What should have been a dignified affair involving some of the most long-lived Hattrick clubs turned into an unqualified mess, as the organizers somehow dropped the ball on the Trophy of Legends fixtures. This caused the first few matches to suffer inordinate delays, and the Birds would split them, with two victories followed by two losses.
All went well with the curtain-raiser against Finnish Division Six side FC B.R.C., with Islom Davlatov
scoring the first and last in a 3-2 win, with Chan Ze Han
's own strike sandwiched by Raffaele Benzo's. Dutch fourth division challengers Schraal United fared no better after the organizers sorted things out, going down 2-5 despite a stout rearguard action.
Grilled then met their match in former Copa Esmeralda de VII winners F.C.Illas Sicas., though, whose veteran striker Roby De Gasperi outthought Hoàng Trung Quá
throughout, getting a brace in a 5-1 sweep. Fabio Dalla Casa, made in much the same mould, did much the same to Hoàng in the next match, upping De Gasperi with a hat-trick in a 6-3 win for the Italians. Moey Xin Seng
led Grilled to salvage some pride towards the end, but it went no further than that.
Farmer Bunnies won three and drew one in the Heroes of 2014 Trophy, with newly-crowned Golden Boot winner Enzo Paolo Panzarino
starting them off auspiciously, with an unanswered treble against Iranian Division Four side setaregan e parsi. Váciutcai Olajbányász (Hungarian Division Five) held them 2-2 aided by some awesome wing play next, as skipper Jaakko Toivonen made the most of their strengths in that area.
The Buns took it in their stride, and they gave German fifth division hosts Färöer Eagles no room to operate, as a buzzing Panzarino recorded another hat-trick, capped by a splendid free-kick in the 79th. Belgium's FC Antigoon fared no better next, as Panzarino once more put the Buns in the lead, before Jon Benson
interrupted the Swede's scoring streak.
"Yeah, it was getting a bit boring." Benson drawled afterwards. "Enzo should let the rest of us have a go too."
Grilled International warmed up with a 0-2 loss to Dutch sixth division Sunset Valley in the Cars & Girls Cup 36, before also going down to Frostwolves (Bulgarian Division Five) through a 50th minute Guillaume Baillet lob. There was no third time lucky either, with LeandrobsousaFC (Brazilian Division Six) edging them 2-1 next, despite Soo Kiong Yau
's late penalty bringing some drama at the tailend.
It did get better after that, as International caught up on how to force one-goal wins. Israel's BeitarMyLove were their first victims, as they defended single-mindedly after Micky bin Kadir
had given them a slightly-questionable lead. Chilean Division Six winners LosQueFlinchy suffered much the same too, though László Kammer
went further with a second from a corner - just as well, as Velimir Velović would pull one back from sustained pressure on Querubim Santos Couto