Beacon aim to light up Jing Ying scene
By Jonathan Powell
Surprise finalists Beacon College meet defending champions YCH Tung Chi Ying Memorial Secondary School (TCY) in the All-Hong Kong Schools Jing Ying Football Tournament title-decider tomorrow at Mongkok Stadium.
The championship match will be a curtain-raiser to the Silver Shield final between First Division sides Kitchee and Happy Valley. The Beacon boys, the Yuen Long district champions, are taking part in the event for the first time, and have exceeded expectations by reaching the final.
They saw off the challenge of St Joan of Arc Secondary School in the first round, then beat Tsung Tsin College. Top seeds St Joseph's College were edged out in the quarter-finals and Tai Po and North champions Fanling Lutheran Secondary School were toppled in the semi-finals after a penalty shoot-out.
Now, standing between them and an unlikely Jing Ying title are the Sha Tin and Sai Kung district champions, TCY.
'Beating St Joseph's was an important and encouraging result,' said Beacon head coach, Leung Bo-sum. 'It gave the boys the ambition and desire to go on and win the tournament.
'I think TCY are a very mechanical team - their boys will follow instructions very strictly. My team is the opposite. I encourage the boys to express themselves and show their individuality on the field.'
He said the school would bring up to 200 students, teachers and parents to support the team.
'This is a big event for the school,' said Leung. 'We have a good chance to win the title at the first attempt.' Key players for Beacon include former Hong Kong youth team members Lai Man-fei and Leung Kai-chung.
Leung said: 'Lai is very creative and talented, and we're hoping for a good performance from him. Leung is our captain and reads the game very well.'
TCY have been the most consistent team in recent Jing Ying tournaments, reaching the semi-finals four successive times. This is the third time in four years the school is contesting the final.
With three goals each, TCY's Lam Wing-chung and To Hon-to are the competition's top scorers. 'We are a skilful team this year but less physical,' said TCY head coach Edmond Hung Chor-ying.
'Beacon College are especially good from set-pieces. We must be well-organised for corners and free kicks. I'm not surprised they are in the final as they have performed well throughout. They will be our most difficult opponents this season.'
Kick-off is at 12.15pm.