The Malta Independent 14 November 2018, Wednesday

Updated - Waterpolo: San Giljan, Neptunes to meet in summer league final

Saturday, 1 September 2018, 20:39 Last update: about 3 months ago

San Giljan and Neptunes will be meeting in the final of the waterpolo league play-offs after winning the deciding semi-final encounter against Sirens and Sliema respectively.

Neptunes had the better of Sliema with an 11-8 score after the two teams had shared one victory each in the first two games of the semi-final.

Outgoing champions San Giljan beat Sirens 10-7 after both sides had also shared the spoils in the first two legs of the semi-final.

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The St Julian’s neighbours will now meet over a three-legged play-off, with the team winning two games to be declared 2018 champions.

San Ġiljan hold on to qualify to the final

SAN ĠILJAN TUM INVEST.... 10

SIRENS GREENTUBE............. 7

(2-3), (2-1), (2-1), (4-2)

Champions San Ġiljan TUM Invest stayed in the hunt to win their second consecutive league title as they qualified to the play-offs final, defeating Sirens Greentube 10-7 in a nail-biting encounter. 

The Saints could have done better especially in the first part of the game, but after taking the lead for the first time in the third session, they were never in disadvantage again. Despite being defeated, Sirens finished the match with their heads held up high among the appreciation of their supporters, as they knew they gave it their all.

A double brace by Edward Aquilina and Paul Privitera characterised the first two sessions for Sirens as they looked sharper than their opponents. San Ġiljan had a slow start but despite suffering, they ended the second session 4-4, thanks also to goals from Obradovic.

This result gave San Ġiljan the necessary stimulus to fight for the last two sessions. Matthew Zammit rose above Clint Mercieca to give San Ġiljan the lead with a shot from the centre. Nicolas Bicari did the same a few seconds later. The goal by Dino Zammit less than a minute from the end of the third session proved to be important as San Ġiljan started the last session 6-5 in front.

Sirens failed to pile up the pressure in the last session as they seemed to lack the sharpness they had in the first two sessions. Till midway through the last session, the game was still 7-7. Peter Borg gave San Ġiljan the lead with two minutes and a half till the end, and the centre closed the game a minute later. Ben Plumpton sealed the win.

Photos Domenic Aquilina

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

Sirens: N. Grixti, P. Privitera (2), E. Aquilina (2), N. Bicari (1), M. Grech, I. Riolo, C. Mercieca (2), J. Sciberras, J. Napier, G. Sammut, L. Caruana, J. Brownrigg, G. Galea Curmi

Referees: Mario Dalli, Frederico Braghini

 

Neptunes earn a deserved win

NEPTUNES LEO VEGAS......... 11

SLIEMA FRANK SALT............. 8

(5-4), (3-0), (2-3), (1-1)

Neptunes Leo Vegas have sealed their place in the final as they won the third and final game. This match was different than the previous two as this time Neptunes took advantage from a good start and held on by consolidating it as the game progressed.

The previous two games were much tighter as the second session proved to be decisive for the remainder of the game. Sliema therefore will have to fight to finish third and at least improve on the fourth place that they finished last year.

The match had a brilliant start as both teams were encouraged by their supporters. Sliema had twice a one-goal advantage from Michael Spiteri Staines and Jerome Gabarretta but Neptunes made a splendid reaction in the middle of the session and from 2-1 down they took a 4-2 lead with goals from Petar Muslim and a brace by Jordan Camilleri.

Sliema managed to claw a goal back by the end of the session with a late goal by Kai Dowling to reduce the gap to 5-4.

At that time the ninth goal of the game didn’t have a great importance, as Neptunes dominated the second session being more sharp in their play whilst their opponents failed to take their chances in front of goal.

Stevie Camilleri and Petar Muslim gave Neptunes a three-goal advantage, and Niki Lanzon assured a commanding 8-4 lead with a goal in the last second of the game.

Things didn’t look easy for Sliema but they made a quick reaction to stay in the game with two goals by Jamie Gambin and Nicholas Bugelli. Jordan Camilleri made it 9-6 but Zach Mizzi responded with a brilliant left-hand shot. Jeremy Abela regained the three-goal cushion as Neptunes stayed in the driving seat to win the game.

Sliema’s hopes faded by the minute as Neptunes controlled the game till the end, with Mark Meli cancelling the previous goal by Petar Muslim, but it wasn’t enough to avoid the defeat.

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

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

Referees: Peter Balzan, Attilio Paoletti


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