CONSISTENT Eastern completed formalities when they won the Marlboro First Division championship for the third successive season at mud-splattered Mongkok Stadium last night. The champions sealed their hat-trick of titles with an emphatic 3-1 victory over Viceroy Cup champions Sing Tao finishing their league campaign three points clear of arch-rivals South China. Only 694 spectators turned out for Eastern's last league match which saw all three of their goals coming in the first half. Eastern paraded their trophy before spectators who braved the rain and to their small army of fans after two goals from Ross Greer and one from the penalty spot from striker Dale Tempest. 'That was 10 months of hard work and this is the one title we were looking for,' enthused Tempest, whose club will also battle it out for the San Miguel FA Cup against Rangers next week. 'Last season, we lost top local players Tam Siu-wai, Cheung Kam-wa and Lee Wai-man but we still managed to retain the championship,' he added. Greer got the ball rolling when his powerful header from Paul Nixon's cross beat 'keeper Maurice Munden in the fifth minute. Tempest extended the scoring via the penalty spot in the 15th minute for his 18th goal of the campaign after Nixon was adjudged to have been elbowed by Munden. Greer made it 3-0 in the 27th minute when he put away skipper Lee Kin-wo's cross with another excellent header. Sing Tao reduced arrears when winger Lau Chi-yuen scored with a low shot in the 54th minute but Eastern were always in the driving seat and created a host of chances after the interval with Ian McParland coming closest to stretching his team's lead in the 72nd minute when his shot struck the right post. Now their season is over, Eastern will begin fending off interest in their international midfielder Lo Kai-wah. Lo has been one of the club's most influential local players and is being chased by a host of First Division rivals including South China, Golden, Rangers and Instant-Dict. But Eastern manager Peter Leung Shou-chi is hoping the lanky 24-year-old will stay when his current contract runs out at the end of the month. Lo, known as 'Chicken' by his foreign teammates because his Chinese middle name Kai sounds like the word for chicken, has had another superb season. Hong Kong international midfielder Tam Siu-wai, who signed for Rangers at the end of last season, left Eastern in a blaze of publicity last summer - and the champions suffered as a result. 'Tam's absence has had a profound effect. We underestimated that. This time, we have to deal with Lo's case very carefully,' said Leung. 'Lo is one of the best Chinese players in Hong Kong. He can play in midfield and in defence. Our playing format will be affected if he leaves.' 'This season has been the hardest season for three years. We lost two Chinese players, Tam and left-back Lee Wai-man, so had to make do without them,' said Leung, who admitted that he is trying to sign former Instant-Dict midfielder Steve Berry for Eastern. 'All the other teams strengthened their squads as well. We didn't do very well in the beginning and lost points to several teams but fortunately they lost points too.' Leung refuses to predict Eastern's fortunes next season. 'It's a bit too early to say now whether we will win our fourth league title in a row because we are still building our squad. 'There may be some changes in our lineup but I won't make any announcements before the FA Cup final next Saturday.'