DBFC 8 – 0 RBFC (Rula Bula FC)

Venue: Tsing Yi North East Park —– 18 April 2015 —- 3:00 pm KO

Squad: Oli (Captain), Kieran, David, Will, Stu, Morse, Travis, Matt Z, Matt H, Steve, Sam, Dirk, Baz, Jordon, Christian, Tom Halder, Rob Scott, Robbie and Gazza.

Scorers: Matt Z x 2, Oli R x 2, Stu M x 2, Christian R and Rob S

Everyone was aware that DBFC were seven points clear at the top of the league with only three games to go, so victory against RBFC would seal the league title. Once the availability of players was established the team confirmation email was sent out earlier in the week, with the specific instructions, KO – 15:00; Taxi departure 14:15. Unfortunately, this plan had little flexibility and the tight schedule resulted in most of the team being late and another four players being late after waiting for Sam who had missed the Peng Chau ferry and refused to swim the channel to DB.  Robbie was particularly annoyed at this turn of events because he had planned on his usual full warm-up and team instruction for this important game. He became more anxious as our players seemed to be too relaxed in getting changed and into order for the warm-up. In usual Robbie fashion a few explicates were voiced to relieve his frustration before getting everyone focused on the job at hand. After a quick warm up and a team talk we were ready to start.

The large crowd of DBFC supporters, the two teams and the three referees were in place, about to blow the whistle for KO, when the game was stopped by irate Park Officials at the side-line. The RBFC manager, to whom the pitch had been registered, had not turned up and had not provided his ID card to any of his players to act as his “look-a-like”. The excuse that the guy “couldn’t make it” is well known in Hong Kong as being far from adequate for the bureaucratic Park Officials and they were insisting on not allowing us to play. Sense does not prevail in these situations and experience counts. So in steps our boss Gazza to provide the league booking sheets for this and the next game (Trops v Ruby) which he was to sign for and presented his ID card. The officials paused for thought and in that time RBFC were sent to get a WhatsApp photo of their manager’s ID card. Gazza convinced the ground staff that the RBFC manager had been hit by a taxi on the way to the game and was in hospital’s A&E – this was sufficient for them to allow the game to commence but incredibly, they still required a letter from the RBFC manager authorising another person to sign for the pitch. Quick thinking by Gaz saw him pen a letter on behalf of RBFC, photograph it and send to a Rula Bula player to present to the sad official. – GAME ON.

The game started relatively cagey, most likely due to our poor warm up, with star play Stuart M giving the ball away on no less than 8 occasions. Similarly, golden boy Jordan Brown continually tried to skin the really average RBFC left winger but got tackled again and again, putting us under even more pressure. Fortunately, our quality started to show and some quick thinking from Sam saw Matt Z put through to score the opener.

As the game wore on, it quickly became evident that the bloke in goal for RBFC was not a regular goalkeeper. An initial indicator was his wearing of brown suede shoes and shin guards with no socks but all were convinced when the world’s weakest shot from Rob Scott rolled in to the RBFC goal to make it 2 – 0 to DBFC. Captain Oli then got on the end of a good move to slot the ball home in the RBFC goal and give DBFC a comfortable 3-0 lead. In the meantime, DBFC had one or two defensive scares – a quick throw in from Christian struck David in the jugular (neck). Unable to recover in time, the ball went to the RBFC Centre Mid-fielder who quickly passed the ball to put their striker through on goal. However, David quickly regained composure from Christian’s assassination attempt and was able to make up the ground and shepherd the ball out for a goal kick. A further DBFC attack was constructed and Stu picked up a loose ball at about 20 yards out and struck a bullet shot straight down the middle of the goals over the 5ft 4in keeper’s fingers into the top of the goal to give DBFC a 4-0 by halftime lead.

Coach Bert’s team talk at half time concentrated on keeping the ball and keeping composure. Subs: off came Sam to be replaced by Kieran.

The second half started as the first ended, DBFC had the majority of the ball and RBFC were struggling to get out of their own half. The 5th goal of the day came quickly as Kieran broken down the right and crossed for Matt Z to coolly slot home his shot. Matt Z was then replaced by Will and Rob Scott came off for Tom, who made a quick impact, squaring it for Stu to power home through the RBFC keeper —– poor lad was having a rough time (bless him) — DBFC now 6 – 0. A series of three substitutions saw DBFC bring on the experienced trio Morse, Baz and Dirk to see out the championship and replaced Steve, Matt H and Christian respectively.

A foul on the left outside the RBFC box led to a duffer of a free-kick from Stu, which hit the RBFC defensive wall and rebounded to Tom who crossed the ball to the far post for Christian, steaming in down the right, to stretch out his leg and poke the ball in to the RBFC net, DBFC 7 – 0. The last goal came when Oli Rendall intercepted an RBFC defender’s attempt to pass-back to his keeper and then coolly place the ball in the corner of the net for a final tally of 8-0. Using 17 players, with player managers Robbie and Gaz unused on the sidelines, it was great that so many squad members were down to contribute to the title winning game and even more joyous that injured and unavailable players were there to support.

Easy-peasy. We were awarded a beast of a trophy from last year’s holders (Tropicana – formally Initiative) that Oli held aloft in triumph. We were fed what we were told was expensive champagne as it was shared and sprayed amongst everyone. Not to burst anyone’s bubble, but a source has told me that the champagne cost $51 a bottle… DBFC and fans showered in champagne and victory made their way to the plaza, the singing (it was a beautiful sound) led by Baz and Jordon. From there they soaked up the adulation (confusion?) of fellow plaza dwellers and downed plenty of beers. Photos were taken regularly, Sam winning dick of the day for getting his nipples out and spoiling one of the photos Gaz had sent to the league. As the night dragged on the strongest moved on to LKF while the rest saw off a fantastic day at the tables.