Hong Kong’s lacrosse world championship campaign off to dream start with Luxembourg thumping
Hong Kong now face first seeds Poland on Friday, the biggest threat in their group
Hong Kong strolled to a 20-1 win over Luxembourg in the opening match of the 2018 FIL Lacrosse Championships in Netanya, Israel, on Wednesday.
Experienced attacker Evan Mok-Lamme ensured there were no opening day nerves, scoring four goals against the tournament debutants in the Olive pool.
A hat-trick from Wesley Wong See-hon and braces from Kelvin Mak Ho-chun, Stephen O’Brien and Geoffrey Ling Chun-wai helped coach Scott Browning’s team to a dream start as they look to improve upon their previous world championship outing.
Hong Kong finished 21st in the Colorado, United States, edition four years ago.
“We shook loose some of the jitters of playing under the lights but after that our training took over,” said Mok-Lamme. “The outcome is something we expected and we’re really happy.”
Hong Kong have been pooled against Luxembourg, Poland and Uganda in what is the only four-team group of the tournament. Because of last-minute schedule changes, the quartet will have to play one extra match each before the knockout rounds.
Hong Kong face first-seed Poland on Friday, a team Browning labelled as Hong Kong’s biggest threat in the group.
“What led to that [win] was four years of hard work, frankly; these guys have been working hard since Denver in 2014, working on fundamental skills and increasing our lacrosse IQ and becoming much more athletic. It proved itself on the field,” Browning said.
“We’re really looking forward to the Poland match. We know that’s going to be an instrumental game for both teams in this pool. It’s going to be a hard battle. We played in 2014 and they handed it to us, so we have a little bit of extra motivation.”
The official championship ceremony is on Thursday as the last of the remaining teams arrive in Netanya.
Lacrosse’s biggest tournament includes an unprecedented 46 teams competing over 10 days. This is the first time the quadrennial tournament has been held outside the US and the Commonwealth nations.