The Malta Independent 23 April 2019, Tuesday

Waterpolo, BOV Summer League: Sirens shock San Ġiljan to force the third game, Sliema force decider

Stewart Said Wednesday, 29 August 2018, 22:55 Last update: about 9 months ago
Photos: Domenic Aquilina
Photos: Domenic Aquilina

SAN ĠILJAN TUM INVEST              10
SIRENS GREENTUBE                     11
(3-1), (3-3), (3-4), (1-3)

Sirens Greentube made the biggest upset of the season as they defeated champions San Ġiljan TUM Invest in the second semi-final and like the other semi-final, it will be decided next Saturday. Sirens practically put their bodies on the line as they fought for every ball and even when things didn't look to were heading their way, they stayed in the game and recovered.


San Ġiljan could have been over-confident after winning their first game without Croatian Paulo Obradovic and their coach Marko Orlovic. They didn't have a superlative performance but only had flashes during the game.

This loss ended their incredible unbeaten streak of 54 games, and this loss might serve them well to recharge their batteries for the final part of the season, keeping in their minds to stay with their feet on the ground knowing that they might be beaten.

San Ġiljan won the first session 3-1 through a brace by Paulo Obradovic and Matthew Zammit. Nicolas Bicari had equalised partially. Zammit made it even 4-1 in the second session as San Ġiljan were looking to kill the game.

But Sirens made a good reaction and stayed with a reach of two goals by the end of the session as they were showing signs of not giving up. The team from St. Paul's Bay gave a twist to the game as they scored three consecutive goals to take an unexpected 7-6 lead.

San Ġiljan recovered and went again in front from a brace by Peter Borg, and Obradovic made sure that San Ġiljan stayed in the lead responding to the equaliser by John Brownrigg.

For the last session, Sirens had a similar beginning to the previous one as they scored again three consecutive goals from Clint Mercieca, Marc Grech and the powerful Nicolas Bicari. San Ġiljan were now 11-9 in disadvantage and looked under pressure and panicked. Dino Zammit pulled one back with two minutes left, but couldn't find another goal to at least force the extra-time.

As the final whistle arrived, the pitch was divided with Sirens' players and supporters not believing that they ended the streak while on the other side San Ġiljan were angry and disappointed. Sporadic arguments between both sets also took place in the final moments as tension had risen to a new level. The ending of the game booked an appointment for next Saturday as the game will turn into a battle.

San Ġiljan: J. Tanti, P. Borg (2), A. Galea, B. Grech, C. Farrugia, M. Zammit (2), B. Plumpton (1), Da. Zammit, T. Said, P. Obradovic (3), P. Fava, Di. Zammit (2), T. Micallef

Sirens: N. Grixti, P. Privitera (1), E. Aquilina, N. Bicari (5), M. Grech (1), I. Riolo (1), C. Mercieca (1), J. Sciberras, J. Napier (1), J. Ciantar, L. Caruana, J. Brownrigg (1), G. Galea Curmi

Referees: Peter Balzan, Stefano Alfi


Solid Sliema force an interesting decider

SLIEMA FRANK SALT                11
NEPTUNES LEO VEGAS             10
(2-4), (4-2), (1-0), (4-4)

The eternal rivalry between Sliema and Neptunes will head for the third and final semi-final play-off after Sliema kept their hopes alive of reaching the final with a dramatic 11-10 win. Mark Meli avoided that the match continued in the extra-time.

It was a topsy turvy match as Neptunes had a better start and looked to be in control of the match. But Sliema regained their composure as they entered slowly in the game and turned the game to their favour. They looked to be in control as they had a comfortable three-goal advantage, but Neptunes came back to equalise.

Christian Presciutti's goal almost at the end of the first session proved to be important, as Sliema had to recover from a 4-1 deficit. Neptunes' goals came from a brace by Jordan Camilleri, Gabriel Pace and Petar Muslim.

Sliema reduced the gap gradually in the second session and manage to make it 5-5. Christian Presciutti and Nicholas Bugelli scored the goals between them. Stevie Camilleri gave Neptunes the advantage again but Bugelli responded.

The number 12 of Sliema put Sliema in front for the first time as he scored the only goal of the third session with a precise shot in the corner.

Sliema managed to get a three-goal cushion in the last session and as things stood, they looked in the driving seat to win. But Neptunes were not done yet an in half a session they recovered the deficit from captain Niki Lanzon, Jordan Camilleri and a penalty by Stevie Camilleri.

The game seemed to be heading to extra-time but Sliema won a man-up when they almost lost possession and from the resultant action Mark Meli scored the winning goal.

Sliema: J. Sammut, J. Gabarretta, C. Presciutti (4), M. Demarco, M. Meli (1), K. Dowling, M. Spiteri Staines (2), D. Fenech, M. Cordina, J. Gambin, Z. Mizzi, N. Bugelli (4), Z. Sciberras

Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, N. Lanzon (1), K. Erdogan, G. Pace (1), P. Muslim (1), N. Zammit, S. Camilleri (3), J. Camilleri (4), J Abela, M. Zammit, J. Muscat, M. Azzopardi, J. Parnis

Referees: Mario Dalli, Antonio Guarracino



MARSAXLOKK BROWN'S                 6
(1-2), (1-1), (1-1), (1-2)

Marsaskala: J. Micallef, J.C. Cutajar (1), E. Carabot, D. Borg Millo, A. Vlahovic (1), L. Grixti, K. Navarro, J. Borg, J. Bajada (2), J. Cremona, D. Cassar, R. Attard, B. Muscat

Marsaxlokk: R. Coleiro, C. Spiteri Debarro (1), L. Calleja, C. Bonello (1), C. Gialanze (2), N. Hosnyanszky (1), J. Galea, M. Rizzo, B. Buhagiar, R. Scerri, M. Pace (1), O. Zammit, K. Lanzon

Referees: Alex De Raffaele, Stefano Alfi

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