Club bounce back from knockout to land third trophy
DEFENDING champions Hongkong Football Club ended a season of domination on a triumphant note when they won the National Sevens title at Hammer Hill Stadium last night.
A close 19-14 victory over Valley in the final gave Club their third trophy of the season and provided some compensation for their defeat by Kowloon in last week's Knockout Cup final.
Two tries from Player of the Year Justin Weston and a last-minute touchdown by Will Wilde snatched victory from Valley, who narrowly failed to hang on to a 14-12 lead.
The match was a repeat of last month's Singapore Sevens Plate final, which Club won.
League champions and First Division Sevens winners Club finished on top of their preliminary Pool One, beating Valley on the way, before scoring a 14-7 victory over Kowloon in the semi-finals.
Valley swamped Pool Two winners Police 31-0 in their semi-final.
In the final, Chris Blair gave Valley the lead seconds into the match with a try which Andy Fields converted.
Weston scored in the corner for Club two minutes later, but Paul Wellham failed with a difficult conversion.
But Wellham was on target to convert Weston's second try, giving Club a 12-7 half-time lead.
Hongkong international Stuart Krohn levelled the scores three minutes into the second half and Fields gave Valley a 14-12 lead by kicking the conversion.
Valley looked like they would hang on for their first trophy of the season, but a break by Club prop Ashley Jones gave Wilde the opportunity to score in the dying seconds.
The tournament provided Hongkong internationals with their last chance of competition before next week's Canberra Festival Sevens.
Club and Hongkong fly-half Philippe Lacamp suffered a leg injury and missed the final against Valley.
Valley Knights won the Second Division title, beating Tigers Too 21-14 in the final.
And there was double joy for Police, whose sides won the Third and Fourth Division competitions.
Police Casuals beat Club Sequins 29-5 in the Third Division final, while Police Panthers won the Fourth Division event with a 17-0 victory over Club Select.
The Panthers triumph was particularly significant as the side was made up of local Chinese players.
The novel tight-five sevens event was won by Club, who beat Tigers 29-21 in the final.
The event was designed for big tight-five forwards not known for their speed, and the victorious Club side included Hongkong Rugby Football Union chairman Stuart Leckie and finance director Dave Bruce.