 

 

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