Television cameras were at the final of the All Hong Kong Schools Jing Ying Football Tournament for the first time for Beacon College (Tsuen Wan)'s impressive 7-1 victory over King George V School on Sunday.
Ernie Merrick, the Scottish-born coach of the Hong Kong national team, was one of more than 2,000spectators who watched the 70-minute game played at Mong Kok Stadium. The crowd were able to see action replays of all the goals on a big screen at the stadium, thanks to NOWTV's coverage.
Beacon College (Tsuen Wan) thrashed Tai Po Sam Yuk Secondary School 11-0 in the last 16 and also beat La Salle College and Beacon College to reach the final.
KGV held their nerve in a tricky first-round penalty shoot-out against Elegantia College, then beat Chong Gene Hang College, Cheung Chau Government Secondary School and defending champions YCH Tung Chi Ying Memorial Secondary School in their earlier matches.
The new champions, formed mainly of players from First Division side Sham Shui Po, opened the scoring in the ninth minute, thanks to forward Chuk Yiu-kwok's goal. His teammate Lee Ka-yiu scored one minute before the break to give them a 2-0 lead at half-time.
Three minutes after the break, Toby Philip Down, KGV's attacking midfielder, gave his team hope of making a comeback when he scored from the spot when they were awarded a penalty.
However, Beacon's Wong Wai and Lau Cheuk-hin both scored a minute apart - in the 42nd and 43rd minutes - to extend their lead to 5-1.
With 15 minutes left, heavy rain left the players battling a soaked pitch, as much as each other. But Beacon mastered the tricky conditions better as Cheuk-hin and Yiu-kwok both scored their second goals before Lee Ka-ho fired his first to make the final score 7-1. Cheuk-hin, 19, from Sham Shui Po, who wears his side's number 7 shirt, won the tournament's most valuable player award for his overall performances and his eight goals from four matches, which made him top scorer.
'Our earlier game with La Salle was our most difficult in the tournament,' Cheuk-hin said. 'They've got two of my Sham Shiu Po teammates - Fong Pak-lun and Fung Hing-wa - in their side; we know each another well and the match was really tough.
'We've also played at Mong Kok Stadium before, so maybe we were more comfortable on the pitch than some of our opponents [KGV].
'And we scored early, which got us off to a good start. After that we were able to put a lot of pressure on KGV's defence.'
Lee Chi-kin, who coaches the winners, says the one-sided scoreline was no surprise. 'There was a big difference in the ability of the two teams,' he says. 'Also KGV tried to be very attacking, which helped as it meant they left themselves open at the back.'
Toby, a Year 13 student at KGV who won the best defender award, said he was surprised to win. 'I played a more attacking role in the final, but did help out a bit in defence,' says Toby, who plays for Sham Shui Po's under-19 team.
'We were determined to do well in the Jing Ying tournament. We'd been off-form and didn't play well in the inter-school tournament [before, when they finished in fifth place].
'Yet we're still a very young team so I think overall our performance has been good.'